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Prologue - Mankai Company
Manager: Whew, I still can't believe help came from the heavens in the form of Yukio's daughter. What a godsend you are!
Manager: Did you see the look on that guy's face? Those twitchy eyebrows? It was too good!
Izumi: (Pretty major attitude shift for someone who was just crying at the feet of Mr. Twitchy Eyebrows.)
Izumi: Listen, I hate to rain on your parade, but we still have to actually find new additions for our troupe.
Manager: Huh? What about your insider connections and stuff?
Izumi: I don't have any. I made it all up on the spot.
Manager: What?!
Rookie Member: You were lying?!
Izumi: (Were they really that gullible?! Now I just feel bad...)
Izumi: Ahem, it was more like acting, really. Call it a street act.
Manager: So you're telling me that our new members are...
Izumi: Nonexistent, yeah.
Manager: Aw, man...
Rookie Member: Does that mean the troupe is going under after all?
Izumi: Not if we get straight to work and find people right now.
Manager: But there's no time!
Izumi: There won't be if you keep wasting it with hemming and hawing!
Manager: It's never gonna work. All the old members left, and I could only drum up one new member.
Manager: I've got a bad rep, the troupe's reviews are as bad as it gets... Nobody in their right mind would sign on with us.
Izumi: (Okay. This is starting to piss me off.)
Rookie Member: Um, I don't know what I can do to help, but I'll do whatever you need!
Rookie Member: I wouldn't want to lose my troupe right after I signed on, and it beats doing nothing at all!
Izumi: (You, on the other hand, are a very good boy!)
Izumi: There, you see? All you have to do is keep your head up like, uh... I'm sorry, what's your name?
Sakuya: Sakuya Sakuma, ma'am!
Izumi: Okay, nice to meet you, Sakuya!
Sakuya: It's a pleasure, ma'am!
Izumi: You see that? Sakuya's the new kid, and he's doing his part. I suggest you get your act together and act more like the manager you are.
Manager: Urgh, fine. When we fail, I guess it won't be for lack of trying.
Izumi: (...You know, I'm starting to see exactly why our Yakuza friend was so hard on you.)
Sakuya: So, how do we find some new members?
Manager: Should we pass out flyers?
Izumi: Flyers might work if we had more time, but I don't think it'll get us far.
Izumi: (There's got to be a way we can attract people interested in acting without flagging down people at random.)
Izumi: Ooh, I know! How about a street act?
Izumi: It could be good publicity for the troupe, and it'll get the attention of people interested in theater.
Sakuya: Ooh, that's a great idea!
Sakuya: I've never done one before, though. It's like improv, right?
Sakuya: Do we just decide what to act on the spot?
Izumi: I think we should pick a theme and stick to it for the most part. This is a street act to highlight the best parts of the troupe.
Sakuya: The best parts of the troupe...
Izumi: Matsukawa, are there any benefits to joining the troupe?
Manager: Well, we've got a dorm, and we provide two square meals a day prepared by yours truly!
Izumi: Nice. New actors don't make much right out the gate, so having room and board covered is a pretty huge plus.
Sakuya: Well, um, that IS a plus, but...
Izumi: (What's with the awkward trailing off?)
Manager: Also, we have our very own theater, so we've always got someplace to rehearse!
Izumi: Mm-hm. So far, so good. Let's incorporate that into a street act.
Izumi: The cast is the three of us. Matsukawa, you're the manager. I'm the director. And Sakuya, you're an eager aspiring actor doing an audition.
Izumi: This will be set in the middle of the audition. That sound good?
Sakuya: Yes, ma'am!
Manager: Why am I not surprised that Yuki's daughter is no stranger to this stuff?
Izumi: Well, I used to belong to a troupe, myself. I've done street acts, too.
Manager: Oh, wow. It's good to have someone with experience!
Sakuya: We're lucky we found you!
Izumi: (Okay, we've got something thrown together. Now to play it out, I guess.)
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Manager: Hiya! I'm the manager of the Mankai Company troupe. It's time to get this audition underway.
Izumi: (Ugh, he opened up with a self-introduction?)
Izumi: (Come to think of it, that's how the last play started, too. Guess that solves the question of who wrote it.)
Manager: Let's have the first autitionee introduce himself.
Sakuya: H-Here! Actor number one! Sakuya Sakuma! 17 years old!
Sakuya: My hobby is practicing lines from my favorite plays by the riverbank, and I'm really good at remembering names and faces!
Manager: And what brings you here today?
Sakuya: I've always been into acting, and I saw an ad for a troupe that was recruiting live-in actors, so I said what the hey and filled the application out!
Manager: Ooh, I see!
Izumi: (He sounds genuinely impressed. Did he even do an interview before taking Sakuya on?)
Manager: Okay, then, let's hear some of the director's questions for our new entrants!
Izumi: Huh?! Oh. Oh, yes, of course! Here I come with my questions! I mean, here I go!
Izumi: (Oh geez, was my voice always this high? Even I'm cringing at my own delivery.)
Passerby A: Good lord.
Passerby B: Did they lose a dare or something?
Passerby A: Maybe that's the setting.
Izumi: ...
Izumi: (Great. I should've known I'd be dead weight.)
Sakuya: Something wrong?
Izumi: I'm sorry. I used to be in a troupe, but no amount of practice could cure my hammy acting. I was useless on stage.
Sakuya: You're not hammy at all, ma'am!
Manager: If you want hammy, step aside! I'm King Ham of Ham Hill.
Izumi: Aww, you guys...
Izumi: You're right, this is no time for whining. Let's give it all we've got!
Sakuya: Yes, ma'am!
Manager: If we're gonna fail anyway, might as well fail like men!
Izumi: (Right. I can't tell if he's being optimistic or pessimistic here.)
Izumi: All right, let's do this!
Onlooker: ...

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