Now that we are all in costume, I need everyone to take his or her position in the conference room. You should stretch first if your part requires anything acrobatic. The PA system is set and ready to go, and Jerry is burning a CD with all our songs on it as we speak. Stephanie—you’re my stage manager. Lisa—prop duty. Tim—craft services. It’s time to do business like it’s never been done before. From this day forth, all conference calls will be compared to this one.
Let’s go through this one last time. When our clients at Titan Tire pick up the phone, the first thing they will do is ask us about the ad campaign they commissioned from us in May: have we started it? Chorus people, that question is your cue to begin singing “Party in the USA” as loud as you can. Howard will back you up with a few sung words from our mission statement. In this way we’ll set a tone for the call that is lighthearted and fun, but grounded by our company’s commitment to service. The Titan office needs to know that we will answer their questions, but we are going to do it at our own pace. We are building a house here, folks. Everyone at Titan will be pleased when they see it finished.
“Party in the USA” will end, as it has in rehearsal, with a brief display of fireworks. Jacob, I want you to describe these to Titan as they appear. No need to rush through your descriptions if the Titan folks want to hear about our demographic analysis. They aren’t even going to remember that stuff once this meeting ends. What they’ll remember is how they helped us redefine the medium of the conference call, just by providing us with a few thousand dollars for fireworks. Which reminds me: Jacob, if you feel like adding some embellishment to your narration, I say go ahead. Better for the Titan folks to be pleasantly surprised when they receive our invoice—which also covers various rewrite expenses and our three sessions with Bruce the choreographer—than overwhelmed.
Dianna and Bob’s duologue comes next. Their scene is a tough one, so they are going to need our help to pull it off. When Bob’s character slaps Dianna’s, we all have to use our palms on the desk to provide the sound effect. When Dianna leaves Bob, performing a dance piece that speaks to their tumultuous relationship and the explosive force of their love, we will chant, alternatingly, ‘tumultuous relationship’ and ‘explosive love force’, as these themes are not easily communicable without visual aids. When Bob calls after Dianna that an interesting Titan commercial would depict a teen motorist stopping sharply to prevent an accident—well, at that part we don’t need to do much of anything. That’s only in the script to appease a few people at Titan who might not appreciate our art. It has nothing to do with the actual commercial, which, as you know, was put on hold months ago to give us time to plan this conference call.
By this point, I imagine that everyone at Titan will be eager to experience our finale. For that reason, we are not going to give it to them. One thing that will make this call so remarkable is that it will mark the start of a series of increasingly brilliant conference calls. We’ll allow Titan a few minutes to applaud our vision, and then we’ll hang up. Next, it’s back to the drawing board. Our ad campaign is already long overdue, folks. If we want to present it within the year with the skill and artistic flair we’ll soon become known for, we need to start working on our conference call tonight. And this time: more fireworks.