(Open on a basement set. There is a large computer desk with several monitors, a tower, and various technological equipment. An office chair sits in front of the desk, with a lamp, a television, and a couch off to one side. A washer and dryer can be seen, along with a staircase and a basement window in the background. The only wall art should be an award for GREG hitting 100K subscribers, along with a painting by ALICE. Any other furniture or decor can be left to the director’s choice. GREG sits at the computer, firing up his platform and getting everything set up. He puts on a headset. There should be some way for the audience to see everything he is recording and broadcasting to the Internet.)
GREG: Okay, so… let me know if you guys can hear me okay. I’m turning off the chat because a few people got out of hand with it last time, but you can always hit me up on Twitter or whatever and let me know if this whole thing sucks. Wow, 700K. I can’t believe we made it here. (He pauses. Offstage, the sound of a door opening and the jingling of keys. GREG glances up toward the stairs, but doesn’t seem too bothered by the noise.) I was just going through comments from the Pinehurst Asylum video, and guys… holy shit, you picked up on things I didn’t even notice. The shadow figure in the hallway–kudos to JasonX2002. I didn’t even– (Muffled talking noises from upstairs, and a dog barks several times. GREG winces, but the noise stops. His cell phone pings, he pulls it out of his pocket and checks it.) Viper1910 wants to know if Alice and Rocco respect my filming schedule. Usually, the answer is yes, but this livestream was kind of spur of the moment, so… it’s tricky, you know?
ALICE: (Offstage.) Greg, Rocco took a shit in the living room again! Can you come help me? I’m trying to put groceries away! (GREG is visibly agitated, but he doesn’t move. His phone pings a few times. ALICE tries again.) Greg? I need you up here, please!
GREG: Not now, babe, I’m–I’m working on something! (He checks his phone. Alice says something in response, but it is too muffled to hear. The audience is forced to ignore it, along with Greg. He reads from his phone notifications.) NHD420 asks, “I’ve been a subscriber since the beginning. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done thanks to Zipper Paranormal?” Yeeterman365, pretty much the same question. Um, that’s a toughie! I’ve gotten to do so many cool things, but collaborating with the Doppler Twins and Leonardo Da Kitschy was beyond wicked. Those guys really know how to party. Who would’ve thought doing shots in a cemetery would draw out so many orbs? (His phone pings again several times, in rapid succession. The dog starts barking again. ALICE yells, “Rocco!” The dog does not stop barking. We hear several things fall upstairs, the sound of breaking glass. GREG sets his phone down and drags his hand down his face.) Alice, shut the damn dog up, please! (His phone keeps pinging. ROCCO continues to bark. He tries to read from his phone instead, though the volume of the barking increases as he does so.) TrentReznorsBiggestFan wants to know if I’m planning to check out the Queen Mary any time in the near– (More glass breaks. ROCCO’s barking hits a frenzied pitch.) Alice!
ALICE: He’s your damn dog too, Greg! Rocco, shut up! No, stay out of the living room, you’ve done enough–
ALICE: For Christ’s sake. (She opens the door at the top of the stairs and yells down at GREG.) You’re the one who said you’d help me unload when I got back. That’s what you agreed to. I can’t do everything by myself.
GREG: (Trying to keep his voice level.) All I said was that I didn’t want to go to the store with you. I never agreed to… anyway, I’m in the middle of streaming. (He gestures toward his equipment.)
ALICE: (Coming down the stairs.) You’re streaming? Right now? Are you serious, Greg?
GREG: (He gets up from the chair.) Yeah, I’m streaming. You know, the thing I do that pays the bills? The thing that makes it possible for you to get your hair and nails done and pays for all your other bullshit? (ROCCO starts barking again.) And can you please, shut that goddamn dog up!
ALICE: All right, that’s enough. Shut down the streaming. (ROCCO keeps barking. ALICE goes to the computer and tries to turn it off. GREG intervenes.) What are you doing?
GREG: What am I doing? What are you doing?
ALICE: I’m trying to turn this damn thing off.
GREG: Stop it. You’re making it worse.
ALICE: How am I making it worse?
GREG: Rocco, Jesus, please, stop barking! (To ALICE.) You’re ruining this livestream.
ALICE: You’re ruining it yourself, asshole.
GREG: Listen, don’t be a bitch just because–
ALICE: What did you call me?
GREG: Okay, well, I didn’t mean–
ALICE: Did you call me a bitch?
GREG: Alice, come on. We don’t need to–
ALICE: Shut your mouth, Greg. I think we do. Rocco! (He stops barking, abruptly. GREG’s phone pings a few times and keeps pinging steadily throughout.) Who the fuck is texting you?
GREG: Fan accounts! They’re tuning in and probably wondering what the fuck is happening.
ALICE: Tell them to mind their own business.
GREG: It’s my livestream. I think–
ALICE: You called me a bitch. Shut it down.
GREG: I don’t want to.
ALICE: I don’t care what you want. You can record something later. Right now, I need you to help with the dog.
GREG: I thought you wanted me to help with the groceries.
ALICE: Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t it be both?
GREG: I can’t fucking do everything!
ALICE: You don’t do everything. You don’t do much of anything, Greg. Not for the people who matter. (She reaches past him and shuts off the screen.)
GREG: My subscribers don’t matter? They’re the ones who make all this possible, Alice. They bought us this house, your new car, the–
ALICE: I’d rather just have you than any of that shit. But they’ve taken you away from me, and you don’t want to come back. (Beat. GREG and ALICE stare pointedly at the red light blinking on the webcam.)
GREG: Shit, it’s still recording.
ALICE: I thought I turned it off.
GREG: You turned the screen off, not the webcam.
ALICE: (Softly.) You called me a bitch.
GREG: (Working to shut off the webcam.) I didn’t mean it.
ALICE: Felt like you did.
GREG: I swear I didn’t. I just got caught up in the moment is all.
ALICE: You’ve been living in that same moment for almost a year now.
GREG: I just hit 700,000 subscribers, Alice. That’s not nothing. Can you blame me for being excited?
ALICE: I’m excited for you, okay? I helped you start the channel, for God’s sake. I filmed for you, set up locations for you–
GREG: But you don’t anymore.
ALICE: You encouraged me to work on my art. You said it was good for me.
GREG: You were burning out, Alice.
ALICE: But I got to be with you. I got to spend more time with you, just the two of us. Behind the scenes.
GREG: (Ignoring her.)I wanted one livestream. One break from all the mundane shit. I didn’t think that was too much to ask. (He successfully shuts off the webcam and shuts down the computer. His phone pings again. GREG and ALICE both stare at it.) I need to get that. It’s the least I can do.
ALICE: Always going above and beyond for your fans. I wish…
GREG: (Absentmindedly, while looking at his phone.) What do you wish, Alice?
ALICE: I wish you’d pay attention to the people who really care about you, the ones that aren’t a screen away. (She heads back to the stairs, pausing at the bottom.) Before it’s too late. (Alice goes back upstairs and shuts the door to the basement. GREG keeps scrolling through his phone. Lights fade.)