Elaine and Max are getting married in LA (thanks to the last stanza of Romeo Void - Never Say Never), but this story isn't really about them. It's about Elaine's ex-boyfriend and Max's ex-girlfriends who all road trip together to save gas.
Chris played Jared, Gulf War vet and generally nice guy. Jamie played Ronnie, Dunham's top actress/waitress. And Sev played Cyndi (with a heart over the i), still in love with Max.
We also tried playing in the park up the street since it was such a nice day. It got cold after a couple of hours and we relocated to the Capitol Club.
Although Ronnie was technically the protag at the end (she gave up on her futures of Jared admitting his love for her and her dream of making it in LA, thanks in part to Tool's Aenima ('fuck these dysfunctional, insecure actresses') ) Jared was more interesting to me as these women were throwing themselves at him and he was Doing The Right Thing.
Jared: You threw yourself at me ... then you threw yourself at him ... while I was in Iraq.
Elaine: Oh, so it's my fault.
Jared: No, it's nobody's fault. It's Saddam Hussein's fault.
We had the current playlist 'driver' read a song between every scene to inspire us for the next scene, which worked pretty well but some of us only came up with 4 songs for our playlists so they didn't last. So, note for future play - 6 songs probably the minimum.
(apologies in advance; I'm feeling especially incoherent today.)
Cyndi's trajectory from scared & passive-aggressive to actively participating was fun to play (especially when participating meant such impulsive behavior & mean commentary).
Chris mentioned that having a specifically-timed event as the destination had a profound effect on the story, and I agree. We could have just missed the deadline & then had a story about what we did instead of go to the wedding -- but we didn't, and so we remained firmly pointed at LA. I don't think it was necessarily a *bad* thing, but I wouldn't want to do it that way every time. It also made it hard to follow the rule to not talk about the future beyond what was on our character sheets.
Something Jamie said along the way made me realize I had no idea what genre we were playing in, and I think that might have been helpful. I know the rules say that an initial aimlessness is a feature-not-a-bug, but it seemed at times like I was grasping a little for what the story was actually about. I don't think that's necessarily a flaw, but if there'd been explicit consensus about it there were some places I would have made bigger moves.
Like, this could have been a story about the obstacles and how they complexified our trip (potentially humorously) -- but we let the funny sheriff and pothead artist move on. And it could have been a story specifically about the relationships between the three characters, and it nearly was. It felt to me like we were headed that way, with scene after scene ending because either Ronnie or Cyndi was seething so much she wouldn't participate in conversation anymore. But while Cyndi's animosity towards Ronnie definitely got more obvious over time we never seemed to push over to a serious blow-up on one side, or reconciliation on the other. (I loved the indignant squawk when Cyndi said "everybody" assumed Ronnie had been blowing the director... and somehow Jared managed to come down on Cyndi's side without actually varying from his consistent sweetness.)
The last moment of the last scene really sticks with me -- Ronnie in the swimming pool, empty of dreams but buoyant with possibilities.