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by Dale Connelly, 9/22/00

Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be belived.
Candidates for public office are turning in increasing numbers to specialists who provide help with certain aspects of public image. You can get help for your speaking style, your dress, your hair, and even your personality. A number of high profile candidates are trying to shake the image of being too... stiff. And one consultant who helps them is Marjorie Messner, who joins me in the studio. Thanks for coming in.

Marj: (breathless) Thanks for having me. Glad to be here.

Dc: You're so out of breath.

Marj: I ran from my last interview. The guy was an idiot. I had had enough, the cab hadn't come yet to bring me here, so I decided to run.

Dc: You just... decided.

Marj: It felt right. What can I say?

Dc: Not much. You're out of breath.

Marj: In a few minutes I'll be just fine.

Dc: You're a consultant. A "Spontaniety Coach." What sort of candidate needs your help?

Marj: If they're too "closed in," too careful. If they strike the voters as "stilted" and "wooden." They just... I dunno. Hold still.

Dc: Hold still?

(sfx: big slap)

Dc: Hey! Ow!

Marj: There was a bug on you! Didn't get it, though.

Dc: Aren't you even going to apologize or anything? That hurt.

Marj: Tell me about pain! Have you got a metal plate in your head, or what? My hand is still vibrating.

Dc: Didn't you think for a moment there that you might not get the fly and it would be embarassing.

Marj: That was no fly. It was ugly. Surprising I even noticed it, considering the surroundings.

Dc: Hey!

Marj: Ooops. Sorry. I don't know why I said that.

Dc: It wasn't very nice.

Marj: It was... what came to mind.

Dc: So you don't think much before you talk?

Marj: Not too much. I try to react naturally, to go with the inspiration. And that's what I teach the candidates, because the voters love that.

Dc: They do?

Marj: Sure. Like that thing with Bush when he called the New York Times guy a (beep boo). That was a net gain for him. Because it was natural.

Dc: Doesn't it suggest a kind of... frivolous nature that doesn't match up well with the presidency.

Marj: Maybe fifteen years ago when the world was on the brink of a nuclear confrontation, you wouldn't want a spontaneous president. But now... the public's revulsion at a "packaged" candidate is so great... Spontaneity is really high on the list for a lot of people. Is this water for me?

Dc: We put that there for you, yes. Help yourself.

Marj: Thanks. I'm dry from all the running.

(sfx: greedy drinking)

Dc: I'm talking with Marj Messner, Spontaneity consultant, who is following the urge right now to wet her whistle.

Marj: Am I parched! Gimme the pitcher.

(sfx: more greedy drinking)

Dc: I can pour another glass. You don't have to drink it right out of the...

(sfx: splash)

Dc: Hey!

Marj: Ah! Whew! That's better!

Dc: You dumped that whole pitcher of water on your head. You're drenched.

Marj: A lot of people wouldn't do that in a formal interview like this, but... I felt like I really wanted to. So...

Dc: Well I must say you sure seem to be the right person to teach candidates to be... spontaneous. You make it look easy.

Marj: I'm glad for that, but it takes lots of careful planning. I've always got a change of clothes with me. You wanna go bowling? I just flashed on bowling for some reason.

Dc: No thanks, I'm busy.

Marj: Just a couple of frames? It would do you good!

Dc: No thanks.

Marj: OK. I've gotta go.

(sfx: chair push back, footsteps off)

(fade) This has been great.

Dc: I haven't asked you yet to name some of the candidates you work with.

Marj: Them? Who cares! Did I say that? Gotta go!

(sfx: door close)

Dc: Marjorie Messner is a Spontaneity Coach who works with candidates who appear to be too "wooden."


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