Bouzin

Name: Camille Pierre Bouzin

Age: 35

Romantic Status: Still single…

Occupation: For the past two weeks, I worked at the Paris Opera Ballet as a rehearsal pianist. I was fired a few days ago because my sight reading skills were not up to par and I had to keep stopping rehearsals in order to play the scores correctly. But what I really love to do is compose. I just wrote an upbeat little tune for Lucette Gautier called “Jelly Roll,” and another for chanteuse Maya Morea called “I Play Footsie Footsie Footsie with my little Tootsie Wootsie.” I make my living as a clerk to notary Monsieur Lantery, a position I have held for the past twelve years. I also accompany/play piano at the El Dorado, a failing nightclub whose owner consistently gives me the opportunity to play.

Family: I am the third youngest of seven children, four of whom have died. All my siblings were training to become ballet dancers prior to their deaths, yet only one has succeeded. My parents, Alais and Louis, were ruthless stage parents. I am one of two boys (Jacques, the other, is the eldest, and is currently traveling the world with his wife, Renée). He was the favorite and never seemed to get into trouble for anything, not even when he gave up ballet at age 11. My only living sister, Sylvie (the baby), is a prima ballerina in the Paris Opera Ballet. She changed her name from Bouzin to Dupont because she didn’t want anyone to know that we are related. My parents, Alais and Louis, are both dead.
My oldest sister, Marie, threw herself under a train when her husband, Jean, abandoned her for a man. We rarely spoke, as she was nine years older than I. My next sister, Aurelie, died in infancy from the flu, and I was born almost immediately thereafter. When I was ten, my younger sister, Babette, was killed in a car crash while on her way home from a ballet lesson, my father along with her. My mother was (very) pregnant with Sylvie at the time.

Education: As a child, I was sent to the Academie Royale de Musique to study music after my parents determined that I was not cut out to be a dancer like the rest of my siblings. My parents had so many jobs at once it was hard to keep them straight, but they worked to send my siblings and I to school.

Voice
Vocally, Bouzin is all over the place. He attempts to lower his voice in order to command a situation, but because he is easily distracted, the commanding presence he craves constantly evades him. As a result, in these moments of fright, stress, anxiety, excitement etc., Bouzin's true, higher voice can be heard.

Movement
Bouzin carries tension in his shoulders because he spends all day hunched over the piano. He leads with his chin, and his steps are quick, heavy, and percussive. He holds his center high because he leans forward (over the piano) and therefore keeps his weight forward.

Historical Givens (Transportation)
With the invention of the electric tramway in 1888, most people abandoned the horse drawn carriage system and steam tramway. The metro was not established until July of 1900. For the lower/working classes, biking was the most common means of transport.

Relationships

Lucette: My muse (in my mind). I dream of the day when we will collaborate; I will be her writer and she the manifestation of my composing talents. However, our relationship is purely platonic. She is a nightclub singer, for heaven's sake. I need someone classy and emotionally stable.

Madame Duverger: My one true love. Not only does she represent wealth, power, and class, she is beautiful beyond compare and carries herself in such a sophisticated manner that I cannot help but fall for. Most importantly, she is calm, kind to me, and seems to take a genuine interest in my work. Age is only a number.

Fontanet: Although his breath is absolutely rancid, meeting Fontanet is somewhat of a dream come true. He is the male version of Madame Duverger for me, a potential financial backer who holds the power to influence my future fans. Because I crave fame and fortune, I am determined to stick it out and deal with his horribly unfortunate affliction.

Marceline: Is that what her name is? She stands in the way of my developing relationship with Lucette. She is always hanging around, and doesn't seem to be helping anyone.

Bois d'Enghien: The main source of my irritation. Like an older brother, he has an arrogance about him I find intolerable. The way he manipulates me reminds me of my parents and, in fact, of my eldest brother, Jacques, who had the same "charming" way about him that enabled him to get away with anything. He somehow knows just how to make me tick, and I just know he makes fun of me when I'm not in the room. He deserves what comes to him. And no, I am NOT jealous.

Firmin: The rather uppity butler of the Gautier residence who seems to think he is better than I. He insists on forgetting my name, a ruse which I'm sure is an attempt to demonstrate his "class," and is unhelpful, if not detrimental, in facilitating the growth of a professional relationship between Lucette and myself.

Chenneviette: He needs a lesson in personal space. He insists on touching me, chasing me, and just making me generally uncomfortable. He is similar to Bois d'Enghien in that he knows how to bother me. I can never meet his gaze because I am scared he will distract me and then beat me up.

Vivianne: Vivianne Duverger is someone I would like to meet. I want to find out how she manages to destroy Bois d'Enghien.

The General: I don't understand why General Irrigua insists on attacking me every time I enter a room, but he is the most terrifying presence I have ever encountered besides my father. He is very graceful for a general, which I admire because I just don't have a dancer's body type or feet, and I wish we could just be friends.

Antonio: I swear I wouldn't be so scared of the General if it weren't for Antonio. In most of the fights I have, I interact with Antonio more than I do the General. Because he nearly gets me killed numerous times, he is almost as irritating as Bois d'Enghien.

Moment Before/Moment After
Act I
Moment Before: I have just biked over from Lantery's office on my lunch break. I have twenty minutes to get there, talk to Lucette, and get back. This waiting situation is most unfortunate.
Moment After: FIRMIN IS SO RUDE. I AM A GENIUS AND I JUST KNOW HE IS TAINTING LUCETTE'S PERCEPTION OF ME.

Moment Before: Dammit, I forgot my umbrella. I have to sneak away from work, bike back over to the Gautier house, and retrieve it.
Moment After: I know I'm going to be late back to work, but this could be my big break! I live so close to the Gautiers, it almost seems like a waste not to bike home quickly, grab the song, and bring it back.

Moment Before: Ok. Calm down. This is your big break. Stay focused. Do NOT mess this up. Don't think about work. If this goes well, you can march right up to Lantery and tell him you quit.
Moment After: WHAT JUST HAPPENED!?!?!?!

Moment Before: Oh God, I hate this so much. Lantery is so mean to me and I can't wait until the day I can quit. Good God, there certainly are a lot of papers. Which one is that bloody contract?
Moment After: Madame Duverger…so…fine…

Moment Before: All I need is one classy, smooth remark and she's mine. I know she's just looking for a reason to say yes. Stay focused.
Moment After: WHAT IS GOING ON WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE ME SO MUCH

Moment Before: Just get in and get out. I don't want to be in Bois d'Enghien's presence any more than I have to.
Moment After: STOP EVERYTHING! BOIS D'ENGHIEN IS HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH LUCETTE GAUTIER!!!!

Inspiration
My favorite composer is Jacques Offenbach. His famous operetta, Orpheus in the Underworld, is absolutely breathtaking. My favorite piece of music is the Galop Infernal (used for the cancan). It is just so unbelievably classy and fun and frilly and embodies all the happiness in life. It is almost a symbol of confidence for me, because I try to lead my life in the unabashed, spontaneous manner captured by the song (however, this constant attempt to be aware of opportunities for spontaneity distracts him so much that he loses his grip on the present).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM7gEDl1BfI Great choice! Can you incorporate any of this into your song?

Letter

Dear Sylvie,
I just wanted to offer my thanks for that wonderful performance of Giselle last night. Even from my seat way up in the last row, I felt you shine like the star you are! I am so proud to be your brother, and I know mom and dad would be proud of you as well. I did stop by your dressing room after the show, but when I gave my name to the man at the door, he told me, quite firmly, to go away. I guess he must have misunderstood me.
I suppose you're wondering what I've been doing with myself since you left. Though my activities cannot compare to your illustrious career as an étoile, I did have a job at POB a few weeks ago as a rehearsal pianist. I only wish I could have rehearsed with you. Oh Sylvie, I always knew we were the true artists of the family! However, I am so much of an artist that the structure and predictability of POB life was simply not enough for a true Bohemian like myself, and so I am currently self-employed. If you have a night off, you should really stop by the Alcazar this week. One of my pieces is being featured (in fact, you may have read about it in The Figaro), a delightful, lush piece called "I Play Footsie Footsie Footsie with My Little Tootsie Wootsie." I am also playing at the El Dorado every night, and a few weeks ago I wrote a song for Lucette Gautier, who I am sure you have heard of. I am going to try and see her tomorrow if I can escape the workaday world of notary life (again, the structure and the order just sends chills through my very soul). This could be it, Sylvie. My big break!

Gros Bisous,
Camille

I love this letter. It speaks volumes about Bouzin. I would write to her often as a character exercise.

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