(2018-02-17) The Deal of the Art, Part 1
The Deal of the Art, Part 1
Summary: A talent manager meets a brilliant violinist busker. Conversation ensues.
Date: IC Date (2018-02-17)
Related: None
Player Characters: Audgrim, Veronica

-----| Central PA - Port Angeles |-----


The true heart of Port Angeles is not the ever-busy downtown core, but just south of it — here in central Port Angeles. This is where the town retains much of its original flavour, resistant to the changes that have touched the rest of the city, and where much of the day-to-day business of the city is conducted. Most of the city's services can be found in the northwest of this part of town: the central Fire Station, the new hospital grounds that are under construction, City Hall (which also contains the Police Station and other services), a public swimming pool, and Clallum County Courthouse… which hosts the local Farmer's Market in its vast parking lot every Saturday.

For the most part, the area is pleasantly tight-packed. Lots of suburban housing (most are a couple decades old, with some dating back over a century), growing more sparse as one ventures further south and the foothills of the mountains make construction more difficult. In the denser areas, one finds businesses that cater to the locals rather than tourists. As one travels further east, the public library and sprawling Civic Field can be found. Southward bound? The tight-packed, almost idyllic suburban feel gives way to wealthier homes as the foothills make construction more difficult, and the view more spectacular. It's also down in the south part of town that Olympic Park HQ can be found, before one takes the long and winding road that leads up to the mountains.


------------| Security: Excellent |

It's late afternoon, just after most people have left work and are doing their errands and shopping. A good time for any busker to make some cash, and Audgrim is trying to do this, playing his violin with a lot of energy - not only in how he plays the instrument, but how he moves in rhytm with the energetic, upbeat music. It's folk music but it manages to be more than just its pure form. Add drums, and other instruments, and it'd be folk metal.

-----| Audgrim rolls 8 Dice |------
Roll: Dexterity + Expression.Violin
Result: Success (3) — 1 1 3 3 7 8 9 9
-----------——| success (public) |

Veronica is on the phone, yapping away as if she were still in LA or Hollywood, and not some small but bustling city in the Northwest. "I am not here for scams. I am not here for skullduggery and shenanigans. You told me you had this under control, you clearly do not, and that means that you're gone. Cancelled!" She closes the connection on the call and stuffs her phone in her purse, irritated and brittle. But then she hears the music. She slows to a stop at the edge of the group of people watching the performance, impressed. And a tad calculating.

Audgrim might look a bit like a bum, or maybe a very edgy artist, depending on your point of view, but he manages to charm the audience with his energy and he gets quite a few coins tossed into his violin case that rests on the ground. Everytime he's awarded with money he grins a broad rascally grin at the person who offered it and nods at them, aknowledgin their generosity. That violin is almost abused; he not only uses the strings, he taps on the wood, he plucks the strings hard with fingers, he makes sounds on it to enhance the rhytm and music; he stomps feet, dances around a woman and makes her blush and move off laughing. He comes near Veronica as he moves around, and finishes the tune with a big crescendo, bowing at the end.

Unlike the other woman, there is no blushing from Veronica. She does clap with the others when the performance ends, and drops a substantial donation into his case. A man looks at her, pokes his friend and says, "Hey, isn't that…" But the friend shakes his head. "Nah, Mandy's skinnier, and I think she's in rehab or something." They both shrug and walk away.

Veronica waits until the crowd as fully dispersed, then walks up to the violinist. "People have told you that you're good. But have they told you that you're satisfied? Because you don't look satisfied to me."

Audgrim's eyebrow does go up a notch at that generous donation, and Veronica is awarded with his most charming toothy grin. He crouches down to gather up the bills and coins, just stuffing them in a pocket without even counting them, while squinting up at her. "I am good, I am River King," he tells her a bit cryptically, his voice having a bit of a husky, raspy quality, but not unpleasantly so. He stands up straight and now has to look down at her, a whole foot taller; he seem totally fascinated by her appearance, looking her over unashamedly but not lecherously. More like he's never met anyone like her. "Sat-is-fied?" He tries the word out. His accent is noticeable, English is not his mother tongue. "Ah, that I feel good about things. I am feeling good for the most part. Right now, I am hungry so could feel better. Why you ask me?" Head is tilted in a peculiar fashion as he watches her with intent curiosity.

Most short women are a little intimidated when a tall man looks down like that. Veronica doesn't seem to be intimidated in the least. "Yes, satisfied. You're good for now. You've got a few bucks. You'll be able to eat, tonight, maybe tomorrow. You can pay the rent on your apartment. You can pay some of your bills. But satisfied. When you don't have to worry about bills, or where your next meal is coming from. Or if you need to choose between rosin for your bow and new pants. A good roof over your head, clean water, the ability to pay back your friends and family who have supported you. That's satisfied." She's not smiling, but her eyes look up into the violinist's, searching.

Audgrim didn't seem very concerned at first, but as she lists all the things that cost money, and then seals it all with bringing up family and friends, he gets uncomfortable. He scratches the side of his cheek, a little frown on his brow. "Things cost a lot of money," he admits, making a grimace. "I buy new strings for violin, paid all I have. But…" He perks up. "I can eat anything. So food, no problem. But I want house in forest, maybe?" He doesn't seem to be entirely sure about this, like it was just a fleeting idea at some point. Slinging his violin onto his back, having packed it up by now, he looks back, equally searching. "You say strange things, you dress not like others here. You smell good. Why you talk to me now?" The latter could be considered rude if not for his near naive earnestness, it's just a very curious question.

"I'm not from here. And neither are you." Veronica states the obvious, if she is hearing his accent correctly. "This is a wonderful town, but they aren't about dreams, are they? You have dreams. A house in the forest sounds lovely! Waking up to the smell of the trees, the birds singing, squirrels…"

She smiles a little now. "I talk to you now because I am here now. And I have heard you play and I know that you have a wonderful talent that you are sharing with everyone…for little to nothing."

She points an index finger at him. "You." Point. "Deserve." Point. "More." Point.

"And I can give it to you. I can give you…satisfaction."

"House near river," Audgrim says, caught up in the picture she paints for him. "River King, need river," he then adds on, just in case it wasn't clear. "Eh, dreams can be bad, should not trust them," he says and gives her a kind of warning glance. Eyeing that pointed finger, he ponders for a moment, then gives her a big grin. "Can you buy me food? That would be satisfaction, now. You can talk more, I can eat. Don't know what you talk about, but you like talking it, so I listen." He gestures to a nearby fast food place.

"I've always been told that I run my mouth too much," Veronica admits, "but I've made money by talking, so I can't complain." She doesn't seem concerned about walking over to the fast food place with the violinist, even though the two of them get a few stares when they enter. "So, how long have you lived in Port Angeles, River King?"

Lazily sauntering along with Veronica, Audgrim is not concerned either and pays no attention to stares. Entering and holding the door for her, e chooses a booth near the center of the place by the window towards the street, sprawling out comfortably with the violin resting on the seat next to him. "Audgrim," he offers. "Name is Audgrim - River King is other name," he explains, as if that'd make sense. Maybe he means it's his stage name. "I live here for… one month? I think." He leans over the table. "Can't leave, so I stay here for many more months. Maybe rest of my life." This doesn't seem to bother him too much either. "How long have you live here?"

Veronica sits across from Audgrim in the booth, almost primly. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Audgrim the River King. I'm Veronica Lambert." She sits up perfectly straight and folds her hands before her on the table. "I've just moved here. I just signed the final sale papers for the Harrington Estate, so I'll be here for a little while." She looks quite pleased about that. "But why can't you leave?" She leans in and asks softly, "Are you undocumented? I won't tell a soul."

"Nice to meet you, Verrronica," Audgrim rasps around a broad toothy grin, rolling those Rs like a proper foreigner. He tilts his head, leans in too and considers her question, before he just gives a lazy shrug and a crypic smile. "A friend told me to say I have green carrrd. All I can say about it." Avoiding the question while answering it at the same time, but least not outright lying either. At that point a waitress comes over, and he quickly orders a large coffee, black and a burger with fries. She'll take Veronica's order too before taking off to gather it, if she wants anything. Once she's left, Audgrim asks quietly: "You don't think about giving me food. It is something else. People don't tell other people they can give satisf… satisfy and just mean food."

Veronica orders a salad and a diet soda, because people are watching. After the waitress walks off, she listens to Audgrim. "Life is more than just food. And this is coming from a person who loves food." She cracks a quick smile. "There are other needs and desires. I always tell my clients that they should aim for what is in their heart, and not in their stomach."

"I love food too, I eat anything," Audgrim says. He leans back and now has to think, because something she says does resonate within him, more than she realises. "A long time ago, I wanted to play violin. But life was hard, so I work instead. Now I play violin, and I like it more. I like playing for people because it makes them happy. I play, and when I play I am other person for a little bit. I am River King, who teach people to…" He stops there, clamping his mouth shut. Can't really delve too far into that, so he waves a hand dismissively. "I like playing, it is what I do."

Veronica nods in appreciation. "I understand. You probably don't know this, but when I was a little girl, I was on a TV show. And there were bad days, but overall I had a wonderful time. I made people laugh and forget their troubles for a little while. But I was also satisfied. I want that for you."

Audgrim's jaw drop a little as he realises he's sitting in front of someone famous. But there's absolutely no recognition, so she's right - he doesn't know. "What is name of show?" he asks, probably wanting to take a look when he has a chance. "You want me to make people happy and have good time. You want me to play on TV?!" he asks quietly but nervously.

"It was called "Mandy On A Mission", it was just a little half hour sitcom," Veronica says in self-deprecation. She waves her hands towards Audgrim, patting the air. "Calm down, I'm not going to put you on television…yet." She smiles. "If you want to do this, we'd start with small concerts. Then we'd work up to larger venues, open for other musicians, and of course, albums. These days, I'd say we should release some of your performances on YouTube and other social media for exposure. We have a variety of choices for you to explore."

Up until this moment, Audgrim didn't know where this was leading, but now that he does, he just stares at Veronica with a blank expression. He can't even fathom what she's talking about. "No," he says, and is about to say something else, but the food is brought over and he gets distracted. Soon as it's put down, he lifts the burger and tears a large chunk off it, watching her with those dark, intent eyes. Instead of talking, he eats fast, watching her with an unreadable expression. Not very forthcoming here.

Veronica thanks the waitress for her salad and soft drink, and proceeds to daintily eat with her fork. After chewing and swallowing, she asks, "Is that a good burger? What is it, medium rare? I know people who will order a fifty dollar steak and ask for it to be well done. Well done." She shakes her head.

Audgrim pauses midbite, and pulls the burger out, looking at the meat itself. "Burger," he says and shrugs. It could be raw, he would eat it. Slurping down some coke, he finally decides to elaborate. "I can play music, but don't want to be seen on TV and I can't leave town. I don't want people to know who I am."

Veronica shows an inkling of impatience, but then she sighs. And actually listens to Audgrim, as she eats her salad. "Those are your conditions? No TV appearances? No leaving town? Would you mind if we recorded your music but not your face?" She mutters to herself, "What, does he want to be, the next Buckethead? Settle down, Veronica, you've almost clinched the deal, give the man what he wants…"

Audgrim gives a few very vigorous nods around a mouthful of burger. "Yes," he says simply, grinning again once he's swallowed. His eating habits might be a bit messy but least he's chewing and swallowing before talking. "I can wear… thing over face. You can film, but not show face. And I never leave town." He adds helpfully: "River King."

Veronica is clearly getting all the ideas together in her head, poking her salad around on her plate. "Doesn't leave town. Wears some sort of mask or head covering that hides his face but does not hinder his playing. Recordings are fine. And River King." She curtly nods. "This will probably be the strangest contract I'll ever write up, but the riders are quite benign." Another curt nod. "I'll have the paper work for you within the next two days, I hope."

Audgrim has now accepted all this and he just grins at her. It's like nothing really major happened, it's just another day of weirdness, which is normal for him. "I have phone," he remembers, taking out a cheap smart phone from a pocket, showing it to her just in case she doubts his word on this. He digs out a sharpie and writes the number on a napking, sliding it over. "We can meet here, in two days, 7 in evening?"

Veronica pulls out her business card to hand over to Audgrim in exchange for his number. "That sounds like a great idea. Maybe I'll try the burger next time." She smiles broadly and holds up her diet soda. "To a wonderful creative relationship."

Raising his glass, Audgrim says: "Skal!" and drinks some. "You eat burger, salad not much food," he agrees. He eats the last of the chips, and stands up, picking up the violin. "I play, you handle papers. See you in two days." An appreciative broad grin is offered, a nod in farewell, and he's out.

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