Empire on Ice #31: Galavar on Where the Doodly Dickens Do They Get All That Money?
This week, on Empire on Ice: It's time for another miniseries! Have a look at what the cast members of After The Hero: The Motion Picture do for a living when they're not working on the film. This week we look at (some of) Galavar's story. Future installments of this miniseries will be occasional, so next week there will be a different Empire on Ice sketch.
TV Announcer: [Voiceover.] Good evening! From Studio City in Imperial Joshalonia, it's seven o'clock, and you're watching JSMRT on Channel 2. Coming up now, have you ever wondered what famous celebrities do for a living when they're not making your favorite films? All will soon be told, so tune in for this week's episode of Where the Doodly Dickens Do They Get All That Money? Only on JSMRT, "The Channel for Learning Stuff That You Wouldn't Have Thought to Google (TM)."
[The camera opens onto a view of Josh, seated in an elegant chair at an expensive wooden desk in an office with lots of bookshelves behind him.]
Josh: Hello! I'm Josh, Director of After The Hero: The Motion Picture, and even though I pay my actors well—
Random: [Offscreen from some distance.] Like hell you do!
Josh: —the professional and non-malodorous ones, anyway—
Random: [Offscreen from some distance.] Grr!
Josh: —it's not really a permanent job. In the Sovereign Empire of Greater Joshalonia, professional actors, and all film production crew, usually have vibrant "second" lives.
[The camera does one of those obnoxiously snobbish camera cuts, now to a camera closer to Josh and off to his left. He looks into the new camera.]
Josh: For example, in addition to being a famous movie director, I am also your Emperor.
[The picture cuts immediately to a Proper Imperial Introduction:]
[Then the picture immediately returns to Josh in his office.]
Josh: See? And I'm hardly the only one. Everyone from the most extraneous extras to the film's very top stars have riveting second lives, and today, in conjunction with the wonderful crew from Where the Doodly Dickens Do They Get All That Money?, I'd like to give you a special peek. I personally interviewed several of the cast members from After The Hero: The Motion Picture, and this week I'll be sharing with you the first of their stories.
[Title Card: "Episode 1"]
[Title Card: "Galavar"]
[The camera fades in to Josh and Galavar sitting together at the luxurious veranda of his equally luxurious mansion, Firepond. On one side of the veranda is the mansion, and on all the other sides are well-manicured lawns, gardens, and ponds. It is all very tasteful, and sits in the foothills above the city, with a spectacular view. Clearly Galavar is well-off financially and likes to express himself through the architecture and aesthetics of his home.]
Galavar: I didn't even consider acting until I reached a point in my life where I felt I had the authority to act. And where does that come from? Life experience. Without authority I felt I could never be anything better than an impersonator. Certainly not an actor.
Josh: So it did cross your mind?
Galavar: Who doesn't imagine being a celebrity when they're a child? But I quickly realized it wasn't for me—not yet.
Josh: What about child actors? They don't have much life experience.
Galavar: Children? Come now, Your Majesty. It's one thing to deliver a few rehearsed lines on cue, and perhaps marginally more difficult to superimpose some kind of emotional expression. That's not acting. Acting comes from relatable experiences, and the frames of mind that accompanied those experiences.
Josh: So you've had a number of jobs?
Galavar: Exactly. All the way back to the beginning. I got my start as a painter.
Josh: Ah, a mate of art!
Galavar: No, nothing so couth. I was hired by Nimrod & Associates as a painter for the Tower of Jaebel. They always need more painters.
Josh: It being an infinitely tall tower.
Galavar: Aye. I earned my very first Jiggity there. We'd paint our sector all the way around, and then when we finished we'd just do it all over again.
Josh: Not the most engrossing work, was it?
Galavar: Indeed not. I quickly realized that I was an entrepreneur, not an employee. In my spare time I designed a paint sprayer with trans-dimensional spigots that made use of space-time folding to deliver a finite amount of paint to an infinite surface in a finite amount of time.
Josh: And you bid to win the painting contract from Nimrod & Associates.
Galavar: Oh, goodness no. I gathered every friend and casual acquaintance I'd ever met and staged the best paintball war you have ever seen. Then I bought a cattle ranch in Montana.
Josh: Where'd you get the money for a cattle ranch on a painter's wage?
Galavar: I had a sizable income from my mining concern.
Josh: I thought you said the painting was your first job.
Galavar: It was. The mining was just a hobby that I had done as a boy. Who doesn't like to dig holes in their back yard when they're growing up? I was just more industrious about it than most children.
Josh: Clearly. And how did the cattle ranching work out?
Galavar: I left day-to-day operations to the ranch manager. Mostly I went out there for fresh air and the hiking. It paid off, too. One time I was far off the trail and was doing a bit of digging. Like most people I have an interest in archeology, and, indeed, I practiced a lot of casual archeology in my spare time in order to keep sharp for my professorship at—
Josh: You had a professorship?
Galavar: Two, actually. This one was for—
Josh: Where did you get professorships? How old were you?
Galavar: I was about nineteen at the time. Maybe twenty. Old enough to drink just about everywhere that matters except, of course, the United States. Hah! I remember that in order to get my favorite suds during my years in Montana I told my brewery director to change the labeling on the—
Josh: Your brewery director? You had a brewery?
Galavar: And a winery. And two distilleries. Who doesn't do a little home crafting, right? Anyhow, I wouldn't have gotten into the brewing business—since I prefer spirits generally—except that my favorite brewery was planning to sell out and I didn't want them to change the recipe or the process, you know? Beer is so idiosyncratic. Even from season to season it changes, let alone when a major corporation buys out the—
Josh: Did you finance that purchase with the money from your mines too?
Galavar: No, I bought the brewery through my holding company, Galavar Industries.
Josh: Your…holding company…
Galavar: It was a legal necessary in order for me to maintain my vast investment portfolio while—
Josh: Let's go back to the cattle ranching.
Galavar: Oh, yes. Right. I was out on a hike one day and had been doing a bit of digging when I found an ancient Native American sketch depicting the Thunderbird.
Josh: How exciting!
Galavar: Doubly so, because it was more than just a piece of art. It was also a cleverly encoded blueprint for a nuclear fusion reactor just like the ones that the scientists at my nuclear physics laboratory—
Josh: Okay, so I'm just going to overlook for the moment the claim that the Native Americans had nuclear reactor technology. You're telling me you had a nuclear physics lab at the age of nineteen?
Galavar: Well, I know it was a bit indulgent, but…come, now, Your Majesty, who can resist nuclear physics?
Josh: Is that a physics joke?
Galavar: Only if you want it to be. But, really, nuclear physics…that's like the ultimate canvas for science experiments—by which I mean making things explode, melt, or fly into orbit.
Josh: And this was all when you were nineteen? What about today?
Galavar: Now I work at the Pizza Pizza.
Singer: [Offscreen.] One! Two! Three! Four!
Galavar: When you get to be as rich and experienced as I am, you tend to reverse the normal ideas about jobs and vacations. For me, my job was always to be on vacation—traveling the world, ordering the affairs of entire industries, designing new ways of doing business, discovering lost secrets of history, and charting the future for all humanity. It's exhilarating, but mentally exhausting. So, a little under a year ago, for a vacation I decided to take a sabbatical in the form of an ordinary job. Plain, old, hands-on, mindless, menial work. Ah! So refreshing.
Josh: I take it that nowadays you feel you have the experience sufficient to act.
Galavar: You know, it was Mark Twain who said that in the real world, nothing happens at the right place at the right time, and that it is the job of journalists and historians to correct this. We can sit here in hindsight and say that all my experiences were merely some grand and fated preparation for me to star in After The Hero, but really I never intended to be an actor. It was only a whim that, when they put out a casting call for the film, I figured that it could be a challenge that I'd like to try. So, yes, I suppose I feel that I'm up to it now…but we'll see what the audiences think.
Josh: Indeed we shall.
[Title Card: "Vignette: Celadon"]
[Fade in to an office inside a factory. Large machinery is apparent in the background. Everyone is wearing hard hats, including Josh and Celadon.]
Celadon: I build machines that break the economy.
Josh: Can you tell me more about that?
[Celadon points out onto the factory floor, to a metallic device that looks similar to a large oven.]
Celadon: This machine destroys value whenever an economic transaction occurs inside its sphere of influence.
Josh: That's impossible.
Celadon: No, it's just very expensive.
Josh: But if you have something I want, and I have something you want—
Celadon: Then this machine makes sure that both parties come out worse in the event of a trade.
Josh: But how?
Celadon: I'm afraid that is proprietary information.
Josh: Who would want to use such a machine?
Celadon: You'd be surprised how many angst-ridden cynics have piles of cash at their disposal.
Josh: You don't actually sell these to the general public?
Celadon: I do, in fact, but my little secret is that I turn the machines on before carrying out the sale.
Josh: And what happens then?
Celadon: They realize they don't want to destroy the economy and incomprehensibly start living productive, fulfilling lives.
Celadon: Come on. I'll show you the machine that fabricates gold bricks out of nothing at a continually accelerating rate…
[Title Card: "Vignette: Diva"]
[Fade in to a nondescript cubicle in a nondescript office. The only distinctive feature is that Diva's cube is by the windows.]
Diva: I just stare at code all day.
[She sits back in her seat, swivels around to her computer, takes a sip of coffee, and stares at a black computer screen filled with nothing but indecipherable white code. The camera holds on this shot…and nothing happens…and nothing happens…and nothing happens. Then she takes another sip of coffee, and continues staring at the code…and nothing happens…and nothing happens…]
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!