A Silicon Valley Spooky Story for Geeks of all Persuasions
While perusing some of my old files, I stumbled upon this oldie-but-goodie, which is as much fun to listen to now as it was when I first produced it. So, in honor of Midsummer, I offer up a campfire tale, for your listening pleasure…
“The Latch-Key Solution”
written, directed, and produced by Larisa (née Naples) White
When software CEO Bruce Whiting is shown a beautiful, fully-furnished, waterfront office, perfect to serve as his start- up’s new headquarters, he’s eager to seal the deal. There’s just one catch: a band of homeless nuts have taken up residence, and they’re pestering passers-by with ghost stories. The real-estate agent seems to know them, but she vehemently denies it. So who are they, really? Where did they come from? And why won’t they leave? Part campy campfire tale, and part biting workplace satire, “The Latch- Key Solution” is a high-tech haunted office story filled with business scheming, betrayals and double-crosses. The story pokes fun at many of the characters we’ve all worked with, or for, or around; the software glitches that make us crazy; and the ridiculous memes of high-tech biz-speak.
Of course, a production like this could never be a one-woman project. Though I wrote the play, directed the actors, and did all the sound editing myself, I also had a lot of help. My sound engineer was Eddie Foronda of K9 Sound in San Francisco. My co-producers, Peter White and Frank Giraffe helped me run the auditions, worked with Eddie to turn my home into a functional recording studio for the duration of the project, and kept everyone happy and well-fed, so that I could focus on the work. And then, there were the players in my amazing cast.
About the Cast:
(a.k.a. Bruce Whiting, the CEO)
Raj did some acting in high school playing Antonio in the “Merchant of Venice” and Dr. Einstein, the Drunk Plastic Surgeon, in “Arsenic and Old Lace”. He was a college radio DJ and VJ on public access TV but had left the entertainment world for many years before returning to radio in “The Latch- Key Solution.” Raj grew up in and around Washington, DC but spent most of his adult life in Philadelphia where he went to school and made a career in the biotech/pharmaceutical world. Raj moved to San Francisco at the beginning of 2007 and lives there with his wife Ramona and their parrot Sid.
(a.k.a. Jun-Li, the Real Estate Agent)
Taylor’s keen interest in making funny voices began while watching T.V. cartoons. Yogi Bear & Boo Boo, Elmer Fudd &Bugs all played a part in her vocal mimicry prowess. Taylor’s got a minor in Drama, and a major in Communication
Studies. While studying voice-over and improv in San Francisco, she was asked to perform in a radio commercial for a luxury car company. She’s modeled for newspaper ads, starred in plays and quirky voice-over productions, and taught Comedy Traffic Violator School. Taylor was born and raised in the Bay Area, which she still calls home. She worships her sixteen-year-old cat, Milo Poopy, and her three bicycles: Grace, a hard-tail mountain bike; Gertrude, a full- suspension MTB; and CandyCane, her sweet roadie.
(a.k.a. Dave, the Homeless Bon Vivant)
Scott lives in San Francisco with an array of mammals, succulent house plants and two wheeled vehicles in various states of repair. His acting experience includes a range of cartoonish outsiders from the title character in the musical “Tumbleweeds” (based on the comic strip) to the coach of the Central High Frogs in “They Run In Our Family.” Scott also turns in an enthusiastic Meat Loaf impression at karaoke if given the chance.Scott is as thrilled to be working with this cast and crew as he is honored to be originating the role of Dave, ‘the ranting office park lurker’ in “The Latch-Key Solution”.
(a.k.a. Ajeet, the Bane of Bangalore)
Glenn’s job in the high-tech industry brought him to San Francisco. Upon arrival, while wandering around his neighborhood in the Civic Center, he ran into the Folsom Street Fair. History does not tell us what happened, but Glenn continued living at that location for another two years. Glenn acted in high school plays and musicals, and took up improvisation once in San Francisco. He has performed in short form improv ensembles at Pan Theater in Oakland and at BATS in San Francisco.When not acting up, Glenn can be found in the kitchen mixing up a curry, or in the basement performing chemistry experiments with yeast, fruit juice and honey.
(a.k.a. Emma, the Engineer)
Even in real life, Betty worked in the high-tech industry for over twelve years before she managed to escape. Well, it was not quite as scary or dramatic as the tale of “The Latch- Key Solution,” but still… Betty is now pursuing a second career, in counseling psychology. She currently works as an intern for New Perspectives Center for Counseling in San Francisco. In addition to helping individuals, couples, children and family, Betty enjoys teaching music to children and facilitating groups and gatherings.
(a.k.a. Susanna, the Client)
A native of New Mexico, Karen moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997 and was immediately inspired by the vibrant arts community that is so entwined with the Bay Area’s people and our way of life.Karen blends influences of the cultures from where she grew up, including Hispanic, Native American, and the deep rural soul of the American West along with her newer city-sense learned in places like San Francisco, Brooklyn and Boston. A storyteller at heart, Karen learned quickly that the written word doesn’t always tell the tale. Karen has expanded her studies to the visual arts including paint, clay, papier-mâché and photography. Karen has also recently engaged in spoken word story telling on her blog.
We hope you enjoyed our spooky story. And now, in the fine old bardic tradition…