Pose (2018) s01e02 Episode Script

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1 Get ready All you lonely girls The category is Realness: Bring It like a Weather Girl.
Who will show us whether it will be rain or shine? Who is real enough to be on Channel 9 ? Oh, Miss Angel.
Now, this category used to be for the juicy girls, but not tonight! It's raining men Hallelujah! PRAY TELL: Oh, let it snow.
Let it snow.
This Weather Girl is prepared for all of the elements.
Yes, Miss Angel.
Work, Miss Angel.
Please, judges, your scores.
Please, your scores.
Ten.
Ten.
Ten.
Ten.
Ten.
Grand prize, Miss Angel.
From the upstart house Evangelista.
[AUDIENCE CHEERING] AUDIENCE: Angel! Angel! Angel! Angel! Angel! God bless mother nature She's a single woman too She took off to heaven Go get Damon and tell him to meet me in the hallway.
PRAY TELL: Next category, you walk in ten minutes.
Oh, it's raining men, yeah [CHEERING IN DISTANCE] What's going on? I am walking this category.
Are you serious? I mean, hasn't she won this category, like, ten times? It would be like fighting Mike Tyson.
You spend enough time in this hall and you start to be able to feel the room.
You see the way they went crazy for Angel? They're hungry for fresh faces tonight.
The upsets and the underdogs.
I just don't want to see you get hurt.
Trust your mother.
I felt the wind in my face my whole life.
Which means I know when it's at my back.
Now help me get into this dress.
- It's raining men.
- [AUDIENCE CHEERING] PRAY TELL: The category is Legendary Runway.
Who will prove themselves to be mother of all mothers on the Parisian runway? Dare anyone challenge reigning femme queen Elektra Abundance? - Going once - [AUDIENCE CHEERING] Going twice AUDIENCE [CHANTING]: Elektra! Elektra! - No one? - Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! Legendary children, I do correct myself.
A challenge has been issued.
[AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS] Clear the floor or prepare to be trampled by the magnificence you are about to witness.
Walking against Elektra Abundance, Blanca Evangelista! Love had to show me one thing I was so right, so right [CHEERING AND WHOOPING] I was so sure, I was so, so sure But love taught me Taught me who was, who was the boss PRAY TELL: And turn and lift and walk.
You are the last motherfuckers on the runway.
Will you receive a standing ovation from Bianca Jagger and David Bowie? Or will your collection fall flat on its face? [SHOUTING INDISTINCTLY] To your places, ladies.
To your places.
AUDIENCE: Blanca! Blanca! Blanca! Blanca! PRAY TELL: Please, quiet, please.
Quiet, please.
Quiet, please.
Silence! Judges, challenging though it may be, the future is in your hands now.
Elektra first as she is reigning champion, it is her honor.
Scores, please.
Ten, ten, - ten, ten, nine.
- [AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS] Nine? Are you blind in one eye? Have you lost your ability to count to ten? I demand an explanation.
I would give you an explanation if your outfit didn't look like the inside of a coffin.
[AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS] Ooh, shade of the panel.
[INDISTINCT SHOUTING] It's fixed! It's fixed.
Who paid you, honey? Who paid you? Now for Miss Blanca.
Scores, please.
Ten, ten, ten, ten, ten.
Blanca! Blanca Evangelista.
[CHEERING] Congratulations.
Who was the boss [CHEERING, WHISTLING] AUDIENCE [CHANTING]: Blanca! Blanca! Blanca! Blanca! Blanca! Blanca! Blanca! [CHEERING] PRAY TELL: I must inform the audience that after tonight's performance there is another contender for Mother of the Year.
Miss Blanca has ushered a new legendary house into the forefront of the ball world.
AUDIENCE [CHANTING]: Blanca! Blanca! Blanca! DAMON: You did that.
I was so proud of you.
You were just like Pride goeth forth before the fall.
That win was pure luck.
The judges were merely showing sympathy for your virgin Legendary Walk.
Or perhaps the fix was in.
I know it was Pray Tell who helped you make that ill-fitting potato sack you had draped over your bones tonight.
Who's to say he didn't tell the judges to adjust my score so you and he could share a moment of glory? You lost fair and square and you know it.
I suggest you get used to it.
[SCOFFS] Please.
You are the Cracker Barrel to my Gucci and Saint Laurent.
[SCOFFS] So agitated, Elektra.
And here I thought old age would mellow a bitch.
It takes more than two trophies to become a legendary house and take Mother of the Year.
I would know.
I've won it six times.
True, we aren't where you are, but we'll get there.
And soon, everything new will be old, and everything old meaning you will be in the gutter looking up at my perfectly sewn hemline.
Now, the only house I'm worried about at the moment is the International House of Pancakes, where we will celebrate and raise a fork of the Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity to your inevitable demise.
[DAMON LAUGHING] - You read her.
- She deserved it.
- [DAMON LAUGHS] - I got to go.
RICKY: Hey.
You're an Evangelista, right? Yeah.
Y'all showed out in there tonight.
Thanks.
I'm Damon.
Ricky.
Did you take a bath in Kouros Player cologne tonight? Too much? It's the right amount if you're trying to cover up the stench of a dead body.
[SNICKERS] No, I like it.
You smell good.
Thank you.
What? You like my tank top? It's WilliWear.
I mopped it from Macy's.
I tie rubber bands around the bottom of my sweats.
I could stuff anything down there and just walk out.
You thought of that yourself? Smart.
You like smart boys? If they're cute.
[DAMON GIGGLES] Excuse me.
Oh, okay.
- [DAMON SNORTS, LAUGHS] - Excuse me.
[GRUNTS] [BOTH LAUGH] Oh, man.
You want to go grab a slice or something? On me.
You mean like a date? I mean, I'm smart and cute, - and I smell good.
- [LAUGHS] I mean, you could do a lot worse.
Okay, but can we go sit at dinner and talk first? I mean, isn't that what you're supposed to do on a date? Oh, see Sitting means waitresses, which means tips.
Slice and a stroll that's my idea of a date.
I'm gonna go get my stuff.
Don't go nowhere.
[MOUTHS] What was all of that? He asked me if I can go on a date.
Can I go? He looks like trouble.
But they're always the ones I like, too.
Don't do nothing stupid.
Be back by 3:00 a.
m.
No minute later, understand? Yes, Mother.
All right.
[DOOR OPENS] [FOOTFALLS APPROACH] PRAY TELL: The category is Live Work Pose! RICKY: I don't get the hype around Janet.
She ain't Michael.
That's the point.
She's not trying to be Michael.
She's stepping out.
No daddy, no husband just Janet on her own.
I mean, she's going for her dreams.
I love her for that.
I want that.
Anyway, you're sleeping on Janet.
I mean, in 20 years, you're gonna look back and tell me I was right.
You think we're gonna know each other in 20 years? I don't know.
I hope.
It's cool.
We're with our people.
No one's gonna do anything.
Come on.
[CLEARS THROAT] I want to show you something.
Where are you going? [DAMON LAUGHS] [PIGEONS COO] [WINGS FLAPPING] Where are you? RICKY: Over here.
- Boo! - [GASPS] [BOTH LAUGH] It's beautiful, right? This is my favorite spot.
What's that smell? It stinks in here.
I didn't realize you were so bougie.
It's all right.
I ain't into thugs.
I don't know how to do this.
Know how to do what? Um I've never kissed anyone before.
Ah.
Hold on.
Um here.
[BOTH LAUGH] I've wanted to be alone with you ever since I first saw you.
Me, too.
Wait.
We're moving too fast.
Ah, but I'm in love with you.
What? You just met me.
I know, but it's like I've known you my whole life.
Come on, let's have some fun before you meet someone better.
[SIGHS] I-I won't meet anybody better.
Oh, yeah, you will.
You're gonna be a star.
You'll forget all about me.
You really think I'm gonna be a star? Of course.
I believe in you.
[DAMON MOANS] - Ricky.
Ricky.
- What? What? What? I'm not ready.
I'm sorry.
[CLEARS THROAT] Maybe we can go on a few dates first? Yeah.
Sure.
Uh, how about next Saturday? We can grab a slice, catch a movie? Yeah, I'd like that.
Cool.
It's a date.
Come on.
This is Bougie.
DAMON [LAUGHING]: It stinks in here.
- RICKY: Oh, God.
- Where are you taking me? [DOOR SQUEAKS] [CLOSES LOUDLY] [FLOORBOARDS CREAKING] [FLOORBOARDS CREAKING] BLANCA: Damon? Yeah? Sit down.
Where have you been? Ricky took me to the pier.
You're two hours late.
I won't tolerate you breaking my rules.
Were you out drinking? - No.
- Did he give you any drugs? No, ma'am.
Mother.
So what possible reason could you have for disobeying me? Did you have sex? No.
We We kissed.
- And? - And that's it.
He wanted to do more, but I didn't want my first time to be at the pier.
Did your daddy ever give you the talk? The talk? The birds and the bees.
Yeah, he did.
[LAUGHING]: It was really awful.
I mean, he was saying all this stuff about women's anatomy and-and things like that, and the whole time I was thinking, this is not the information I need to get.
[LAUGHING]: Like, Sweet Baby Jesus, this is not helping me.
But, you know, I-I couldn't ask him the questions I really wanted to know, which was about what men do together and stuff, or I'd be found out.
And I was afraid he'd kill me.
Well, here's what no one will tell you but me.
Gay life is hard.
Here.
No.
I-I-I don't need these.
I-I'm not planning on having sex with Ricky.
Oh, child, no one ever plans on having sex.
And I can't be your mother and your conscience.
I'm not gonna always be here to protect you.
You are a good-looking young man.
And soon you are gonna want to start exploring, but you got to make smart choices.
Now, as a gay man, you have options when it comes to sex.
You can be a top or a bottom.
Uh, how will I know which one I am? Well, there's no rule book.
Sometimes you want to give, sometimes you want to receive.
Sometimes you want all the pleasure.
It's up to you.
- What if I'm a bottom - Mm-hmm.
and I fall for another bottom? - Oh, don't.
- You said there was no rules! Oh, so what y'all gonna be doing, bumping purses all night? [BOTH LAUGHING] Look, don't overthink it.
When you find the right guy, you'll figure it out.
Just promise me you'll protect yourself.
There's a virus out there, and if you catch it, it will kill you.
If you need condoms, you go and ask for them, and if I'm not around, you go to the clinic.
Understood? Yes, Mother.
When will I know that I'm ready? Well, when you have sex, that's your decision to make, no one else's.
Just listen to that voice in your head the one that told you to come to New York.
That voice is intuition, and I promise you she'll guide you, and if you ever feel unsure about what that bitch has to say, you come straight home to Mother.
Thank you.
[DAMON SIGHS] [CLEARS THROAT] Damon if I could go back in time and make different choices, I would.
Don't ever give away your gifts for no one.
[SNIFFLES] Mm.
Oh, ah-ah, ah-ah, ah-ah [INDISTINCT CHATTER] Oh, ah-ah, ah-ah Hey, you found it! This better be worth it, 'cause I'm missing 227 to come meet your ass.
Why are we meeting here? Is this some kind of joke? No, it was in the Village Voice.
Best gay bar in Manhattan two years running.
I wanted something special to celebrate me snagging my first trophy.
You do know they don't serve our kind here? Bitch, shut up.
Our money is just as good as anyone's.
Happy Halloween, ladies.
- I'm done.
- Uh-uh.
No! One drink.
I got a proposition for you.
My house is going to crush all others.
They're gonna place a statue on the piers to commemorate us one day.
Big talk after one trophy.
Now's the time to get in line before the line to get in starts to snake its way around the block.
I need a lieutenant.
A second in command.
Who? Me? You hate Elektra just as much as anyone.
All she does is look down on you, bragging about her rich daddy and her Weezy Jefferson apartment up on the East Side.
She don't care about you.
And I'm not just starting a house.
We're gonna be a family that looks out for one another.
Elektra would rip your weave right off of your head if she knew you was trying to steal me away.
Oh, so, what, you want to tell her? Fuck her.
I ain't got no loyalty to her.
But she helps me win, and I like to win.
Which means joining a house that ain't no more than a toddler still soiling in his diapers ain't never gonna happen.
Besides, maybe I want to start my own house one day.
It was only in my dreams Well, hello, handsome.
I'll have a Manhattan, and my friend here is going to have a Malibu Malibu Rum and Tab on the rocks.
This one's on me, but then you got to go.
I got ten guys in here asking me if it's drag night.
Well, I'm sorry.
We're not in drag.
- We're women.
- Even better.
We don't like women in here.
This is a gay bar.
Well, I want to see a manager.
Girl, why you always got to pick fights you can't win? Because these are the ones worth fighting.
I'm Mitchell the manager.
Can we speak outside where it's quieter? [SIGHS] Ah-ah Ah-ah, ah-ah [DISTANT SIREN BLARING] How could you discriminate against me in my own community? This bar is called Boy Lounge.
We have a specific clientele gay, under 35 - White? - Frankly, yes.
The New York City nightlife is segregated.
Look, I've got a friend.
She works at the Cubby Hole.
I'll call her.
You guys can go.
You can drink free all night.
But I don't want that scene tonight.
I'm sorry.
I'm not throwing a costume party.
Oh, this is not over.
Bitch, it was over before it started.
Everybody needs someone to make them feel superior.
That line ends with us, though.
This shit runs downhill past the women, the blacks, Latins, gays until it reaches the bottom and lands on our kind.
HELENA: Five, six, seven, eight.
Uh.
Reach.
Uh-huh.
And legs! That's right.
Oh! Huh.
Uh-huh.
Yes.
Yes.
Five, six, seven, eight.
Yes! Reach! Uh-huh.
And breathing! Uh, and All right, everybody, that's the day.
[LAUGHS] [SOFT LAUGHTER, INDISTINCT CHATTER] Mr.
Richards? You weren't rehearsing today.
I wasn't? No.
You were dancing.
Rehearsal is getting ready for life.
Dancing is living it.
For an artist, greatness happens when you can take something organized and make it feel like it was improvised.
You've been doing that, and that's a skill I cannot teach.
You either have it, or you don't.
Great job.
[LAUGHS] I'm impressed.
Thank you so much.
That means so much to me.
I'm taking some students to the ballet on Saturday night.
Mostly seniors, but one of them has the flu, so I have an extra ticket.
It's a story of heartbreak, betrayal, revenge, the redemptive power of true love.
That sounds like a play or something.
Dancers tell stories with their bodies.
Technique is nothing if it doesn't reveal some personal truth.
Be outside Roosevelt Hall at 7:00 on Saturday night.
This is a big opportunity for you.
Don't blow it.
I'll be there.
[QUIETLY]: Yes.
[LIL PAPI CHEWING] Why are you eating like this is your last meal? - 'Cause this food is bomb.
- Ugh.
Close your mouth, hood rat.
- Mmm, mmm.
- Oh, my God.
[LIL PAPI LAUGHS] Um, excuse me.
Where the hell are you going? Sit your ass down.
We are having a mandatory family meeting.
And where did that come from? I bought it.
- With what money? - Money.
Oh, how does anyone make good money these days? Waiting tables, cleaning gutters, working as a street pharmacist.
Yo, mind your business.
- Are you dealing? - No.
If I find out that you're doing anything illegal, you will be out of this house.
- Do you understand me? - Yup.
Hey, y'all.
See, now, if that was me, I'd have got my ass read like a library book.
Where did you get that jacket from? Oh, I bought it at the Goodwill.
- Oh.
- In the dollar bin.
My dance instructor is taking me to the ballet this Saturday.
Oh, you fancy, huh? [ALL VOICING ASSENT] - [GLASS CLINKING] - BLANCA: Well, that is a moment to celebrate one of my children is going to the ballet.
I mean, I was supposed to have a date with Ricky, but I don't have his phone number to reschedule.
LIL PAPI: Don't really matter if you show up.
Ricky's a hit-it-and-quit-it type.
Trust and believe, you've already been replaced.
Okay, that's enough.
Thank you.
Damon, soak this moment up, okay? This is just the beginning of many more doors like this one opening for you, for all of us.
You made your mother proud.
[LAUGHS] All right, now, I got something to share with all of y'all.
This may come as a shock, but I'm not gonna be competing in the Saint Laurent ball this weekend.
- What? Wh-Why? - What? There are things more important than prizes, like my dignity.
DAMON: Wait.
Did something happen? I went to a gay bar downtown for a celebratory cocktail, and the bastards refused to serve me.
I don't understand.
I mean, if they're gay, why did they turn you away? Gay, straight it doesn't matter.
They all think we got psychological issues.
They don't see us as real.
It's not fair.
Nothing in life is fair.
But that's okay, though.
I'm-a do something about it, so that my children's world is better than the one I grew up in.
["HEAD TO TOE" BY LISA LISA & CULT JAM PLAYING] Head to toe I know Today started with a crazy kiss On our way home You're asking for trouble.
I want a Manhattan.
I want a drink just like everybody else.
Who would have thought That we would become lovers As friends [BLANCA GASPS] MAN: Yeah, get her out.
[MEN LAUGHING] I should be able to drink wherever I want! You got to know.
[ADDING MACHINE CLICKING] There's my Jersey boy.
How do you like the new de Ville? Like driving a cloud.
I told him to get the new de Ville.
He's got a good eye for style, but he needs a little help from the professionals.
Hey.
How you doing? Come on in.
[ADDING MACHINE CLICKING] We never used to have so many.
Yeah, well, this is what success looks like.
You think we're successful enough - to get a dishwasher? - You serious? Do you see how underwater we are now? Look at all this.
We have a Cadillac in the garage.
There's a ball gown in mine that costs $900 that I've worn once.
If we don't have any money, then how are you paying for all these things? We need all that stuff.
We need a dishwasher.
We have a baby, and I'm up doing dishes by hand until The Tonight Show starts.
You don't understand how it works out there in Manhattan, okay? You have to look the part or they won't let you into the big club.
You wore that gown to the big event at 21 the other night, and now they all think you're one of them.
- So what? - So what?! You know anybody with a corner office in one of those skyscrapers in Midtown? Or a place in Montauk of their own? - No.
- No.
You don't.
Because people like us don't get invited.
We don't get a shot at it.
But I got a one-in-a-million chance here, and I made that happen because I'm adaptable.
I know how to play the part.
But you have no idea how much pressure that puts on me.
I have to be on 100% of the time, and I can't do that if you're second-guessing me and pressuring me to buy things that you don't need and that we can't afford! Baby, baby, is any of this really worth it? [SCOFFS] I got to go back to the office.
It's Saturday.
Yeah, it's Saturday.
If I'm gonna have to put up with this version of you, I should at least get a dishwasher out of it.
- [DOOR OPENS, CLOSES] - Asshole.
Mr.
Richards, I'm glad you could join us.
You're looking sharp.
Really? - Mm-hmm.
- Thanks.
Ah, showtime.
Let's find our seats.
[CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING] Applause comes at the end.
[EXHALES] Hey! You a cop? I'm looking for Angel.
I'm a friend.
[CHUCKLES] I'm sure you are.
She's working indoors now.
Me, myself, I prefer the fresh air.
What, you mean, like, she got a regular job - at a store or something? - [CHUCKLES] You know that place in Times Square, Show World? [WHISPERING]: Go give her a visit.
[ENGINE STARTS] ["SLAVE TO LOVE" BY BRYAN FERRY PLAYING] Got to buy tokens here.
Ten-dollar minimum.
Tell her I'll be waiting How's it work if I'm looking for someone specific? I'm here to see Angel.
Yeah, he's popular.
She.
Whatever you say, boss.
Second-to-last door on the left.
You've got to know - How the strong get weak - [WOMEN MOANING] And the rich get poor Slave to love [WOMAN MOANS] Oh - Slave to love - [WOMAN MOANS] - [MAN PANTING] - You're running with me Don't touch the ground We're the restless-hearted - Not the chained and bound - [CURTAIN FLAPS] The sky is burning A sea of flame Though your world is changing I will be the same Slave to love Oh Slave to love Well if it isn't my uptown businessman.
I knew you'd find me.
You can't stay away from your Angel too long.
No, I can't escape I'm a slave to love Why are you here? This place isn't right for you.
I make $125 a night here.
And no one touches me.
Don't you want me to be safe? I get jealous that so many men see you like this.
Hmm.
Does that make you mad? Do I look like a kept woman to you? A kept woman would be in a high-rise apartment in Riverdale with a refrigerator full of groceries and a mink coat in her closet.
Do you ever do things with guys here? Sweetheart a lady never tells.
And I'm not appreciating your attitude.
Especially considering this is the first time I'm seeing you in three weeks.
We're too young to reason Too grown-up to dream I can't stop thinking about you.
Now spring is turning At work.
If I'm in bed with my wife.
I drive by the piers almost every night, but I get too scared to pull over.
I can see your smile Scared of what? Na-na-na-na I don't like you in a place like this.
Na-na-na-na Slave to love A lady needs to make a living.
Can I take you to get some food? Coffee or something? Na-na-na-na Slave to love I have break in an hour.
We can walk to a diner.
Okay.
Where should I wait for you? Slave to love No, I can't escape I'm a slave to love Na-na-na-na The category is Dynasty.
I want to see all the rich bitch fantasy in full effect.
But now, whenever we're together There's a certain feelin' there PRAY TELL: Ah, yes.
Looking like a ghetto Banjee Fallon.
Work, mama.
Scores, scores, please.
Yeah! Here we have Dominique Deveraux, replete with boa.
Everything I touch turns to gold Darling, the champagne is burnt.
[LAUGHTER, BOOS] [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] And your soul Oh, and what have we here? Bringing her best attempt at Heather Locklear.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Mmm, darling, more like T.
J.
Hooker.
[LAUGHTER] Hmm, is it Krystle Carrington Linda Evans? Oh, my children, I'm afeared that this show is about to be canceled.
Children, I repeat, the category is Dynasty, not goddamn Falcon Crest! We don't need no spinoffs up in this bitch.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Everything I touch turns to gold - The eleganza! - [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Miss Elektra is bringing us Alexis Carrington in full effect.
Show them how it's done.
Show them how it's done.
Oh AUDIENCE: Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! Touch, touch Touch, touch Touch, touch PRAY TELL: Showing the children how it's done.
And the scores are ten, ten, ten tens across the board.
And the grand prize goes to, with no competition, Miss Elektra, Abundance.
[CHEERING] Once again.
She brings it every time.
She brings it every time.
Touch, touch I've got the Midas touch Baby, let me touch your body and your soul [CHEERING] I've got the Midas touch.
Why the attitude? We did amazing tonight.
A victory's hollow if there's no real competition.
How dare The House of Evangelista not show their faces tonight? Where the fuck was Blanca? Is this the life you want, dancing in a place like that? It's safe behind the glass.
Money is good.
And I like being admired.
I don't like other men touching you.
How much do you make a week? You trying to put me on a retainer, sweetheart? I'm sorry.
I didn't I didn't mean it like that.
[INHALES, EXHALES] What if I got you a place of your own? A kept woman? I must warn you, I cannot cook.
- [CHUCKLES] - Unless you count opening a can of SpaghettiOs.
I want a year lease.
I don't want you running away and leaving me holding the bag once you get me out of your system.
No, it's not like that.
I swear.
But okay.
A year.
I can't leave my wife, though, or promise that I could see you every day.
I can't help you if I can't keep my life.
I should refuse you, right? Demand commitment.
But I've also learned how to keep my dignity, even when I'm kneeling down for scraps under the table.
My hope is that, over time, I can help you want more for yourself.
[CHUCKLES] You talking about dreams? Aspirations? Those are only words that only last in the suburbs.
All I know is that I'm-a have a roof over my head, a little spending cash for clothes for the balls, and my chances of not getting killed in the gutter just increased considerably.
I'm fine with that for now.
[CHUCKLES SOFTLY] What's your deal here? Usually, the ones like you are either gay won't admit it or straight but too afraid to ask their wife to stick a finger up their behind.
[CHUCKLES]: Jesus.
I'm neither of those things.
I'm not gay.
I don't understand.
You hadn't touched me.
Not a blow job in the car or nothing.
But you want to possess me.
Why? What are you? I'm no one.
I want what I'm supposed to want, I wear what I'm supposed to wear, and I work where I'm supposed to work.
I stand for nothing.
I've never fought in a war and I probably won't ever have to, 'cause the next one's gonna kill us all.
I can buy things I can't afford, which means they're never really mine.
I don't live.
I don't believe.
I accumulate.
I'm a brand a middle-class white guy.
But you're who you are even though the price you pay for it is being disinvited from the rest of the world.
I'm the one playing dress-up.
Is it wrong to want to be with one of the few people in the world who isn't, to have one person in my life who I know is real? You think of me as a real woman? You'd be crazy to choose this life if you didn't have to.
I have to get back to work.
You know where to find me once you've made all your arrangements.
Hey.
Hey.
Do you believe in love? Or is that just a word for the suburbs, too? [SNIFFLES] [DOOR OPENS] [DOOR CLOSES] LIL PAPI: How was your fancy trip to the ballet? It was magical.
- [LAUGHS] - You know, one day, I'm-a be on that stage, and I expect you to come and see me.
How much are you gonna pay me to show up? - [LAUGHS] - Uh, you know what? - Forget I even invited you.
- Nah, I'll show up for, like, 15 minutes before dipping.
- Uh-uh.
- [LAUGHS] You're too much, though.
Was it worth ditching your date, though? I think so.
A'ight, so then [WHISTLES] You shouldn't be selling drugs out in the open.
It's dangerous.
If Blanca finds out, she's gonna take Only way she'll find out is if you flap your gums.
[PAGER BEEPING] Yo, I got to run.
[SKATEBOARD DEPARTING] Ricky? Hey, uh, Damon.
This is Midnight.
Nice to meet you.
Can we speak in private? Can you give me a minute? Is that your girlfriend? [CHUCKLES] I'm not the boyfriend type.
So what type are you? The type that sits around waiting in the pizza shop for an hour and a half like an asshole.
I'm the asshole, and I'm sorry.
I didn't show up because I was at the ballet.
- My teacher gave me a ticket.
- School? I thought you wasn't bougie.
I didn't move to New York looking for a relationship.
I mean, I came here to make my dreams come true.
I got kicked out of my home for being gay.
And then I spent weeks on a park bench because I had nothing.
I mean, Blanca gave me a warm meal and a place to stay, and being a part of her house means I have to follow her rules.
If I have to choose between education and dating, - I choose the ballet.
- Whatever.
It's all good.
[SNIFFLES] Seems like you moved on, so no big deal, right? Yeah, no biggie.
You know, you ain't the only one who came here with a dream.
I'm still sleeping on that park bench.
You could join a house.
Don't nobody want me to join their house.
- You can't sleep on the street.
- It's what I do every night.
Just yesterday, I stole a couple 40s and got smashed right over there.
You know, you were smart for not showing up.
I'm just a fuckup.
- That's not true.
- Yeah, it is.
You know, when I first saw you, I thought, "That shorty's going places.
" Guess I thought maybe you might take me with you.
[SNIFFLES] Not the first time I've been left behind.
Mani-pedi? Just a top coat, please.
I want her.
Oh, she's on break.
Do your ears not work, or is the customer not always right in this establishment? I said I want her.
Oh, I am sorry, sweetie, I'm on break.
ELEKTRA: I'm sure, even worn as you look, that you can find the fortitude to stick around and give a top coat to the woman who raised you.
[SCOFFS] Oh, what is that, Coral Punch? I assume you have Revlon or Max Factor.
Don't even think about putting Yardley on these fingers.
You know, you can learn so much about a person by looking at their hands.
All the wigs and clothes and plastic surgery don't matter when you're looking at a woman's hands.
It always reveals her real age.
You're one to talk in your stained white coat, looking like a peasant.
Look at me.
You're clearly not winning the game.
Nor are you playing it fairly.
Do you think you can just come to the balls and beat me with a lucky break and then disappear? Denying me my opportunity for redemption? Leaving me twisting in the wind? You are so anxious to have me come and crush you again? [LAUGHING]: Oh, please.
You win one trophy, and you talk like you're a legend.
Any hoodlum or orangutan off the streets can snag one trophy.
I've been busy with other business.
Oh.
I heard about that "other" business.
You're a regular transvestite Norma Rae.
Don't get me wrong, I admire your determination.
I have known you since you were a wee tot, and while you're not nearly as stunning and well-kept as I am, and you could clearly use a delivery of Pond's Cold Cream for that ashy complexion, you have always been impossible to stop once you get an idea in your head.
But take it from a woman of the world: you're punching at windmills.
These gay white boys don't want anything to do with you, and never will.
I told the children of my house that I was fighting for them.
I won't back down.
You're not Rosa Parks, sitting up front of the bus.
You're a tired, old queen looking to sip a margarita with some white boy - in Sergio Valente blue jeans.
- You know, I know about your life, even though you never speak about it.
About your gentleman caller who showers you in rhinestones and keeps a house over your head.
You're settled, comfortable.
The only fights you have left are with your wrinkles and your cellulite and walking the balls.
And, bitch, that's because you're old.
If I cut you open, there would be nothing but dust and 50 rings to count.
Now, your generation got us to where we are.
I'll give you that, I'll give you all of that.
But I'm planning on moving our kind forward.
Getting us access to worlds you wouldn't dare dream about.
I'm entitled, I have the right.
All right.
You fight that fight, naive little girl.
Learn the lesson we all learn eventually.
When it comes to the life we lead, there comes a point where you must accept disappointment.
Like I'm disappointed in this top coat.
It's on the house.
[BELL JINGLES, DOOR CLOSES] Matt? Our boss is in the Post again.
He's a master of the publicity machine.
It's so fucking awesome the way he controls them all.
- Do you read the Post? - Everyone does.
I read the Times, too.
The Journal.
Listen, if you want to sip Chardonnay in the Upper West Side with a bunch of intellectuals from Columbia, get the Times.
If you want to get invited to the best parties, walk past the line at Palladium, meet celebrities, get your name in the Post.
What do you want? Well, I know it's pretty early in my time here, but, uh, if you look at what I've accomplished so far, I-I I wrote that speech for the Ellis Island award, - and, uh - What is this about? You want more money? Well, yes.
I was hoping for a maybe, like, a ten percent bump, or-or a preferably, a small bonus.
[LAUGHS SOFTLY] [SIGHS] Close the door.
Have a seat.
[BOTH SIGH] [LAUGHS] [BOTH LAUGH] So what's she like? I want details.
She blonde? Got big tits? She do that new Brazilian thing down there? [LAUGHING]: I I don't I'm sorry, I-I don't understand.
Don't bullshit a bullshitter.
Huh? I'm proud of you.
I'm telling you, you put on that suit, you get behind that Cadillac, the pussy starts flowing like Niagara Falls.
My wife just wants a dishwasher.
I'll get you your money.
Two conditions.
You work weekends when I ask, and you got to tell me the fucking truth.
She's beautiful.
Yeah? [LAUGHS] Puerto Rican, I think.
Exotic.
It's not my thing, but to each his own.
Do you love her? - I don't know yet.
- You don't.
You're just not tired of fucking her yet.
Matt, thank you.
I promise I will earn every penny.
Word of advice.
Don't leave your wife.
And if you get her pregnant, you come talk to me immediately.
Jesus Christ, not this bitch again.
Don't you have anything better to do? Told you, I'll be here every night until you serve me.
I'm not dealing with your shit tonight.
- I'm calling the cops.
- BLANCA: Call them.
I'll be right here.
I'm not afraid of Five-O.
Have you noticed you're the only one here with the year-round tan? What's your point? They don't want us here.
No, they don't want you here.
Compliments of the house.
Thank you.
I still want my Manhattan.
Miss, can I have a word with you? "Miss"? It's a dude.
I am a woman and I will be addressed like a lady.
Sir, can I have a quick word with you? What, is the battery in your hearing aid dead? I said I'm a woman and I go by "ma'am" or "miss.
" This is what I'm talking about, Officer.
- He's constantly spouting off.
- BLANCA: You know what? Why don't you make like your hairline and disappear? - You know, you need to calm down.
- Deaf and blind.
OFFICER: You know what, I can't arrest you for being here, - but I can arrest you for your mouth.
- What? That's right.
You're under arrest for disturbing the peace.
- Turn around.
- [PEOPLE CHEERING] Get her out.
- All right, Officer.
- [WHOOPS] What the fuck are you looking at, bitch? MAN: I think it likes you.
Man, fuck you.
What's up? You pissed that her dick is bigger than yours? - [MAN LAUGHS] - OFFICER: Rodriguez.
You made bail.
Wait, somebody bailed me out? Who? ELEKTRA: That is Caron Poivre, darling.
Mmm, I've never smelled a perfume like that before.
Well, of course you haven't.
It cost $100 an ounce.
I don't believe that the ladies of the evening that come through here or the girls in the bars you frequent in Newark can afford such a luxurious aroma.
Elektra? Ah, there she is.
This one is a relation of my housekeeper.
The poor woman was inconsolable about her arrest, so I volunteered to be of assistance.
And she's an expert with my delicates.
How could I say no? A true pleasure, Officer.
I do love a man in uniform.
Perhaps I'll call on you one evening if I'm in the neighborhood and in need of some company.
Any time, sweetheart.
Let's go.
Well, this is a surprise.
You're lucky that I have a gentleman friend who understands my needs in terms of walking-around money.
Though don't expect the same kindness in the future.
You just cost me half my weekly allowance, and it's only fucking Tuesday.
Yeah, but why? Why did you help me out? Why do you think? There's my car.
Because you understand what I'm trying to do by getting into this bar.
Have you lost your mind? Did you not see me back there with that policeman? I can gain access to any bar or country club or department store in this city.
Your struggle is not my struggle.
My struggle is that I was defeated at the balls last weekend.
Because you're so distracted with this silliness, I have remained in a temporary humiliation.
You are not being beaten within an inch of your life in that jail because I need you to be at the ball tomorrow night so I can reclaim my honor.
And you will be there, bitch.
So that's all that matters to you? That is our place.
Our community.
The balls were created so we would have somewhere to matter.
If you have any aspirations to become a legendary mother, you'll get it in your skull that while there are many places for us to find love and adoration in the outside world, in this life, yes, the balls are all that matters.
Is your driver going uptown? Yes.
Subway's two blocks away.
["AIN'T NOTHIN' GOIN' ON BUT THE RENT" BY GWEN GUTHRIE PLAYING] Bill collectors at my door What can you do for me? Hey Hey, I heard you was here.
Can we talk? Can we talk? I heard you the first time.
What you want? I want to start over.
You clearly didn't appreciate my presence.
My absence shouldn't be any different.
That's not true.
Look, I like you and I'd like to invite you out, but it's not a date, just two friends hanging out.
Tuesday night? I'm busy.
Fine.
Wednesday night? I have tickets to the ballet.
[LAUGHING]: The ballet? Hell nah.
'Cause nothin' from nothin' I thought the same thing, but I went and it opened me up.
The freedom I saw on that stage! I mean, those dancers weren't dancing with the music.
They were the music.
Not interested.
If you wanna be with me I thought you wanted a different kind of life.
You got to have a J-O-B I mean, maybe this is the beginning of something new.
No romance without finance Look, I'll be in front of the Roosevelt Hall Wednesday at 6:30.
Attire's kind of fancy, so no jeans or shell tops, in case you decide to show up.
'Cause nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin' You got to have somethin' if you wanna be with me Oh, life is too serious Love's too mysterious A fly girl like me needs security.
The category is Femme Queen in Pumps.
[AUDIENCE CHEERING] Now, this is not a face category.
This is to show that you can cross the threshold into the Four Seasons or to the bar at the St.
Regis or tip up and down Fifth Avenue and never stumble, wobble or show fear.
Miss Kiki Pendavis, your heels are too low and your hips have no flow.
Please remove yourself from the premises and do not return until you're in some goddamn stilts because as we all know, six inches is the minimum.
Strange I've seen that face before Seen Him hanging 'round my door Like a hawk Ladies and gentlemen, clear the floor.
Clear the floor.
I need the floor cleared of all contestants.
I have just gotten word that it is time for a rematch between the legendary House of Abundance and the upstart House of Evangelista.
[AUDIENCE CHEERING] Now, if my memory serves me correct, each has one win.
Who will be the best out of three? Ah, here she comes, freshly sprung from her night in the clink.
Yes, you do belong, darling, walking like you were born in a stiletto.
[CHEERING] What have we here? [AUDIENCE SHOUTING] Is it Aphrodite? Is it the goddess Athena? [AUDIENCE CHEERING, SHOUTING] With anyone who wants Strange He's standing there alone Staring eyes PRAY TELL [DISTANTLY]: Who are we to stand in this woman's presence? How could we possibly deserve to bear witness to all that the goddess Elektra is bringing forth on this evening? There is no way this bitch is getting her heel stuck in a grate.
Judges, please, it's time to score.
For Miss Blanca, ten, ten, nine, nine.
A respectable score.
And now, for the legend Elektra, ten, ten, ten, ten.
Perfection.
Grand prize, Elektra.
First runner-up, Miss Blanca.
[AUDIENCE SHOUTING] AUDIENCE [CHANTING]: Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! [AUDIENCE SHOUTING] Elektra! Elektra! Elektra! [GRIEG'S "IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING" PLAYING] STAN: You know what it is? - No.
- You don't? - No.
- Can you see? - [LAUGHING]: No.
- [LAUGHS] Where are we going? [IMITATES TIRES SCREECHING] On the count of three, okay? - Okay.
- Three.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome, babe.
[DOOR OPENS] ["IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING" CONTINUES]