I really love this sketch and the breakdown you've provided is very helpful. Here's my attempt at the exercises:

1. Possible beat/alternative to mom entering:

-Little brother (let’s say Jacob) enters the room and hears what they're doing. Stacy panics.

STACY: Jacob! Get out!

JACOB: Are you talking about the nature of reality and its many mysteries again? I’m telling!!

STACY: Jacob stop…stop…here…

-Stacy pulls a philosophy book out of her bookshelf. Jacob’s eyes look like they are about to bug out of their head as they look at the book.

JACOB: What…is…this?

STACY: It’s Lacan.

Jacob starts thumbing through the pages.

STACY: Read it in your room!

Jacob runs out.

STACY: God-little brothers are so annoying.

2. Possible different dare/ending. This might be stupid but what if Jeanette is dared to run down the street naked. Jeanette giggles and pulls at a sleeve but is stopped by Stacy. “No- emotionally naked. Run down the street and bare your soul!” Jeanette giggles and protests and Stacy pushes until finally Jeanette snaps and says something along the lines of

JEANETTE: NO…Stacy…you’re so bossy all the time. I’m not doing it.

STACY: Okay…geeze…I thought we were all joking. You don’t have to if you’re too much of a coward.

The girls share a meaningful look. This is likely a common and effective tactic that Stacy uses on people. Jeanette sighs heavily.

Cut to Jeanette running down the street

JEANETTE: I’m not sure if I exist!!!!

3. Only one weird one angle (I much prefer the way you’ve done it)- What if it’s a slumber party thrown by a nerdy girl who has a philosophy themed birthday? It’s all educational games and there’s philosopher Tiger beat style magazines and stuff. It gets more and more boring until one of the girls puts her foot down and says she’s not having any fun. The nerdy girl then goes..”Oh! You want to have fun?” and goes on some kind of hedonism or optimistic nihilism rant. The slumber party turns into a wild time as they all scream god is dead.

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Feb 8, 2022Liked by Mike Trapp

I didn't think of this when reading through the sketch, but while watching it the part with the mom made me think that the structure is sort of similar to a "typical pop rock song structure" where you have a first verse, second verse, then a bridge, before a last verse. You could argue that the typical "slumber party girl" responses to the question answers might be the "chorus". I dunno that there's anything to be gleaned from that sort of sketch-to-song structure comparison, but I thought it was interesting.

Regarding other slumber party things or other beats to go out on, there's always the scheming brother stereotype who has some unwritten duty to pull a prank on the sleepover (or maybe a younger sister who's "too young for the cool kids" and resents not being able to play along). It'd require some foreshadowing to make it clear that that's what they're doing, but interrupting the party with a typical badly-executed-prank style (jumping out of the closet to say "Boo!" for a cheap scare or something) that results in something else philosophical (a philosophical counter-argument for something, or possibly a non-sequitur that just loudly announces the claim of another school of philosophy (or even art movement like Dadaism)) could lead to a simple "Shut up, Bryce, get out of my room!" moment.

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Feb 8, 2022·edited Feb 8, 2022Liked by Mike Trapp

Hi. Thanks for this clear message.

I'm beginning to feel like what I'm writing is too long. You said here that the game should ideally be exposed in the first 3 lines. And now you've shown us only 4 pagers. Whereas my game is rarely visible in the first 3 lines, and my mean length is around 6-7 right now !

But at the same time I feel like, watching CH videos I saw many great sketches that are way longer than that. Idk. And it feels like I would decrease the value of some of my work by shortening it.

I've identified somes things I do that lenghten my scripts, could you share your thoughts about them, please ?

1/ I "cinematize" the sketch. I have a habit of wanting to really settle the situation before going into the game. I feel like it allows to see the characters as more human, and it makes it funnier when we "hurt" their world view after. There's also sometimes an epilogue.

2/ I repeat the same stage of the game. Going over my sketches, I see that I often find a variation of the same concept of the game in order for it to be clearer. It's a different joke, the same game, the same function for the joke. It adds 2 lines, and I do it for different stages of the game, so it adds up.

3/ For some long sketches I wrote, I feel like all the jokes I wrote are good ! I don't mean that as bragging, I mean who am I even. But I don't see how cutting one of them increases the comedic value.

Anyways, thanks for the work !

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Feb 8, 2022Liked by Mike Trapp

Thank you for the post! I don't think I ever saw this sketch, so that's cool! I wonder if a movie marathon of philosophy lectures could be another beat, or a dare could be the three girls going into a dark bathroom to play 'Bloody Marx' to summon the ghosts of philosophers past. Or, they could steal Samkhya books from a parents 'liquor' cabinet or something.

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Feb 12, 2022Liked by Mike Trapp

Oh! Idea, but I don't know if it would be too much.

Could you put the full script (like you did) at first, but then when you go over your highlights show screenshots of a few lines around the highlight for context?

I don't know if that would bog it down in images, or be too much work for not much value, but it would be nice; I kept scrolling up and down when I was reading your points to see the context in the script.

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Feb 12, 2022Liked by Mike Trapp

"The simple present tense is better than the present progressive." —NERD!

😂 I am editing a book rn and keep making cuts like this, so that line made me laugh.

I also just read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and the author (artistically) took a paragraph to talk about the em/en dash vs period and I knew I loved the book

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For the dare, maybe a play on "Bloody Mary", where Stacy says "ok, you're gonna regret it" then cut to the bathroom with the girls in front of the mirror, Jeanette looking nervous. "Oh my God, Stacy just say it! Don't be such a baby!" "I'm gonna! Just give me a second!" After taking some deep breaths Jeanette says as quickly as she can "I have full knowledge of the potential future creation of Roko's Basilisk and am not currently doing everything in my power to create it! AHHHHH!" And all the girls scream. "Its just a thought experiment, you dork, nothing is gonna happen" Maybe gives an opportunity for an end gag where a robot shows up at the end and destroys the house.

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If Jeanette is the only unusual character, I see the other girls learning and leaning into the game Jeanette creates- It keeps the sleepover joy and also I don't know how to write mean teen girls without hurting my own feelings. Melissa complains that a guy doesn't like her back, Jeanette reminds her that we're born alone, die alone, and we'll never truly know another. Melissa is taken back, but then takes this to heart. "wow, yeah, it's like, you're literally just some dude? Like, I'm all I have on this earth and should cherish myself." The girls find comfort in heavy, even dark philosophical ideas. A funny ending could be them giggling, then a drastic cut to them sitting solemnly. M: "so, in a sense, we're really already dead?" S:"bummer." M: "I did have fun, but this is literally why we don't like inviting you to these."

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