We are very excited to announce that we are close to wrapping a new deal with an online video service for our series about magicians stuck in a women’s prison. Black is the New Black will follow the life behind bars of four, formally dressed magicians who are housed in a medium security prison for crimes they likely committed but did for good reasons.
Like Orange is the New Black, Black is the New Black will feature a varied cast of characters designed to touch on the many personalities one can expect to encounter in a women’s prison. There will be humor, drama and great close-up card routines.
We say we are close to wrapping up the deal because we have a friend who does independent contracting work for one of the big on-line video businesses who said our idea has the interest of some of the people he knows from that company. Yes, we still need to work out the contractual details but that is the lawyer’s problem. We are busy working on the pilot episode of what we hope will be a 13 episode purchase.
We need to work out minor concept details such as why four tuxedo-wearing magicians would be imprisoned in a correctional facility that exclusively houses female prisoners who wear prison uniforms. We also need to develop all of the characters but here is a sneak preview of what we have so far:
Lord Magique – the putative leader of the four magicians. Always proper and slightly British with a wry smile and mischievous eye. He has a rejoinder for every comment and is a master of card tricks. We see the pilot opening with him enduring the 21-Card Trick as performed by one of the female cellmates and then establishing his dominant role on the prison wing with a devastating Ace Assembly into an Omni Deck. The Omni Deck will be a bar of soap because glass bricks are forbidden in prisons according to our extensive research. We’re keeping it real.
Deedle – Lord Magique’s former assistant and now a performer in his own right. He is subservient but wily. On the outside, he worked as a street performer and gained internet cred by escaping from dry cleaning bags that were certified as being unsafe for children. He is a small man with big dreams.
Tray Langston – a descendent of magic royalty. The fifth in a long-line of great, globe-trotting magicians. He performs as silent act and maintains his silence even in prison. His work with doves brings joy, amazement and nourishment to his fellow cellmates.
Vingus the Dingus – on the outside he was a con-artist and on the inside he is no better. He keeps the crew stocked in the essential supplies that are tough to get in prison; such as cigarettes, thimbles, dice, billiard balls, playing cards, balloons and Oxycontin. He is the one to know but so tough to know well.
Teresa “The Hun” Hunsucker – tough enough to chew nails and spit the nails made smaller and sharper by her razor sharp teeth. She is not bright but makes up for it in her no-nonsense spirit. Her motto, “Take No Prisoners” is both ironic and prophetic.
Wilhelmina “Mena” Schultz – is petite but potent. She knows what convicts think because she was one herself – for 20 years. Through a quirk in her work-release, she now guards the women (and magic men) she once lived among. Nothing gets past her. She exemplifies Tough Love but without much love.
Flora Fontana – the new girl on the guard’s team. Flora is fresh out of an ivy-league college with a heart full of hope and a head full of crazy notions. She had to decide between working with her father’s Wall Street hedge fund or becoming a guard – she choose to follow her dreams. She falls for some of the oldest tricks in the book – literally – but shows the kind of naïve innocence that is sadly lacking in most modern-day depictions of female prison guards.
Warden P. Neal – to be played by a Paul Lynde type, Warden Neal will be a perfect example of why our prison system is broken. Vain, egoistic and socially challenged, he will also serve as the perfect comic foil for inmate and wise-cracking guards alike. Will probably have a really bad toupee too!
Darla Jean – former swimsuit model and now serving time for making illegal copies of Sports Illustrated to send to her extended family. She is the girl next door if you lived next to the Playboy Mansion. Not a stereotypical “dumb blonde” because, as she notes, “I am a brunette.”
Wilma Rubble – a former (?) gang member being held as much for her own protection as society’s. She ratted out her gang’s leader and now she needs to hide among the general population while she does her time. Each tattooed tear drop on her otherwise angelic face tells a story – some of them hilarious!
Vivian “The Viv” Vandersleet – a debutante with a weakness for formally dressed men and Oxycontin. She has more in common with Flora than she cares to admit and envies her freedom. She makes escape attempts each week that would put Houdini to shame. Need to resolve costuming issues related to her preference for the “preppy perp” look.
Maggie O’Hara – salt of the earth girl with a smile for everyone she meets – likely because of her head injury in a botched prison escape attempt. She is clumsy, awkward and could come into enormous money upon her release thanks to the life insurance policy she took out on her recently departed husband.
We will, of course, keep you up to date on the progress we make on this sure thing. It is going to be big and we will be incredibly wealthy, powerful and bejeweled. We cannot wait.