We've all been there -- in jobs that are beneath us. Some of us bitch and moan about it. Some of us get proactive and start spending quality time with Monster.com. Some of us go postal. Then there's Stacee Cooney. "I had two college degrees, but I was doing a job that you need, like, a fourth-grade education to do," she says. Namely, file-clerking at Toyota of Hollywood. "I thought it was funny."
OK, so it did suck at the time. But for the past two years, Cooney's had a great gig as a special events coordinator, and her nine-month stint at Toyota is a distant memory -- and fodder for a completely original, comedic dance theater production that she wrote and produced. In Ellemeno-P, Cooney shows us that spending lots of time alone with manila folders can result in an unnatural obsession with alphabetical law. She started thinking about "how the alphabet affects our lives -- in everything we do. Like how we spell, how we're sounding, how people perceive us, how we speak, how to pronounce something correctly." Before long, she was plotting "which letters to get rid of. I could simplify the world by simplifying the alphabet! I'd make everybody feel better. They wouldn't feel so stupid anymore."
It's not your average plot line. Nor is it your average theater piece. Cooney combines straight dialogue, karaoke, dance, and rap. Two friends -- Elana Lanczi and Kristin O'Neal, both professional dancers -- co-star with her. Other friends who were eager to get the production to the stage suggested that Cooney ask Toyota of Hollywood to sponsor it. Her response? "Um, did you notice that this is extremely sarcastic and I'm not painting them in the best light?" Instead, this presentation is brought to you by the letter c. As in, see it -- or miss out on a really cool time.
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