• Published 16th Dec 2014
  • 15,977 Views, 215 Comments

Dressing Room - GaPJaxie



Star Power isn't Twilight Sparkle -- but she does play her on TV.

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Chapter 1

Are you all ready?

“Uh... sure. Just a second.” The mare in front of the camera squirmed in place, trying to find a comfortable position for her rear legs. The couch she was sitting on was not a regular feature of her dressing room, and it fit her snugly, which was to say tightly. Lying upon it end to end, her tail bumped up against the pillows at one end, while her forelegs draped over the rest on the other. It was technically enough room, but the throw pillows by her rear pushed up against her dock and there didn’t seem to be anywhere to put her rear hooves. She tried to solve both problems at once by tucking her tail in around her hind legs, but one of the set ponies came and straightened her tail back out, brushing it straight again with one motion of a brush.

“Am I not supposed to do that?” she asked. Her eyes followed the set pony as she walked off camera, leaving her staring vaguely off to the left. “I guess? It’s not comfortable,” she explained. A moment later, she added, “You can see my cutie mark just fine. It... you know? Fine, whatever. I can just deal with it.” She turned her head to the right. “Is the lighting and makeup all good?”

The mare turned her head back to inspect herself, eyeing the way her leg rested on the couch and her tail draped over the pillows. She was a lavender unicorn with a particularly prominent horn which poked out from between her heavy bangs. Her mane was dark blue, streaked with purple and violet, and her cutie mark was a pink star surrounded by five others. “What about the sound? Can you shut the door to the hall? Yeah, just—right, thanks. We’re all good there? We’re—yes, okay. Great.”

The mare turned back to the camera, her alert ears tilting forward. “Okay! Ready when you are.”

Why don’t you start by introducing yourself?

“Sure,” she said, flashing a smile to the camera and adding a cheerful kick behind the words. The ears folded back a few degrees until they seemed more at ease, and her dock relaxed as well, draping her tail over the pillows. “My name is Star Power. I’m seventeen years old, I’m from Baltimare, and I play Princess Twilight Sparkle on the hit TV series Friendship is Magic.”

Tell me more about that?

“The show?” she asked, staring just off camera for a moment. “Well, if you’ve never heard of it before, I suppose I would say it’s this sweet foals show about six friends who go on magical adventures together. It all starts when Twilight Sparkle arrives in this little town called Ponyville to help organize a festival, but she gets drawn into the return of a...” Star leaned forward slightly and grinned as she spoke, “dark, shadowy monster.”

Star laughed slightly before she continued. “It sounds like the setup to some cheesy sci-fi serial, but what makes it really stand out is the characters. Twilight doesn’t save the day with swords or sorcery, but with the help of her friends, and the show really brings their relationship to life on screen. We’ve got an amazing team of writers here, and we all work hard to realize their vision.”

Friendship is Magic is your first major acting role. Can you tell us what that’s like?

“Well, in a day to day sense, it’s pretty much the same as doing commercials,” Star tilted her head back and forth. “It’s the same cameras, the same lights, the same 5AM makeup call. The big difference is the ponies. When you’re doing little roles, everypony just wants to get the job done and get out of there.”

She tilted her head up for a moment, making a vague gesture with a hoof. “But here on set... I don’t know. I’m not sure how to explain it. There’s so much care that goes into doing every scene. All the actors and the staff want to get every little detail right. It’s an infectious feeling.”

Tell us your cutie mark story.

“Well, when I was little, I saw Princess Celestia raise the sun at the Summer Sun Celebration...” Star laughed again, giving a firm shake of her head. “No, it’s actually really boring. When I was eleven, I got to play Princess Platinum in my school’s hearth’s warming eve pageant. I got really into the role, with that whole bombastic speech she gives during the negotiations? I was just belting the words out.” The mare made a sharp striking gesture with her forehoof, as though pounding an invisible table.

“And why should we believe you!?” she shouted abruptly, her face twisting into a snarling mask and her ears folded tightly back. “What has a pegasus ever produced but grief and pain. You grow nothing, you forge nothing, you write nothing—and nothing is what you are! Nothing but the storm and the fear and rain that falls yellow upon the heads of unicorns and earth ponies alike! For generations it has amused you to piss on the heads of all ponies below!” Star made a commanding, sweeping gesture, ending with a sharp strike against the invisible table. With nothing to hit, her hoof hovered in mid air. “And now I think it amuses you for it to freeze before it hits the ground.”

As suddenly as the anger had come to Star’s face, it was gone, and she giggled as she settled back onto the couch. “You know,” she said cheerfully. “For foals.” That produced another brief bout of giggling. “The whole play, I thought ponies were staring at me because I was messing it up. But when the play was over, I had this.” She pointed at the set of stars on her flank. “And a parent/teacher conference,” she added as an afterthought.

It seems like you really enjoy acting.

“Absolutely,” she nodded firmly. “I think everypony has parts of their jobs they don’t enjoy—for me, that’s the late-night school and the early-morning makeup—but when I’m in front of the camera, it’s all worth it. I love getting into a characters heads and imagining how they feel. Twilight is really bold and decisive, but more than that, she’s just such a happy person deep down. It makes her fun to play.”

Friendship is Magic is a foals program, but it also has a significant older male viewership. Any thoughts on that?

“Well, I get it for the regular show. I mean, it’s a really foal-friendly program, but you’ve also got Butter Up on screen strutting her stuff. So...” Star lifted a hoof to cover her mouth. “I get why there might be some older stallion viewers there. But I don’t understand this whole Equestria Girls craze. It’s like, cartoon apes? What’s up with that?”

With Friendship is Magic about to start its fifth season, have you given any thought to what role you’d like to play next?

“Well.” Star tapped the couch beneath her, and her tail flicked slightly to one side. “The movies, probably. Equestria Girls and Rainbow Rocks were both big hits. So there will probably be a few more sequels there, plus tie-ins and stuff.”

So you intend to keep playing Twilight Sparkle?

“It’s... well.” Her tail flicked back the other way. “It’s a brand recognition thing. When a pony sees Tom Flanks going down the street, they go ‘Hey, it’s Tom Flanks!’ not ‘Hey! It’s Captain Muster.’ But when ponies see me, they go ‘Hey, it’s Twilight Sparkle!’ It’s...” She shrugged. “It can be difficult sometimes.”

As a foal actor, do you ever have trouble working with your older counterparts?

“Well, I’m not going to be a foal actor for much longer,” she answered, giving a small smile as she did. “But, no, not at all. The older actors are all really supportive—particularly Amazon. It also helps that all of the main cast are my age—except Butter Up; she’s twenty-two—and we have a lot of fun working together.”

Star tilted her ears up and turned her head to the side, completing the motion with a little wave of her her hoof. “And the director is great as well. Working with foal actors can be hard because, you know, we get older! But he’s helped me stick with the role, and even turned my character into an alicorn to hide how much taller I was getting.”

Tell me about your fellow actors.

“Well! There’s Amazon,” Star said brightly, sitting up a little straighter. “She plays Princess Celestia, Twilight’s friend and teacher. It’s a great role for her. As a... well. It’s easy for mares of her size to get typecast, particularly earth ponies. She did Xena, Clobberella, Batmare. Don’t get me wrong, she does great stunts, but I’m glad she’s finally getting a chance to show off her acting range. She’s got the alicorn makeup, and the nurturing character, and she’s just killing it.”

And what about the rest of the main cast?

“Well, uh...” Star paused, turning her gaze down and raising her eyebrows slightly as she thought. “I guess I’d start with Deep Cover. She plays Applejack, and she is a serious method actor. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her break character. Like, ever. She speaks with that corny country accent all the time. It’s kind of crazy.” Star shook her head and let out a breath, the sound tinged by the ghost of a laugh. “But it’s also kind of cool. She actually spent a month on an apple farm to get ready for the role. And she’s really fun to hang out with."

Star paused, her tail flicking to one side. “Then there’s Barnstormer. Or, Rainbow Dash. She’s a little different from the rest of us. She’s a real stunt flyer—like, professional circuit and all that—so acting is pretty much an experiment for her. At first, people thought she was just a ratings booster—like, ha ha,” Star swirled a hoof in the air, “obvious celebrity casting is obvious—but she’s grown into the role.”

Star leaned forward and glanced up and to the left, pausing momentarily before settling back against the couch. “Of course, everypony knows First Take. Definitely the most talented actor on set, if I’m allowed to be humble. She plays Rarity in Friendship is Magic, Pam Halter on The Stable, and Kelly Canter in Saved by the Bit. I mean, when you see her play those parts?” Star lifted her hooves to the sides of her head, and pantomimed an explosion, making woosh noises with her lips. “You’d swear she was three totally different ponies. And when you see her on set it’s not hard to tell why. She’s really devoted to the craft. Spends a lot of time in her trailer reviewing her tapes to see what she did right and wrong. That sort of thing.”

Star leaned back against the cushions, her horn glowing as she levitated a glass of water to her lips and took a sip. “Then there’s Pan Flash. She’s just a pleasure to work with. Always friendly, and energetic and very responsive to the director’s feedback.” Star took another sip from her water, and then returned the glass to the table. “Actors can be prima-donnas, it’s true, but she’s just so humble and eager to please. You can’t help but like her.”

Star smiled at the camera, and let out a gentle laugh. “And of course, the show wouldn’t have half the viewer base it does without Butter Up. She’s a little old for the role—Fluttershy isn’t even seventeen yet, and Butter Up is twenty-two—but the makeup crew here is stellar, and they make it work. It just means Fluttershy is a little, well, you know.” Star’s smile evolved to grin. “Mature. But that’s good for ratings.”

You made a similar joke at this years Equus Awards, and it didn’t look like Butter Up enjoyed it. Is it true that there’s some tension between you two?

“Not really, no.” Star gave a weak shrug, and shook her head. “Sure, we tease sometimes, but that’s just in good fun. Like.” She swallowed and paused for air, shifting her position to get more comfortable. “When we were shooting Ponyville Confidential, there was this scene where I was reading off everypony’s secrets. And it was a really simple scene, but the humor just wasn’t landing. Like, I’m reading the lines, but nopony is laughing, and even the director is getting frustrated.” Star’s smile brightened as she spoke, and she made a waving gesture with her hoof.

“So we’re between takes,” she continued, her tempo picking up, “and the director says ‘Look, just make it funny,’ so I just burst out, ‘Fluttershy has tail extensions!’ And Butter Up turns beet red and slinks away, and the director just goes, ‘wait, were we rolling for that?’ and we were and just went with it.” Star laughed. “It was hilarious.”

Does she have tail extensions?

Star quickly retrieved her glass of water, taking another sip. When she returned the glass to its table, her voice was more steady. “You’d have to ask her about that.”

Any other funny stories from the set?

“Well, most of it is pretty spontaneous, but Deep Cover is usually pretty funny in the mornings.” Star nodded, lifting the tip of a hoof as though for attention. “Because she really never breaks character, but she’s a night-owl by nature, so at five in the morning she is just dead on her hooves. Usually she does okay, but some mornings when her brain isn’t quite started yet, you’ll hear things like: ‘I’m happier than a rattlesnake in a spelling bee!’ and all the makeup staff get a good giggle out of that.”

Star tilted her head back and forth for a moment, pursing her lips in thought. “Then there’s the whole Barnstormer/Butter Up versus Rainbow Dash/Fluttershy dynamic. See, in the show, Rainbow Dash is this booming extrovert, while Fluttershy can hardly raise her voice above a whisper? But in real life, Butter Up is the extrovert and Barnstormer is the introvert. Don't get me wrong.” Star Power raised a hoof. “Barnstormer is loud, and even pretty brash, but after a few hours on set she’s ready to hide in her trailer. Its lead to a few times when Butter Up has to psych Barnstormer up for a scene where Rainbow Dash is trying to psych up Fluttershy. It’s pretty funny.”

What about Pan Flash and First Take?

“Well, they’re fun to work with, but they pretty much go back to their trailers right after each take, so...” She turned both her forehooves up to the camera.

What about Spike? Is it ever difficult having to work with a CGI “actor”?

“Well, that depends what you mean.” Star settled back against the couch, nudging a pillow with her rear leg. “We certainly do more takes in the Spike scenes because the animators are going to have to fill him in later, and that has a bunch of weird rules. Like, if I grab Spike like this.” She held out a hoof, crooking her ankle slightly. “That’s fine. But if I grab him like this.” She crooked her ankle slightly differently. “That costs the studio half a million bits to fix it so my hoof isn’t going through his head. So we do a lot of takes to make sure we get a good one. But in terms of acting skill?”

Star flicked her tail back and forth, glancing up at the ceiling as she thought. “I don’t know. I think if I had a little brother he’d be a lot like Spike. Sort of annoying and underhoof but with a heart of gold. So I just try to picture that in my head and forget that I’m talking to an empty spot on the floor. It works pretty well.”

How does your family feel about your acting?

“They’re very supportive.”

Could you expand on that?

“Well... they’re a little strict, but they mean well.” Star Power shrugged. “All the money I’m making is going into a trust fund. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to get a million bits as soon as I turn eighteen, but they’re concerned I’d lose it and I guess that’s fair.”

She lowered a hoof, tapping the wooden frame of the couch once. “My mom insists I have to stop acting long enough to go to college. I’m not really sure I see the point in getting a degree, but the classes should be fun. Learning is very rewarding.”

Any idea what you want to study?

“16th century literature.”

Why that specifically?

“Well, all the books we have on set—Twilight Sparkle’s collection, I mean—they’re this old collection of classics one of the prop designers picked up from a closing library. Like...” Her horn glowed, and she levitated a book from off screen into the frame, holding the copy of The Praise of Folly towards the camera. “Right now, I’m big on philosophy. Utopony, The Princess, The Worth of Stallions, and Praise of course.”

You must be very smart.

“Well, sometimes I struggle with it, but it’s fun. So, sure?” She shrugged. “Besides, it’s not like there’s much else to do after a take.”

You don’t go home?

“Night school starts at seven, so if we finish early I’ll usually just hang out on set and read until it’s time to go.”

What is night school like?

Star Power snorted. “Magic kindergarten.”

Could you explain that?

“Sorry,” she shook her head. “Inside joke. I don’t really get along with the other ponies there. It’s part of why I prefer to read on my own.”

Do you have any friends who share your interests?

“In old books? Not really.” Star Power made a slight wave, settling her hoof near her chin. “That’s kind of a solitary thing. But Amazon and I hang out sometimes.”

Star straightened her posture, cracking her neck and drawing a breath. “I mean, she’s a great actor. She’s funny, and does her own stunts, and she’s really supportive. She even helped me find a new agent. Not that my old one was bad, but it’s not often that an actor manages to break out of being typecast like she was, so I’m totally willing to take her advice.”

So would you say you’ve been typecast then?

“I didn’t say that, no.”

But you do intend to keep playing Twilight Sparkle?

“I already answered that. Next question please.”

Alright, we’re just about out of time, so one final question: What’s your favorite part of being on the program?

Star Power let out a breath. Then, she smiled brightly. “Getting to spend time with my friends, of course!”

Well, Twilight, it sounds like you’ve learned a valuable friendship lesson.

“Absolutely,” Star answered with a firm nod. “Life can be stressful. Sometimes, whether you’re at work or at school, it will seem like there’s nopony who understands you and that you don’t know where you’re going in life. But if you stop and look around, you’ll find that there are ponies who make it all better. Ponies who are ready to help, to give advice, or just to appreciate your skills. Those ponies are your friends, and as long as they support you, there’s nothing you can’t do! No matter how bleak things seem the magic of friendship will always prevail.”

Is that a friendship lesson we’re getting in Season 5?

Star pulled back from the camera, and turned her eyes to the ground. Her hoof tapped the wood of the couch, and her tail flicked back and forth. “No,” she said. “I was just doing a bit.”

Well, thank you for your time.

“Thank you.”

Author's Note:

Continued in the sequel, Deep Cover.

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Comments ( 214 )

I know i should make a serious comment about the story but........I MUST KNOW WHO I SHOULD SHIP STAR POWER WITH!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

THE START OF THE ACTINGVERSE RIGHT

AM I RIGHT

Someone should really write that Butterup/Barnstormer dynamic together, it would be so cute. :rainbowkiss:

Very rarely do I see something totally original (as far as I know) on Fimfiction. Usually a great story is an idea done v better than its predecessor.

Many ups are given! (But the site only accepted one)

You should do more

5387360

I hope so. This feels like the first chapter of a much longer work. I can see it sitting by itself, but I think it needs to be part of something more extensive.

Butter Up should turn beet red.

The Actingverse should be a thing now.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5387441
yaaaaaas Jaxie listen to Esteeeeeee

5387441
5387483
Trying to pressure him into writing more stuff you like? :duck:

For shame.

5387360
Clearly we should all write interviews next writeoff just to mess with everyone. Clearly real life wrote the plot of Read It And Weep, when Barnstormer broke her wing.

5387532

Just have PP write them all himself, he wrote all 31 stories last writeoff according to that one expert literary analysis script

5387360

No! That's not true! That's impossible!

5387441
5387483

I'm surrounded!

5387640

Oh, please. There's two of us. At most, you're being flanked.

5387657
But a horse has four flanks. I volunteer for number three! :twilightsmile:

I like it as-is.

I had a big, me-centric thing typed out here but I realized no one rightly cares. Essentially, it's nice as-is but I think it'd be a bit too much if you went longer. I could see maybe a few 'interviews' like this but if you matched the number of 'main actresses' in the show it'd be pushing the story into 'a chapter just to round it out' country. Maybe double or triple up on the characters interviewed? Just a thought.

5387657 I dunno, I for one feel like joining the charge.

I feel like I've already done this before.

This was interesting. You should totally do a sequel that discusses the dragons that aren't Spike. Because I wanna see if all of them are CGI or if there are some actual dragon actors.

I might be getting the wrong vibee here but Star Power seems kind of sad and lonely. Maybe she's still just young and finding her place in the world, I don't know.

5387346
Amazon, clearly. They actually have traces of the mentor/student relationship that makes Twilestia so common but the power imbalance and age difference are considerably smaller. And Amazon wasn't like Mom Two for Star Power so it's a lot less creepy.

5387633
Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

5388307

I am so glad someone actually got that. :ajbemused:

Yes, that is absolutely the intended read. Star Power isn't a Twilight expy. She's a sad, stressed out, lonely, typecast child actor who is imagining what it's like to be her character because her character seems happy.

5388391 That's exactly what I thought, I don't know why that was so hard to grasp for some people. It really is sad, hearing you put it like that just makes me want to hug her.:fluttershysad:

The skit is fairly amusing, and I think it bodes well. However, I'm going to be honest, you originally had me pissed because I was in the middle of working on a very similar story when I found this. :twilightsheepish:

All in all, I think this was cute.

5388452

That's right, you're another victim of GaPJaxie, time traveling plagiarist!

Now it's time to go steal the scripts for Season 5! *woop woop woops out*

That was really good. And original. I honestly do not think I've seen another story on the site with the premise.
Also, count me as a member of the crazed masses who want more of this. There are lots of things to explore: does Celestia exist in the "real" world? What is the "real" world like(Do alicorns even exist or are they a fantasy concept)? What is Spike's voice actor like? How about Luna's or Discord's or any other major character. How did Star Power get along with the ponies who played Shining Armor and Cadance? There are so many more things that could be done with.

And if you don't decide to continue? Well we are all still blessed with this small piece of awesomeness, so in the end I would be satisfied.

I wrote a review of this story here.

Oh wow this is awesome.

And calling it now, Deep Cover is basically Kirk Lazarus from Tropic Thunder. She don't break character till she do the dvd commentary.

Wow I've never seen this done before! I love it! :pinkiehappy:

Yes, more! More! :rainbowwild:

I have actually seen a few other stories with this premise, but they all either A) essentially have Twilight Sparkle et al playing themselves; or B) go for a heavy-handed "All the actors are actually the exact opposite of their characters! such irony lol mind=blown", neither of which are really satisfying. This manages to find a good middle ground between those extremes, though.

Another fantastic story from GaPJaxie. I love the idea of the acting verse, especially Butter Up. You know they made the episode "Green Isn't Your Color" as pure fan service, right?

5387928 personally I was thinking this is a decent lead into a life-on-set story. not necessarily interviews but detailing lives around the show.

this almost convinces me to do a original story bookshelf. I have this one saved in my top awesome shelf, but if I come across another sometime it may form

... Suddenly I want to see the tabloid articles from this word.

It felt like a weak ending to me, but I guess all good things have to end eventually. D:

Interesting premise. It makes me wonder if they had special guest stars play either Flim and Flam, Discord, or Trixie.

An interesting idea, well realized! You present Star Power as her own pony, instead of Twilight, very well.

My immediate reaction to this is "Oh my god, if Princess Celestia isn't real, all of pony society must be completely different!" And now i'm wondering how much is different and how it would work because literally their entire government in the show is basically Princess Celestia. And then there's the question of, if you remove all the bad things and the elements of harmony and, apparently, spike, what are the implications of this? What's equestria's military? Is it actually a powerful force to be reckoned with? Do griffons exist? Is the entire sociopolitical landscape completely different because they don't actually have any friendship powered superweapons, or apparently any alicorns at all?

I'd Very much love to see interviews with all of the actors, including the two princesses, the writer (this universes Lauren Faust) as well as the voice actor for spike.... and then perhaps some minor bits about the other side characters (Why is Lyra sitting like that?!)

5388955
Trixie is played by Chrysalis :pinkiegasp:

5388335 and thus, i went to work

I like this. A lot. Seriously, this was a unique spin on things for MLP. Well done, good sir!

5389425 I had a idea for something like this but like a radio play version of the show but behind scenes they cant stand each other or the pony they act act as (now i should read this)

Star tilted her ears up and turned her head to the side, completing the motion with a little wave of her her hoof.

Repeating yourself.

cracking her neck and drawing a breath

There's a space too much after "drawing".

5389012
My thoughts exactly, Cloudhop, but I am disappointed to not see them addressed at all.

I was a little disappointed that the fiction didn't slip in a similar, darker undertone during the interview. I expected a theme to The Truman Show in tone, where something is engineered precisely for a deliberate purpose, and some people are kept out of the loop as part of that plan.

So, is the show in-universe a historical piece, a piece of propaganda or a reenactment of the actual adventures as they're happening, like a reality show? There's no real clear indication and, although the ambiguity is welcomed, there doesn't seem to be a hint to either of these or all of them.

I mean, don't get me wrong, there are subtle hints towards the workings of Equestrian society in this fiction, especially through the mentioning of the 'Worth of Stallions," suggesting that they're the minority gender, as most of our headcanons imagine them to be so, but most of the fiction doesn't really focus on that, or sneak it in subtly.

they’re this old collection of classics one of the prop designers picked up from a closing library.

Does suggest that the books on set might be the show's modern literature, suggesting that the setting is historical, though that isn't really convincing enough as, after all, the prop artists probably didn't consider weighing much importance of what is in the library.

Overall, this is an interesting idea for a very strong story that tells its true tale hidden in the background by shallow set pieces. Too bad it feels like a wasted opportunity. But in its current state, this story serves no real purpose other than as a large metaphor to write a fun interview scene of a show - any show. Show in question having no importance on the interview.

Wile I'm not a big fan of one shots but I loved reading this thanks for making it.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5388391
This fits in with the thing that I thought of where Star takes Amazon's vague mentorship as something more, possibly on more than one level, and the older actress has to be all "whoa shit, you a child, lay off" and she doesn't understand what happened until she's much older.

5389532

So, is the show in-universe a historical piece, a piece of propaganda or a reenactment of the actual adventures as they're happening, like a reality show? There's no real clear indication and, although the ambiguity is welcomed, there doesn't seem to be a hint to either of these or all of them.

Or perhaps more fun - both.

It could be everything from a lighthearted kids show made about history - loosely based on real events, to a North Korea-like deification of the 'Dear Leader' - compulsory viewing in Equestria and all the conquered lands.

5389575 There's the third suggestion that, unlike any other show we have right now, the adventures happening actually did happen very recently, and the show is recorded and scripted as little as a month after.

THAT LINE IN THE PLAY!!!!!!!! OH JEEZ SHE ACTUALLY GOT A PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCE FOR THAT OH JEEZ!!!!!!!!!!

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