Better World Girl' Contest
Better World Team story fragment, reflection or sketch...
good, there he is… finally," Maya said as Artie walked
in through the entrance of the Starbucks. He looked to
the left, and the right, and all around, searching for
us. Finally he located us at the exact same table we'd
been sitting at every single day for the past week; he
seemed surprised to see us there.
Artie motioned toward the line, indicating that he was
getting a coffee, and we smiled back impatiently and nodded.
Fortunately the line wasn't very long.
As Artie finally sat down and settled in, I discovered
what was left in my cup was stone cold. I toyed with the
idea of getting up to get another latte, but now that
the three of us were here, I didn't want to delay this
meeting a second more. I mean, even though we all lived
together now, these daily get-togethers at our local Starbucks
were literally the only times I ever saw him.
Which was kind of weird when I started to think about
it. Artie didn't know anyone here, but he was never around
at the house. Where did he go? What was he doing? And
the house isn't really that big, but come to think of
it, I almost never actually saw Maya all week, either.
I couldn't really complain about the state of affairs
-- it is her house, and it's so amazing that she was letting
us stay here while we work on the Show … But, I didn't
know anyone either, and it would have been nice to at
least have a meal together once in a while.
I've got some footage edited for a teaser video," Artie
said after he'd settled down with his cup of coffee, and
we had exchanged greetings.
I must admit the first thought that ran through my head
was that he could have left us a note on the kitchen table,
or at least sent us the link - I'd been hoping all week
that he'd show us something. But then, as I knew from
years and years of experience, Artie had probably just
finished it minutes before racing over, from wherever
he was, to meet with us. In fact he had probably still
been working on it 15 minutes ago when we'd texted: "We're
at Starbucks, are you on your way?" The guy was one of
my closest friends (despite our age difference), and he
was definitely an artistic genius, but he had no sense
of time, whatsoever.
But how could I really be annoyed. Looking at the two
of them sitting there, I couldn't help but feel a rush
of gratitude … I was so excited to have finally found
"a team" to work on this project with me, after all these
It filled me with amazement once again to think how it
had all changed in a single instant. One sort-of-casual
conversation with a stranger, and I'd finally found someone
to star in (and finance!) my Better World Show project.
Hard to believe I'd only met Maya online three and a half
weeks ago. And how many times had I begged Artie to do
this reality show webseries with me over the years. Yet
somehow I could never pique his interest enough. But that
one fateful day after emailing and then Skyping all day
with Maya and then calling him, for some reason, suddenly
it clicked and he was gung ho; and the Better World Team
Artie reached into his bag to pull out his laptop while
we waited with baited breath. "Wait, wait…" he said and
pulled out his video camera and tripod instead. "We've
got to tape everything, remember."
Maya and I agreed. The whole reason we'd set up these
daily meetings at Starbucks, was, well every popular show
had a bar or a diner, or a coffee shop as it's familiar
'home base.' So we would, too. But even more than that,
we had a Plan to get this multi-national mega-chain of
20,000-plus coffee shops involved in a big way in our
scheme to change the world. We'd film every episode and
vlog entry at Starbucks, hoping somehow they'd notice
and sponsor us.
As Artie quickly set up the tripod and turned the camera
on before returning to his seat, I kept glancing over
at it uncomfortably. I still wasn't sure I'd ever get
used to the idea of being filmed. Artie, of course, would
not be in the shot - somehow there wasn't a second of
footage with him in it. Either he was physically behind
the camera shooting, or the shot was conveniently framed
so that he wasn't in it.
I noticed that Maya had suddenly perked up a few notches;
she loved to be on camera.
Anyway, I naturally assumed the 'mystery footage' would
be Starbucks-related. Over the last few days we'd been
trying to think up some catchy campaign slogans that might
catch the interest of someone in their corporate infrastructure.
In my mind I was trying to remember some of the slogans
we'd come up with.
The running conversation we'd been having since I pitched
the idea earlier in the week raced through my mind. "Can
you imagine if we can get them on board to fund us and
push meetups for local Better World Clubs …" I remember
saying. "But how can we get their attention?"
we could come up with some catchy catchphrase…" Maya suggested.
The Better World Club Hub…" Artie had offered.
a Grande Latte, while you change the world today …" Maya
suggested but quickly shrugged it off. "Come for
the coffee, stay to change the world," she tried
again. She shook her head and quickly rambled off three
more equally forgettable ideas.
from Starbucks… It's… the Better World Show!" I remember
exclaiming, wildly imagining a flash-forward future when
a famous celebrity announcer would introduce each episode
of our super popular TV show.
Meanwhile back in reality, and as if she were reading
my daydreamed-remembrances, Maya turned her coffee cup
just a smidge so that the Starbuck's label was facing
the ever-present camera lens. She put on her best smile.
"Starbucks," she declared in her most professional TV-commercial
voice, "the meeting place to change the world!"
bad…" Artie said, momentarily looking up from his laptop.
we're getting closer…" I agreed.
… so let's see the footage you've put together, Artie.
Can't wait," Maya bubbled over, with sparkles radiating
from her eyes. Every minute of every meeting had been
recorded and there were undoubtedly any number of potentially
great scenes where she'd come up with some key insight,
or witty repartee or …
But when Artie pressed play, Maya was barely in the frame.
We watched as we saw me with a binder full of notes,
and scraps of paper were falling out and scattering in
every direction. "I've got some good notes in here somewhere
about doing a contest to find The Better World Girl…"
I was saying in frustration. As I frantically searched,
the viewer could plainly see that Maya wasn't pleased
at all with the whole 'Better World Girl' concept. Her
expression seemed even more dramatic with the music Artie
had chosen in the background.
can generate a lot of hype with a contest, posting all
the auditions online, having the public vote for the finalists
…" I continued, finally giving up on the search and continuing
my case for a fourth and much younger member of the team.
really need a young pretty face to symbolize the movement
we're trying to build; someone who will inspire people
to get involved and make a difference in their communities
- and convince them, of course to make their own videos
to inspire others, and tag them with 'The Better World
Show' to virally grow our whole concept…"
In the video, from off screen, Artie handed Maya one of
the slips of paper that had fallen to the ground. "Here's
the text for an ad Bob had worked up," his offscreen voice
you the Better World Girl?" Maya read in her best announcer
voice. Even though she wasn't too keen on the idea, she
did try to sound as professional as possible. Unfortunately,
her scowl definitely showed through her smiling presentation.
"Make a youtube video showing The Better World Girl
in action," she declared, still cringing unconsciously
over the words 'Better World Girl.'
send a link to BetterWorldGirl@BetterWorld.net. The winner
will have a starring role in The Better World Show: The
Reality Show That Will Change Reality."
That was it. The 30 second clip ended and Artie looked
up from his laptop. "Well, what do you think?" he beamed.
I swallowed nervously. "Great music," I offered. I didn't
mention that I wasn't that pleased to be the one featuerd
Maya was scowling even more than the video-version of
herself. She grit her teeth and chewed on her lip while
trying her best to think of something to say to mask her
disappointment that this topic was the video Artie had
chosen to work on first. She'd already made it perfectly
clear that the other personas we were toying with for
her were all we needed, and bringing someone on board
to be 'The Better World Girl' was totally unnecessary.
Her silence dragged on a little too long and all three
of us suddenly felt a little uncomfortable. The conversations
at tables all around us started to seem a little overwhelming.
Fortunately Artie's laptop chimed a 'you've got mail'
chime, and the tension shattered as he glanced down and
exclaimed, "Oh wow! We got a response to the craigslist
ad we put up this morning!"
Maya and I, of course, had no idea that WE had put up
an ad this morning.
there's a Better World Girl audition video attached!"
We peered excitedly as he pressed play, suddenly forgetting
that we were both annoyed with Artie for doing something
like posting an ad before checking with us -- the rest
of the TEAM. We got a response already!
I'm the Better World Girl!" the video's totally nude woman
said seductively, with the volume turned up way too high.
Heads were already turning at several tables nearby, by
the time Artie slammed the laptop closed.
don't think we're going to use that one …" he said meekly.
Maya and I concurred.
We sipped our cold coffees in silence for a few minutes.
"Should I pull the ad?" Artie finally coughed out. He
was starting to realize that jumping the gun may not have
been the best idea.
We thought about it a moment or so more. "Maybe we'll
get something we can use…" I suggested.
Maya smirked. Or maybe now Artie and I would forget about
the Better World Girl angle, she thought, and we'd warm
up to the Better World Goddess persona she'd pitched at
the last meeting, for herself to play.
We were still lost in pensive reverie when Artie's phone
chimed its own 'you've got mail' chime. And then again,
and again. He looked down hesitantly to see who the 3
new messages were from.
Artie met our expectant gazes with a nervous nod. Yes,
more Better World Girl responses, his eyes said. With
a huge communal gulp, we watched as he opened the first
2015 Robert Alan Silverstein
from The Better World Factory
Better World Show
Reality Show That Will Change Reality
the past 11 years, I've been wanting to create The
Better World Show, a reality show that would inspire
action for a better world and provide a way for millions
to participate in real-time.
Better World Show: The Reality Show That Will Change
Reality" would be an SNL-like variety show/reality
show that would highlight the many efforts for a better
world that are going on, often unseen, all around us,
and inspire and empower action through humor, music and
cutting-edge and engaging features.
have hundreds of pages of notes on skits, next steps,
a calendar of action, numerous vehicles within the Show
and tons of offshoot-ideas. So, in a last ditch effort
to try to make this happen before another 11 years go
by, I'm putting out this call to either find
a team to launch this webseries, or someone who
might be interested in writing a series of novels with
me based on this concept.
The Better World Show:
The Reality Show That Will Change Reality
An SNL-like variety show/ reality show, inspiring and
empowering a global movement for change in real-time.
THE BETTER WORLD SHOW'S
'SKETCHES' FEATURE THESE AND OTHER VEHICLES,
EACH OF WHICH HAS 'THE CREATION OF THE BETTER WORLD SHOW'
AS IT'S ORGANIZING GOAL:
Better World Factory
The off-beat behind the scenes exploits of a Team of dreamers,
activist-actors and misfits working on The Better World
Show webseries' vignettes of humorous skits, inspirational
features and original music.
Better World Roadtrip: In Search of Utopia
A roadtrip across America highlighting people, places,
organizations and ideas that are helping to create a more
peaceful, just and sustainable world.
Better World Inc
Misadventures of employees in an Office-type setting working
for a Corporation without any products or services but
whose sole purpose is to create a more peaceful, just
and sustainable world.
Better World 101
Sociology professor teaching from The Better World
Handbook, gives his students a semester-long assignment
to create a network of Better World Clubs on college campuses
around the world and a webseries to inspire and empower
the network they've created.
Better World News
A humorously satirical but inspiring take on current events
unseen in traditional media outlets.
Better World Band
Music videos and behind the scenes exploits of musicians
on tour, performing social-issue based songs.
Better World Girl
Shy dreamer has an alter-ego in her graphic novels about
her hipster glasses, beret and scarf-wearing-heroine,
The Better World Girl.
The Better World Couple
BetterWorldGuy and BetterWorldGirl engage in a youtube
video duel to inspire action for a beter world.
Better World Heroes
A team of dreaming misfit superhero-wannabes embark on
a fantastical quest of epic proportions to save the world.
2004-2015 Robert Alan Silverstein