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Friday, February 16, 2007


Friends, I have good news.

Late last night, the first draft of my new book went in to my editor, Emma Lollipop. I can’t tell you how much I love this story.

And today, as I mentioned before, is my birthday. To those of you who sent in birthday wishes, thank you very much! Oscar Gingersnort decided to be slick and British and hop on a Virgin Atlantic flight to come over and assist in the celebration. Just wait until he gets here and sees all the dirty snow and ice that’s covering the city. He will be all “Wot? Wot? Wot?”

Speaking of Virgin Atlantic . . . this takes me nicely to my point for today.

I have a myspace page. To be honest, I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be doing with it half the time, or what it’s supposed to do for me. There’s a section called “Who I’d Like To Meet.” So I wrote that I wanted to meet you (readers), people from Virgin Atlantic airlines, and that most sisterly of the Scissor Sisters, Ana Matronic.

And guess what? People from Virgin Atlantic got in touch with me!

“Who knew?” I said to myself. “I could be using this whole internets thing to make more of my wishes come true.”

And I do have a wish. I would really like to play a dead body on Law and Order.

I don’t know why I want this, but it’s been a little dream of mine for years. Sometimes, you just take a shine to an idea, and there you go. A few years ago, a friend of mine who knew the casting agent heard me explain my dream, and he thought my argument was so compelling that he gave me the phone number and said I could use him as a reference. But I chickened out and threw the number away.

Oh, how I regret that decision.

But I think this is a good, possibly achievable goal for this year. I’d like to be a fake dead body before my next birthday. I want to be able to go to parties and say, “Well, I was just a dead body on Law and Order, and it was great. Really great. What a professional team that is.”

But I can only do this with your help. I am asking you to forward this post to as many people and places as you can, so that maybe in the next year the Law and Order people can read the letter below and realize what they’re missing. Of course, if I succeed, I will share all with you, right in this blog.

Can it happen? I just don’t know. Together, maybe we can do this. Please help me get my message out there.


Dear Law and Order dead body division,

You are New York’s #1 employer of fake dead bodies, and as such, I am writing to you to tell you why I am perfectly suited to your needs. Please note the points listed below. I think you’ll see at once why you need to get in touch with me.

1. I can stay very, very still. That’s half the job of writing. Ask anyone who has ever met me—I can keep my face so perfectly still, and my stare so unblinking, you might already think I was dead. But I’m not. I’m like a lizard in that sense.

2. I’m a writer, not an actress. I don’t want a SAG card. I’m not going to try to convince the director to expand my storyline. I’m not going to ask Jesse L. Martin for advice on my acting career, because I don’t have an acting career. I am purely there to be the dead body. To me, this is in and of itself a laudable goal.

3. Though I am not an actress, I worked in theater for several years, so I know how to behave. When you say action . . . I’m dead. I’ll stay dead until you sat “Cut!” I can follow along like a pro. No training required. You just tell me where to lie down, and watch me shine.

4. I am very low maintenance. At most, I require a hot beverage, but I’ll be more than happy to bring that along. Savings for you!

5. I’m easy to work with. I invite anyone who has worked with me to provide testimonials in the comments. (Note to friends: don’t blow it for me, guys.)

6. I think you’ll find me easily adaptable to playing many different varieties of dead body. Say you needed a deceased schoolteacher, or someone’s wife, or a mistress, or a scientist . . . or someone who was all four of those things at once! I can do that. I am fairly well educated, which means that I have mastered the smart face—the one that looks like I am paying attention and understanding everything I hear. Yet many people tell me that at times I have a simple look about me, like I might have just hopped off the short bus. I am the De Niro of stiffs. The only thing I can’t change is the fact that I am very pale white—but then, so are many dead bodies.

7. On that note, you won’t need as much makeup. More savings for you!

8. I don’t care where they find me. I’m not going to complain if I have to rest on the cold ground. That’s all part of being a dead body. The only thing I can’t work with is jellyfish. Jellyfish are a dealbreaker. But we usually don’t have too many jellyfish issues here in New York.

9. Oh, and millipedes. I’m no good with millipedes. Let’s just say that I won’t work with anything that doesn’t have a spine.

10. But even then, I could probably be convinced.

If you are the director or producer of another project requiring a dead body, you can also feel free to get in touch with me.


Maureen Johnson

Let's make it happen, Bernie style.

P.S. to Ana Matronic . . . still hoping to meet you, become BFFs.

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Anonymous Liz said...

Happy Birthday, Maureen!
I'm sure you'd make a wonderful fake dead body.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Justine Larbalestier said...

Happy birthday, Maureen! And congratulations on finishing the draft.

Dear Law & Order dead body people:

Maureen would make an excellent corpse for all the reasons she mentions. I have seen her sit still and not talk or blink for hours at a time. It can be annoying when you're having a heart-to-heart with her, but is perfect for corpse impersonations.

Hire her!



10:59 PM  
Anonymous Colleen Cook said...

Happy late birthday and congratulations on finishing the manuscript!

3:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm a bit late to wish you happy birthday, but I hope you had one. I'll forward your letter to all my friends; I'm sure they'll get a laugh, and hey, you never know. Maybe one of them will have a second cousin, twice removed, who's uncle's best friend is a casting director for Law and Order.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you type in "dead body" and "Law and Order" on Google in the same search, your blog comes up as number two. Congrats! *grins* Maybe the dream will come true.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Chelsea said...

Hmm... Let's see what I can do here.

Dear Dick Wolf,

As an avid Law and Order fan, I would like to say that Maureen Johnson would make an excellent contribution to your TV show(s). You may know her as the author of many wonderful books for young adults. You may not. Even if you don't, a lot of people do. Those people would tune in just to see Maureen's "dead" body far away from jellyfish and millipedes, even for the fraction of a second that you show the victim. Seriously, your ratings would shoot up that night. I know I'd watch it (even though I always do anyway).

In conclusion, please make her a homicide victim on her show. She brings her own coffee and everything.


(P.S. Please don't confuse her with the character from Rent. Or the realtor from Massachusetts. Or the mother of Lazarus Long from To Sail Beyond the Sunset. Or the lady who makes the 3rd best warm goat cheese salad in the world. Or the crab lady of Cape Cod. Otherwise, you're hiring the wrong person.)

8:41 AM  

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