Now Boarding Ep. 5

What If?

Live Streamed May 17 | 7 pm EST. Written and Directed by Erika Gregorio

Writing for this episode was very intimate. The subject matter is very sensitive to the challenges young people can face. And being ten feet away from the action really brought out the intensity of the scenes.

The melodies are written to mirror Dolores’ feelings through the episode. The music begins with a slow processional. To me, the entire scene felt like the slow march of sorrow. The steady, unhopeful introductory melody is meant to set this mood.

The next transition is more excited. Uncertain, but at least with energy and direction. It then moves into an excited variation on the opening melody.

I don’t have much to say about the third cue. It ends with another variation on the melody. It starts with development on a rhythmic motif.

The last cue is a little sappy. But it does so well! This melody pulls at my heart, and watching Dolores while playing this song made me feel more connected to the character. As the drama builds, the music follows, chases, and then paces.

The show begins about 10 minutes in.

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When the day has finally come to take off and officially meet the parents to be, Dolores, a surrogate mother who has decided she wants to keep the baby, must find a way to avoid boarding the flight or else she will be turned in for her past wrongdoings.

This story is inspired by the personal experiences of the director, Erika Gregorio. Fresh out of college with a minimum-wage job and, like most college graduates these days, facing her mounting student debts, the director was offered a deal to become an egg donor for a reasonable sum. In 2014, the average debt for college graduates was around $28,950 per borrower and that number continues to climb every school year.

“What if?” Is inspired by this transformative experience that gave Erika insight into the delicate considerations that accompany a reproductive decision during times of desperation. This is how the story of Dolores was born. While she may face a different set of financial challenges, her struggle to make ends meet will resonate with many. We tend to think we are making rational decisions we consider beneficial at the time; but as is often the case in life, the results won’t always be what one expects.

Throughout the episode, the characters will tackle delicate subjects that are not often addressed, but the director believes that if at least one person is impacted by this narrative, it is enough.

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