THE FREELANCER AND THE NDA

A One-Act Play

by Christopher Hawkins

ACT I

SCENE I

SETTING: Interior, freelancer’s office. It is decorated tastefully but inexpensively with IKEA furniture. Bernie Sanders posters adorn the walls. A dog-eared copy of Mike Monteiro's "Design Is A Job" lies on the desk, just behind the freelancer's MacBook Pro.

(The phone rings)

FREELANCER:
“XYZ Website Design, Pat speaking, how can I help you?”

CALLER:
“Do you design web sites?”

FREELANCER:
“…Yes.”

CALLER:
“Great! I want to start a business on the web! I have an idea that’s GUARANTEED to make MILLIONS!”

FREELANCER:
“OK, let’s talk about your business idea a bit and then I can give you an est – “

CALLER:
(interrupting)
“You have to sign an NDA first!”

FREELANCER:
“Well, yes, we execute a standard, limited-scope NDA whenever we sign a project, but that’s down the road a bit. For now, let’s talk about your – “

CALLER:
(interrupting again)
“I’m not telling you ANYTHING unless you sign an NDA first! How do I know you won’t steal my idea?”

FREELANCER:
“Sorry, I don’t sign NDAs just to hear ideas. And I certainly don’t steal ideas. An NDA carries some legal burden with it, which is why we only execute one once there's a paying project. You see, if I were under NDA every time someone asked me about building out an idea, I wouldn’t be able to conduct business at all. So, why don’t we – “

CALLER:
(interrupting again)
“I knew it! You’re just out to steal people’s ideas! Now you’ve wasted my time! I’m going to tell everyone about you!”

CALLER:
(hangs up)

(Dead-eyed and soulless, FREELANCER slowly brews another cup of coffee from the Keurig; sighs deeply)


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