::Ray strides out onto the stage, Gadget again in his pocket and - as always -
beautiful. She's dressed in a red off-the-shoulder evening gown. Her golden mane is bound in a big matching red bow behind her head. Sparkles of light flicker around her throat and the edges of her ears—tiny diamonds::
::She waves at the crowd, to tremendous applause, and speaks
into the microphone clipped to Ray's pocket::
Gadget: Golly, thank you from all the Rescue Rangers!
::More applause and cheering. Ray starts talking over the noise, which then begins to die down::
Ray: We're here tonight...we're here tonight to present the award for best
Gadget: You might not think of costuming in terms of cartoon
::Here she gives her head a toss, drawing laughter from the
Gadget: Especially since the outfits we usually wear help to define our identity. My goggles and jumpsuit mark me as an inventor and mechanic. I'd look pretty silly building transmissions out of rubber bands and paper clips while wearing this gown.
::Gadget points to the other Rangers in the audience, two of whom are transfixed by that dress::
Gadget: Dale's bright shirt identifies him as the humorist
in our group. Chip's practical, no nonsense bomber jacket is appropriate to the
serious one. Monty's ready for anything in his all-weather gear. Likewise
with Zipper's sweater. Even Foxglove's lack of costuming describes her
nature - farther from the human world and more of an innocent, wild born
::Gadget returns her attention to the audience in general::
Gadget: But a single sustained note is limiting and
eventually grows boring. There needs to be a
counterpoint - an occasional change to keep us from growing stale. The boys sometimes clown it up in drag and I'm told that some of you appreciate my wearing that red spy dress or my workout suit.
::The guys in the audience shout back their approval::
Ray: Indeed! Costuming is very important for setting mood. It is also a major area of
development for artists, too. First, an artist must master the anatomy of his subjects. Then he must develop his ability to created facial expressions and appropriate body language. Hair is another set of difficulties.
::Ray takes a drink of water, gaining momentum::
Ray: But when all the anatomy is mastered, we still have to
learn how to dress our figures properly. Clothing must look like it really
wraps around the body, not just be a flat cut-out sitting on top of the page.
It must conform to the underlying anatomy and it must drape and wrinkle
realistically. These effects need to be more subtle and unintrusive with
cartoon characters. Gadget's jumpsuit being a mass of wrinkles from neck to
ankle just wouldn't look right."
Dale (in the audience, whispering to Chip): Well, if you leave out that time she fell in that tub of saltwater she was using for that conductivity experiment…
Gadget: And let's not forget that in this category we are
looking at design as well. That's a
whole other matter - dreaming up something both original and appropriate. I know that when Ray started drawing, he wasn't thinking about having to be part fashion designer!
Ray: I save a few newspaper inserts of clothing advertisements for some guide to current styles, but I don't expect I'm going to be any competition in *this* category for a *long* time. And with that said, let us get on to announcing the competitor who *did* win this year. Gadget, do you
have the envelope?"
Gadget: No. Don't you?
::Ray looks desperately around. Offstage, Indy waves the
envelope. Ray holds his hand up to his pocket to steady his diminutive co-host
while he hurries stage left and quickly returns::
Ray: And now here it is!
::He tears open the envelope, extracts the paper within, unfolds it and holds it to chest-level for Gadget to read::
Ray: And the winner IS ....Ruslan, for “I Want to Believe”!
::Ruslan comes up on stage, waving the Russian flag::
Ruslan: Thanks to everyone, and like another artist said I had the best inspiration in the universe!
::Gadget blushes again, and the audience claps in approval.
Ruslan takes his trophy, waving as he heads back to his seat. Ray and Gadget head
offstage, waving as well::