On Tuesday, the president-elect held his first press conference in six months. During the contentious spectacle, he dramatically displayed a table full of files said to contain evidence that he was turning his business over to his sons. But, like a leftover prop from the first season of The Apprentice, the pages inside were totally blank.
We secured an exclusive interview with one of the manila folders present at yesterday’s historic event.
Thank you for calling in! This must be a really busy week for you.
Oh, yeah, the attention has been intense! I didn’t expect it. I’m definitely going to file this week away. Do you get it? It’s an industry pun.
Yeah. Because you’re a file.
Right. Right. It’s a play on words. Just wanted to make sure you understood the humor.
There’s not much to get but thanks. Anyway, tell us how you came to be sitting on a table beside the president-elect.
Well, my agent called me and was like “Are you interested in a quick promotional gig?” And I wasn’t sure because I’m trying to only do legit performance now. I’ve been on Law & Order about 100 times.
Stuff like that.
And I had a pivotal role in House of Cards a few seasons back, so I’m trying to keep that momentum going.
So, I try not to do these sort of PR stunts and informercials. We call these kind of gigs Shamwows.
Because of the famous informercials for the product?
No, because there’s usually a really intense person screaming instructions at you. Anyway, it’s hard work but you do it for the love of the art. My agent told me she got a call from a troll at Bannon’s office.
An internet troll?
No, an actual troll. Like at Gringotts. He’s got a whole army of them. Weird. Anyway, they wanted to know if I could be in the city by noon for a dress rehearsal. So I get there and there’s 50 of us. And, of course, you know all the other manila folders working in the biz. We all show up to the same casting calls. Carl’s really weathered; does a lot of cold case work. Shanelle is pristine; she gets all of stock photography gigs.
So, they put you all on the table…
Well, no! Carl gets kicked out. He’s “too real-looking.” They say “we can’t have even a hint of authenticity. We’re going for total ‘fake news’ here. That way people start to doubt their own judgement.
Is that an exact quote?
Sure, whatever. What is “quoting”?
After Carl leaves one of the trolls starts yelling about documents. He’s like, “You don’t come pre-filled?” And we’re like, “No. Absolutely not. We don’t work like that. I’m a folder. A vessel. That’s all.” I’m an artist, you know.
So, where did the documents come from?
Staples! It was hilarious. Some intern comes in with a case of paper and tells us to get into costume.
There was nothing on the pages?
No! What a gag! We all start singing that Taylor Swift song. “I’ve got a blank space, baby. And I’ll write your name.” Too funny. To be honest, I’ve never worked a gig like that. Who uses blank pages?
Didn’t it disturb you that you were defrauding the American public?
The way I see it, I was playing a part. The part of “evidence.” I play that part really well. “Evidence” is the Hamlet of the manila folder world. Look, you loved me in my breakout role in Erin Brockovich.
That was you?
Thank you! It’s a blessing. I’m very blessed. You believed I had evidence in me. You wanted me to succeed. You wanted to believe and I made it possible.
What do you say to people who didn’t believe this time?
I’m just someone doing a job. Listen, I gotta go. I have a lot of calls to get back to.
One more question: what’s next for you? Going back to the big screen.
Well… eventually. The new administration actually put us on retainer. We are being asked to make ourselves available to portray the truth whenever needed. So, you’ll probably be seeing a lot more of me!
Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.
News Credit Goes To This Website