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Victoria and The Boss

 Theft as theater 


In the summer of 2009 Sarah and I were in Austria and decided to sublet our home in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, to Victoria Bishop, a humanitarian officer from England who had answered our Craigslist ad. The rental was for two weeks and Victoria's boss, who she referred to as "The Boss", was supposed to cover her expenses and send us a check for the two weeks, plus deposit. Mistakenly, however, "The Boss", along with the deposit money, sent Victoria's vacation money to us. Understanding that mistakes happen, and obviously not wanting to profit from his error, Sarah and I deposited his out of town check and then wired Victoria's vacation money ($1750) to her travel agent.

The bad news is that Victoria, the fun loving, easy going humanitarian officer doesn't actually exist. And come to think of it, a "humanitarian officer" may not exist either. And The Boss definitely doesn't exist. However, after the money had been sent, we did speak to a man with a thick African accent who was playing the role of The Boss. He does exist.

The bad news is that we were out $1750. But the beautiful news is that, in ourinteraction with Victoria and the Boss, we found ourselves a part of a strange and wonderfully weird theater: Theft.

Victoria. The Boss.

It was strange and sad realizing that we should stop cleaning. Victoria wasn't coming over. She never would. But like any great character, Victoria was and is still alive. She is and will always be kind of real. We spent more time and energy and money with Victoria than we have with Scarlet O'hara or Rhett Butler. Our relationships with Victoria and The Boss were and are meaningful connections.

Relationships worth being explored further.

Who are they? Victoria. The Boss.

The majority of our conversations with Victoria and The Boss were documented through email and therefore in our possession. Sarah and I took it upon ourselves to continue to develop these two characters, continuing the conversation between the Marks and Victoria and her Boss in order to find out more about who these people are. We have compiled this theft-as-theater email conversation in book form. Sarah has created lovely hand made covers for this script, and I have written a song for this play that we call Victoria and The Boss.


UPDATE: We made more than half of the money back from book sales.