Clarissa Carson – 2019 Half-Hour Pilot Finalist
Bottom of the Top
A small-town black college freshman faces intimidating Upper East Siders, incompetent frat boys fresh off their gap years, and her scheming high school nemesis as she struggles with being in the bottom socio-economic tier of her top tier university.
Have you ever felt out of place? Have you ever been somewhere, minding your own business, when it suddenly dawns on you that you don’t belong? It could be at a meeting you didn’t prepare for, a restaurant where the menu is entirely in French, or an orgy where you’re the least flexible. You panic slightly, asking yourself “how in the world did I get here?” You want to flee from the room, screaming and rendering your garments, but you also don’t want to attract attention to yourself for fear that someone might notice you and then realize this very thing, that you do not, in fact, belong. So instead you sit there uncomfortably, stewing in your own emotional turmoil, laughing nervously and hoping no one will see how badly you are perspiring. No? Just me?
BOTTOM OF THE TOP is based on my personal experience at Princeton University (from where I just graduated this June!) where I constantly questioning whether or not I truly belonged. After all, my family didn’t summer in Europe. I had never had quinoa. And my mom certainly didn’t have half a million dollars to secure my spot. I was just your average assistant librarian with normal interests like reading, writing, sewing, soup, and all things Harry Potter. So what could Princeton possibly want with someone like me?
This uncertainty is at the heart of BOTTOM OF THE TOP. It’s a coming-of-age story about a young girl’s desire to be a part of a totally unfamiliar, totally ridiculous world where people import their hand cream from Paris and talk excessively about their gap years, but discovers she never truly will for reasons beyond her control. It speaks to the universal experience of feeling out of place. The confusion of attempting to navigate through a foreign environment. The discomfort of pretending to be someone you’re not. And the fear that you’re going to be exposed at any minute.
Oh, and it’s comedy, I promise.
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