Sonny's Peptalk ~ Summer, 1994
By: Mike (SnBWontEnd@aol.com)

BACKGROUND: Since Katie Bell was blackmailing the Qs, she was now in control of Deception, and Brenda had just learned that Kat was planning to replace her with a blonde model.

(Brenda comes through the door of Sonny's apartment.)

BRENDA: She is a miserable person, Sonny and she is not going to be happy until she makes me miserable too.

SONNY: Aren't you taking this a little personal?

BRENDA: Of course I'm taking it personally, she wants to replace me. And it's not just some little thing she doesn't like about me, she thinks I'm all wrong. And if you saw these models she was considering, I wouldn't even come close.

SONNY: Wait a minute. Nobody ever got to the top by being insecure. Now there is nothing wrong with any part of you. Not your eyes, your hair, your body, your mouth... (He starts kissing her.)

BRENDA: You're not impartial.

SONNY: You want my help or not? (She nods.) Then work with me. You have a contract, right?

BRENDA: Yeah, but it's almost up.

SONNY: Oh, imagine that. And pretty soon you'll be negotiating a new contract.

BRENDA: Right...

SONNY: And pretty much you've given Katherine the upper hand on the whole situation.

BRENDA: No... how?

SONNY: By letting her know you want the job.

BRENDA: But I do want the job.

SONNY: At what price? What does it mean to you to be the Face of Deception? Are you willing to take a cut in pay? Fringe benefits?

BRENDA: No! I don't know.

SONNY: The answer is no. Demand what you're worth. You have to send the message to Katherine that you don't need this job, and then you have to be prepared to walk away from it. Negotiating is a game, Brenda. The weapons are power and confidence. You need to convince them that they need you more than you need them. And then you have to play hard to get.

BRENDA: Are you saying I should pretend that I don't want this job and then act like I'm gonna walk away?

SONNY: Don't pretend, don't act. How cheap are you willing to sell out for?

BRENDA: I'm not. When I started out, my sister talked me into this cut-rate deal because she said I was new and I had to prove myself. Well I've proven myself. I've proven my value and my ability to Deception. And it is time they pay me what I'm worth.

SONNY: Now that's the kind of talk I want to hear. You don't need this job to put food on the table or to put a roof over your head.

BRENDA: No, I have plenty of irons in the fire.

SONNY: Well there's your confidence. Now you have created an image for yourself, and you have made a profit for them. You have a look and a skill...

BRENDA: but Katherine's saying I'm not worth anything anymore because she wants to change the whole image.

SONNY: Then you have to convince her that she's wrong and how much she's gonna lose if she loses you. And then show her that her negotiating tactics are gonna blow up right in her face.

BRENDA: This is just a game to her? She's trying to get the upper hand on me?

SONNY: It's a game, baby, but something tells me you're the one with an ace up your sleeve. I'm probably gonna regret telling you this, but I'm gonna tell you anyway. Never under-estimate the power you have over people. It's incredible, it's in your body language. They have to realize what they have and what they're gonna lose if they don't treat you right.

BRENDA: Are we still talking about negotiating?

SONNY: [laughing] I don't know, it's hard to tell sometimes. Maybe it's just the microcosm of our lives, you give a little here, somebody gives a little there, and eventually you just meet in the middle. But with any luck, you both get what you're after.

BRENDA: But you have to be willing to walk away for self-respect.

SONNY: Absolutely.

BRENDA: I don't know. This is a little complicated, I might need a little practice.

SONNY: I'm game. You be Brenda, and I'll be Katherine.

(They start to kiss. She then gets up and walks out the door. He follows her and she's standing outside.)

SONNY: What...

BRENDA: You are the smartest man in the world. You're right, it works. As soon as I walked out that door, you wanted me so bad, didn't you?

SONNY: Oh, sweetheart. We're way past that. You don't have to go anywhere to make me want you.

(They kiss again. Brenda later negotiates a much better contract with Katherine. Now, what was that about Sonny "breaking down Brenda's self-confidence"? Seems to me he was very supportive of her. [vbg])