alan_shore: (Default)
OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Name: Carolyn
Username: (if applicable) [personal profile] 3pipeproblem
Current characters in Junction: N/A

IN-CHARACTER INFORMATION
Character Name: Alan Shore
Username: [personal profile] alan_shore

Original Character, Canon, or Alternate Universe: Canon character from The Practice (season 8) and Boston Legal. He's taken from after Boston Legal's first season finale, "Death Be Not Proud."
Played By: James Spader

Concept: Self-loathing narcissist with a dwarf fetish.

Physical Description: Alan is 43 years old, although he enjoys a certain youthfulness of cheek. He is 5'10” tall and rather chubby, with brown hair and blue eyes. He tends toward sweeping gestures when speaking and otherwise moves with deliberation and confidence. He is accustomed to wearing expensive suits (Alan in casual wear is a rare sight) and has perfected the smirk to an art form.

History: Born June 8, 1962 to Colleen and Nathaniel Shore, Alan passed a more or less unexceptional childhood in Dedham, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. An only child who was often left to his own devices, Alan developed a very close friendship with Paul Stewart—Paul being the caring and obedient one and Alan being the troublemaker. After graduating from high school, Alan attended Amherst College, where he obtained a degree in History and Political Science. He then attended law school at Boston College and went on to a successful career as an antitrust attorney, until in 2003 he was fired from the firm Carruthers-Abbott for (alleged) embezzlement.

Following his dismissal from Carruthers, Alan sought out attorney Ellenor Frutt and, trading on their longtime friendship, wangled himself a job at the criminal defense firm Young, Frutt & Berluti. Alan was not, to say the least, a natural fit at the firm—he actively (...as well as passively) antagonized Jimmy Berluti, and enraged Eugene Young with his blithe lack of regard for anything approaching legal ethics. During his tenure at YF&B, Alan displayed not only a reckless disregard for the law but for the fate of his own career. He blackmailed, extorted, concealed evidence, broke attorney-client privilege, hacked opposing counsel's email, slept with a witness, and sexually harassed anyone and everyone in sight (...twice). At the end of the day, however, he won his cases and brought in a tremendous amount of money and business—as mere associate, he made more money than all of the firm's name partners put together. Despite repeated tongue-lashings from Eugene (and several brushes with disbarment), Alan continued to practice at the firm.

Alan's time at Young, Frutt & Berluti came to an end after he took a case on behalf of his childhood friend Paul Stewart, who had been accused of murdering a high school classmate. Convinced of his friend's innocence and determined to secure his freedom, Alan did eventually win the case—and in doing so alienated just about anyone in Dedham he'd had ties to. He also mouthed off to Eugene once too often and goaded Jimmy into attempting to punch him. Once the case had concluded his employment was terminated.

Alan's next move was to file suit for wrongful termination. He engaged the services of Crane, Poole & Schmidt and with the help of famed attorney Denny Crane was awarded $2.3 million in damages, effectively bringing an end to Young, Frutt & Berluti. Impressed with Alan's legal abilities, Denny offered him a job. Over the next year, Alan practiced both criminal and civil law at Crane, Poole & Schmidt, representing a range of clients including an ex-girlfriend who'd tried to kill him, a police officer who used torture to discover the whereabouts of a kidnapped child, and a Texas death row inmate. The new firm—bigger, less restrictive, and with a more lax attitude toward Alan's antics—suited him much better. He forged a friendship (and something of an alliance against the forces of stultifying dullness) with Denny Crane and after several false starts began dating Tara Wilson, an attorney who'd previously worked as a paralegal at Young, Frutt & Berluti. Nonetheless, his future at the CP&S remains uncertain—true to form, he's made enemies of some of the firm's partners (most notably Paul Lewiston) and persisted in flouting the law at every available opportunity.

World: The Practice and Boston Legal take place in David E. Kelley's idea of the real world, where supernatural beings fall well outside the realm of possibility, the laws of physics remain intact, and lawyers at prestigious law firms will seize any opportunity to don ridiculous costumes. Political entities are pretty much as we know them—both shows engaged with current events and political issues—though by the time Boston Legal entered its fifth and final season, DEK's never particularly subtle incorporation of his own (liberal) political stances into the show had turned into full-blown wish-fulfillment (resulting, for instance, in Alan winning an argument before the Supreme Court simply by berating everyone on it, a development as preposterous as it was incomprehensible).

In its first season, however, Boston Legal's world was recognizably ours—with, perhaps, a marked increase in the number of eccentrics.

Talents/Abilities: Alan is an extremely talented attorney—before his abrupt departure from Carruthers-Abbott, he was widely regarded as the best antitrust lawyer in the state of Massachusetts. In his two years as a criminal defense attorney, he has also met with considerable success. In addition to his vast knowledge of (primarily American) law and legal procedure, he's a skilled judge of character with a knack for (and, let's be honest, a love of) pushing other people's buttons. He has a sharp mind and a keen wit that can—when he decides the occasion warrants—rise to the level of eloquence. He's also a creative, resourceful, and often ruthless problem-solver.

And now! An attempt to quantify this:

Persuasion 9/10
Making a compelling case is what Alan does, and even in day-to-day (there is no such thing as “casual” conversation where Alan's concerned) interactions he backs up assertions with evidence and phrases things memorably and with a certain rhetorical flair. He very much knows to tailor his argument to his audience—when refuting someone else's claims, he'll often adopt the vocabulary they've employed—and is generally adept at both reading people and appreciating their perspective. He can be sincere, disingenuous, or sincerely disingenuous as the situation demands—part of what makes him so skilled in this area is his flexibility.

On the other hand, there are some people he just rubs the wrong way. (To be fair, a lot of the time it's deliberate, and sometimes it is in fact a persuasive technique.)

Logical Reasoning 8/10
While much of Alan's legal knowledge won't translate directly to Juncture, he's still a lawyer, with a lawyer's grasp of logical principles and eye for loopholes. He's an analytical thinker who can and will, for example, sit down with a contract and work methodically through every last clause.

Resourcefulness 9/10
Alan's approach to law—and, really, any set of rules—is much less rigid than that of your typical lawyer. Which is to say he's unencumbered by ethical considerations and, when the cause is just, willing to use any means to achieve the desired outcome. He will blackmail or bribe, if necessary. He will also exploit existing laws in creative ways—he'll take any route, basically, when attempting to solve a problem. Moreover, his knack for unconventional conflict resolution extends beyond the practice of law—he's able to see potential (whether it's in people, things, or ideas) where others can't.

Physical Combat 0/10
He abhors violence; landing a blow on someone else would likely distress him more than being beaten to a pulp.


Personality: Alan derives almost palpable glee from presenting himself as the sleazy, unscrupulous lawyer who cares for nothing but money and the gratification of his own ego. He is arrogant, smarmy, and (apparently) unashamed of his considerable ethical deficits. He speaks openly of the various and sundry illegal acts he's committed (although he's careful to keep it vague enough to avoid incarceration). It's been said—not inaccurately—that he seems to court the disfavor of others; he certainly encourages people to view him with disdain if not outright contempt. He has little to no respect for authority and can be relied upon to react to almost any situation in a flippant and wholly inappropriate manner.

Beneath that—way, way beneath that—Alan is empathic, loyal, and possessed of a deep-rooted sense of justice. Although he takes great pains to conceal it (and would never describe himself as such) he’s an idealist who believes in humanity’s potential for compassion and even, on rare occasions, a certain nobility. When he has faith in someone he will do everything in his power to help them, no matter the consequences to his person, career, or reputation. He has a particular weakness (an affinity, even) for lost causes and outsiders, people with nowhere else to turn. At heart he’s a genuinely kind person who can’t bear to stand by and watch an innocent suffer. Because caring for others frightens him and leaves him vulnerable, he masks all this with glibness and nonchalance. And despite his refusal to be governed by notions of fair play, decency, good sense, or professionalism, Alan maintains a tight grip on his emotions—he almost never indulges in displays of temper and will face most situations (including being held at gunpoint) with an air of imperturbable amusement. When this emotional control is threatened—when someone pries just a bit too much or makes a remark that hits just a little too close to home—Alan is liable to respond with a coldness that verges on cruelty. He is very, very good at identifying other people's weaknesses and insecurities and will exploit them if pushed.

Alan does not view himself as a good person. He loathes himself for doing the things he does and for being able to do them. (In part his “career death wish” stems from a desire to see justice done—if he's disbarred or thrown in prison, that's at least confirmation that people can't get away with acting as he does.) He doesn't believe himself worthy of love and any sustained show of affection makes him uneasy—consequently (and predictably) most of his relationships end in disaster. Alan does, however, consider himself a good friend. He holds friendship sacred and will go to any lengths to aid a friend in need—not out of a sense of obligation or in expectation of reward, but because to him that's what friendship is. That's not to say he's blind to the faults of those he considers friends—he's accepting of their flaws, but he won't shy away from offering help in the form of painful honesty when he deems necessary.

Sexuality: Alan is heterosexual. He will flirt with virtually anyone under the sun—for a multitude of reasons—but his sexual and romantic interests lie with women. He lost his virginity at age fourteen to a friend of his mother; at age sixteen he slept with—and fell in love with—the mother of his best friend. When she broke it off and began seeing a psychiatrist, Alan took it as a reflection on him rather than a testament to how completely screwed up the relationship was. Even though with the passage of time he's gained some perspective on events, he's never quite been able to shake the sense that there's something wrong with him. Although Alan has almost no compunctions about hitting on anyone he finds remotely attractive and will discuss his sex life with an alarming degree of frankness, when he truly likes someone he'll refrain from escalating the relationship beyond talk. He tells Tara Wilson, “I never make the first move. It's beneath me.” The truth is significantly more complicated than that—Alan both fears rejection and knows what a damaging influence he can be (one of his ex-girlfriends, for instance, was committed to a mental hospital after attempting to run him over with a car), and after all, it's hard to be disappointed in a relationship that never actually happened. In long-term relationships, he grows bored and restless—he anticipates things coming to a bad end and can't help but speed it along. (It's worth noting that Alan has been married; he mentions his late wife only once, speaking of her with obvious affection. At the same time, however, he admits that “she began to know [him] too well and [he] began to hate her for it.” He resented her ability to predict his behavior and felt stifled by the routine of marriage. Only after she'd died did he realize how much he missed that kind of intimacy.)

Although he's not immune (and certainly not averse) to attraction on a purely physical level, much of the time Alan's interest in someone has a cerebral component—he's drawn to women who are able to keep up with his quick wit, and if they can cut him down to size in the process, so much the better. He's frequently attracted to women who regard him with scorn or disgust because...well, because they have the right idea about him and he doesn't have to worry about living up to inflated expectations. He fancies himself capable of boundless depravity both in and out of the bedroom and sex, for him, is often an act of debasement. He regularly sleeps with prostitutes—in fact, he had one accompany him to a client's wedding—and will mention this at every possible opportunity and with no apparent shame.

Reason for playing: Because he frequently goes out of his way to clash with (or at least undermine) authority of any kind—and because he's incapable of shutting up in the face of what he perceives as injustice (well, okay, he's just incapable of shutting up)—Alan's tough to play in games where political realities and legal issues go unacknowledged. I have no concerns about this at Juncture, where, from the looks of the setting description and the NPC roster, Alan will be able to stir up trouble to his heart's content. I'm looking forward to having a mod team that takes just as much joy in tackling whatever strange and wonderful legal/moral/ethical dilemmas crop up as I do. I'm also intrigued by the premise, and Alan's propensity to question everything should serve him (and, hopefully, the game) well when he's confronted with the game's mysteries.

Also he's the best and I love him.

Object: Something vaguely gross (...LOOK, YOU ASKED), or maybe something powerful, if you're okay with Alan immediately trying to dispose of it.

WRITING SAMPLES
Narrative
RP thread

TICKY BOXES
Are you over the age of eighteen? Yes, but I look twelve.
Are you aware of the skillcheck system and comfortable with the fact that while your character cannot die without your express permission, they may get into some serious trouble? Yes, but I want it noted I prefer humorous trouble.
Are you ready to rumble? Yes!

Profile

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Alan Shore

May 2013

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