User:Robotech Master/See Change: March 20, 2010

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See Change: March 20, 2010

Author: Chris Meadows


March 20, 2010: 10 p.m. E.T.

[Screen fades in on a studio with two chairs, seen in silhouette. The lights come up. In the host chair at right is ELLA WALSH (Persian Leopardess Changed, permed blonde hair, wearing a fairly conservative khaki-colored dress). In the guest chair sits REBECCA DERRIE (Rex Rabbit Changed with long brown hair, wearing a low-cut blue satin dress that sets off her tortoise fur).]

[Title appears, then fades: SEE CHANGE]

ELLA: Welcome to another edition of See Change, the weekly interview show that lets you see the Changing face of our society. As always, we are coming to you live from the WGN studios in Chicago. I'm your hostess, Ella Walsh.

We remind those of you outside the Bubble that what you are seeing now is not make-up, prosthetics, or CGI, but the way I and other Changed actually look beneath the "Reality Distortion Field" or "Veil" that still covers much of the rest of the world.

Our guest today is Rebecca Derrie, who appeared as Playmate of the Month in the September, 2008 issue of Playboy Magazine before being announced Playmate of the Year in April, 2009. More recently, Rebecca caused quite a stir when she moved to the newly-formed Chicago Bubble and revealed to the world she was one of the Changed, and had been at the time she posed for Playboy.

Of course, this had already been an open secret among the rest of the Changed in the world, who saw in the pictures Rebecca's true self where the rest of the world only saw a very attractive human woman. As a result, the issue became Playboy's best-selling ever, and Rebecca became a Changed icon. Today, she tells her story in her own words. Rebecca, thank you for joining us.

REBECCA: Well, thanks, Ella! I'm delighted to be here.

ELLA: What led you to decide to pose for Playboy?

REBECCA: Well, it wasn't really my decision, originally. [giggles] You know, the Change isn't easy at the best of times. It's kind of like a second puberty—your body that you've known all this time changes into something strange and unknown. And unlike puberty, you don't have several years to get used to it. [waves hand] It's like, poof! you're a rabbit.

For me it was even worse than that—I was only 17 in 2007, when it happened, so I'd barely just finished my first puberty. Suddenly having fur and long ears and everything that came with it? Well, anyway, I was devastated. I didn't feel comfortable in my own body. I felt…ugly.

Of course, the funny thing is that I was anything but. You know how it is with the Change. Almost like it was sorry to put you out, it gives and it takes. I might have been furry now, but my "ghost"—the version of me everyone else saw—went from being awkward and gangly to…well, you know. [Waves a hand vaguely at herself.] But I had this sort of "Change-arexia", and couldn't get it through my head.

And that's when one of my friends, who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, "scouted" me for Playboy. He didn't even Know I was Changed at the time. He just thought I was hot enough to model, and maybe if he sent in my photo and they said they wanted me, I'd get it through my head I wasn't ugly after all.

ELLA: And did it work?

REBECCA: Did it? You could have knocked me over with a feather when I got the call asking me to come in to the studio for some shots. I don't mind saying, I was conflicted. I'd never even thought of posing nude even before this happened, let alone now that I'd got this sudden taste for carrots—but on the other hand, it might help other people like me. Let them know that they weren't alone after all.

ELLA: What was the photo shoot like? Were there any problems stemming from your Change?

REBECCA: Well, I don't know what a shoot is like for unChanged, but it was really interesting. There were actually a couple of Changed on the staff—I won't say who, because they may not have outed themselves yet—and between them they managed to make sure I was framed right in the shots, they weren't cutting off my ears or something. Once I got over my nervousness, it was actually a lot of fun.

ELLA: What was the reaction in the Changed community when your issue came out?

REBECCA: [laughs] I don't know if you could say there was "a" reaction. There were about as many different reactions as there were Changed. Some people called it "Changesploitation"—which I thought was really funny since the only ones at Playboy who knew I was Changed were those people on the shoot crew, and they didn't tell anyone. Other people made dirty jokes about it—I think my favorite was the anonymous poster who said I gave a whole new meaning to "Here comes Peter Cottontail." [giggles]

But most people seemed to "get it." I got a lot of letters from Changed who said I made them feel almost "normal" again. And of course letters from people who'd Changed just before my issue came out and didn't know what was going on. My fan club had Changed volunteers who fielded those. I think we helped a lot of people, and I'm proud of that.

ELLA: Your centerfold picture became a sort of iconic image for the Changed. We can't put it on the air, of course, but it featured you wearing a pair of Playboy rabbit ears in front of your "real" ears and winking slyly at the camera. What's the story behind that picture?

REBECCA: Oh, that was an idea one of the shoot crew Changed had. He thought it would be a great joke on all the unChanged, as well as a sort of nod to the other Changed for all the silly things we had to do to fit in. Of course, it was pure luck that was the photo that they chose for the centerfold. I didn't have anything to do with that.

ELLA: Did being named Playmate of the Year come as a surprise to you?

REBECCA: Boy did it! I never expected to beat out all those other Playmates who were still unChanged. I guess it was a persistent little bit of that "Change-arexia" still hanging on.

ELLA: There have been some accusations that the selection process was rigged by some sort of "Changed illuminati". Do you have any comment on that?

REBECCA: Oh, that's totally ridiculous. I can tell you for a fact, nobody was more surprised than the Playboy staff when I came out of the closet.

ELLA: There was also an Internet petition and letter-writing drive to have you stripped of the Playmate of the Year title, wasn't there?

REBECCA: [snorts] Don't even mention them. There were never more than a handful of those kooks, and Hugh never took them seriously. I actually feel kinda sorry for them, as they're probably gonna have the hardest time dealing with the Change when it hits them—as it will, sooner or later.

ELLA: What made you decide to move to Chicago and reveal your Changed nature?

REBECCA: Well, part of it was that it just feels better to live out from under the veil. I can't really explain it to those Changed who've never been in a Bubble. It's something you just don't feel until it's gone. But when you do, going back under it feels like you've just walked through a spiderweb across your entire body. Ugh.

And part of it was…well, the same thing that led me to do the shoot in the first place. What you are doing, or Richard and Serena from the Boston Globe. I want to show people that it's all right to be furry. If you already are, you don't need to hide anymore. If you're not yet, then don't worry, it's not so bad.

ELLA: After your press conference last month, Hugh Hefner invited you to his mansion for a weekend. What did you talk about?

REBECCA: [smiling] Oh, this and that. A lot of it was just what you would expect. What it's like to be Changed. What Playboy could do to help—and to help sell more copies, of course, but is that so wrong? They're thinking about doing a furre spinoff, maybe using the name Hugh originally wanted to use for Playboy in the first place—Stag Party.

In the short term, Hugh said I could tell you about their plan for this year's August issue. They're going to do a spread of me and a couple of Playmates from recent years who have Changed since their first appearances. Who those Playmates are is being kept tightly under wraps for now, though I'll bet the tabloids will be all over it by next month. Anyway, I'm looking forward to meeting them for the shoot, and I just know we're all gonna have a blast.

ELLA: That brings me to a question that's been on a lot of people's minds lately. Hugh Hefner hasn't made any public appearances since August. Is there any particular…reason for that?

REBECCA: [giggle] If you're asking if I'll come right out and tell you if he's Changed, then no, I won't. I will say he didn't seem in any way sick at the time I talked to him—in fact, I'd go so far as to say he was definitely "feeling his oats." And I can tell you from personal experience, there is a lot of truth to the expression "hung like a—"

ELLA: [hastily] And I'm afraid that's all the time we have for today! Next week, my guests will be the all-Changed band "Hart of Gold," whose debut album covers animal-themed hits like "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Maneater" in support of Changed charities. Until then, this is Ella Walsh for See Change.

[Lights dim, SEE CHANGE logo appears again, with copyright notices and other fine-print stuff. Fade to black.]