Shark Tank


Vannessa Barnier

[I walk down a long hallway full of fish tanks to get me in the mood to be torn apart. Enter stage center]

Me: Hello, Sharks. Here is a pun about swimming with the fish! You see? Look at us having fun and building a rapport!

[All of the Sharks grip their tiny notebooks]

Me: I’m asking for 100,000 for 10% of my company.

Kevin: That means you value your company at $1 million. The offer price (P) is equal to the equity percent (E) times the value (V) of the company: P = E x V. Using this formula, the implied value is: V = P / E. So since you are asking for $100,000 for 10%, you are valuing your company at $100,000 / 10% = $1 million.

Me: Yes, that’s correct—thank you, but I have seen a lot of this show, so I know how the calculation works, but I guess that’s probably for the viewers at home—look at you, Mr. Wonderful, you didn’t get that name for nothing!

Lori: Don’t kiss his ass.

Me: We’re getting ahead of ourselves here, I haven’t even told you about my product yet, so just hold your horses—or your sharks, oops!, there’s another pun now, haha.

[No one laughs and Mark shifts in his seat]

Kevin: Ok so what do you have for us today?

Me: I have an idea.

Mark: That’s the show.

Me: Yes it is very simple, you see, I have made a new app!

Kevin: For the phone?

Me: Yes, for phones, phones of all kinds!

[I gesture to the foam core mounted poster that was put on stage for me. I pull off the black velvet fabric to reveal the poster]

Me: It’s called Straw.

Mark: Did you take this idea? Where did you get this idea?

Me: I got a coffee with my friend Eric, and we started riffing because I told him I have been watching this show—I’ve been watching you guys.

Mark: So you took the idea from Eric?

Me: No, listen, let me show you this app idea I have!

Robert: But it isn’t even your idea.

Me: Yeah, it is, mostly. Look, I’m here on the show, aren’t I? Do you know what kind of hoops I had to jump through? Do you know what kind of coral I had to swim over—haha, get it?—to get here, to share this idea with you?

Kevin: We can’t be bothered.

[Kevin shuts his tiny notebook]

Me: Yes, now listen. Phones, all phones, have this headphone jack here, you see—

Mark: Not all phones.

Lori: Hashtag not all phones.

Me: Ok, not the new ones, but for all the other phones—and not everyone upgrades—can I just tell you my idea?

Mark: The stolen one?

Robert: Are we still talking about an app?

Bethenny: I love that we called this show Shark Tank. Hashtag GirlBoss!

Lori: What touches your lips sits on your hips that’s what I always say.

Mark: Shut up, Lori.

Lori: You guys are always so mean to me and make me take the ideas marketable for cis women.

Kevin: What are siss women?

Me: Please, Mr. Wonderful, let me just tell you my app idea. I think you’ll really like it!

Bethenny: I’m a cis woman.

Mark: I still don’t know what that means, so I’m out.

Me: I can explain it to you after my pitch, please, just let me tell you about my app called Straw.

[All Sharks grumbling]

Me: Ok, so, you take this drill from Home Hardware—

Bethenny: I have to do it myself? I’m out.

Me: Jesus, listen! So you put the long drill bit into the headphone jack and press the button on the drill and put the drill bit all the way through, vertically, through the phone, then you take your delicious cocktail and put your phone in it, see? [Drinks some through the straw] And it’s a nice shape to put your mouth around, you just have this nice flat straw to lay in your flat mouth—I don’t get why straws are round anyway. [Demonstrates by putting the 1/4 of the phone in my mouth again] Harmonicas make more sense, so I went with this design, and it’s patent-pending and I feel good about it. I know you’re looking for ideas—inventions?, to solve problems and the problem is climate change and the cause is straws and this is a new straw that everyone has and has with them and it’s multipurpose and it’s sexy.

Robert: Why are you calling it an app?

Me: Because it’s an app.

Robert: How is it an app?

Me: It’s a function for your phone.

Robert: I don’t think we have the same definition of app. I’m out.

Lori: Didn’t you steal this idea?

Me: I’m telling you, it’s not like that.

Lori: Sounds like it’s like that.

Me: Listen, I just want your help!

Robert: We can’t help you.

Lori: You’re on your own!!!

Me: Listen, please—

Kevin: I can’t stand it. You know what I always say: take it out back and shoot it.

Mark: He always says that.

Robert: He always says that.

Me: LISTEN! I know he does because I’ve been watching a lot of you guys, I know what you all say because [trembling, sweating] I’ve watched every single episode and I figured that I needed something to come out of all of my hours sunk—haha still trying to do the puns here—into watching you guys, so I thought I’d come in here with an idea and pitch it to you and see what you thought of it and I knew it was going to be hard but I love a trial and I thought you might like my app.

Lori: We hate it and we are all out.

Me: Please, I feel so smart.

Kevin: Time to go.

Robert: Bye-bye.

Mark: Get out of here!

[I exit back through the long hallway of fish tanks which now feels like a tunnel and the camera follows me and you see my expression]

Vannessa Barnier is an instigator, facilitator, workshop host, and has watched every episode of Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den and thinks it would be easy to land a deal with any of them. Vannessa’s first chapbook, SAMPLE PLATTER, is forthcoming from Gap Riot Press.