Sunday, July 15, 2012

English for Beginners: Act 2, Scene Three

Julia, Francis, Clyde and Alex all sit on the steps outside the house.  The other groups are visible, as they write and speak quietly.  Sometimes moving around going about their business, but our focus is on the foursome as they smoke, eat, drink and talk.

FRANCIS
I mean, whatever.  I'll fuck him but he's just too faggy for me.

ALEX
Is it ok to say that word?

CLYDE
Is it one of those things? You can say it because you're gay?

FRANCIS
I mean it as duroggitory as it sounds. Plus he's a spaz.  He'll probably end up with AJ by the time the evening is over.

Everyone is generally grossed out.

ALEX
And I quote: "Gross."

FRANCIS
I know, right?

JULIA
I think he's a nice guy.

FRANCIS
He's like twelve.  He's not a real person yet.

CLYDE
Is he the youngest one here?

ALEX
Beats me.

JULIA
I think so.  I think he said he just turned 21.

FRANCIS
Which means he was born in 1991. The same year as Terminator 2.

CLYDE
God damn I feel old.

FRANCIS
Right? I mean, what the fuck are we going to talk about.  All of our writing sessions are going to be me going "Shut up, you're a baby." and him going "Waaaaaaa!" and me going "Shut up...you're a baby." Laura is an evil bitch.  I mean, she's great and fabulous, but she's an evil bitch.

ALEX
It could be worse.

FRANCIS
True. I could be pared up with Sadie.

General laughter.

JULIA
Poor Jason.

CLYDE
You know who I feel really bad for? Mike.

They all laugh in agreement, except Julia.

JULIA
No.  Come on guys.  Lorelei is a really amazing artist.

ALEX
No.  I'm sure she's very nice.

CLYDE
No, she isn't.

FRANCIS
I don't care.  She's awesome.  I love her.  No.  Really.  You never know what the fuck is going to come out of her mouth.  She's the girl that always gets cast in reality TV shows because she's a fucking time bomb.  And let me tell you, I will tune in to that show any day of the week.

Laughter.  Smoking. Pause.

ALEX
Pass the chips.

CLYDE
So, Alex, where are you working these days?

ALEX
I'm at a bike shop on Valencia and Twentyth.

CLYDE
Awesome.

ALEX
Yeah.  It's pretty great.  And I get to work on my bike for free. I mean, I can use their tools and even some of the parts.

CLYDE
 Sweet.

ALEX
What are you doing?

CLYDE
Box office at ACT.

ALEX
How's that?

CLYDE
Ok.  Not great.  I have to get another gig.  I was doing some free lance writing, but I'm not really motivated, you know?

ALEX
ACT doesn't pay enought?

CLYDE
Not really.  I mean.  It's ok, but...non profit work...you know?

ALEX
I know.  I used to do some accounting stuff for an advocacy group. You walk away from it at the end of the day and you're like "Wow...I just put in twelve hours, I got yelled at for five of them, I'm not getting benefits, and the management team is a joke...but as long as it's for a good cause."

CLYDE
I kind of thought it would get me in good with the theatre.

ALEX
Yeah, but that's a shell game. They say say when they recruit you it'll be good experience. But, it's not like they send out a staff email "Hey team!  We're accepting scripts from our staff because...you know...Sam Shepard decided not to return our calls this week." I mean hell no.  That's not the way it works.  They'd rather you weren't creative.  They'd rather you were just some happy, mindless moron with a trust fund who thought it would be interesting to sell tickets on a weekend night.  And even if you make a good impression, it'll be with the Box Office Manager who's probably just like you: an asshole with their own theatre company on the side and a chip on his shoulder because blue hairs pay two hundred to see some crap ACT reworking of Taming of the Shrew and not his crap reworking Taming of the Shrew for twenty dollars down the block.

CLYDE
Fuck man.

FRANCIS
My non profit was just bought out by a for-profit and it's the best thing that's ever happened to me.

JULIA
I thought you worked at the Tix Booth.

FRANCIS
Yeah.  In Union Square.  Theatre Bay Area used to own it.  I think they bought it from some guy, like, a million years ago.  Anyway, they fucked it up.  Goldstar and Brown Paper Tickets and Ticket Turtle and and whoever else moved in...TBA and TIX couldn't really compete, you know? Still.  They had a prime location in Union Square, surrounded by tourists, and they couldn't give tickets away.  I think the thing I said most often was "The bathroom is over there."  and "No, you can't buy MUNI passes here."

CLYDE
So, it was just bought out?

JULIA
But, why didn't Theatre Bay Area tell any one? 

FRANCIS
Because it doesn't matter. It'll be a phase out.  Tix will be around for awhile.  They'll still sell tickets.  But I'm no longer employed by Theatre Bay Area.

JULIA
But, why didn't they tell anyone?

FRANCIS
Who cares? No one buys tickets there.  No one sold tickets there.  No one cares.  The new company is focused on tourism.  I'm making commissions! I already made $100, which was like half my old fucking paycheck.  No one cares.  There are a ton of people who still call it Callboard and they changed the name forever ago.  The problem with Theatre Bay Area is that it wants to be egalitarian and treat everyone the same.  The thing is Theatre isn't socialist, it's the most capitalist fucking thing out there.   

JULIA
Bullshit Francis.  

FRANCIS
No.  It's true.  People like going to the movies and watching TV because it's the great equalizer.  Everyone is having the same fucking experience.  They all paid the same price.  They are siting in the dark so you can't see the audience...so you are basically alone. And you only get a shit sit if you are late.   In theatre, you get a shit seat because you are poor. 

CLYDE
Or it's a black box and the seats are all shitty equally. 

ALEX
Well, then there's the perception of worth problem.

JULIA
Because you only spent $20 the show isn't worth the same as a $200 show.

CLYDE
And that problem never happens in movies.

JULIA
That's not true.  People think because some studio spent a billion dollars making a movie it'll be better than the one they only spent a million on. 

CLYDE
Still, the movie ticket only cost $15.  Whether you're Obama or Plumber Joe it costs $15.  

ALEX
Unless you go to the Kabuki.

FRANCIS
Well, then you get sushi and craft beer and it's ok. 

JULIA
I still think TBA should have told everyone.  I pay my membership dues, I deserve to know what happens with them.


CLYDE

You pay your membership dues like a rube so you deserve to be jyped. 


ALEX
That's racist.

CLYDE
Shut up dude, I'm making a point. You can get any information Theatre Bay Area has for free.  You can get the magazine for the same price at a bookstore.  You can get the ticket discounts anywhere. And you can go to any of their "events" for just a little more than an actual member.  

JULIA
Except for the auditions.

FRANCIS
Right.  Because people get cast out of mega general auditions all the time.  And theatre companies just love shifting through the rough to find one diamond.

ALEX
When really all they are going to see are about a ton of white 25-35 year old chicks and not enough of anyone else. 

JULIA
I think you guys are being unnecessarily hard on them.  They do a lot of good.  And there isn't another company like them. I just think that if something like the Tix booth is now being run by some tourist company and not Theatre Bay Area I should know the details about it.  Otherwise all I have to go on is rumors and bullshit and then I'll make assumptions and get angry for no reason.  Isn't that exactly the problem an organization like there's should be working to solve? 

FRANCIS
Maybe.  Who cares? I'm making a commission! Pass the chips back. 

CLYDE
Dude.  They are gone.

FRANCIS
Fuck. You know what I want? A box of cookies.

CLYDE
Anne brought a box of Newmen's Own.

FRANCIS
And you've been keeping this a secret?

CLYDE
I'll go get them.

FRANCIS
I'll come with, I need more beer.  Do you guys need anything?

JULIA
I'm fine.

ALEX
Cookies and beer bro!

FRANCIS
Done!

They exit.

ALEX
 I am so fucking stoned right now.

JULIA
I'm not. I feel like shit.

ALEX
I'll be your writing partner.

JULIA
No.  It's not that.  I just feel...I always wanted theatre to be this magical art...but it's just an industry.  Isn't it?

ALEX
Have you caught the disillusionment bug?

JULIA
Maybe. No.  I don't know.

ALEX
Look. Some days it's an art.  Some days it's an addition. Some days its a job.  Some days it's a volunteer gig.  Some days its hell. Nothing is one thing all the time. 

JULIA
I know. 

ALEX
So, hey...You wanna have sex?

JULIA
No.

ALEX
Cool.

Clyde and Francis re-enter.

FRANCIS
Stop having sex, we're back.

JULIA
Shut up.

ALEX
I turned her down.

CLYDE
A handsome guy like you?

JULIA
I hate you guys.

Julia exits.

FRANCIS
So, are you two fucking?

ALEX
Every once in a while. How are you and Anne doing?

CLYDE
What? We're not.  Nothing.  We don't...

ALEX
Yeah, right.

FRANCIS
Does she want to keep it secret?

CLYDE
I don't want to talk about it.

FRANCIS
FUCKING!!!

ALEX
What is she embarrassed? By a handsome guy like you?

CLYDE
Shut up man.  Let's change the subject.  I want to talk about something other than girls. 

ALEX
You know there's a test to see if a show is chauvinist by tracking how many scenes there are in a show where two women are together and if they talk about something other then relationships.

FRANCIS
Yeah, but it's way more chauvinist to have a woman acting as a stand in for the audience and a man teling her what's up all the time.  "Doctor, what's happening?" "Well nurse Dicksin, it's like this see..." 

CLYDE
You know, it never made sense to me. I mean, people talk about relationships.  They talk about sex. It's important. Sex, relationships.  It's what keeps you going. I mean, do they track the scenes in movies where men talk about girls to each other?

FRANCIS
Yeah man.  They do. I think that's why they started tracking the scenes with women.  Because guys don't talk about it in movies.  Or when they do it's like "Was that bitch a good lay?" 

CLYDE
Isn't that what chicks talk about? Like"Did he have a big dick?"

FRANCIS
Well, that's what I talk about with chicks.

ALEX
You're gay. You don't count.

FRANCIS
Wow. 

ALEX
I didn't mean it like that.

FRANCIS
Wow, man. Wow.

ALEX
Hey, I'm sorry.

FRANCIS
No.  Whatever. It's fine.  I'm going to find more cookies.

ALEX
Dude, don't take it like that.

FRANCIS
No, it's cool man.  You can't hurt someone who doesn't count. 

He exits.

ALEX
Fuck.

CLYDE
Shit man. You fucked up.

ALEX
He's high, he'll get over it.

CLYDE
Whatever. I'm gonna go look for Anne.  See you around man.  

ALEX
What about writing?

CLYDE
Later man.

He exits. Alex sits alone. 






    
 



 

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