Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Monologue: The Random Caruso by Andrew Clarke

I was first introduced to the work of Andrew Clarke by my comrade Jon Ryan, who cast me in his production of Breakfast With Harvey as a part of our directing course at Emerson College with Joe Antoun. It was a hoot and a half, and I knew that I had to put the furious rant from the climax of the play into my repertoire.

The next semester, I went to see a production of Andrew's new play, The Random Caruso, presented by Joe's company, Centastage.

I had no idea that Caruso was the completely realized extension of Breakfast With Harvey. Here I was seeing a brand new play, and I was able to recite the first 10 minutes worth of dialogue as it was occurring. I felt special, almost.

The rant that I had memorized was rewritten and relocated within the play - it was essentially brand new. Regardless, I'm sticking with the version from Breakfast With Harvey because I feel it stands more solidly on its own.

I have chosen to identify it with Caruso rather than Breakfast because I figure local auditioners have a better chance of recognizing a play that has actually premiered.

I did decide to stick in the line about the talking helicopter from Caruso, because it adds another six seconds to the total length of the monologue.

It's funny. I took Andrew's playwrighting course, and the dude hates monologues. I've never told him that I use one of his as audition material. If you're reading this, Andrew: thanks!

Look. Here is a script. To people like you a script is something malleable, something so fluid that it makes sense when the country priest becomes a talking helicopter. This is someone’s work. Their work. While creating this they endured self-doubt, vacant critical response, and despite it all they completed what they set out to do.

Now it is here, and we proceed according to dictate. Starting with an ugly fact: For reasons that defy any sense of fairness, you have been handed a role – the part of the rakish dissembler in Elizabeth’s court.

Now does that defy reason? Yes. Do you have any sense of history? No. Will you dive into the works of Marlowe? No. Will you even bother to read the entire God damned script? No. Of course not. What would be the fucking point?

Your concerns are water and air and fire and pussy.

And so they – the people we work for – they rely on chemical intervention and me. Which leads me to fix your tea. The same tea that is right here in front of you just as it is every morning.

There. There it is. Your motherfucking Twinings English breakfast tea with clotted Devon cream and three pounds of freshly ground Xanax. Drink it, you artless fucking cipher. Drink it down and die.

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