Friday, November 9, 2012

Monologue: Speed Racer

My love for 2008's Speed Racer is well-documented. An awesome thing about the film is that almost every major character has a monologue. The truth is, this particular monologue has been sitting in a text file in my Documents folder for a while. I finally built up the nerve to use it.

I've been told using a story as a monologue does not make an effective audition, as the events of the story have already occurred, and the point of an audition is seeing how you can deal with circumstances in the present. I believe that in the frame of this monologue, telling the story is a means to the end, not the end in itself.

Immediately before the text, Speed is offered sponsorship by the president of a gigantic automotive company. Accepting would mean dumping his current manager - his father.

In this moment, Speed paints the picture of a man who, though he may be stubborn and rough around the edges, is driven by the love for his craft and his family. Speed turns down the offer, not because of guilt or fear of reprisal, but because deep down he realizes just how much he takes after the old man.

I took some liberty in filling out the text a little bit to provide some context, since there is no accompanying montage.

This isn't an easy decision for me.

For my family, racing is everything. We eat, drink, think, and breathe racing. I mean, I was taught to drive before I could walk. When my brother died, all that went away. I can't tell you how painful that was for all of us. It nearly killed Pops. He didn't set foot in his shop for over a year.

But one night when I was still pretty young, I couldn't sleep. I figure maybe I'd go out and fall asleep in front of the TV. And I went into the living room and there was Pops, in his beat up robe, watching some old races he recorded.

He barely even notices when I sit down next to him. It takes a moment before I realize it's the '43 Prix he has on. I'm still trying to figure out how far into the race it is, and all of a sudden Pops starts screaming, like he's seeing it for the first time. And then I started screaming.

And as Burns and Stickleton duked it out, heading for the finish, we were cheering our heads off. And the second the black and white came down, we looked at each other, like we're seeing each other for the first time. And right there we realized the naked truth: racing is in our blood.

But for Pops, it isn't just a sport. It's way more important than that. It's like a religion. And in our house, the major sponsors are kinda like the devil.

I don't mean to offend you, sir, and I do appreciate your offer. It's just, I guess I understand his point of view. And after all we've been through, I don't think this kind of deal is for me.

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