Monday, February 12, 2007

Tonight's the night

Monday night is the reading of my play, UPFRONTS AND PERSONAL at CAP 21 in New York. I’ve got a great cast, great director (Janet Brenner), and great venue. So what that means is: if this play bombs I have NO ONE to blame but myself. I can’t pin it on the network, or the studio, or the editing, camera angles, sound, whatever. So I’m mostly very excited, but there’s a part of me that’s saying “Am I nuts? What the hell am I doing this for?” I’ll let you tomorrow how it went.

But for those of you not attending, here’s a small portion. It’s late in the second act. Gary (Chip Zien) and Beth (Joanna Gleason: pictured) are long time writing partners who have to come up with a new direction for their show by a 4:00 meeting with the network. They’re under tremendous stress and Gary hasn’t slept in two days.

INT. HOTEL SUITE – MORNING

GARY
Okay, I’m ready. Let’s get something down. It’s always better to have something so at least you have something to change. It’s almost nine now. Let’s say by eleven we have something. Anything. Doesn’t have to be great. But at least it’ll be a start.

BETH
(yawning) Get out the pad.

GARY
Great. We can do this. You’ll see.

HE GRABS THE PAD, HAS PEN POISED AT THE READY. SHE SITS ON THE COUCH READY TO WORK.

LIGHTS DOWN. A BEAT, THEN LIGHTS BACK UP.

THEY ARE STILL PRETTY MUCH IN THE SAME POSITIONS.

GARY
Okay. Let’s make a vow. By 1:00 let’s come up with something.

LIGHTS DOWN. A BEAT, THEN LIGHTS UP.

BETH IS STILL ON THE COUCH. GARY IN FRUSTRATION IS BANGING HIS HEAD AGAINST THE WALL.

BETH
Gary, stop that!

GARY
It’s 2:30.

BETH
We’ll get it.

GARY
When?!

BETH
I don’t know. Did you ever think that maybe there is no solution?

GARY
No!

BETH
That we’re just flying up our assholes with this thing?

GARY
That’s not what’s holding us back! I know exactly what’s holding us back.

BETH
What?

GARY
We’re totally washed up.

BETH
Oh we are not.

GARY
Beth, get real for Godsakes. You reach a certain age and it just goes. You dry up, lose it, have nothing left. It’s over. You kind of hope it’s gradual and not as of 9:00 one morning but that’s the hand we were dealt. See you on the faculty of the DeVry Institute.

BETH
Are you taking that Prozac the staff got you for Christmas?

GARY
No!!! Jesus. Come on. Any idea. It could be crazy. It could be horrible. I dunno. They become superheroes, they sleep together. Anything.

BETH
That’s not bad.

GARY
Yeah! They have magic powers. How ‘bout this? She can turn people into sheep.

BETH
No, you idiot. They sleep together.

GARY
Huh? Oh.

BETH
Yeah. I think that’s it.

GARY
Really?

BETH
It changes the relationship. Can they exist as partners and lovers? There’s a lot of fun we can have with that.

GARY
‘Y’know, in many ways I think I’ve actually gotten better with age.

***********
And 94 other pages. Here we go…

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

All best wishes with the play! And LOVE your writing! Thanks!

Bisha said...

Typo:

"They become superheroes, the sleep together."

Better run to Kinkos!

Anonymous said...

please, give us more!

VP19 said...

They become superheroes, they sleep together.

I realize these were separate items, but imagine linking them together. Gaining superpowers through sex? We all know a few sluts (of both genders) who, if this ability actually was possible, would give Superman a run for his money.

Dave Williams said...

I had the honor of watching the reading of this script in L.A. Ken pulled out the stops and gave us Jason Alexander and Wendie Malick in these roles plus Ed Asner, who is riveting and funny even with his nose in a script. It's a great script and I would love to see New York embrace Ken. The nation's theaters need great comedy.

You go, guy!

Great Big Radio Guy said...

Along with Dave, I'm here to tell you - it ain't gonna bomb, Ken. If any of you are going, sit back and enjoy the ride.

rorybaldwin said...

All the best Ken, hope the play is a runaway smash!

Wally said...

Break a leg, good sir.

maven said...

Good luck tonight, Ken. The tidbit you gave us is great.

zazupitts said...

Between radio, TV, baseball, Broadway (and goodness knows what else,) you will never say these words:

"You know who I used to be?!"

...and you will never wear a cardboard belt!

May the Spirit of Bialystock haunt the halls!

Break BOTH legs and sprain your tongue!!

TB said...

What became of "The 60's Project" ?

Alina said...

Would I be showing my totally show tune geekiness if I admitted that my first thought seeing Chip and Johanna's names together was: An "Into the Woods" reunion!

(And my TV geekiness if I admitted that I remember Chip being a regular on the second season of "Love, Sidney?")

I don't know why I felt the need to share this...