Friday, January 23, 2009

Week One, Day Five - "Single Slices"

SINGLE SLICES
Written by Joe Janes
1/23/09
5 of 365

CAST:
Don – 40s
Maureen – 40s
Brian – 30s
Stephanie – 30s
Jake – 20s
Cara – 20s
VO - female


(Lights up on three couples seated in pairs around the stage. Instead of facing one another, they face out, although in the “reality” of the scene, they are seated directly across from one another. Don is seated next to Cara, Brian is seated next to Stephanie, and Jake is seated next to Maureen. They all wear nametags.)

VO
Good evening and welcome, singles. (No response) I said, welcome, singles! (Couples start applauding; Jake and Cara actually provide enthusiastic hooting noises) Welcome to Chi-Town Speed Daters. First, let’s make sure everyone is in their right age group. On the main floor we have people in the 20s. On the mezzanine, we have people in their 30s and in the back of the balcony we have everyone over 40. If you are not in the right age category, please move to the right one now. (The couples look around.) I repeat; if you are not in the appropriate age category, please move…now, lady. (Maureen gets up, quickly scribbles her number on a cocktail napkin and hands it to Jake with a pantomimed “call me.” She walks over to Don and Cara and “thumbs” Cara to take a hike. Don quickly hands Cara a business card. Cara takes her place next to Jake as Maureen sits down next to Don with Maureen and Don looking a bit unhappy about it.) Thank you. You now have two minutes to get to know the person sitting across from you. Go (a loud air horn blows, everyone jumps a bit from being startled).

(When the different couples speak, stage lights highlight their area of the stage.)


JAKE
So, Cara. You like to party?

CARA
OMG, I love to party.


BRIAN
So, you look nice.

STEPHANIE
Let’s cut through the crap here, Brian. What do you do for a living?


MAUREEN
I’ve had two divorces.

DON
Hey, me, too. You weren’t one of them, were you? (He laughs. She doesn’t.)


CARA
I went to the University of Illinois. Go Illini! Woo! My degree’s in communications.

JAKE
Me, too. I went to DePaul.

CARA
Oh. Okay.


STEPHANIE
I want three children.

BRIAN
Me, too. I love kids.

STEPHANIE
Can you afford them?

BRIAN
What?

STEPHANIE
Kids are expensive. Can you afford one, let alone three?

BRIAN
I have a job… and a dog…?


DON
I hate getting older, don’t you?

MAUREEN
The bitch of it is, I don’t feel any older, upstairs. It’s the body that occasionally needs patchwork.

DON
I know exactly what you mean.

MAUREEN
My feet hurt more than they ever have. You can’t tell. I don’t think you can tell. My high heels have gel inserts.

DON
Me, too. In my loafers. Dr. Scholl should be the Surgeon General. So many little aches and pains and you never know which ones going to turn out to be cancer. Am I right?


JAKE
I don’t read books.

CARA
I hate books!


DON
I did something the other day I thought I would never, ever do. I bought a tube of Preparation H. I know! I was embarrassed. I haven’t felt like that in a drug store since I bought condoms as a teenager. And Preparation H? It’s exactly what you think it is and you put it on exactly the way you think you would. (He shudders)

MAUREEN
I use it under my eyes. (He looks at her oddly)



BRIAN
He’s a doctor. Doctor Who. I watch it because I like it…?

STEPHANIE
Is it about oriental medicine?

BRIAN
No.


Don
I peed blood once. It was like I was menstruating. Now, I know what you women go through.



STEPHANIE
The last guy I dated sent me a picture of his penis – on my cell phone! One – who does that? And two – a flaccid penis?

BRIAN
Maybe his penis was sad.


CARA
My hobbies are partying, working out and wearing thongs.

JAKE
Me, too!


DON
It’s not that I pee a lot; it’s just that I feel like I have to pee a lot.



STEPHANIE
I just don’t want another freeloader. If I wanted that, I’d date a hobo.


CARA
I can’t believe I’m here.


JAKE
I can’t believe you’re here, either. You’re hot.


BRIAN
I can’t believe I’m here.

(Stephanie sighs and looks at her cell phone)


MAUREEN
I can’t believe I’m here.

DON
I know exactly how you feel.

MAUREEN
Don, I’m really not interested in getting a third divorce.

DON
Still paying for my last two.

MAUREEN
I don’t expect to meet “the one” here.

DON
It would be nice, though, wouldn’t it?

MAUREEN
I’ll settle for a friend.

DON
That would be nice, too.


CARA
Hey, Jake, let’s bail on these losers and go do shots at the bar.

JAKE
I’m buying.

CARA
D’uh.


(They exit. Lights up on Brian and Stephanie sitting in silence, glowering. Loud air horn blares, again, and everyone is startled.)


VO
All right, singles. Grab your stuff. It’s time to move on.

(Lights fade)

14 comments:

idjar said...

OMG, LMAO. I mean, I did, really. But what I want to know is, do people actually say the letters "Oh Em Gee" when they talk?

Joe Janes said...

Yep. I bear witness to it all the time at Columbia College. WTF? and LOL!

Lori said...

Right on!
Tonight I found myself at a restaurant/nightclub/meatmarket kind of place - but, even though there were mostly older people there, I was not the meat, fortunately. I am glad I went so that I know never to go again. I can completely relate to "I can't believe I'm here."
Very good.

x beats x said...

Joe, this is brilliant (and a total prelude to my adventures in speed dating tonight).

I think it's quick and witty and my fave part is the cue for Stephanie to look at her cell phone - you have to be paying attention! :)

I'd totally go and see this if it wasn't already my life.

-beata-

P.S. Nothing wrong with going to DePaul! Go Blue Demons! Yah!!

Enya's Assassin said...

I really liked this one. As for the educational aspect of this project, what was your process in writing this? Did you write it straight through, or did you think out the beats of each couple's conversation? The flow of it was really good, I'm inclined to guess you wrote it straight through.

Inquiring minds want to know! Drop some knowledge on us!

Cassandra said...

I always wondered if people actually said the abbreviations and not what they meant by it...

I love the very last line. It amazes me that comedy can be profound and not just shits n giggles. I'm learning so much and you've but started!

Joe Janes said...

Well, Enya (Chris), those are good questions. If you had asked my Wednesday what my scene was going to be for Friday, I wouldn't have had a clue.

The origin of this scene does trace back to a week ago. Beata had dinner with Don hall and me and mentioned then she was going to go a speed dating event. We chatted about it and I actually gave her some advice on it. It was her first, I have done two or three. On Tuesday, I helped a friend with a resume and cover letter and she told me about the incident of someone sending her a picture of his penis. The line "Who does that?" and "flaccid?" are direct quotes.

Yet, that line didn't make it into the scene until after a draft or two.

On Thursday, I decided I wanted to write a six person scene. I remembered talking to Beata about speed dating, but I wasn't sure how I could use it or do something that I hadn't seen done before. Then I remembered one I went to that took place at a bar and they did break the party up by age. The oldest group was shoved away in a corner, almost a completely different room. That's when I decided to go with showing bits of conversations couples might have by age group.

First pass, I just wrote out the snippets of conversations I knew I wanted each couple to have. Second pass, I added the voice-over and bit about people wanting to be in different age groups. Third pass, I started to arrange the conversations in an order, added conversations to balance out the give and take, and made sure I tended to the characters, making sure they had specific points-of-view. It's hard not to get stereotypical in a scene of this nature, so I made sure I put in a few historical things to justify as well as deepen characters.

I'm pretty happy with the results. Glad everyone seems to like it.

GW said...

Hey Joe, great scene! I really like it a lot. I especially love how it begins and ends, although I wonder why Cara doesn't get up until prompted by Maureen. Not a big problem.

You seem to be saying something about each age group, and the one that intrigues me the most is the 30-somethings, probably because of the way you end with them. The way I read it is that they're too apathetic or unsure of what they want to jump up and leave. If that's what you're going for, you could end with one saying something like "Should we make out?" and the other sighing and saying "I guess so."

It does also feel a tad longer than it needs to be, but I only read it once and didn't look back again at each of the beats, so I don't have any suggestions right now.

Joe Janes said...

Thanks, Greg. I agree with you about Cara and Maureen. I have them doing what they're doing because I didn't want them stepping on each other exchanging contact info with their different age groups guys. But, you're right, it doesn't make sense. They should cross paths.

Lori said...

Unless Cara is a gold digger and Don is looking like the right kind of mine.

Joe Janes said...

That was my original intention with Cara, but I'm not so sure. I think she would act differently with jake if that were true. I think maybe Don somehow conned her in to sitting next to him.

idjar said...

Please ignore
html

idjar said...

And now for something different.

lucidleonardo said...

Great sketch Joe!
I find it hard to believe though that you know someone that received such a lewd text message. Inconceivable!
Slam dunk Sketchmaster.
-Faith