Friday, November 13, 2009

Week 43, Day 299 - "Thief" or "Shark Jumped"

“Thief” or “Shark Jumped”

Written by Joe Janes

11/13/09

299 of 365

CAST

Emily, 20s

Joe, 40s

Mary Cait, 20s

Ed, 20s

Garin, 20s

(Lights up on Emily holding a sign that says “Joe Janes Is A Thief!”)

EMILY

Joe Janes is a thief! Joe Janes is a thief!

(Mary Cait and Ed walk by.)

EMILY (continuing)

Joe Janes is a thief! Are you going to see his show?

MARY CAIT

Yeah.

EMILY

Well, you should know he’s a thief. He steals his ideas from his writing students.

ED

We already have tickets. We got them at a discount.

(They exit.)

EMILY

Enjoy laughing at the sweat and blood of other writers! Stolen sweat! Uncredited blood!

(Joe enters.)

JOE

Emily? Emily what are you doing?

EMILY

Telling the world the truth. That you are a hack. Joe Janes steals all his ideas!

JOE

Keep it down, would you? There’s people inside. Okay, just two, but, they paid for their tickets. What are you talking about? Is this about Suzan-Lori Parks? I’m up front about that.

EMILY

I’m sure she didn’t resort to stealing ideas for her plays.

JOE

Not really plays, per se, but what are you referring to?

EMILY

Okay, well, for one, you wrote a scene about the “R” word.

JOE

You got me. I stole mental retardation and claimed it as my own.

EMILY

Ha, ha. Three months ago, in our writing class, Eduardo wrote a scene about the “R” word. Then last week, I read yours on-line. I find that very interesting.

JOE

Many people have written scenes that deal with the “R” word, even Second City.

EMILY

You also wrote a “Twilight” scene and April wrote a “Twilight” scene.

JOE

I’ve seen or heard over a dozen “Twilight” scenes in the past year. It’s the new Harry Potter for easy parodies.

EMILY

Randall wrote a chariot race scene and then you wrote a scene about a Roman emperor.

JOE

I also ate a Caesar salad. How do you know I didn’t lift the idea from salad dressing?

EMILY

I wrote a tarot card scene.

JOE

I remember and so?

EMILY

And you, all of a sudden, write a Ouija board scene. Very interesting.

JOE

Emily-

(Garin, a shirtless overweight man with his face painted gold and green and carrying a 20oz of beer storms up to them and getting on their faces shouting….)

GARIN

Go Irish! Go Irish! Fuck ya’! Irish! Irish! Irish! Whooo!

(He exits.)

JOE

That was weird.

Emily

Yeah.

JOE

Emily, having a scene that addresses the same or similar topic as another scene doesn’t make it stealing. If that were the criteria for originality, no one would write anything. Break-up scenes, doctor-patient scenes, office scenes, family scenes, they’ve all been done before. All. And if I’m writing 365 scenes, I’m going to cover a lot of the same territory and probably more than once.

EMILY

I understand. So, writing 365 scenes is no big deal if you just rewrite all the scenes you have ever heard or seen.

(Awkward pause.)

JOE

That’s correct. How much for you to leave?

EMILY

Free classes.

JOE

Done.

(They high five. Blackout.)

5 comments:

Aly said...

Cute. I like this one. What if the sign said "Joe Janes Plagiarized Me." Somehow that seems more dramatic, like a writerly version of harassment/violation.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute! You write this crap? I thought the secret subtitle of the blog was "365 ideas plagiarized from students"! Seriously, why teach (or manage) if you can't take credit for the work of others?

Oh, Joe. I'm so disappointed in you. You're not my hero anymore, you writes-his-own-material punk.

Joe Janes said...

I've never been very good at using readily available resources.

mark krause said...

this idea of 365 plays was my idea you thief,ok its alright to tell everybody that there all my ideas and you write through me,i am your ghost writer,that feels better the truth is out

Joe Janes said...

Mark Krause is my god.