the brittany clarke interview

My piece, The Brittany Clarke Interview is now up at the extremely well-named Back Hair Advocate.

 

The Brittany Clarke Interview

The Tawny Rumaine Show in progress. TAWNY plays host to BRITTANY CLARKE.

TAWNY: We’re back! So. Brittany. Brittany Clarke!

BRIT: Yes.

TAWNY: This was it. This was the year that Brittany Clarke took a second rate character – Joan Johnson – on a completely forgettable show – Still Married! – and turned her into an icon.

BRIT: Well – it wasn’t just me –

TAWNY: (to audience) Did she not revolutionize television!? Yes! Yes, she did!

more

your handwriting

JEFF
Is my handwriting messy?

Sophie glances over at a notepad with Jeff’s writing on it.

JEFF
Daphne said my handwriting’s messy.  I don’t think it’s messy.  Small – but it’s not messy.  At least I don’t write in swirls and flourishes –

SOPHIE
Write your name.

Jeff writes his name, hands the notepad to Sophie.

SOPHIE
I have no idea what this says.

JEFF
Oh c’mon –

She takes his pen and writes:  JEFF ROBINSON in large, readable, block letters.

SOPHIE
That’s what your signature looks like to you.

She writes a long squiggly line – that is clearly nothing but a long squiggly line.

SOPHIE
That’s your signature to everyone else.

 Jeff takes back the notepad.  A WAITER brings more coffee.

pop’s an alcoholic

FADE IN

INT. HOME – NIGHT

POP, 61, drunk, stumbles into the house and pulls his coat open. JANEY, a small child, runs up to him.

NARRATOR (VO)
Tuesday on “Pop’s an Alcoholic!”

JANEY
Gampa!

POP
Shut up!

POP smacks JANEY. She falls to the ground.

Cut to:

INT. POP’S OFFICE – DAY

POP stands sluggish, disheveled in front of his BOSS. BOSS puts a sensitive arm on POP’s shoulder.

BOSS
Now look, Pop –

POP
Shut up!

POP punches BOSS in the head. BOSS goes down.

NARRATOR (VO)
Whoa, Pop!

Cut to:

EXT. BASEBALL LOT – DAY

POP maddeningly swings the bat around, trying to hit somebody. Everybody leaps out of his way.

NARRATOR (VO)
What’s he up to now!?

POP
Shut up! Shut up!

Cut to:

INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Christmas Eve. The whole family – about nine of them – huddle lovingly around POP, in his cozy chair. The fire crackles nearby. POP looks relaxed – at peace – a bottle dangling from his hand. They hug him, tightly.

SON
You’re tops, Pop – !

POP smiles, drunken, satisfied.

POP (belching)
BRREEAAGH –

NARRATOR (VO)
It’s an alcoholic Christmas!

SUPER
Pop’s An Alcoholic
Tuesday
9 p.m. Eastern

FADE OUT

do i stink?

SOPHIE
Do I stink?

JEFF
No.

SOPHIE
Promise me, if I ever stink, if my clothes are too tacky, anything…

JEFF
I’ll let you know.

SOPHIE
Promise?

JEFF
Yes.

SOPHIE
And I’ll tell you.

JEFF
No.  I don’t want to know.

SOPHIE
You don’t want to know if you stink?

JEFF
No.  I’d rather just stink.

king kwik

Gi60 UK is up this weekend at the Viaduct Theatre in Halifax, and my piece “Possible Opening Lines” opens the show.  Hoo ha.  Here’s my piece from last week’s show in Brooklyn.

King Kwik

Scene: ISAAC – middle-aged – speaks to the audience, off to the side of the stage.

ISAAC
King Kwik was the greatest store on Earth.  It had everything you could possibly need:  comics, candy, pizza, 25 cent airplanes, a big spy mirror, and, of course, Icees.  But more than anything, King Kwik had Margaret. 

Lights come up on MARGARET, 60, thin, white-haired, chipper, behind a counter.  She speaks to an unseen child.

MARGARET
Is that candy?  Oh, that’s a lot of candy.

ISAAC
Margaret was dependable and not at all complicated.  At exactly 3:05 p.m. hundreds of kids would race the two blocks from school to see who could be first to victimize Margaret.

A horde of kids, including IZZY and TIM (both 11), come onstage and huddle around the counter, shoving food and items at Margaret and yelling orders at Margaret.

KIDS
Heat my pizza, Margaret!  Icee!  Icee!  I want change!   Stop pushing!  Take out my pizza!  Icee!  I dropped a quarter!  Where’s the bathroom?  He hit me, Margaret.  I want change!  Heat my pizza! 

MARGARET
Okay!  Settle down!  Settle down, honey!

ISAAC
She liked the girls best.  Called them “honey.”

She spots a boy in the corner.

MARGARET
You!  Over there!  I saw that!  Out for a month!  I know you, now!  Out for a month! 

ISAAC
That was her punishment for delinquents.  No King Kwik for a month. 

TIM, a tough kid in a white t-shirt, grabs something, sticks it under his shirt and bumps Izzy.  He starts to exits.

MARGARET
You!  Alright!  I saw that!  Empty your pockets!

Tim turns, angry and defensive.

TIM
I din’t do nothin’!

MARGARET
Oh yes you did.  I saw you in the spy mirror.

TIM
DID NOT!  DIN’T DO NOTHIN’!

MARGARET
…Oh!  Out!  And don’t come back for a month!

TIM
Aw, bite me, ya’ bitch!  I’ll come back tomorrow!

The kids are stunned.  Tim storms out.  Margaret is shocked, hurt.  Tears well up in her eyes and she turns and covers her face with her apron.  All the kids leave but Izzy.  He watches her, compassionately, and approaches the counter. 

IZZY
C’n I have an Icee?

Margaret shaking, makes the Icee.

IZZY
Are you okay?

Margaret nods.  She hands him the Icee.  He pays, starts to leave.

MARGARET
Those Pop-tarts are eighty-five cents.

Izzy stops, frozen.  He backs up, sheepishly, puts the pop-tarts and change on the counter.

MARGARET
And I’m sorry, but you can’t come in for a month. 

Izzy runs off, head hung low.

MARGARET
(calling after him)
Don’t forget your Pop-tarts!

ISAAC
But they’d only have a bitter taste.

A girl comes in, puts a piece of candy on the counter.  Izzy, off to the side, presses his face to the glass, watching – a sad criminal.

MARGARET
Thirty cents, honey.

BLACKOUT