Short play: Wanted. Actor

 

Wanted: Actor

This short play was written while with Greenwich Arts and Media Project, June 1994. It was written for actors and the problems and injustices of the acting profession.

Some of the Actors: –

It’s best used as a framework and given over entirely to the creativity of the actors.
Cast: in order of appearance (and disappearance).
Actor 1 – Lazy one; Actor 2 (Angry one); Actor 3 (Sad one).
Job-searcher; Director; Writer; Jester; Supervisor; Panto-Horse

Some of the Actors: –

 


Scene 1

Actor 1; The theatre is so controlled and elitist
It’s hard to find work on the stage
The local theatre is dormant and defeatist
With the hollow ring of old forgotten plays

I’m only as good as my last part
Yes, my last part was my final stage
I’m on the last stage in my final part
Yes the final part on the last page

I am un-centralised, I have no purpose
I crumble like Macbeth in your hand
I drift like the wind in the auditorium
The applause comes from within dark land

Unemployed I used to sit
With a beer and stare
At the empty stage and desire
To stand up and perform there

Now I sleep in amnesiac dark
The prose of the dramatist in my head
The cry of the dodo in my heart
As the dodo died will the stage be dead

Unemployed I used to sit
With a beer and stare
At the empty stage everywhere
Empty stages sold to silence

I auditioned for the mousetrap
Eager for the part of Paul
I put on my best performance
But alas I was too small

I’ve so much anger trapped inside
I need encouragement, security, – love
To be accepted, to be able to give
But I’m on the streets unable to live

Supervisor (Haughtily)

You know the score, there are hundreds more
Can do what you do
Nothing special in this day and age
To play a character or two

Look at you now in your poor rags
On the street corner begging for food
People think you’re having them on
Acting the part of a down and out

 

Scene 2

Supervisor; Can you act?

Actor 2; Can I act, of course I can act

Supervisor; what have you done before?

Actor 2; I’ve done silent comedy for a dog’s home
I’ve played the gull in Richard III
I’ve played a corpse in Agatha Christie
I’m in the lineup in Limehouse Nick

Supervisor; O.K. Sign here
You’ll do a job seek once a year
To practice interview technique
Body language, Shakespeare, Latin and Greek

Actor 2; I’m angry, but it’s all trapped inside
The whole system is in decline
I’m angry at what they do to me
I can’t break free
From the vicious circle of waiting for Brian

Actor 1; you people don’t know a thing
You don’t know what to do with us
A great actor I would become
But you would have me drive a bus

Job-searcher; I know my job
I’ve been doing this
For twenty years of more
Kitchen porters by the score
With my help have found a job

Actor 1; I’ll not do kitchen porter again
It’s soul destroying work
Where are the casting sheets do you know
You great pen pushing berk

Job-searcher; It’s four years since you had a job
Admit you’re a loser and a hog

Actor 1; With the Arts you’re out of touch
Find work with you, not much

Where is your creativity?
Why to oblivion do you commit me?
Can’t the council create work?
For the practicing acting community

Job-searcher; That’s not my job
I’m here to send you out the door
I’ve no vacancies for actors anymore

It’s tea break now, so goodbye
Please come back another time

 

Scene 3

Actor 3; The directors gone on holiday
Gone to the sea, gone to be free
To walk on the beach
To dream

The director lived in fear
As each day a calamity
Shook her jangled nerves
It seemed

We came we played the fools
We emptied out our souls
Like Jesters at a charity
We caused a catastrophe

Director; I nearly held it down
It needed more commitment
Like jellyfish in the sea
The project slipped away from me

Tomorrow, what will tomorrow bring
I’ll sell hotdogs on Brighton pier
To the tourists coming here
And watch the ebbtide disappear

The actor’s footprints in the sand
Are washed away to sea
The actors in the shadows
Of my memories

 

Scene 4

Supervisor; (Evilly)
The actors are like grains of sand
That shift beneath me feet
I build sand castles with them
I sift them just like wheat

I promise you the world
I’ll lift you from the ditch
I promise you the moon and stars
I promise you’ll be rich

I sift them just like wheat
The actors in the wanted ads
I turn them upside down
Subjected to my will

Actor 2; I’ve so much anger trapped within
At the thing she’s done to me
How dare she try to rule my life?
I’m human just like she

 

Scene 5

Actor 1; The supervisor has not come in
The supervisor has disappeared
Actor 3; the supervisor is dead
Actor 2; The supervisor has been murdered

Jester; The one who used to sit
Upon the stage like King Canute
Now the stage has swallowed her
Is empty, see I claim the throne

The empty seats of the theatre
Will do as I command, you’ll see
I rule the waves of mankind
I control the tides in moonlit dreams

Actor 2; The fool has returned to his paradise
But the supervisor’s job is mine
Actor 1 No, it was promised to me
Actor 2 Well, you have it then you need it more I see

Director; Actors, oh actors, how I love you
To see you toil and sweat
To see your agony and ecstasy
But one of you is guilty

Actor 3; I daydream
I daydream of relationships
That vanishes with the night
Like light into darkness
I daydream
I daydream of feelings
That appears like flowers
In the living desert
I daydream
Did you imagine me here?
Am I in this slice of life?

Writer; My words went forth, you appeared
A full house you appear for
An empty house and you vanish
And I walk home to my bedsit
Alone with my memories

Director; (To actors)
Improvise this scene my dears
You are far distant stars obscure
Unseen to powerful telescopes
What do you say? Where do you go?
And from your hearts explain your hopes

Oh unemployed stars obscure
For a performance you endure
For men to see a twinkle of light
Dancing in the deep dark night

 

Scene 6

Actor 2; I need to be paid, I haven’t eaten
I’m near the grave, I’m cruelly beaten
I poured myself into the part
You drained the blood out of my heart

Supervisor; You had no real technique
You ruined the play, you get no pay
We hired you for the weekend
You ruined the matinee

Supervisor; The tide has gone out and you go with it
Actor 2; Who says so, I refuse to go
Supervisor; Then let the quicksand swallow you
Then let the seagulls ick your bones

Actor 2; I object to that attitude
I complain you’re a megalomaniac

Supervisor; I am the supervisor and it is for me
To alter the course of your destiny
And your destiny is now redundant
And your future is unemployment
Actor 2; You won’t get rid of me so easily
Supervisor; I am in charge now
I know your crooked ways
You’re no actor, you’re two faced

Actor 2; You creature of doom
You despicable fraud
What do you know of walking the boards?

And after my rage beneath the stage
Will your body be lifeless?
Will worms eat your bones?

(He chase’s the supervisor in a chaotic and lengthy death scene).

 

Scene 7

Actor 2; A fugitive I have now become
An outlaw on the run
And how long can this pantomime last
And to whom has justice been done?

Panto-horse; Now you hide in this disguise
Now you’ve become my other half
To clip clop about the stage
Trying to get the kids to larf

An understudy to a pantomime horse
Imprisoned by the pantomime laws
A pantomime in the prison of life
The faceless half of a pantomime horse

 

THE ACTOR ALWAYS BLACK

The actor always wears black,
For moving in and for talking in.
For during the theatre ritual
He may be sacrificed for his sin.

He follows the coffin in….
But who has died, who is within.
The funeral is all in the mind,
The corpse wore invisible skin.

The theatrical ritual of the priest.
The altar of the sacrifice.
The plot calls for a saviour from the east,
For a sacrificial victim.

Actors always wear black!
Black for death, but who has died?
No-one is missing from the cast,
The bookings are good, the play may last.

The stage is covered in black!
Black for death, but who dies,
In every nightly sacrifice,
In every nightly ritual.

The theatre is dark, has someone died?
They never came to their seat.
Time came in to see the play,
He chewed the audience in his teeth.

The theatre will never be free,
Ensnared to the supernatural,
Dipped in the watery sea
Of nightly theatrical baptism.

So the audience came to see
First night and initiation,
But the tragic heroine of purity
Is sacrificed by the patron.

The actor always wears black!
Black for death, but who has died?
The private life of their lives
Is published by the tabloid.

The rebirth takes place each show
Of comedy, drama and conflict.
The actor always wears black
In case death has him on his list.

13th June

THE THEATRE HAS GROWN DARK

The theatre has grown dark
Every seat cushion proves to be
A cloud a thousand feet above
The dark and empty theatre
Every stage plan to keep going
Is dissolved in acid-doubt
Is stolen by the jackdaw
Who also ran the box office

The theatre has grown dark
The days that follow are dissolved
In stage dissolving mist
That breaks down what was built up
Gestures are left in limbo
Directors do a circle dance
Left to the mercy of philistines
Blinded and put into chains

The theatre has grown dark
And the work that comes from the heart
Is paid for by myself
And taken through the lines
The streams that run underground
That bubbles forth with joy
Are treated like a hernia
By the one eyed monster, the city

July 3rd

Greenwich Theatre Group drawings (3)

OH TIRED AND DISPIRITED ACTOR

Oh tired and dispirited actor
Living with your hopes and your dreams
Leaving the calamitous production
The survivor of a crashed machine

Wander like a shell-shocked soldier
All your training turned inside out
All your discipline never was enough
When the ruin came from without

Oh tired and dispirited actor
Not one more step can you take
The burden of neglect and poverty
Turned make believe to a fake

Greenwich Theatre Group drawings (32)

Published by blackbird212012

I wish to develop as an artist songwriter.

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