excerpt from WEEGEE (warning: language)


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    excerpt from WEEGEE (warning: language)

    This is an excerpt from [the first draft of] a play, actually the first play I've ever written. I thought it would be short but it turned out movie-length 0.o. The title is WEEGEE (like a Ouija board) For some context, the basic plot is that four actors are producing a play about a demonic possession, and one of the characters actually becomes possessed in the process. The play becomes famous and the demon "goes public," although only the other actors know that the act is the truth. I'd love your honest opinion but please be gentle!!!

    [Pounding on the door is heard.]

    Scarlett [muffled] Adam? [she pounds more, before she is heard conversing with Kevan, who unlocks the door and comes in before her.]

    Kevan He said he would be here.

    Scarlett Weíre early, arenít we?

    Kevan Call him.

    Scarlett You call him.

    Kevan Call him.

    Scarlett Fuck. OK.

    [Kevan sets down his bag and starts spreading papers across the table.]

    Scarlett What are those?

    Kevan Iíll tell you that once youíve finished your call.

    Scarlett Heís not picking up.

    Kevan Call him again.

    Scarlett His phone is off.

    Kevan [snaps for her to give him the phone, then dials] Hey, hey, not so bad, I ... uh-huh ... listen, thatís great, but I was wondering, where are you guys?

    Scarlett [whispering] Kevan --

    Kevan Itís Theresa, shut up. [back on phone] Yes, she is, so -- [longish pause] -- is it OK? Well ... itís on my schedule, and things on my schedule are supposed to come true ... OK, I see youíre not going to budge on that so -- oh, no, itís totally okay, Iím copacetic darling, itís just [violently] YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO FUCKING BE HERE AT THREE FUCKING THIRTY, OKAY?

    Scarlett [snatching the phone from him] Yeah -- yeah, Iím sorry, Terry, Iíll talk to him, bye. [hangs up.] Kevan! Jesus!

    Kevan You remember the things you were going to use that hand for? Ever again?

    Scarlett Iíve had it with your little temper tantrums. For Godís sake, she has a family emergency. Give a little, be a fucking gentleman for once.

    Kevan So you knew about this!

    Scarlett [disbelieving] Kevan -- look at me -- no, look in my eyes -- her grandmother just died. She died. Do you know what that is?

    Kevan In the ordinary course of events?

    Scarlett What else?

    Kevan Apparently an excuse for blowing me off?

    Scarlett I give up. So what about Adam?

    Kevan Heíll get here -- later. Yeah, uh, after he -- comforts the bereaved a little bit. Consoles the inconsolable. Puts some flowers on her FUCKING GRAMMA that are gonna die anyway just like her but yeah other than that thereís me and thereís you and, by the way, these are the new scripts. That we were doing. Today.

    Scarlett Not anymore. Heigh-ho.

    Kevan Heigh, as they say, ho.

    Scarlett So, uh ... [enjoying seeing him angry] what do you wanna do? While weíre hanginí out?

    Kevan Weíre not going to hang out. What made you think we were going to hang out?

    Scarlett [smiles and shrugs] I donít know.

    Kevan Youíre going to take me back to my house.

    Scarlett In what?

    Kevan Your CAR.

    Scarlett Oh! You mean -- that old thing?

    Kevan You are playing a dangerous game, Miss Scarlett OíHara Durante.

    Scarlett You can get back in my car once youíve had a nice little investigation into your priorities.

    Kevan I assure you, Madam, I keep my priorities constantly in view.

    Scarlett That right.

    Kevan How am I supposed to get home?

    Scarlett Walk.

    Kevan I see. I see there is a misunderstanding. One of us is going, in your car, using your car keys, with me inside of the car, back to my house, from whence I came, for the rest of this godforsaken shit of a day. Strike that. Having been returned to my domicile, I will go exactly where and do exactly what I want with whatever vehicle I want. Until about two in the morning, when I shall retire.

    Scarlett What a jam-packed schedule you have. Why the hurry?

    Kevan I might have an appointment.

    Scarlett Might?

    Kevan From your perspective, my actions are indeterminate. My behavior is undefined. From my perspective, they all fall into place like -- pieces of a puzzle.

    Scarlett Fucked-up kinda puzzle.

    Kevan Yeah, well, try to figure you out, I mean --

    Scarlett [beat] You mean what?

    Kevan Girl? Guy? Both? Neither? And who do you fuck? I donít get it.

    Scarlett I guess you could say -- I dress how I want, talk how I want, and fuck who I want. Until two in the morning, when Iím just getting started.

    Kevan [whistles] I tell you what girly, give me your car keys and I wonít start pushing all the buttons Iím finding out about.

    Scarlett I, Kev, am like a wizard, subtle and slow to anger.

    Kevan [annoyed] Thatís quick to anger, subtle and quick to anger.

    Scarlett Do you really want to find out? My limits would just looooooove to be tested right now.

    Kevan Theresa.

    Scarlett What about her?

    Kevan Are you in love with her?

    Scarlett [laughs] Will I tell you?

    Kevan This is serious, Scarlett. Iím talking about your lesbian tendencies.

    Scarlett Tendencies? Is that the best you can do?

    Kevan Wait... are you saying youíre... not completely heterosexual?

    Scarlett I havenít said anything yet, mush-mouth.

    Kevan Okayyyyy apparently not. Honestly, Iím disappointed. I expected you to share that kind of stuff with me. So youíre a full-blown dyke, huh? OK, I can handle that.

    Scarlett I didnít say that. Iím not a dyke.

    Kevan Really? Are you sure? Because if youíre not a dyke, that only leaves one thing. A little gay boy in a little gay dress.

    Scarlett Bitch. Donít. Play.

    Kevan Button number one, boop!

    Scarlett Speaking of little gay boys.

    Kevan Uh-oh.

    Scarlett Where do they come from?

    Kevan [amused] Closets! No wait, Mars? I know -- the dark side of the moon.

    Scarlett Think about it. Where do little gay boys come from?

    Kevan This is a real fun game. But I kinda donít see the point of it. Did you come up with it yourself?

    Scarlett How do little boys become gay?

    Kevan [long pause] Become?

    Scarlett Become.

    Kevan Car keys. Youíll have it back in a week. With ďCrazy BitchĒ written all over it in key.

    Scarlett I was just thinking of one particular little boy and how he became gay.

    Kevan Donít tell me...

    Scarlett Mmmm-hm thatís right. Now Iíll probably screw up on the details, Iíve only heard this story once. But Iíll get the gist.

    Kevan [almost snarling] Nobody hears it twice.

    Scarlett Itís a nice bright spring day. It would be nicer if Daddy werenít drinking. Everybody could tell Daddy was drinking because they saw him passed out in his armchair from outside. Well, little Kevan just didnít know what to do, or where to go. Mommy took everybody else out for ice cream. Kevan didnít get to go. [She waits a moment to see if he will react. He doesnít.] He walks to the park. Itís not that far, and heís used to walking. Thatís why all of his socks have holes in them. When he gets to the park, thereís a man there. [pause] The man looks very upset. He says his wife lost a diamond ring worth more than his whoooooole house, and he thought sheíd dropped it somewhere around there. Kevan was more than happy to help him look for it. [with faux enthusiasm] But guess what that bad man did.

    Kevan What.

    Scarlett Guess. [She waits for him to answer and he doesnít.] Well, thereís a name for that kind of man. That man, my dear Kevan, was a P-R-E-D-A-T-0-R predator. So he did what predators do. He molested Kevan. He molested him. And did he do it just once? No, he didnít. He did it twice. Then three times. Oh my goodness! This was beginning to be a real regular thing. And then lots of people started acting like the man in the park. One time, little Kevan ran away from home for a whole day. At night, he was cold and hungry. But there were some young men with a tent by the lake. They let him come into their tent. And they raped him. And thatís the story of how little boys become little gay boys.

    Kevan Whatís your excuse?

    Scarlett Oh, the usual. Distant father. Smothering, overprotective mother. Childhood bullying.

    Kevan Penis too small?

    Scarlett No. Too big. [She begins to walk around the table, picking up the scripts and paging through them.] I told you. I told you not to start it. You have shit on me. Rape? Imagine being raped twenty-four-fucking-seven. You think youíre possessed? Try it in reverse, huh? Itís like being in a ... fucking ... hotbox.

    Kevan [flat] What is a hotbox?

    Scarlett You know. Like when they want to torture somebody. Little cramped room all made of metal. And it gets hot hot hot and you canít stop touching it EVER. You want to act persecuted, fine, ask me sometime about MY life, every day, every time I walk out the door, will they see my trachea sticking out, my jaw, my voice. Will I find my car with the tires slashed or will I not get there because the back of my head made friends with something blunt and fast-moving? Fuck you. Seriously. You can look in the mirror without puking, you donít have to listen to Andrew, Andrew, when are you gonna get a girlfriend, when are you gonna cut your hair, Andrew, ANDREW! So donít EVER call me a boy in a dress or I will put you in as much pain as I possibly can. Little gay boy in a little gay dress. FUCK you. [She takes a moment to calm down. Kevan is utterly silent.] And if you ever hurt Theresa, Iíll kill you. [silence] Youíre awful quiet over there. I hope I didnít upset you or anything.

    Kevan This is how I express my rage.

    Scarlett Wow. Pretty wimpy rage you got there. Iím not exactly shaking in my boots.

    Kevan Not yet.

    Scarlett [considering] You know what... youíre such a loathesome little slug, Iíll let you take my car. As long as it means getting the fuck out of my sight. Oh, and I need the keys to the building. [Throws him her car keys. He stands, drops the building keys on the floor, and leaves. Scarlett picks them up.]

    [Scarlett hesitates a moment before angrily sweeping all the scripts off the table. Suddenly the door flies open and Kevan re-enters. He chases Scarlett around the room, clearly intent on harming her.]

    Scarlett [still amused] Eep! [She darts out, followed by Kevan. Shortly after, she comes back in, slams the door and locks it. She leans against it as Kevan pounds on it. She is winded but laughing.] DONíT FORGET TO KEY IT! [the pounding stops. She leans her ear against the door, listening. Somebody unlocks the door and opens it, making her stagger backwards. It isnít Kevan, itís Adam. Kevan follows him, smoothing his hair and grinning.]

    Adam Are you two fighting?

    Scarlett No.

    Kevan No.

    Adam Iím going to deceive myself that you are being honest. Why are those all over the floor?

    Scarlett A moment of weakness. Sorry.

    Adam Pick them up. New scripts?

    Kevan Yes. I think you will find them delightful.

    Adam Does it matter how I find them?

    Kevan What does that mean? And, uh ... arenít you a little early?

    Adam No, actually Iím late. Arenít I?

    [Scarlett coughs. Kevan looks from one to the other. Suddenly, Theresa enters.]

    Theresa Hi, Scarlett. KEVAN!

    Kevan Honey, Iím home.

    Theresa Oh, I ...

    Kevan Have some explaining to do?

    Theresa Oh, um, I do?

    Kevan I expected you to be tear-streaked. You sounded on the phone as though you would be in fits of grief for the remainder of the month. Not that Iím not happy to see you so rapidly recovered from the ravishes of grandmaternal mortality. But I must admit I am surprised.

    Scarlett Well, Iím sure weíre all pleased by that. So letís get to work, shall we?

    Adam Grief? Mortality? Somebody give me an update here.

    Scarlett Youíre funny, Adam.

    Kevan You donít even have to explain. I understand. You were trying to get rid of me.

    Theresa Thatís not true.

    Scarlett No, no, itís true.

    Adam I donít get it.

    Kevan Really? Thatís funny. You see, I was given to believe that you were comforting Theresa after her ... sudden loss.

    Adam Loss?

    Kevan Howís your mimi, Theresa?

    Theresa [sighs] Theyíve both been dead for years.

    Adam Iím starting to .. this is -- disgusting.

    Kevan Youíre disgusted. You are in the wrong here, buddy, not me.

    Adam I had nothing to do with this, Kevan. I am so incredibly angry right now. Scarlett, Iím ashamed of you. I expected better from all three of you. Jesus Christ.

    Kevan How about it, Adam? I think they owe me an apology.

    Adam I think so, too.

    Scarlett I donít owe you shit.

    Kevan Oh, I think you do. In fact, I think if Adam knew the way you were behaving a minute ago, you wouldnít just owe me an apology, you would owe me a couple years indentured servitude. You would have to be my little servant houseboy in a little servant housedress.

    Scarlett Do you want an extra hole in your face? Huh? Because I will key you you little shit-stick, donít you even --

    Adam [scary] EVERYBODY SIDDOWN AND SHUT UP!

    [Everybody shuts up, but they remain standing.]

    Adam NOW! [he pulls the chairs out violently. Everyone sits down. He picks up all the scripts, and then sits down himself.] Act like children, Iím gonna treat you like children. Now -- Kevan.

    Kevan Yuh-huh?

    Adam Guide us through the script.

    Kevan Well, Iíd love to. But --

    Adam But?

    Kevan It so happens I have one last minute change Iíd like to discuss first. [Adam waves resignedly.] A change of roles.

    Adam OK. No problem. Which role?

    Kevan The demon.

    Theresa But -- youíre always the demon.

    Kevan Always -- until now.

    Adam Your play. Youíre director. Who do you want the demon to be?

    Kevan Thatís right. It is my play. Now -- [he sits on the table, grinning at all of them. Scarlett looks scared.] -- I think that Scarlett would make an excellent demon.

    Scarlett Do you.

    Kevan Yes. What do you all think?

    Theresa I donít think thatís a good idea. I think you should be the demon character in every production.

    Kevan Not that Iím ungrateful for your input, Theresa, but shut the fuck up. This is my play.

    Adam You did ask.

    Kevan It was a rhetorical question.

    Scarlett If youíre so in charge, Kevan, maybe we should just go. It sounds like you could do this all on your very own.

    Kevan But I need you.

    Scarlett Why?

    Kevan Because youíre in my play.

    Theresa You canít -- use us. Weíre people, not toys.

    Kevan No, no, youíre definitely toys.

    Scarlett I wasnít aware of that.

    Kevan Well, now you are.

    Adam Kevan, come on, this is stupid. Weíre all in the play. It takes all of us to make the play work. There are no small parts. So stop treating my friends like your fucking toilet paper.

    Kevan OK. OK. I give. You are all important and valuable and inexpendable. Iíll grant that. Iím only going to ask one thing. I want this [gestures towards Scarlett] talented young lady to become our new demon. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our head hippy. Why do I want this? Because she has it in her. This [gestures again] is our demon. Behold! Can I get a round of applause? [He applauds enthusiastically all by himself.]

    Theresa Why do we even use scripts anymore? It changes so often --

    Kevan No scripts? OK. See? Iím being democratic. Iím taking suggestions. No scripts it is.

    Theresa Wait, thatís not what Iím saying, I --

    [Kevan takes the scripts and starts tearing them to pieces. He takes the pieces and throws them in the trash.]

    Kevan Done!

    Theresa [standing up] What the hell are you doing? Youíre such a crazy bastard!

    [Kevan walks over to her and slaps her. Nobody does anything. Both sit.]

    Scarlett Nobodyís going to do anything? Say anything?

    Theresa Itís OK, Scarlett. I was asking for it.

    Scarlett Asking for it? None of us asked for this. You know what? Iím going. Not just for today. For good. Iím out. If I have to do Shakespeare in some po-dunk little town for the rest of my life... You know, fuck it. Iím going. Iím gone. Theresa, youíre coming with me.

    Theresa No, Iím not.

    Scarlett Yes, you are.

    Theresa NO, Scarlett. Iím needed here.

    Kevan Awwwwwww.

    Scarlett I -- I canít stick around and watch you get pushed around. Thatís not fucking OK. Youíre coming with me.

    Theresa Iím staying. I want you to stop fighting with Kevan. As my friend, Iím begging you. Stay, truce, do whatever it takes. But we are STICKING THE FUCK TOGETHER.

    Kevan [surprised] Whoa.

    Scarlett [sitting back down helplessly] You really know how to get at me, Terry. Okay. Truce, Kevan? Or at least ... pretend truce? For sanityís sake?

    Kevan Scarlett. Baby. [He goes to her, standing over her.] I like you. [He squeezes her cheeks.] I like you so much -- Iím going to kill you first. [He stands and goes to the door.] Youíre going to be as dead as Theresaís make-believe grandma. I love you that much. In the meantime -- if you want to tear each otherís clothes off, Scarlett, Theresa -- Iím not going to stop you. Get in the way of true love? Me? [He laughs, then starts to exit.]

    Adam [sighs] Leaving already?

    Kevan Yeah, so sorry. I have a date. [He looks at Scarlett.] With a predator. [exits]

    Scarlett [as she hears him driving away] Shit, thatís my car.

    Adam Iíll take you home.

    Theresa Adam, Iím so sorry.

    Adam I know. Itís OK.

    Scarlett Donít expect me to apologize as well.

    Adam I donít.

    Scarlett I would, but for some reason, in the last couple minutes, I have lost all respect for you.

    Adam You know what, Scarlett? So have I. So donít bother chewing me out. I already feel like shit.

    Scarlett Maybe they didnít tell you this in junior acting camp, but hitting people is not OK. And sitting around while it happens isnít OK, either.

    Adam Funny, I didnít see you doing anything.

    Theresa Stop it.

    Adam Not to mention, who appointed me daddy of the group? I kind of thought that we were married. You know, with two kids. But now Iím beginning to feel like a single parent.

    Theresa Iím not a child!

    Adam I wasnít saying --

    Theresa Yes you were!

    Scarlett Terry, dearest, stay out of the grown-upsí way.

    Theresa Oh, for Chrissake, not you too! What a crock of shit. Iím leaving.

    Scarlett Oh! No, Theresa, Iím so --

    Theresa -- so not my mother it isnít even funny. And if you keep acting like it, you wonít even be my sister.

    Adam I, uh, kind of got the impression you two were more than just sisters?

    Theresa Oh, man, if you two started acting any more like Kevan, youíd have to all dress identical. Bye-bye. [She exits.]

    Adam Iíd better be off. I have blood pressure medicine to take.

    Scarlett [weakly] Donít leave me.

    Adam Sorry?

    Scarlett I said, donít leave me. Donít leave me alone.

    Adam Sometimes, when you go out of your way to alienate all of your friends, alone is what you get. Tough shit.

    Scarlett Iím so, so sorry. I do apologize. I donít know whatís happening to me. Please. Please stay here. Just a minute. I have to know somebody doesnít hate me.

    Adam None of us hate you.

    Scarlett Kevan hates me.

    Adam He hates everybody.

    Scarlett And now Theresa hates me.

    Adam I donít know if thatís true. Youíll have to ask her.

    Scarlett I really am in love with her, you know.

    Adam Yeah, I know. [He exits.]

    [Scarlett goes to the trash can, and gets out the scraps of the scripts. She looks at them, crying hard.]
    ~~ MADDY ~~
    at your service

    <3

  2. #2
    No real negatives to pick up on here. The only advice I can give is that the swearing is a bit excessive. I love F-bombs, they're the best bomb. . .but, when used in the right places. Swearing can spice up a piece to great effect when used correctly, but more frequent use can bring it down and, worst of all, become annoying. It's not especially grating in what you've written at all, but you can omit a few expletives here and there; that'd improve it significantly, I think.

    Another small thing is, Scarlett and Kevan seem too similar in the way they speak. What I mean is, at times, it almost sounds like Kevan is arguing with himself, if that makes sense. I think you should try and throw something into the mix that differentiates them more clearly.

    Adam could be more present too, his participation feels like it's been reigned in. He's the most reserved and reasonable character of the four, and I'd say we need more from him and Theresa to balance it out.

    Overall, the dialogue was snappy and well written. The snarkiness between Scarlett and Kevan is fun to read, but it goes on for a bit too long when they start arguing, I feel. I'm reviewing that as a piece of writing though, not as a play; it may work brilliantly with people acting it out, but on paper, it's also quite excessive.

    I apologize, I wish I could've said more than these paltry few paragraphs. Well, I hope it helped either way. Good luck .
    Last edited by Bruno Spatola; January 7th, 2011 at 10:08 PM.
    "When I am gone, it won't be long before I disturb you in the dark."

    ~ Hidden Content ~

  3. #3
    I'm not sure if you'll ever read this but anyway,

    As this is a play I'd have preferred you to set the stage for me first. Is there one character on stage and the other outside, pounding the door? If there's three people already in the room, each time someone speaks for the first time it will be a surprise to me that they're there (unless already referred to), remember I'm reading this at the moment, not watching; I'm effectively blind. Put down who's on stage and who isn't, describe what he/she's doing. Is it daytime/nightime? It would have really helped me.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by spider8 View Post
    I'm not sure if you'll ever read this but anyway,

    As this is a play I'd have preferred you to set the stage for me first. Is there one character on stage and the other outside, pounding the door? If there's three people already in the room, each time someone speaks for the first time it will be a surprise to me that they're there (unless already referred to), remember I'm reading this at the moment, not watching; I'm effectively blind. Put down who's on stage and who isn't, describe what he/she's doing. Is it daytime/nightime? It would have really helped me.
    Yeah, I was going for the script being a little skeletal but it's probably *too* skeletal. My friends tell me I write like David Mammet xD. Remember, tho, that this is an excerpt -- there are only four characters, so in context it's clear who's on stage and who isn't. But thanks for your input.
    ~~ MADDY ~~
    at your service

    <3

  5. #5
    It's always hard to really get a feel for something like this, because the way it would be interpreted by an actor, the emphais and intonation, are all missing.

    For me, what was most worrying is that I neither liked nor disliked any of the characters. If anything, I found I didn't really care about any of them. I might have been more interested had any of them caught my attention one way or the other. Maybe part of the reason for this was that they seemed very similar. They had much the same general voice, they all veered from one mood to another without any seeming reason, and they spent too much time squabbling.

    It felt like being in a room with people bickering, and bickering about something I neither understood (I do appreciate that as an excerpt I am lacking the backstory) nor felt any curiosity about. By the time the script got ripped up, I will admit I abandoned it because I failed to see that it was going anywhere.

    As I said, with interpretation the characters might be distinguishable from one another, but on paper they were way too similar.

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