That's MY Dad!
Ever Wish You Could Control Your Dreams? / Arrest
Us for What? Wearing Big Pants?
In any formal Theatre class you eventually want your students to perform
monologues. There are about a million books out there containing monologues
for student actors, but I have yet to find one I though was much good.
(The ones that contain monologues cut from plays, as opposed to original
monologues are certainly better, but there really aren't all that many
plays being written these days with good youth characters. Plus a lot of
the time, contemporary plays have language or subject matter that won't
fly in most schools.) Consequently, about once a year I get frustrated
and write some of my own. I have used the following monologues with my
Middle School acting students with great success. I think they would also
work in High School, or even with advanced late Elementary actors. Please
feel free to use any of these monologues with your students. Please let
me know if they work for you. (PLEASE, if you re-post my monologues, be
sure to give me credit for them. Thanks.)
I guess I must have been about eight. I couldn't have been much younger.
It was the first time my Dad took me to a real Major League ballgame. I
guess I must have eaten one too many hot dog or too many nachos, because
I suddenly really had to go to the bathroom. I wasn't sure my Dad would
let me go by myself, but we were within one run of tying the game and he
didn't want to miss anything. I was thrilled. When you're eight finding
the men's room by yourself is a real grown-up adventure. Even the word "MEN'S room" was
exciting. But I think deep down I was a little hurt that he wasn't more
worried about me. I mean who knows what kind of weirdos might have been
in that men's room?
Anyway, there weren't any weirdos. But when I got back to my seat, this
GUY was in it. This total stranger was in my seat, and he was talking to
my Dad. And my Dad had his arm around the guy's shoulder--not in a weird
way, but you know, like guys bonding. And they were laughing. My dad used
to put his arm around my shoulders like that! The men's room was up a level
from our seats, so I saw them before they saw me. And all I could think
was, why is he talking to that guy? That's my seat! That's MY Dad!
I couldn't move. I just stood there in the middle of the stadium frozen.
I thought I'd been replaced. I wanted to scream, "No, Dad! I'll be a better
son! Whatever it takes, I'll do it! Dad!" But I couldn't. I just stood
there. I guess I was crying.
This guy in a blue shirt came up and tried to find out what was wrong,
but I couldn't tell him. How could I tell him I was dumped by my DAD? So
he kind of pried open my fingers, where I was holding my ticket, and saw
where my seat was. He sort of pushed me along and we got down to my seat.
When we got there the guy stood up to let me sit down, and I saw who
it was. "Hey, look who's here," my Dad said. "It's Mr. Allen! What do you
know--he's a huge baseball fan just like you!"
Mr. Allen was my gym teacher. I've hated gym class ever since.
Go back to the top.
Wish You Could Control Your Dreams?
Ever wish you could control your dreams? You know--you go to sleep and dream
about whatever you want? Sometimes I think I could really FIX things if
I could just dream them right. I guess that sounds pretty stupid. Like
last week I had this huge test in Chemistry. I really like Chemistry, but
there's so much to remember. I tanked. And I KNOW that stuff--that's what
makes me so mad. Who cares, right? It's just a stupid test. But I'm the
one who's supposed to be so smart. My Dad wants me to go to medical school,
and I guess I do too, but who needs the pressure? I mean, doesn't he have
a life of his own? If I turn out to be a moron, what's that to him? "My
son, the Honor Student. My son, the Doctor." Can't he talk about sports
like everybody else? The first thing he says to me when he gets home: "So,
how'd the test go? Another A, right?" I told him we didn't get the test
So that night I dreamed I aced the test. In my dream I remembered every
stupid element. I could see the protons and electrons and neutrons spinning
around like little solar systems, and I could recognize every one. I think
I was flying among them for a while, like with a jet pak or something.
Or maybe I WAS and electron. That part of the dream is sort of fuzzy. But
the thing was, I KNEW IT ALL. I woke up before the dream was over, so I
never saw my grade on the test, but I know I aced it. I had the stuff cold.
And the funny thing was, the dream made the real test okay. I mean, I still
got an F and all. I still probably can't get an A for the semester no matter
what I do on the next test, but I'm okay with it. Look, I KNOW Chemistry.
Hey, for one thing, if I didn't, how could I have dreamed all that stuff?
I just had a bad day.
The next morning I told my Dad I flunked the test. He gets all quiet
for a minute, but then he goes, "Well, you'll do better next time, right?"
He didn't even freak.
I bet he still tells his buddies on Friday that I aced it, though. It's
kind of pathetic when you think about it.
Go back to the top.
Us for What? Wearing Big Pants?
I'm skating on the sidewalk and this guy tears out of his shop like I'm
the Unabomber or something and actually tries to shove me off the pavement.
"Get a job, you punk!"
Who's he think he is? Get a job. I'm not doing anything
to you. As far as I can see, this isn't your sidewalk. I've been here all
day and I haven't crashed into one person.
Maybe if he worried less about
skaters scaring off his precious customers and more about not selling garbage
his store wouldn't be going under. Maybe if he checked his blood pressure
once in a while he might live longer. I know one thing: The next time he
tries to push me off his stoop, he's gonna wish he kept his hands to himself.
Get a job. Get one yourself. You'll need one when your lease comes due
and your landlord kicks you out so he can open a yogurt bar or something.
This is the same guy who threatened to call the cops on us last week. I
wish he HAD called them. What are the cops going to do--arrest us? For what?
For wearing big pants? There's no law against skateboards.
Call me a punk.
I wish he did call the cops. I wonder what the penalty is for a grown man
assaulting a juvenile. Not that anyone would've come anyway. The cops are
too busy rolling bums and eating donuts to mess around with "skatepunks"
who might actually fight back. Skatepunks! What's that about? Just because
we skate, does that make us juvenile delinquents? I have a B average in
school, I don't smoke or drink, and I never cut class in my life. I don't
even sneak into the movies. They don't like the way we dress, so they assume
we're criminals or something.
My Dad has pictures of himself in the sixties,
with long hair and beads and stuff. He looks like a freak! And he's PROUD
of it! They're all proud of it. Compared to them we look normal.
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