Saturday, November 28, 2009


In one of in-class writing exercises for Experimental Playwriting course at DePaul University I asked my students to write a direct-address monologue that uses the audience as a specific person or persons. Todd’s monologue is one of the good ones! Todd brought vitality and enthusiasm to our class with his great sense of humor and acting skills.
Here is his scene:

By Todd A Brownlie

(A Gypsy Fortune-Teller with a thick accent sits at a small table facing the audience. On the table is a crystal ball and some tarot cards spread out.)


Ah… Velcome, my child. Velcome to Madame Ogilvy’s humble shop. Please, have a seat before me.
Yes. Zere you are. I knew you vere comingk. I knew you vere comingk hours before you came. I can see very far into zee future, see? I can also see very far into zee past. I can see zis very moment as vell. I am zat powerful of a psychic! But, enough of all zat. You come to me wiz kvestions, yes?
(waves hand to audience as if to silence them)
No, no… you needn’t ask me anyzing. I know all and see all, my child. I vill answer all of your kvestions and you don’t even have to answer me or respond. I am zat powerful of a psychic! Allow me to consult zee Tarot…
(begins flipping cards out onto table)
Ah… A ten of hearts, a jack of hearts, a kveen of hearts, a kingk of hearts… and vat is Zis? Vhy, it is an ACE of hearts! A Royal Flush! It is all very clear to me now… you are in love viz someone of Royalty. Prince Edvard, no doubt! But as zee Tarot says, zis romance is but a Flush. Perhaps zat is because he lives so very far avay?
(waves hand to audience as if to silence them again)
Tut, tut, tut! Please, do not interrupt Madame Ogilvy. She must now seek advice from zee spirits vizin her Crystal Ball. Zis vill take my total concentration. Zee complete concentration of a powerful psychic. I ask zat you remain completely kviet.
(makes meditative humming noises to self with eyes closed while waving hands over crystal ball)
Hm… Zey are speakingk to me now. Yes. Yes. Zey say, “For English, press one. Para espanol, oprima numero dos.” Hm…
(eyes still closed, speaking to crystal ball)
Vat? My account number? Vell, I dunno. I can give you my name and address, vill zat vork?
I’m sorry. I can’t understand you. Can you connect me viz someone who can speak English? Yes. I can hold.
(eyes still closed, drumming fingers on table impatiently for several moments)
Oh! Aha! Zey are speakingk to me now. Zey tell me… zey tell me zat you are havingk financial problems, yes? Zey say you vere bettingk at zee horse tracks. Lost two zousand dollars. Zey are laughingk at you. Zey say you should have bet on zee horse zey call ‘Daddy’s Viddle Princess.’
Ah! Zey also tell me zat you vill get your promotion at ValMart! You vill no longer be a Greeter. You vill be a part-time Cart Pusher. Congratulations!
(opens eyes and leans back exhausted)
Vell, my dear. Madame Ogilvy is only so powerful of a psychic. I am tired and can no longer concentrate. I have told you everyzingk I can tell you. Your fee is twenty dollars. Please pay and find your way to zee door. Good night…

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