If you’re here because you’ve been using the monologue from my play THE ASK…welcome! If you’d like a copy of the entire play so that you know what you’re talking about it, you can obtain one here –


Many years ago, I started writing monologues for myself and my friends. Yes, yes, I know that’s “against the rules” (whatever that means) and blah, blah, blah. But I did it anyway. Perhaps if I hadn’t, my friends and I would be more successful. Maybe I completely tanked all of our career prospects by writing all of us fake monologues complete with fake play titles and fake playwrights. C’est la vie. There’s not a whole lot I can do about it now.

In any case, many of these monologues are still in circulation twenty years later. So yes, it’s possible you’ve heard actors perform some of my monologues at auditions and didn’t realize it. Not all of them are worth posting but some of them I’m quite fond of. You may use these, if you like. Or you can use my monologue from THE ASK which was recently published in Smith & Kraus’ BEST WOMEN’S STAGE MONOLOGUES OF 2013. as well as Applause Books’ BEST CONTEMPORARY MONOLOGUES FOR WOMEN 18-35

The System

I am so, so sorry. Mom said that Jack had been hanging on for months and… I know he was in a lot of pain. This must just be awful for you. Look…I know I haven’t been the best sister. I haven’t always been there for you. I feel like we haven’t had a real conversation in years and I can’t tell you how much it means to me that after Jack died, I was the ninth person you called.

Sarah, I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there. Now, I know that losing a husband to cancer isn’t the same as a boyfriend leaving you without even leaving a forwarding address or anything, but the point is we’re both alone. And when you’re as alone as I’ve been, still am, … you need something; something to help put your life back on track.

And that’s why I want to tell you about “The System”. With “The System” you can buy at cost, and sell at a profit, cutting edge, scientifically proven cleaning products and dietary supplements. Let me tell you about “Basic G”. “Basic G” comes in an innocent- looking, plastic bottle, but one drop of “Basic G” contains as much cleaning power as one gallon of hand soap. I’m serious. One gallon of hand soap! But wait, there’s more. You’ll also get month’s supply of “Choco Fingers”, a delicious appetite suppressant containing less than one gram of fat per serving. And while you’re enjoying “Choco-Fingers”, you can also sell “Choco-fingers” and introduce your friends and family to “The System”! To understand how the system works, try to visualize a triangle with you at the base. The more people you introduce to the system, the more you profit and the higher up you move on the triangle. The more people that they introduce to “the system”, the more you continue to profit. I’m sure you have many questions, but now isn’t the time to go into them. That’s why I brought you six audiotapes that will tell you everything you need to know. You can listen to them in the car! Don’t lose them, though, okay? They’re expensive and I have to give them back.

Listen. You and I both know that no amount of money can bring Jack back to life. But sometimes, when I’m feeling alone, I just remember that I’m never alone as long as I have family. Family and several low-cost cleaning solutions, not to mention an unlimited supply of low-fat microwavable dinners that come in your choice of five tasty entrees. What I’m trying to say is, “The System” may not wash away your pain, but it will wash away your stains. And while you’re shedding tears, why not also shed unwanted pounds? I’m here for you, Sarah, in whatever way you need me. Just call me, anytime, day or night, and I’ll be there. And I’ll bring a box of Vanilla-Snaps: a combination laxative and Vitamin E supplement.

The Swing of It

Michael, I…I don’t know what to say. It’s not that I don’t love you. I do. But here’s the truth. I can’t be with you because I’ve seen our future in my mind, and I know you’re going to die from a rattlesnake bite.

No, wait. Hear me out. I can’t explain it either. Some call it a gift, I call it a curse. The fact is, I could make up some cockamamie story about how I’m not in love with you or I’m in love with someone else or you don’t make enough money, but most of those things are completely untrue. I wish that I could spare you and not reveal this, tell you not to take that trip to New Mexico, but what are you supposed to do? Miss your father’s funeral? It’s predestined. I’m sorry. Try not to think about it.

One more thing. You’re not going to be alone when the serpent strikes. There will be a woman with you. Michael, make sure that woman has good orthodontia. Listen to me, Michael! Everyone knows that you can’t extricate rattlesnake venom from the fleshy part of the buttock unless you have perfectly straight teeth! Remember that! I can’t be that woman, Michael. I have horrible orthodontia. Granted, my front teeth are gorgeous, but you can do much better in the incisor department and we both know that’s true.

So, I guess this is goodbye. I’m sorry.

(pause-has a vision)

Wait! Make sure you exit on the south side of the building.

(pause-has another)

Wait! And don’t get in the first cab.

That’s Me in The Corner

Okay, first of all…you should know that I know that if you walk out of here it’s got nothing to do with the fact that I’m…how did you put it… “mean” or “unpleasant” or “embarrassing to be around”. Don’t bullshit me, okay? You’re not upset that I “work late” or “have a lot of close good-looking male friends”, and it’s not about my “short temper” or the fact that I’m “career obsessed”.

It’s because I’m short, isn’t it?

That’s what this whole thing is about. You see yourself with…what’s her name… Brittany Crawford or… or… David Copperfield’s wife or J. Lo Puff Diddy or someone. But you know what? I hate to say it, but you’re no David Copperfield. And you know why his wife left him? Because magicians are fucking stupid!

And the reason I work all the time is because I’m an extremely important person. Believe it or not, 70 hours a week is not uncommon. I’m not career obsessed. Your mother and her quilting; THAT’S an obsession. And if it weren’t for my job, who’d pay for your anti-depressants? Your friends at the ACLU? Please. They can barely afford to buy their own granola. And furthermore, where do you get off calling me mean? I’m not mean, I’m focused. But sometimes, SOMETIMES, focused and mean look the same, to lazy people who spend too much time on the phone with their parents! And are you ready for this one ‘cause I’m gonna tell you something you don’t know. Every Christmas, I go down to Michigan Ave and drop silver dollars in the salvation army buckets. You know who gets that money? Retarded people! So don’t you call me mean, Momma’s boy, I give money to goddamned retarded people! How do you like that, Mr. Socialized Medicine? I’m doing my part for the fucking underprivileged!

You know, maybe you’re just too tall. Did you ever think about that Mr. Tall Guy? Mr. Circus Freak? Well I am who I am, Mr. Judgemental, and you know what? The heels are coming off. Right now. (take off her heels) There. See? I’m even shorter now. Does that disturb you, Hugh Hefner? Mr. I gotta have a Playboy Centerfold or I’m just not happy?

Hey! Where are you going? Come on. I’m sorry. I got carried away. Listen… I just get worked up, you know? But if we’re going to work through this, we have to hear each other out. Okay? Sit down and let’s talk. Come on. Sit down. Please, sit down.


The Little Guy

Everybody always wants to know about the little guy. I mean what’s the big freakin’ deal. I mean did you ever think that maybe I don’t want to tell you about the little guy? Did you ever think about that? Or maybe the little guy doesn’t want you to know anything about him. Maybe he’s a very private, shy little guy. Did you ever think about that?

“Tell us about the little guy!” Well, what do you want to know? He’s a little guy. There. Now you know his size and his gender. What more do you want? So thenthey’re all “Is it a dwarf? Is he a midget?” And I’m all “Hey, man! Don’t pigeonhole the little guy! Don’t try to define him, all right? He is what he is and that’s all you need know.” He’s a friend of mine. That’s all. He’s about two feet tall. Okay? You happy? And he’s not very good looking. Although I’m not gonna tell him that because he’s got kind of a temper. But it’s not like he’s gonna get chicks anyway because he’s only two feet tall. And he likes me, okay? You got a problem with that? That someone actually likes me?

Okay, and here’s a secret. He comes and goes as he pleases. When he wants to go somewhere, he just takes an aspirin and vanishes. Phhht! Just like that. I don’t how it works. There’s nothing on the back of the label. I’ve checked. I popped half a bottle once and nothing happened. Maybe it only works for little guys.

But most of the time he just explains stuff. Like I ask him, you know, why stuff happens. You know, like why bad stuff happens to some people but not other people. Sometimes he knows why. So that’s the deal we have. He helps me understand stuff and I help him turn on light switches and open medicine cabinets.

So there.

Can I go home now? I really want to go home.

Bad Timing

(Janie comes onstage, carrying a suitcase. She is laughing, giddy, on the edge of hysterics. She stares at Steven for a beat)

Okay! I did it! Finally, I know. You were right, we both know you were right. Really, we’ve known for three years you were right. So I was just sitting there, for the zillionth time…you know…do I pick up the phone? Do I not pick up the phone? Whatever. And then it just came over me; all this momentum. Like a giant wave. And I packed all my stuff. Well, not all of it. Just what would fit into my bag and I threw the rest out the window. Right out the fucking window! You were totally right. I have way, way, way too many clothes. So I saved that peach sun dress you like and a pair of shoes and underwear. The rest of it just went sailing out the window! It felt great!

And you were right about Megan, too. You can’t always have the same friends all your life. Especially if they’re bad for you and take up all your time. She wasn’t in so I left a message on her machine. I didn’t leave a number or anything. Just “goodbye-click!”  My parents too. You were right, you know, they were totally holding me back. So I just left a message. “I’m dead now. I’m dead to you. Don’t call.” (laughs) Isn’t that great? Isn’t that goddamned hysterical?

And the dog. You *definitely* called it on that one. Eleven years is long enough for any animal to be alive and that hip was never gonna heal anyway. He was around for a good long time and I always fed him dry food and threw him the ball and everything and I have no reason to feel guilty. About any of this.

So here I am. I can put my stuff in the bedroom or I can just leave it out here if you want to wait on that. You have to promise me, though, that from here on out we don’t talk about anything that happened today. Okay? Unless it’s to tell me you’re proud of me. Please tell me; are you finally proud of me?

Why Aren’t You an Asshole?

Have you ever seen “Starry Night”? I don’t mean photographs, I mean in real life. It’s obvious Van Gogh knew what he was doing. The paint on that sucker is this thick. I stared at it for a long while and thought “Hmmm. Interesting” while everyone else in the tour group was having what could only be called a collective religious orgasm. It happened that way all through Europe. I’d stand in front of these Masterpieces and I could tell, intellectually, that they were…nice…but I didn’t have the kind of reaction that everyone else was having. “Madre Mia!” “Magnifique!”

It’s really not that different than what’s happening here; what always happens when we get to this point. “Oh, Rob! He’s so incredible! He’s so nice and caring and attentive.” I mean my God; isn’t there anything wrong with you? For pete’s sake, you’ve got more admirers than Christ! Surely you’ve been an asshole at some point. What is it? Do you rip-off old ladies for the insurance money? What? I need to know because here we are once again with you telling me you have these feelings and here I am and I feel like an idiot; like the whole world’s watching me, waiting for me to accept this wonderful gift and I’m the only one that can see…that can see…that it’s not my gift. It doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to someone…I don’t know… certainly someone better than me.

Can’t you see how this works? I’m always bouncing around through life completely out of control and only time everything stops…just stops… is when we have this conversation. And every single time it feels more and more critical. More important. Like it’s not just your feelings at stake, but…I don’t know… my salvation and every time I say “no” to you and “I’m sorry” and I turn away from you, I feel… like I’m dying. Like I’m killing you and dying at the same time. It’s horrible. Because I know how wonderful you are and rejecting you time after time is such an unpardonable sin that every time I do it, I think maybe God cares about me a little bit less than he did before.

So here we are again. Goddammit. And it has to stop. It has to. What I mean is, I love you. (pause) I love you. (pause) I love you, I love you, I love you. (pause) I love you. Maybe if I say it over and over I’ll start to believe it. I hope so, because I’ve got to be honest with you… I’m pretty sure that who I am right here and right now maybe the best that I’m ever able to be.

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