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Go Your Own Way

Fleetwood%20Mac%2012-10-78.jpgThis is my second Out of the Hat script. I wasn't feeling in a very silly mood when I wrote this so this became the first Out of the Hat drama in the second night of the second Out of the Hat in December of 2003.

My prompts were:

Who: Mickey Mouse
What: Dark Swiss Chocolate
Where: Fleetwood Mac Concert
Cast: 2 Women

I'm very pleased with this script and it was performed again in December of 2005 in a series of student directed pieces at the College of St. Scholastica.

Go Your Own Way
by Lawrence Lee
December, 2003

Liz: Woman in her early forties, dressed stylishly, but not frumpy. Maybe artistically.
Beth: 15 year old, dressed somewhat retro, circa 1979, perhaps a bit provocatively.

(lights up, music up on Fleetwood Mac song, loud at first so that Liz has to shout her opening few lines, but fading as scene continues)

Liz: Amanda! Amanda Mae Barnes, where are you? (as if struggling through crowd) Ah, there you are! (grabs Liz's shoulder from behind, turns her around) How dare you go to this concert without my... (take) Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were...

Beth: Somebody else, yeah, I got that... (turns back around, moving to music)

Liz: (not knowing what to do) Excuse me, but, I'm looking for my daughter.

Beth: (shrugging) I'm not her.

Liz: (trying again) She kind of looks like you, though. Wears her hair a little shorter, but about the same color. She's wearing a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, I think.

Beth: (looking with pity) Why do you think she's here?

Liz: She's been talking about going to this concert for weeks, but I told her she couldn't.

Beth: Why not?

Liz: She's not old enough. She's only 15, I mean, really.

Beth: Guess what? I'm 15! Quelle coincidence, n'est pas?

Liz: Well, I'm sure you're a very mature 15.

Beth: So I'm told.

Liz: (an idea) Maybe you go to school with my daughter! Her name is Amanda, Amanda Barnes.

Beth: (shaking head) I'm not from here. I'm traveling... (slyly) with the band.

Liz: At your age!? (holding back, failing) Don't you think your parents...

Beth: My parents couldn't care less.

Liz: I'm sure your wrong. (sniffing) That man up there...

Beth: Where?

Liz: There. He's smoking a (mouthing) joint.

Beth: Oh yeah, that's Larry. (sniffs deeply) Yep, that's a joint all right. You want me to go get you some?

Liz: (wide eyes) I do not! And why do you know about joints anyway, Miss I'm-15-and-my-parents-don't-care-about-me?

Beth: Why do you?

Liz: I'm an adult. Adults know about these sorts of things.

Beth: Oh, and how did you get to know about "these sorts of things?" (nodding gravely) By watching 60 Minutes, I suppose. You never smoked any?

Liz: That's not the point. The point is my daughter...

Beth: The point is you can't stand the idea of your daughter having the freedoms you had at her age.

Liz: (shocked) Listen here, little miss, it was different when I was growing up. Safer. Sure, I hitch-hiked and did stupid things, but it isn't the same as today. There are monsters out there.

Beth: (sarcastically) Oh yeah, 1979 is so much safer. No date-rapes, right? Couldn't exist, because the term isn't invented yet.

Liz: (starts to argue, but stops grudgingly) I see your point.

Beth: And your daughter isn't wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt.

Liz: Sweatshirt.

Beth: That either.

Liz: What do you mean? Have you seen her? (starts looking around for her)

Beth: Good lord. No! But would you wear a Mickey Mouse shirt...

Liz: Sweatshirt.

Beth: ...sweatshirt to a Fleetwood Mac concert?

Liz: (thinking for a moment) I might...

Beth: If you were 15?

Liz: I wouldn't be at a Fleetwood Mac concert if I were 15! I'd be at home with my parents who care for me.

Beth: Oh really?

Liz: (unconvincingly) Yes.

Beth: (coldly) I see.

Liz: (pause) What do you see... exactly?

Beth: It's none of my business. Go look for your daughter. She ain't here.

Liz: No, I want to know what you see.

Beth: (talking directly to Liz, sizing her up) You really care about your daughter, don't you?

Liz: Of course I do. That's why I'm here. I don't want anything bad to happen to her.

Beth: (looks around) Oh, show me the bad stuff.

Liz: Well, you said it yourself, didn't you? Drugs, boys...

Beth: "Boys"?

Liz: (quietly) Sex.

Beth: Oh, and I suppose boys don't attend her high school and there aren't any drugs there?

Liz: That's different. That's a controlled environment...

Beth: (laughs) "Controlled environment"? Oh, please. Was your high school a "controlled environment"?

Liz: You know...

Beth: Don't bother answering that. Rhetorical question. We both know the answer to that. Same reason I'm on the band bus instead of the school bus. See that security guard over there? His name is Tony. He's checking right now to see if I'm okay. I'm nodding so he knows you're not trouble. Tony's a good guy. Been out of prison now for 2 years. He's clean and sober and he looks out for me. Marsha three rows back and to the left, she and I go into town to get groceries for the crew every few days. She's a great cook and I've learned a lot more from her than I ever did from some Home Economics class. Bill, the sound techie up there on the board, he's about the funniest guy I know. He's always got a story and he can make an afternoon's work fly by like nothing. Oh, and if you thought it was all pot and sex, we work hard. This is a business after all. So don't talk to me about "controlled environments" until you've spent an afternoon in a high school cafeteria.

Liz: (emotional) I just want my daughter safe and...

Beth: ...and that's the real point, isn't it? Let's make the whole world safe. Let's pass a constitutional amendment to guarantee that we'll all be safe. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of safety, right? It don't work that way and you know it.

Liz: You're right. I made some stupid choices in my life and I paid for them. But there's no reason my daughter has to make the same mistakes.

Beth: You also made some wonderful choices, Liz. Sure, maybe this family is more like Ozzie Osborn than Ozzie and Harriet, but they care for me, they love me, they love you. I'm not Amanda. Amanda isn't you. And you aren't your parents. She'll make different choices than you did, but she knows you love her. I guarantee it. So lighten up!

Liz: Lighten up? (shoe's on other foot now) This from you, who was going to save the world? Miss cause-of-the-week, right? If it wasn't the rain forest, it was apartheid, if it wasn't apartheid, it was nuclear power, if it wasn't...

Beth: Okay, I got the point! And now?

Liz: Now I recycle, write e-mails to my representatives, I drink shade grown fair trade coffee, and occasionally indulge in some organic swiss dark chocolate...

Beth: "E-mails"?

Liz: Electronic mail. Letters, sent over the internet. Wait another 15 years. It's all the rage now.

Beth: Something to look forward to, I guess.

Liz: I'm glad I ran into you. I had forgotten.

Beth: Don't be a stranger. When you find Amanda...

Liz: Yes?

Beth: Tell her I love her too.

(Beth and Liz part as lights dim and "You Can Go Your Own Way" plays)


Nicely done, L. Even with the clothing cue at the beginning, I didn't see where it was going until your turning point. Subtle and effective.

Also reminds me what an incredibly boring teenager I was... must have been the only kid on the planet who didn't smoke, drink, or go to concerts that didn't involve classical music. I went to an inner city high school and no one ever even offered me drugs (and believe me, there were plenty around). Was offered some by adults when I was in college...and I politely declined. The "This is your brain on drugs" line worked well on me. I figured early on that my brain was pretty much all I really had going for me, and I'd better keep that intact.

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