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Jack and the Guides Psychedelic Soul Searching Escapade
Props: Couch, tv stand, doorway, briefcase, tin cup
Setting: Jack sitting on couch talking on the phone in expensive work clothes, sleeves rolled up, briefcase to the side of chair, night.
JACK (angered): Why are you calling me on my personal number? (waits for response) Well I don’t care how important it is, I hired you for a reason! (waits for response) You have two days to get it done Jamison, or else you can kiss this job goodbye! (hangs up phone, enter Ruby)
RUBY: Who was that Jack?
JACK: No one, just some lowlife I’m gonna fire after this projects over.
RUBY: What did he do wrong?
JACK: Do I need a reason?
RUBY (Disappointed): Well that doesn’t sound too fair.
JACK (Scoffs, annoyed): I don’t need you questioning my ethics! Until you start paying the bills around here, you can just mind your business. Go upstairs and leave me alone, I don’t have time for this.
RUBY (Crying): You’re not the man I married (exits stage)
JACK (Scoffs): What the hell does she know? (phone rings, JACK picks it up angry) I swear Jamison, if this is another one of your stupid question- (Person interrupts him), oh sorry I thought you were someone else, (waits for response) no you can’t come over right now (waits for response) Because my wife is here! (waits for response) I miss you too. (waits for response) Ruby is going out with the kids tomorrow at 3 you can come then. (waits for response) Alright see you tomorrow, bye. (JACK laughs, amused) stupid woman. (JACK takes the remote and clicks on the tv)
GUIDE (Enter GUIDE to Center stage, talking directly to audience, not visible to JACK who is clicking through channels half asleep): Welcome, to the dreams of Jack (Gestures to JACK). He is not aware I am waiting for him, but he will arrive here soon. The reason for why I brought you here is unimportant, I will tell you however, that you are here to witness the making of a new man. One of humility, and compassion, instead of the spineless swine he is today. (Jack drops remote beside him and slumps in his chair, asleep) Ah! Here he comes now. Goodbye for now, we will talk again very soon (Guide bows, curtains close)
Setting: Bare stage except for a lone doorway on the right side of stage, smoke.
JACK (enters from left, confused): Hello?! Is there anybody here? (Enter Guide from left, Jack looks around stage for someone before seeing guide, surprised and defensive) Who the heck are you?
GUIDE (Blankly): I am the Guide.
JACK (Nervously): What is that supposed to mean?
GUIDE: I am here to lead you.
JACK: Lead me to what (Jack begins moving slowly backwards toward door)?
GUIDE: To being a better you.
JACK: Listen bub, I think I know myself a little more than some insane Goth freak show like you, and I know for a fact that Jack Scott is the best man you’ll meet in your entire life (Jack reaches door still facing guide).
GUIDE (smirking): We will see (Jack opens the door behind him before jumping through).
(Curtains close and lights go out, all that can be heard is the drawn out scream of JACK before a loud thud. Lights return revealing ambiguous setting JACK laying on the ground, middle of stage, guide standing over him. Swirling light patterns displayed across stage)
JACK (Rubbing head groaning in pain): What the hell was that about?! What kind of door leads straight to a drop? (Looks around toward ceiling) And where the hell did I even fall from anyway?
GUIDE: You’re in the first stage.
JACK (Annoyed and confused): The first stage of what?
GUIDE: Your dream.
JACK: My what?
JACK (short pause before bursting out in laughter): You’re joking! What is this some kind of soul searching, spiritual, self-realization, mumbo jumbo?
JACK (talking through mocking laughter): Alright, alright, I’ll play along. What am I supposed to learn from this (In air quotes) “stage”?
JACK: And how exactly do you plan on doing that?
GUIDE: What is your greatest fear Jack Scott?
JACK: What’s it to you?
GUIDE: Very well, I will answer for you. Your greatest fear, Jack Scott, is the loss of everything you have cheated your way to earn in your life.
JACK (slightly nervous tone, halfhearted chuckle): As if you’d know bub. Everything I have I’ve earned fair and square.
GUIDE: Is that so?
JACK (angered): You’re damn right it is!
GUIDE: Very well then. I will just show you.
JACK: What the hell are you talking about-
(Curtains close, music plays, patterns light up curtain, music stops. Curtain opens to reveal JACK, his lavish clothing replaced with drab battered rags, sitting on the ground center stage asleep. Tin cup in hand. GUIDE slowly walks up to him before dropping change in the cup with a loud clang, startling JACK awake)
JACK: Wh-What’s going on?
GUIDE: This is your life now Jack Scott.
JACK (Scared): No no no! This can’t be! I’m rich, I live in a mansion, not on the side of the street as some beggar!
GUIDE: You are wrong Jack Scott.
JACK: How can this be?!
GUIDE: You continued down the path of greed and injustice.
JACK: Thi-This can’t be. This is a trick!
GUIDE: You’re eyes do not deceive you Jack Scott.
JACK (frantically): I won’t let this happen. (Screaming) I WON’T! There has to be some way!
GUIDE: There is one way.
JACK (Rushing to guide. Gripping his shirt, begging): Please, tell me! I’m begging you! I can’t live this way! This is hell!
GUIDE: You must change your ways Jack Scott.
JACK (lets go of Guides clothes backing away to middle stage. Hesitatingly): I-I don’t know how.
GUIDE: Live a life of humility rather than the one of greed and desire that you do today. You have the potential to do great things with your life, do not waste it on the superficial. Do you understand Jack Scott?
JACK: I-I think so.
GUIDE: Very well, we may proceed (walks past JACK to right of stage. Opens door looks to JACK and gestures to let him through. JACK goes through doorway. GUIDE looks to audience and nods before entering after him, closing door behind him. Curtains close, music)
(Back in smoke and pattern filled room, doorway right of stage JACK left of stage. Guide middle stage, JACK back in his previously worn clothes.)
JACK (Rubbing head in pain): Jeez man you need to find an alternative to that whole falling thing.
GUIDE: It is your dream.
JACK (mockingly): Riiiiiiiiiiiiight, I almost forgot.
GUIDE: It does not matter what you believe Jack Scott. What matters is the path you choose to take when you leave this place.
JACK (looks away from guide ashamedly): Yeah yeah yeah, I get it. Let’s just get a move on, alright?
GUIDE: Very well.
JACK (looking to guide): So what’s this next stage all about?
GUIDE: The second and final stage will show you to treat your fellow man with compassion, rather than hate and distrust.
JACK: Listen now, I haven’t given anyone anything that wasn’t comin’ to them got that?
GUIDE: Is that so?
JACK: Damn right it is.
GUIDE: Your actions have proven otherwise.
JACK (Angry now): Oh yeah!? What the hell gave you that impression!? (Enter BOY left ragged clothing, tapping JACK on shoulder. JACK ignores it)
BOY: Hey, hey mister, could ya spare any change?
JACK (without turning around): Not now kid get the hell outta here. (BOY exits stage left, head hung. JACK returning to talk with guide, pointing finger at his chest angrily) I’m tired of you. Sittin’ up on ur high horse judging me (MAN enters left, average clothing, carrying tire iron, grease smudged face)
MAN: Yo! Excuse me! Do you think I can get some help changing this tire? The bolts won’t budge and I’m already late fo-
JACK (Without turning around, screaming) CAN’T YOU SEE IM BUSY?! (MAN exits left shaking head. JACK continues rant) Now what gives you the right to judge me! Don’t you know who I am! I’m JACK SCOTT! THE MOST COMPASSIONATE GOD DAMN MAN IN THE WORL- (enter girl from left raggedy clothes)
GIRL (Nervous): E-Excuse me mister (Jack turns around with ferocity and anger)
JACK: WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT!? (Girl jumps in fright before spinning around and exits stage running. Jack stands up straight slowly backing away, afraid of his own actions. Slowly turning around to guide)
GUIDE: Do you see now Jack Scott?
JACK: Y-yeah. I think I do.
GUIDE: Our time here is almost up. But I hope you have thus far learned the beginning of the path you must take.
JACK: Wh-what if I can’t do it. What if I can’t lead this path you laid out for me?
GUIDE: Do not worry, this escapade is far from over Jack Scott.
JACK: Wait what?
GUIDE: I have many more things that I must teach you.
JACK (Guide and Jack begin walking toward door slowly, still talking): Can’t we just get this over with right now?
GUIDE: No (Opens door for JACK).
JACK: Is there really no other way?
GUIDE: There is not.
JACK (letting out sigh of reluctance): You’ve got to be kidding me.
GUIDE: I will see you tomorrow night Jack Scott.
JACK (as he walk through doorway exiting stage, disgruntled): Yeah yeah whatever. See you tomorrow. (JACK shouts off stage) Honey! Come down here, we need to talk.
GUIDE (shuts door behind him, returns to center stage talking to audience): Jack Scott has a long road ahead of him, but I know he will succeed on his path. I think it is time I reveal the real reason why I brought you here. (Menacingly) This is to serve a warning. If you feel the path you are taking is the wrong one, beware. For I may take a trip to your dreams one of these nights. (Sudden switch to normal voice) Anyway, I hope to see you again in one of the many escapades to come (Curtains close around a bowing guide).