A few choice audition monologues to consider. These are all from plays that I have written; some are un-produced. ...more to come soon!
Connecting Flight | By Tony Yajko
Laura, a college student, is waiting for her parents in an airport bar. She is about to get married to her girlfriend, Toni. She has been casually chatting with the waiter in the bar.
Oh, you don't know Toni at all. Well, we do have a lot in common. We both like the same music, go to the same school, we're both majoring in law... We're both women.
Nothing more to say?
I remember when Toni and I finally told my parents. They came to Boston to help us move into my new apartment and I kind of figured my mom knew what was going on, but my Dad was totally clueless. So anyway, we got all our furniture moved in and my Dad says to me, "sweetie, where is your bed?" I was totally speechless. And then there was this dead silence where nobody knew what to say. And I think that's when it finally sank in.
My folks didn't speak to me for a year... said they "needed time to accept us". Last summer we went on vacation in Cape Cod and Toni came along. Well as soon as my father saw her get out of the car with me he says, "Did you have to bring her along?"
Toni just looked at my father and said... "Well, it would be a little weird if I didn't invite your daughter."
They didn't bother to show up. Well... so much for my parents being here for the wedding. I know they were checked in on that flight. I made the reservations myself. Everyone on board has already been through here... I'm sick of trying to include them in the wedding when they don't want to be a part of it.
full script here
Bloody Strange | By Tony Yajko
A withdrawn wife tells of her first love
It’s obvious that Charlie loves me. Especially when I think about all he has done for me. Like when he took me in, when I was nearly a child, the night we first met. I wanted to run away and join the circus, just ‘cause it seemed so magical; the lights, the trapeze artists flipping backwards fifty feet in the air, the lions jumping through flaming hoops – but, the thing I loved the most was Chuckles the clown. I have always had a thing for clowns, it’s true. You know those clown cars, the little cars that pull up in the center ring, and all those smiling, waving clowns come running out – at least a dozen or so. Well, I would fantasize about being somewhere inside that car,
packed nice and tight with all those grinning clowns, maybe folded up in the glove box… anyway, when Chuckles came through the crowd all the girls screamed. His sexy rainbow afro, those polka-dot pants, the wild face paint lined his cheeks like an Indian warrior. And when he asked me what kind of balloon I wanted, my heart was fluttering uncontrollably. I wanted to ask him to make us our own personal air balloon that we could travel around the world together. But, instead I just barked out the first animal that came to mind: “a dog”. Yes, crazy clown of my confused reveries. Wrap those red painted lips around me, blow me up, twist me and contort me, make me into something else with your hands. And… he did. From that point on, I wasn’t a little girl anymore. Daddy was gone, he knew he couldn’t bring me home. I belonged to Chuckles. Just like the little monkey that accompanied the organ grinder. Chuckles kept me on a leash, packed me in his chest and we traveled from town to town. I slept with my cheek pressed against his giant barren clown shoes. On our honeymoon, he parked his van near the harbor and let me find the hairy treasures behind the purple vest. And then he took me to a fancy Scottish restaurant at a truck stop. There was a clown in the window – it was a sign, a sign that this would be the best day of my life.
full script here
Reaching Out | By Tony Yajko
The "baby" character, a narrative voice that is only heard by the audience, reacts to a pregnancy test in a drug store bag being called 'nothing'.
Nothing?! This is not “nothing”, this is… a magic wand. Wave it and say the magic words and poof! In thirty seconds or less you find out if your life changes forever… and if there’s a little life inside of you. And all this from peeing on a stick! Who woulda’ thunk it?
“Nothing”, you say?! Jeesh, and you wanna’ be my mother. I’m pretty disappointed in ya…
Ah, the elevator— such a miraculous invention. You walk in, push a glowing button and you along with six or seven strangers are magically transported to… another floor. Bong, the doors open and out you go. The greatest thing about this is no matter what kind of hurry you’re in. However badly you want to make it to that next board meeting or the ladies lingerie department, for approximately two minutes you’re forced to just stop. Take a break, feel that sudden awkward jolt of zero g’s and while we’re at it, maybe even a nice Phil Collins instrumental.
(hums a few beats of a Phil Collin’s song)
Oh, but you’ll get none of that on your humble 34’th street elevator. And here in this nice, soothing, quiet atmosphere, what do you like to talk about with your unacquainted neighbors?
Not a damn thing! Because everybody knows there are two socially unacceptable places for people to speak. One is at the public bathroom urinals, and the other is an elevator.
Why is this? Well, why are you askin’ me for? I’m just an embryo, approximately the size of a tic tac. I am not privy to such bylaws of social decorum. For some reason, everyone hates confined spaces… and no place is more confined than an elevator… except for a uterus of course.
full script here
Basic | By Tony Yajko
A soldier looks back on his basic training experience.
By the very meaning of the word, “basic”, you might expect it to be usual or plain. There is nothing basic for a child, and yes I say child. A child whom just learned to drive two years prior, whom hadn’t spent more than a day or two out of the house for boy scout camp, to be thrown into the harsh atmosphere of Lackland airforce base in San Antonio, Texas. Texas is known for cattle, and that’s what we became. As soon as we hit gate nineteen at the airport, we were wrangled together like bovine specimens. One arm length apart, standing at attention; this would become a ritual. Nothing prepares you for the moment you step out of the bus. You expect one or two drill instructors to be there barking out orders, instead I found an army of drill instructors, screaming in a hoarse barrage of obscenities. They called us rainbows in the beginning, the rainbows are the new cadets; we weren't issued our uniforms yet, we still wore our “civilian clothes” in all the colors of the rainbow. Oh, they would fix that quickly… First a stop to the barber shop, where a line of razors were waiting to alleviate us of our moppy heads of hair. Once buzzed, they threw uniforms at us off of shelves as they asked us what sizes we wore. Disorientated and exhausted, I fumbled around the stations, blurting out any numbers that came to mind. Waist size? Twenty three. Did I just say twenty three? Didn’t I mean thirty-two? Do they make a size twenty three? Nobody could fit into these underpants. A horse jockey’s jockey would not fit into these
tighty-whitey’s that are extra tighty and extra whitey. Cotton/polyester blend – for extra discomfort.
And after donning a set of fatigues, they marched us to our barracks, we discover a line of forty steel beds, about two feet wide and seven feet long; the size of a small coffin. A chain that contained three heavy keys to our wall lockers, was placed around our necks. That chain would remain around my skinny neck for the next two months. It was just long enough, that the keys would cradle my armpit as I slept (or tried to sleep), and the serrated teeth would jab
my rib cage, waking me in the night. The first night was the worst. Sergeant Long, our drill instructor, menacingly grumbled, “have a nice fucking nap” after finally leaving us. We lay awake under the constrictive sheets and hospital corners, wondering why we enlisted. I had made the biggest mistake of my life. Three o’clock in the morning he was back in our dorms, screaming at us to get up. He had decided that night ops training had dictated that we march
around the tarmac in our tighty whiteys and shower shoes. We were all issued flashlights with a green cylinder at the tips. As we marched in unison, the glowing green phallic beacons swung along side one another. It was like an army of Yoda’s, going off to battle Darth Vader.
Sample of script here
The Dance | By Tony Yajko
A prostitute is questioned by a psychiatrist about a mutual client who killed himself.
Oh please, don’t start a session with me. You know how long people like you have been trying to figure out what’s going on up here?
And it’s always the same question. How did that make you feel? How did it feel when Cooper killed himself? How did it feel when you flunked out of highschool? How did it feel when you got a papercut on your tongue, licking closed the envelope that contained a letter I wrote to Hershey’s; asking them to bring back the red m&m’s – yeah doc, it felt great! I could taste the metallic flavor of blood and had a welt that wouldn’t heal for a week. For the love of
God, why are some people so obsessed with feelings? People like you; they make a living discussing people’s feelings. It’s always the happy people who want to share their feelings. “Oh, I feel happy – I feel warm – I feel full after that second helping of meatloaf.” I don’t have feelings like that. Shit, I feel worthless – I feel nauseous – I feel cold sweat against my face when I sleep. Ya’ wanna’ know a secret? I don’t even get high to feel good. I get high to feel nothing. The opposite of feelings – numbness. Everything I do is chasing a
vacant sensation. And when I’m screwing some nameless asshole who picked me up, you think it’s cause it feels good? It’s the after-sex that I like. Passing out in a sweaty heap against a cold pool of bodily fluid and not even caring.
So one night Cooper sits me down and tells me that he doesn’t want me to have to sell my body anymore. That we should escape together, far away, where we could be different people.
full script here
Leather Bound Concrete | By Tony Yajko
Three people sit in an interrogation room, having been questioned about a massacre - Dom, Malcolm, and Alice. They debate whether or not to confess. Alice wants for them to take responsibility for their involvement, but Dom does his best to convince them not to. Malcolm is caught between them as they grow increasingly frustrated with each other. Alice blames Dom for things that have gone wrong in Malcolm's life, but Dom insists that Malcolm needs him.
Malcolm knows he needs me around and he can't live without me. You all say you love Malcolm and want what's best for him, so therefore you should appreciate all that I do for him. We have been friends for almost ten years and I have helped him get through the most despairing hours. I helped him deal with situations that would've deprived the sharpest minds of their sanity. Yet every time someone meets me, they just want him to kick me out. (mimicking) You don't need him, Malcolm. He's caustic.
It was the same way with Cathy, the same way with you and same way with the guys we worked with. When we worked a ten hour shift and get back to the house at three in the morning, all Cathy had to say to this man was how he'd better shower quietly, not leave his dirty clothes on the floor, better not wake the kids. All the while I bit my damn tongue. Yeah it's true; he took me in and gave me a place to sleep. If his old lady wanted to yack at him and he decided it was okay - then what right did I have to complain? But dammit, one night, one damn night we hit a few bars after work and come back a little smashed.
Oh, I know all about little Malcolm's twelve steps. That whiskey is the devil's water. It can make you act all kinds of crazy. But damn it! It was just one night we needed to take a break and blow off some steam. The building was complete, we were off probation. It was a night to celebrate so I convinced him to drink some well-deserved shots at the bar. Mikey and the all the guys were with us... they couldn't understand why Malcolm and I were hanging out together, but they just figured he was high off the stuff. But shit, when we got back to the house Cathy had to open her mouth, it doesn't matter how many times we crept up the stairs as silent as apparitions. The one night we lose the keys and have to break down the door and she gets her panties in a bunch.
One of those cases of hindsight being twenty-twenty. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but then again, we were pretty shit-faced.
Dom and Malcolm have, for the moment, decided to claim that they were witnesses, not perpetrators. They are trying to "get their story straight." Malcolm asks, "Who was he... or she? What did they look like? "
Oh shoot, I don't know exactly. It was something both common and misplaced. The face was familiar yet different, their clothes were semi formal, dark jeans that resembled tan slacks. I only got a very brief look at her or his face. I don't know officer. It was so difficult to pin-point the details, they used a name though - it was, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez and they knocked me out and that was that. I want to tell you more but the experience left me scarred.
(stands on table and picks up a tabloid, his delivery becomes more recited than spoken) A jury comprised of my peers will throw the case out due to lack of evidence thanks to the legal stylings of famed lawyer, Johnny Cochran. It will be in the headlines as an on-going scandal but will be swept under the covers when John and Kate get back together and pop out another litter of kids, this time they'll all be various ethnicities and Angelina Jolie and Oprah will go to court for adoption rights... and maybe... just maybe, in ten years or so I'll write a book after the scars heal. I'll print it in white letters on black pages. The font will be so big that even the blind will read it. They can peruse a passage or two in Readers Digest; they'll talk about it at the hair salon and later on, we'll give exclusive rights to CBS. Eventually, after my estranged wife dies of cancer, the headline will be rekindled when an obsessed child molester pleads guilty while vacationing in the Philippines. It will all prove to be a hoax, but I'll still contend my innocence into death. My youngest son will sell the rights to the story after my passing and they'll make a movie. It won't have a name. Just a symbol... they'll call it "the artist formerly known as the movie."
full script here
Till Death Do Us Part | By Tony Yajko
Laura, a deceased wife is having a discussion with her husband, post mortem:
Just a silly notion I suppose. Our culture is so misguided in religion and philosophy. We take our vows, “Till death do us part”, so then once we die, who says we have to spend the rest of eternity
together. Say I re-married after you died… which one of my husband’s would get me? Or would you share me between the two?
God, I wish I were cremated. You heard me! That’s right; I would have rather been a pile of ashes in an urn, than to have to be subjected to an eternity of your annoying ticks. Were you put here to haunt me? Is this some version of hell? I mean… I think I was a pretty good person. I paid my taxes, donated to the church bake sale, even spent a couple years in the peace corps. But maybe something I did pissed God off so bad that he decided I should be tormented for eternity.
We don’t need a divorce, Richard. We’re dead. The marriage is over now. And there has got to be something more to the afterlife then sitting in a graveyard making idle chatter with my dead husband. Are you sure we can’t leave? Did you try?
full script here
Eyes on Jack | By Tony Yajko
An old woman watches a young man cross the street from a window at a bus station. She contemplates their chance meeting.
Look at him walk so casually in this brisk October rain. That
young man is barely covered by that flimsy sweatshirt he wears,
and yet, his demeanor, his clothing… as sinuous of an outward
appearance he projects; it seems as if he wears heavy bronze
armor. Armor that protects him from all the failure he endures.
As concerned as he was of the rain, of getting wet, he strides slowly and confidently down that sidewalk. Not even giving into the human impulse to shield his head from the rain with his hands… None of the passer bys will ever suspect an ounce of fear radiating off his hefty strides. Look at you, I met you as Philly but I shall now knight you with the new name of Sir Phillip. Phillip, who was noble and gallant enough to walk in the rain and fetch this old woman a slice of pizza. And… he’s in the restaurant.
I love standing by a large picture window when it’s raining
outside. Studying those large beads of water coat the glass and
slide down in a stream. These large windows make me feel like
I’m on display… like an exotic fish in the tank at that cute little Italian restaurant across the street. While a fat man eats his linguine, an Angelfish swims in confused circles around
an artificial rock.
(she imitates a fish swimming)
What am I doing here? Who put me in this strange place? Isn’t
that what we all think? And yet I can’t help but grow fond of this cute little town. I noticed that in downtown Binghamton, it is perfectly normal for an old lady to stare out of a window at a bus station and talk to herself. Not only is it normal… it’s expected. And so, here comes Phillip with my pizza.
full script here
BROKE | By Tony Yajko
A homeless man wanders on an entry ramp.
Nothing I like better than an unoccupied entry ramp to the
highway. This is the prime spot for someone like me to make
myself visible. That is the hardest thing to do, you see. Making
somebody stop and actually look you in the eyes.
Come on, you know exactly what I mean… somebody that looks like
me passes you on the sidewalk, what do you do? Where do your
eyes focus? There’s one place that nobody wants to look at.
(motions to his eyes)
If you should happen to glance into my retinas, then maybe…
maybe just for a second… you might have to relate to what I’m
going through. But most rich folk, they stare right through me, like I’m invisible. Or else if they should happen to look in my face, then it’s a grimace of disgust. Look at that pathetic man… he’s asking for money. How dare he! I guess this is the perfect place for me to sleep, at an over-pass. Because that’s what society does. It passes me over; or at least it tries to but I won’t let it! That’s why the sight of an unoccupied entry ramp is so exhilarating to me. This is the one place, that out of necessity, you might have to slow down your car long enough just to look me in the eyes and perhaps feel just an ounce of pity.
(shakes his sign fervently then looks let-down)
Or not, dang. You know what that lady had on her dashboard? A
big fat cup full of change. Now I know, that’s her money. She
needs it for tolls, for a cup of coffee, whatever… but that’s
something that kicks me in the butt every time. People don’t
realize that the quarters and dimes you have in your coat
pocket, nestled up against a crumpled up receipt and a ball of
lint; that, to me, is the difference of digging a half eaten sandwich out of garbage can and having a fresh, hot
bowl of clam chowder. You see, that’s why they call it ‘change’,
because it will completely change my eating habits. Oh man,
(rubs his stomach)
down boy, you see that? Just me saying, “clam chowder”, makes my
stomach growl… just like a ravenous lion, it growls when it’s
hungry and I haven’t eaten anything since yesterday morning. It’s amazing the things you’ll do when you’re hungry. That’s why I will stand out here and wave my sign back and forth like an idiot all day long. Of course, people see all kinds of signs on the side of the road; speed limit 30, stop ahead, construction sight. They probably get accustomed to tuning them out after awhile, just like they tune me out. But honestly, that’s all I need. I just need a little ‘change’, but I can’t change. I’ll be invisible to the day I die.
A construction worker enters, Joe --
When people ask for things, they always make a point to say,
“extra”. Like how the guys I work with ask me for a smoke…
(lights a cigarette)
they’ll say to me, “Hey Joe, you got an ‘extra’ cigarette?” Let me tell ya’ somethin’, every pack of cigarettes comes with exactly twenty, as soon as I open a pack and find twenty-one, then you can have an extra… until then, no. If you want me to give you somethin’, don’t sugar coat it. At least call it what it is, “can I ‘bum’ a cigarette off you?”— ‘cause that’s what you are… a bum.
Like that bum that stopped me by the ramp this morning. He asks
if I have any extra change. This change isn’t extra, pal. This was seventy cents I would’a bought a doughnut with later, but hey, he caught me while I was in a generous mood. I guess that’ll go toward his drug habit instead.
I guess people feel better taking things from you if they call them extra. Oh hell, that guy won’t miss his ‘extra’ change, he won’t mind if I smoke his ‘extra’ cigarette… You wanna sleep with my extra wife while I’m at it? Good luck with that one. I’m lucky if I get it once a year, but that’s another story.
Nope, you’re looking at a guy who doesn’t have any extras. And
everything I do have, I busted my ass to afford it. In case ya’ hadn’t noticed… I’m not sitting behind a desk scratching my ass all day long like some people. You see the man over there in that Mercedes Benz? You know he’s never worked a day in his life. Sure, he has “a job” but he doesn’t “work”… doesn’t even know the meaning of the word.
They don’t give much thought to poor, working class schleps like
myself as they fly down the highway at eighty miles an hour…
they love how smooth these layers of concrete feel underneath their eighty-thousand dollar chromium wheels, as they thrust their German rockets up to eighty miles an hour and pass all the minivans and ford pick up trucks piled up in the right lane. That’s the beauty of a highway. And while they may never appreciate the guys like me, the ones that actually poured all the asphalt and separated the layers of rebar and wire mesh; they sure do appreciate the quick commute thanks to my hard work.
The little kids playing with their Tonka trucks in a sandbox, they grow up into men like me. Men that aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
full script here