Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dasher

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues (1993)
by Jeff Goode

I can name you fifty flying reindeer right now
who will run on a clear night with temperatures
in the mid 30's.
We
are supposed to be
The Elite.
"The Eight."
There's a problem?  We handle it.

Fog?

I will take the risk
of flying head first
into the side of a skyscraper that wasn't there last year.
I've done it before.
Three times.
And am I accusing someone else
of ... unChristmaslike behavior?
No I am not.
My risk, my problem.
And it doesn't matter anyway
because I survived it.
I'm still here.
Still at the front.
Still runnin'.
This year, next year, and every year.

Every now and then, as a writer, you come across a work that makes you slap your forehead like in that V-8 commercial and say to yourself, "Now, why in the HELL didn't I think of that?"  A couple of years ago, I stopped in Applause Books in New York City (which has unfortunately closed up shop since then) and found this script called The Eight: Reindeer Monologues by Jeff Goode.  I loved the graphic on the front cover (the picture above) and when I read a few pages, I was HOOKED.  I've been dying to direct or perform in this play ever since ... and what a BRILLIANT concept!

Each reindeer has his or her own monologue, written in this somewhat free verse style, ranging from gut-bustingly hysterical to devastatingly moving.  Dasher, Dancer, Hollywood (Prancer, the only one who got his own movie), Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen.  But, trust me, these aren't your family-friendly reindeer games ... sexual harassment on and off the job, child abuse, alcoholism ... the life of a reindeer is not easy and it's VERY VERY adult.  I love it because it's just so ANTI-holidays for a Christmas play.  And that's just what everyone needs at the holidays, huh?  To be SHAKEN up just a little.

Sigh ... some day ...

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