ICE BABIES IN OZ: Original Character Monologues with Impact
Audition Monologues, Contemporary Themes
* Written by L.E. McCullough, Ph.D.
* ISBN: 1-57525-062-4
* Retail List Price: $17.00 (check online retailers for other prices)
Ice Babies in Oz is a book of 50 original monologues for auditioning actors who want to make an instant impression with fresh, contemporary, powerful material.
These 2-minute-and-under monologues comprise a diverse span of characters: multi-cultural, multi-generational, often multi-personalitied individuals who are by turns confused, confident, bitter, ecstatic, depraved, shy, infinitely hopeful, irremediably hopeless ... 50 unforgettable snapshots of the world's winners and losers, the lucky and luckless, the sanctified and the hell-bound.
Ice Babies in Oz can also be used in Creative Writing classes to convey fundamentals of character exposition and narrative technique.
L.E. McCullough’s Ice Babies in Oz monologues are unique in their richness of character, setting, language — and drama. Each of these 50 monologues present memorable characters drawn from slice-of-life themes and situations, while leaving plenty of room for your own inspired interpretation ... these are Action Monologues that won’t fail to get and keep your audience’s attention!
Synopses & Excerpts from ICE BABIES IN OZ
All material © 1995 L.E. McCullough
STRAYS (female). Diner waitress’ story of taking in stray pup evolves into meditation on marriage. “I mean, after all, hon — you can pick up a good enough husband anytime. But a good dog, well, now. . . they just don’t come along that often, you know.”
THE REST WAS HISTORY (male). Lovestruck street corner romeo recounts courtship of his latest ex-wife. “All I know is, after leaving her that last night I got in my jeep and drove forty-two miles through a silverthaw gullywasher with traces of hail and neon past Seven Sisters, past Wolf Springs, past Edgar and Diablo and the all-nite baile grande at The Rockin’ M with Ruben De Luna y Su Conjunto Muy Caliente, halfway almost to Dime Box and the Pandora cutoff before my arms shook loose from the steering wheel’s shuddering embrace and my mouth finally stopped kissing the moon-flecked fog wisps teasing my cheeks like moist dancing fingers and lingering tequila sighs.”
REAL MUSIC DON’T COME OUTA BOOKS (female). Woman of the world who’s been around the block shares her philosophy on higher education. “Well, let me tell you somethin’s gonna hit you like a brick in the beeswax, Mister High-and-Mighty: real music don’t come outa books. It come outa tarpaper shacks with mud floors and the stink of hog piss on your clothes, and a flock of hungry children eatin’ red clay dirt in their salt mush, ’cause the last time they had a taste of meat or fresh vegetables was the last time their daddy whupped their mama and caught the midnight train for Memphis one step ahead of the lynchin’ tree.”
SOMEBODY, PLEASE (female). Mother calling son’s school from Domestic Relations Court, warning of ex-husband’s imminent appearance. “Look, I just want to let somebody know that if Mr. Hollingsworth shows up and — he’s very unstable and has a history, you have to stop him, please — listen, please, listen. Somebody, please. Please. Stop him. Please. . .”
HEY YOU SITTING THERE LOOKING AT THIS. (female/male). A loquacious bus passenger reveals secrets of the Universe. “Ask if they like porcupines. Expound your thoughts on telepathy. Inquire about their favorite food and whether or not they were aware that the letters in Seattle also spell ‘Let’s Eat’.”
CLUB LIDO, KANSAS CITY, 1944 (female/male). Old black-and-white photograph inspires a trip back in time. “Mostly I want to ask just how they can sit there and smile. And be so sure they’ll still be smiling at each other this way half a century later. When they don’t even know Madonna’s last name. Or the price of cherry sodas in the Year of the Fax.”
THREE BEARS LIVED IN A JUNGLE (male). Vietnam vet uses a fractured fairy tale to explain today’s latest war to a child. “Hey mister, he says. Was you born in that wheelchair? Son, I says. Set down on that box of empties right there, and I’ll tell you a story. About three bears lived in a jungle. Mama-san, Papa-san and Baby-san . . .”
HAVE A NICE DAY (female). Feminist writer takes a stand with a tongue-in-cheek manifesto “Biographically speaking I can’t say much, other than I am of pure Dutch-Irish-Creole ancestry born in Mobile, Alabama and nearly murdered on a fetus-removal table in Denver ninteen years later.”
SWEET BLACKBERRY WINE (female/male). Heartfelt tribute to a departed jazz minstrel. “They called you blind, Mr. Piano Man. But you could see into our hearts. Deep. Past skin tone and fashion fad. Deep. Past barroom cant and stoned soul supervibes. Deep.”
ICE BABIES IN OZ (female). Abortion clinic worker relates a haunting, recurring dream. “I stood at the top of the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy, who was in her second trimester and somewhat pale and visibly nervous. We were going to walk up that road, me and Dorothy together, holding hands all the way up the road to visit the big jolly green Doctor of Oz.”
A GENUINE EDUCATION PRESIDENT (female/male). Comic political stump speech from a candidate wayyyyyyyy out in the deep grass-roots. “I would teach our children what they must learn in order to survive in this modern fiber-optic world. I would teach them that minute rice cooks best in an hour. And to beware the man whose mouth is so big he can eat a banana sideways. And never turn your back on the man who will do anything for the workers except become one. Or the woman who’s had a seven-year itch every night the last two months.”
JUMP START (male). Otherworldly auto mechanic dispenses advice on repair of the Inner Vehicle. “Don’t like to brag, sonny, but one glance under the hood and I know exactly what ails a person’s soul. A broke-down axle or a busted fan belt ain’t just a piece of metal or rubber gone bad. . . corresponds to some strained part of your psyche, a part of your spirit that’s sick or twisted or about ready to go haywire and do you permanent damage.”
PLENTY OF TIME (female/male). Foster-parent relates impact of racist incident on young boy. “The bus come about a minute later, and all the way downtown I could tell the boy was upset and not likely just by his mother. I mean, there’s plenty of time before he gets older till he’s expected to hate people for no damn reason at all.”
CAMPFIRE GIRL (male). A love poem for the romantically-challenged outdoorsman. “Me — I like campfires. I like the way the slender nimble orange flamefingers reach into the air and sketch deft pictures of nymphs and goddesses dancing across eons and galaxies, twisting and weaving to the fluting sorcery of laughing Pan whistling his songs of seduction in the cool night breeze.”
PARTNERS FOREVER (male). Spurned musician places curse on ex-partner. “Think you gonna throw ol’ Staker away like a used-up toothpick! Well, merde on you! Go merde all over the whole damn world, you want! But, you remember this. . . we partners. . . now and forever!”
GET A GRIP (male). Psycho teen talk at a public pay phone. Ooops, wrong number! “This planet is headed toward total destruction in a matter of minutes. Cataclysmic, absolute, utter and complete obliteration! And you’re worried about how the Federal Reserve interest rate and the price of bananacide in Zimbabwe is gonna affect your revolving charge account at Montgomery Ward? Get. . . a. . . grip!”
THAT ODOR AGAIN (female). A fragile, driven songwriter on the verge of winning — or losing — it all. “Okay, sure of course I’m tense maybe at times but that’s where the inspiration comes from. . .you’ve got to have tension to create. . . tension is it!”
SO HELP ME (male). A talent agent offers a benediction to his charges. “He will taketh my talent and maketh it yield a humongous annual net income I could never have conceivably pulled down without his expert assistance. Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Slimeball Hustlers, I will fear not the Sharpies nor the Weasels nor the Scumbuckets competing for my contract.”
KEY WORD (male/female). Pep talk from Attila the Hun’s chief legal counsel. “As your attorney, Mr. Tubbernitz, I’d like to remind you that the key word in this situation is ‘fear’. Fear is a key word, Mr. Tubbernitz. Fear is your friend. Always think fear.”
HOME AGAIN (male). A modern Odysseus-in-exile hears the call to home. “Then one day in ’89 I was laying drunk outside a flop house in Mexicali, thinking which one of the cantinas I’d visit that night, when I heard that old Son House song ‘Death Letter Blues’ on some loco homeboy’s boombox.”
ONLY 159.95 (female). A fed-up wife finally solves an embarrassing household odor problem — Flamethowers ‘R’ Us! “You know, Delbert, I wish that for just one hour God would grant us a genu-wine miracle — giving you enough sense of smell to realize how much a room fulla cat pee really really really stinks.”
GARBAGE DON’T CRY (male/female). A transient discovers an unexpected find in a back alley dumpster. “I know a lot about garbage. Garbage stinks. Garbage rots. Garbage ebbs and garbage flows. But garbage don’t cry. And after I rescued that corned beef and was closing the lid on the dumpster, I heard a sound down inside it, deep down. Something weak. . . and faint. . . and. . . and pissed off.”
EXPRESS LANE (female). Danger — road rage on Checkout Aisle 9! “Now what? She’s gonna show the bag boy her family photo album? Go on, marry the kid, honey; take him home and marry him; get him bar mitzvahed first, then marry him, just get outa the line, get outa the line, get outa the line!”
AN ARTIST LIKE ME (male). A lunch-counter Casanova spins his web of desire. “I’m lookin’ at you, at that face, at that smile, at that beauty, at that essence, at that at that that uunnhh you got right there inside you, and I’m sayin’, ‘Hey. . . I could make her happen in a very, very big way. I could make her every dream come true. I could give her what she’s always wanted. Cause I know what that is. I know exactly what this girl has always wanted, and I am here, right here at this counter in front of these mashed potatoes for the sole purpose of giving her what she wants — and needs.’”
DISCIPLE OF THE DEMITASSE (female). Java junkie jams jolly on jittery joie de vivre. “But, you must understand, I am a connoisseur. A savant of the noble bean. A dedicated disciple of the demitasse. Coffee isn’t a filthy habit like cigarettes or polo players; it’s an art form. Are you feeling well, darling? You haven’t said a word since we sat down.”
ADVICE LADY (female). Lessons for the lovelorn from one who’s Been There, Done That. “If you ask me, you’re too choosy, and in this world you’re never going to find Mr. Right. Mr. Okay, Mr. Not-So-Bad, Mr. Could-Be-Worse — maybe. That is if some low-life like Glenda Ruble doesn’t sink her hooks into him first and make shredded wheat out of him.
Synopses & Excerpts, cont.
IT’S THIS RAIN (female). Chilling monologue of a woman’s obsession with rain and death. “. . . the water stinging and smacking and pounding and punching and pushing and poking and gushing over your head up your nose in your eyes the sewer opened up like a big ugly scar gushing and screaming screaming screaming, pounding and punching, pounding and punching, screaming and screaming. . . what?”
PATIENT HANDS (female). Aunt Lydia instructs her niece on the digital nuances of True Love. “Course, a man like Sonny Boy Dupree. . . he’s got busy hands. They want to jump on top of every piano they bump up against, whether she’s a shiny slick uptown baby grand, or a fallen-apart, stumpy-legged pile of rusty knobs and strings.”
A NEW GENERATION (male). Unhinged ’60s folksinger on comeback trail. “You don’t know my fans, little brother. They are a New Generation. They are dedicated, they are committed, they are warriors in the fight against fascism. They are dancing their butts off to bad bad disco.”
CREDIT CHECK (female/male). To the loan officer of the Future, your collateral is your life — literally! “Do you recall your Bible, Mr. Nelson? Third Gospel of St. Trump, may he earn in peace, amen, The Book of The Deal, I’ll paraphrase here: ‘Life is a precious social resource that can no longer be left to the mere individual to piss away.’”
THE FLAMES OF HELL (female/male). An eerie tale from Cajun country of a late-night encounter in the bayou. “Then bazzam! — the Cadillac and the talent agent man with the bright red walking stick were gone, just in the instant you blink your eye, cher — not a trace of the man or his car but a thin puff of black, black smoke twisting slowly through the live oak trees and cypress.”
SHIVER (female/male). A childhood memory of a parent’s final voyage. “It was night with a big orange full moon peeking through a curtain of dark clouds being swept along by a stiff northeasterly breeze that had just enough push to send a shiver through you when you weren’t expecting it, which made it an even stranger kind of shiver than a just plain cold breeze shiver.”
GUARDIAN ANGEL (male). Ever had the feeling somebody’s watching you? Maybe they are. “I look up and there is a big brown shape of somethin’ gettin’ bigger and bigger and comin’ straight at me. I step aside, gracefully, and bazoomba! — this giant jumbo raisin bagel size of a German Shepherd smashes into the pavement and busts the sidewalk to pieces after missin’ my noggin by like this much. Eight, nine floors above, there’s a face stickin’ out the window, and it’s her! The old babe with the hair and the earrings and the damn scarf, and then zipporama! — she’s gone. I’m quiverin’.”
THE TWELVE COMMANDMENTS (male). Smalltown mayor discourses upon moral corruption. “Nosir, I am crucially well-informed upon the subject of religion. As the Bible says, ‘What does it profit a man to save his soul and lose his mistress in a poker game?’”
AN INCREDIBLY LUCKY MAN (female/male). A deathbed reunion dredges up decades of disdain. “But everything you did turned to failure; everything he did turned to success. Yes, yes, your brother is an incredibly lucky man. Pity. When will you ever admit the truth? Your brother’s ambition was fueled by his complete and utter hatred for you.”
I WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THIS (male). That panhandler on the subway — didn’t he used to be Somebody? “Yeh, I was a CEO of a major medical research corporation. Uh-huh. Okay, okay. I made that up. I was a boxer took a bad punch. I was a stock broker took a bad tip. I was a bricklayer got hit by a ton of bricks. I was a missionary got eaten by cannibals. I was a rock star, a rocket scientist, a rockette at Radio City Music Hall — hey, whatsit matter? I’m a human be-ing!”
THIS CORNER MY BIDNESS (male). Territoriality reigns supreme in the urban jungle. “I mind my own bidness, babe. You mind your bidness, I mind my bidness. Don’t you try mind my bidness. . . I mind my bidness, hear? Now this corner my bidness.”
OUR MOST REQUESTED ATTRACTION (male). Meet the promoter who never met an act he didn’t like — or one you will. “I’m sorry, madam, but Mister Dinky the Clown from Outer Gonzo Land is our most requested attraction — yes, I believe Mister Dinky has had his rabies and distemper shots — excuse me? He did what at your son’s birthday party?”
YOUR MAMA SHE LOOKIN’ REAL FINE (male). A shade-tree handyman offers commentary on a variety of body parts. “Hey, how’s your mamacita, cholo? She been workin’ at the Denny’s on 31 two, three weeks, now, huh? Man, I like that place. They got good eats, huh? Hey, you wanna see somethin’ really boss? Check this out, my man.
HELP ’EM FORGET (female). Speakeasy owner lays it out for her bandleader. “See this? Yeh, all these empty tables and chairs. Well, they mine. I own ’em. Every last one of ’em. And my business is to fill ’em up — every night — with hard-workin’ men and women wanna drink lotsa liquor, drink it hard and drink it fast, so they can forget what a stink-ass world it is where they just come from. Now, your music supposed to help ’em forget. Your music ain’t supposed to educate ’em, or give ’em Jesus or stir ’em up and get ’em marchin’ outa here to go vote for no damn politicians gonna give us no damn new deal same as the old deal!”
LOVE ME TWO TIMES (male). A wartime memory that refuses to fade. “At the Boogie Rock Club in Hue City, all the girls had American Top Forty names. There was White Rabbit. Mustang Sally. Inna Gadda Da Vida. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Jennifer Juniper. Da Doo Ron Ron. Sugar Pie Honeybunch. The madam figured it made the boys feel more at home. And she was right.”
FLASHBACKS BURN (male). A man accidentally discovers the longago source of his wife’s sudden change-of-heart. “Lowell George croons ‘I will be your Dixie chicken, if you’ll be my Tennessee lamb’ on the all-nite oldies station, as I fluff a pillow next to my wife and watch tears suddenly spurt from her crumpling face. . .”
I ONCE WAS SCARED OF THE DARK (male/female). A child beats the boogie man with his mother’s magic. “Cause I know now that for the rest of my life, even when I get real old, like maybe nineteen or twenty, all I have to do to make bad people go away and not hurt me is take a kleenex and flush them down the potty.”
FAMILY MAN (male). A hit man explains his code of honor. “You got kids? Sure you do. Now that’s responsibility. Teaching a kid right from wrong. It’s tough, I know, I know. I didn’t get a good start in that department. My father didn’t. . . take responsibility for that. So I had to find a way to get that responsibility into my life, you understand?”
GIRL TALK (female). Calling home to Mom after a college girls’ night out. “Are you really sitting down? Okay, we met this friend of his, and his name was Blade — I don’t know, I guess it’s his first name. Anyway, Blade drove me back to the dorm, just part-way cause his Harley ran out of gas right outside this bar on the edge of town, no, I don’t know what town it was, but the bar was called The Doll House or something about toys.”
THANKS FOR CALLING (male). Hate those annoying phone solicitations? Don’t get mad. . . get crazy! “Good evening, Robinson residence. Yes, this is Danny Robinson, who is this? Murray? Murray who? Sorry, I don’t — what? Murray? Oh! That Murray K. Stephanopoulos, Junior! Well, why didn’t you say so? Gosh, it’s been, what, gosh, well, way too long! No, I was just kidding around, of course I knew who you were — only the best darn college roommate I ever had. Truly!”
DOOR-TO-DOOR (female). Some door-to-door salespeople just won’t take No for an answer. “What a lovely home! Oh, I cannot tell you how utterly tasteful and healing this is. May I sit? Thank you. Now, if you wouldn’t mind removing your shoe and sock — left or right, either one. There. My, what an interesting foot!”
SOMETHING TO DO (male). The mind of a killer, the mind of a child. “It just went off. . . in the guy’s face. . . as he was looking at me. . . his face just. . . like, blew up. . . and blood gushed everywhere and skin and and and and . . . and everybody just stood there and watched the guy lay on the ground, and I thought, ‘This is, like, a movie; this is awesome!’”
LET JESUS BE YOUR PIT STOP IN THE FINAL RACE TO HEAVEN (male). Praise the Lord and pass the Valvoline — a preacher guides his flock in the NASCAR Belt. “His oil is the finest, made from His precious blood; his parts will last forever, they saved Noah from the flood. Don't let backsliders tempt you with a cheaper brand; just follow His directions, and you'll reach the Promised Land.”
MUSIC OF YOUR LIFE (male). Some lives are measured in deeds, others in songs. “Not a minute didn’t go by without some song telling my whole world like it was and like it oughta be. Blame it on the Bossa Nova, it’s the dance of love. Yeh, he’s the Leader of the Pack. Earth Angel, earth angel, whoa-oh-oh-oh, please be mine. Return to Sender’ address unknown. She’s my little Four-Oh-Nine, Four-Oh-Nine, Four-Oh-Nine. Everybody’s gone surfin’, Surfin’ U.S.A. He’s So Fine, oo-lang, oo-lang. Hit the Road, Jack and don’t you come back no more no more. Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl, Earl, Earl. Come on, baby, do-ooo The Locomotion with me with a ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba-ba and a ba-ba dit-dit dingaling dit-dit-dowwwwww. Damn, that was music!”