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Myth_ America - Drama Interventions Collection_ Tm

Myth_ America - Drama Interventions Collection_ Tm

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Published by Diane Cameron
The peddling of flesh in the form of beauty pageants seems to be a national obsession. Walk like this, talk like this and sit like that... We are quick to forgive the failings of the beautiful while calling them colorful. However those females who are successful but not blessed with outward beauty are held to a different set of standards. Which came first... the contestants or the organizers of these fleshfests? Who are real victims?
The peddling of flesh in the form of beauty pageants seems to be a national obsession. Walk like this, talk like this and sit like that... We are quick to forgive the failings of the beautiful while calling them colorful. However those females who are successful but not blessed with outward beauty are held to a different set of standards. Which came first... the contestants or the organizers of these fleshfests? Who are real victims?

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Published by: Diane Cameron on Dec 12, 2008
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01/27/2011

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MYTH AMERICA By Diane Cameron

A satirical comedic play about the beauty pageant industry THE DRAMA INTERVENTIONS COLLECTION
This is an interactive play in that the actresses choose their own names. Substitute the contestant number for the names the actors choose.

No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.” Oscar Wilde

The Pageant Finalist (10) Ms. Valentine - The Pageant Sponsor Tiffany - The Pageant Sponsor’s Granddaughter Marie - The Assistant Mr. Stone - The Reporter Parent & Family Members of Contestants Cameraperson Television Host

The Scene opens with the finalist sitting in chairs in a waiting room. An assistant is going from girl to girl notes on a clipboard and engaging in quiet conversation as she approaches each girl. They have looks of excitement, bewilderment and impatience on their faces and in their mannerisms. The assistant continues to speak to each contestant and there is Hawaiian themed background music playing over the loudspeaker system. The pageant is being held in Hawaii and the pageant crew is wearing island themed clothes and dark glasses. A table is set up with assorted fruit including pineapple, bottled water, ice and assorted health snacks that the girls are entitled to as they are all waiting to be told the next step in the process. The assistant leaves the room and the girls begin to talk to each other.

Act 1 – Scene 1 Contestant 1_________________ I wish they would tell us more about what is going on instead of asking us all these silly questions…. Contestant 2__________________I knows, but I guess this is just part of it. Contestant 3__________________ you shouldn’t feel that way; this could be a big opportunity for all of us. I have always dreamed about being in a beauty pageant every since I was a little girl. Contestant 1__________________You’re still dreaming now girl! Everybody knows these beauty contests are all about who has the money and who doesn’t. Contestant 4 _________________What an attitude to have _________________the judges will be able to see thru all of that. Contestant 5_________________Allright…. What if they are a little phony, but look at it this way, we are all here in Hawaii on a free vacation…. so the way I see it, win or lose…. we all get something out of the deal…. Contestant 2_______________Well you do have a point___________________. Contestant 6_______________I doesn’t even know what everybody’s issue is, but I’m saying all of us would like to win or we wouldn’t be here. Contestant 7_______________Ok Ok well who wouldn’t want to win but at the same time I don’t want to hype myself up too much just in case I don’t. Contestant 8_______________And they have all of these rules, do’s and don’ts can’t and all of that…

Contestant 9_______________Well I have this friend of mine who wanted to enter the pageant with me, but she has a 10 month old and that disqualified her from the start. Contestant 1_______________And I’m sure you are not surprised? Contestant 10______________I think what she is saying is they have this certain criteria for entering the pageant, and at the same time… they are busy hustling us to sell tickets, get sponsors for the Pageant book, shop at certain stores, get our hair done at this or that place…. Contestant 7 ______________ I know, they even told me what brands of makeup to buy for my kit…. it’s crazy…. Contestant 5______________ Makeup? I was even told what kind of underwear to purchase… Now who in the world care about what brand of underwear we have on? Contestants 4_______________I think you all are taking it a little too serious… It’s supposed to be fun Contestant 3_______________Well everybody, I am glad to be here. Besides I think I have a good chance of being “Myth” America anyway (This statement draws silence and cold stares from all the other girls from whom Contestant 3 is totally oblivious.) Contestant 1______________Anyway… Contestant 6______________Well, it doesn’t hurt to feel confident___________but you do have competition… Contestant 2______________She has LOTS of competition Contestant10_____________I know one thing…. I am starving…I wanted to eat as soon as my plane landed yesterday. I don’t like any of the food in those so-called Meals for Models Handbook they gave us. Thank God for that upgrade the airlines gave me to First Class…That will probably be the last good mean till I am back in ____________________. Contestants 9____________I know no pizza or fried food or sodas…. I mean, that’s my whole diet. Contestant 8___________ What about all of the exercise? I am not looking forward to running 5 miles every morning at 5:00, and you know that starts in the morning. Contestants 4___________I think you all are complaining too much… does anybody know the time? Contestant 7___________ (Looks at her watch) it’s 7:00 in the morning here in Hawaii, and for most of us it’s still last night in our brains… Contestant 2___________Does anyone want to trade me some pretzels for

my raisins? Contestant 3___________Only if you give up your sunflower seeds AND the pretzels Contestant 5____________We must really be hungry…. Just think, we are here in beautiful Hawaii and now we are begging for raisins and sunflower seeds. Well, ya’ll give me a shout when you find out where the nearest Wiffle House is… (The girls all laugh at this) Contestant10______________Crazy girl…everybody knows there’s no Wiffle House in Hawaii…. Contestant 9______________Find me a Pizza Cabin and I might even have my whole family vote for you…. Contestant 8______________Find me Usher and I am on the next plane outa here.Y’all can have this pageant. Contestant 4______________Whywould you want to throw away your future on a guy? Contestant 1______________Girl you just don’t get it do you? Contestant 7______________She is obviously our Myth Congeniality Contestant 2______________Are they really going to roast a pig for our luau? Contestant 6______________Yeah, but we don’t get to eat any; the handbook says it is only for effect. (She speaks in a sarcastic tone when she says “effect”) Contestant 5______________ C’Mon, where did you read that? Contestant 3______________Right here on Page 6.Check this out… (The Pageant Sponsor who has just appeared interrupts all the girls) Good Morning Young Ladies, Welcome to Hawaii and to the 10th annual “Myth” America Beauty Pageant. I hope you all had a good flight into the City of Hospitality. As you must have discovered by now, the Wake-Up Alarm Bell goes off each morning promptly at 4:30a.m. You will have 30 minutes to wash, eat and dress for your morning five-mile run. Now, if you have thoroughly read your handbooks and all of the pageant rules, please sign the affidavits and hand them back to me at rehearsal this afternoon. We here at the 10th annual Myth America organization expect all of you to follow the rules, as any infraction is cause to disqualify you and send you home. And some of the most important expectations are: Bedtime is promptly at 8:00 each evening…. We have installed motion and

hearing devices in your dorms. If any of you are caught on camera moving around your room or talking after 8:00, you will lose 5 points. You are only to eat the meals designated in your Meals for Models handbook. Any unauthorized consumption of foods other than these will cause you to lose 10 points. There will be no insubordination to me or Ms. Marie, please do as you are told always and immediately. There will be no music played on the CD player in the Commons other than the music chosen by our staff. We believe certain music that is popular now has an adverse effect on young ladies and causes them to act unseemly, so we will be censoring what you listen to. There will be absolutely no phone calls other than emergency calls from parents. We do not want our girls up at all times of the night being unduly influenced by outsiders such as young men. If you have any body piercing, it must be removed until the conclusion of the pageant. That includes tongue rings, belly rings, nose and eyebrow jewelry. Also only 1 earring may be worn in each ear at a time, and all tattoos must be completely covered by our special brand of thick concealer make-up.

Contestant Number_______________I am sure that you are proud of your heritage, but while you are here, we ask that you refrain from outlandish hairstyles. You will run 5 miles each day at 5:00 am…in the past it has been 4:00a.m. But we decided to be generous this year and let our girls sleep an extra hour each day. You will wear no clothing that exposes your stomach while you are a contestant in the pageant. Stare Magazine is interviewing us and I want them to have no scandal to report about our girls. Finally, you were required to sell 50 tickets each as part of your qualification process. And keep in mind that Myth America Beauty Pageant rules require your families to pay whatever portion of the money is due for the unsold tickets.

Well…Now that we have gotten those minor details out of the way…let me congratulate you as this year’s finalist and wish you all the best. You are all

dismissed to go to your dorm to be fitted for your Myth America T-Shirts, which by the way are 79.99 each. Good Day Girls… (She exits)

(All the girls are silent and looking at each other in disbelief…finally Contestant 1 speaks) Contestant 1_________________She forgot to tell us one thing… When do we go up before the parole board? Contestant 6_________________I don’t think there is a parole board, I think we all just got life without the possibility… Contestant 8_________________And she sounded so nice over the phone and she was sickeningly sweet to my parents my interview. Contestant 10________________How did she get a name like Ms. Valentine…she should have been named Ms. Halloween. Contestant 2_________________C’Mon y’all, everyplace has to have rules… Contestant 4_________________You are right…. I think you are being a little too hard on them Contestant 3_________________I think it is still a good opportunity Contestant 7_________________You don’t have to try any harder…you’ve got Ms. Congeniality for the next 10 years Contestant 5_________________Hey ya’ll, I don’t like the way this is beginning to turn out… Contestant 9 ________________ Me either…. But what can we do? Contestant 1________________ Give me some time… I’ll come up with a plan… just give me time… Contestant 5________________ Well let’s go to the dorm and discuss what were going to do…. Contestant8________________ Have you all already forgotten what Ms. Valentine said? We can’t talk in the dorm…It’s bugged. They will hear every word we say. Contestant 2_________________I’m afraid we will just have to endure the next 7 days and make the best of it. Contestant 6_________________ besides I don’t think we have a unanimous vote on alternative plan anyway. Contestant 1_________________Right like number 3 &4 the Halo Twins over there Contestant 3_________________Hey…I happen to feel good about this

whole ordeal…. I mean let’s compare it to pledging at a sorority in college….You might not like the process, but you sure are glad to find out you’ve been accepted in. Contestant 4_________________My grandmother always said, “anything worth having is worth fighting for” Contestant 2_________________If I listen to anymore of you two, my raisins are gonna come back up. Contestant 7_________________Leave ‘em alone. After a day or two of 5:00 a.m. 5-mile runs and we won’t have to say a word. Contestant 1________________Listen up everybody…we will have our first meeting in two days after we come from our 5 mile run while we are still outside. Like I said, I will come up with a plan. I know there’s got to be a way for all of us to come away from this experience winners….Let’s go get fitted for those t-shirts y’all. Musta been fate that brought us all here together… and fight is going to get us out. (They all exit. Fade to black……..End of Act 1 Scene 1) Act 1 – Scene 2 (Scene opens with Ms. Valentine and Marie sitting at a desk taking care of paperwork, writing and making notes) Ms. Valentine Marie, I just can’t understand how every year the group of finalist that we receive have less and less class than the year before. Marie Obviously, they have never had any type of formal charm school training. (She begins to reflect on her past) Why I remember when I was a finalist in the Ms. Sun Valley Pageant. Everything was so strict and formal; we had to have the principal from our school, our pastor and 6 letters from neighbors as reference.

Ms. Valentine It was the same for me in the Ms. Grapevine World Pageant (She twirls around like a ballerina as she is talking) we had to go through hell and high water, why we even had to sign statements that we would not date young men for the entire year if we were to win.

Ms. Valentine

Marie, did you see this year’s crop of finalist? I mean did

you really take a good look at them? Every year the contest promoters send us a bunch of ragamuffins and want us to make princesses out of them in a week.

Ms. Marie I don’t see how they were able to get past the airport security’s metal detector wearing all those metal rings in their tongues, navels, noses, eyebrows, ears and Lord knows where else. I don’t even want to think about it. One even had on black nail polish and lipstick. Now who ever heard of black lipstick? Why I tell you…. (She is interrupted by a knock on the door). (At the door is Mr. Stone, the reporter from “Stare” magazine) Ms. Marie (Sweetly) who is it?

Mr. Stone Its Frederick… Frederick Stone from Stare Magazine…may I come in please? (Upon hearing who the visitor is, Ms. Valentine and Ms. Marie begin to clear the table of all the papers putting away all information pertaining to the pageant…They both look at each other in disbelief)

Ms. Valentine

Marie…. Get rid of him…

Ms. Marie But…. But what shall I say?

Ms. Valentine I don’t care what you say…just get rid of him… That’s all we need is someone from Stare Magazine snooping around. He’s been trying to give our agency some bad press for a long time and I’ll be darned if I let him set foot across that threshold. …Tell him we were just retiring for the evening and we feel ever so bad about not having time to chat and shut the door in that weasel’s face. We don’t want to be pestered by him.

Mr. Stone

(Knock…..Knock……Knock…….Knock)

Marie Why don’t we just open the door and tell him we were just about to retire for the evening and we are ever so sorry that we don’t have time, take his calling card, tell him we will call him later and close the door. He

knows we are here so if we don’t open the door for him, he’ll know we don’t want to be bothered with him and then he will just make more trouble for us.

Ms. Valentine Well go on….. I tell you I could just…. (While Ms. Valentine is speaking Marie is opening the door)

Ms. Marie

Well good evening Mr. Stone…what a pleasant surprise

Ms. Valentine Mr. Stone…. why how are you this evening? Mr. Stone Very well ladies…. I hope I haven’t come at an inopportune time. (Moving quickly to the sofa he sits down and takes out a pad and pen.) I trust the Staff from Stare magazine contacted you about my visit and subsequent interview about the “Myth America” pageant.

(Ms. Valentine and Marie both look at each other)

Ms. Valentine Oh dear, we had no notice or even a phone call regarding your visit this evening. If we had, we certainly would have been prepared for you, as it stands we were just about to retire for the evening and Lord knows we are going to have to ask you to come back soon. (Mr. Stone ignores this statement and continues his “interview”…he pulls out of his briefcase a mini tape recorder)

Mr. Stone

Ladies…please speak a little louder into the microphone….

Ms. Marie

Why whatever do you want us to say Mr. Stone

Mr. Stone Well tell the world about your dreams and goals for this year’s pageant.

(Ms. Valentine and Ms. Marie began speaking hesitantly)

Ms. Valentine Well…. we are soooo excited about the wonderfully poised and talented young women that we will be working with this week.

Ms. Marie Exactly…we are preparing the most gracious young ladies who are the flawless representatives of their states. I know their parents and sponsors are all so proud of them.

Mr. Stone Tell us about their itinerary for this week…do you have a schedule of their activities?

Ms. Marie Well yes…um….

Ms. Valentine We have an entire week of exciting and fun filled activities for our finalist which I am sure, since we have the cream of the crop of young women from all over the United States, they shall have no problem executing…Now thank you Mr. Stone, and if you will have someone from your staff call and prearrange it, Ms. Marie and I will be most happy to grant you time for the remainder of your interview.

Mr. Stone Now can you tell me what it costs to put on a pageant like this, and how much of the costs are absorbed by the families of the contestants.

Ms. Valentine (sweetly) Why Mr. Stone…. Our accounting staff is solely responsible for all of the financial matters.

Mr. Stone Well I did a little investigating a the bank and the only signatures on the financial account documents are Lucinda Valentine and Marie Thrasher…Perhaps there is some explanation for this? (Tiffany Ms. Valentine’s 8-year-old granddaughter comes in)

Tiffany

Nana… I had a bad dream…I’m scared

Ms. Valentine Tiffany…its okay (she picks her up and hugs her and Ms. Marie also come over to hug Tiffany)

Ms. Valentine Mr. Stone, I am so sorry, we are going to have to cut short this interview…I have got to attend to Tiffany…why surely she must be frightened out of her wits…

Mr. Stone

How apropos….

Ms. Marie Excuse me sir, I didn’t quite hear you…. (Mr. Stone makes no motion to leave and Ms. Valentine and Marie look at each other in bewilderment and begin to pull out some papers in his briefcase)

Tiffany Nana…it was a bad dream about a monster knocking on our door…. we tried to close the door, but he came in anyway…It was so scary…we couldn’t get the monster out of the house

Ms. Valentine Mr. Stone…I am sorry that I don’t have time to finish our delightful conversation…. please call on us again soon…

(Ms. Marie goes over to Tiffany and consoles her as Mr. Stone gathers his belongings and prepares to leave.)

Mr. Stone Ladies, I’m sure someone from the Stare magazine staff will be calling you tomorrow to arrange for the balance of the interview. I’ll be back in a few days to complete my assignment.

Ms. Valentine evening…

Great!! We will see you then, and sir have a lovely

Mr. Stone Departs…Ms. Valentine and Ms. Marie look at each other in fear….. End of Act 1 Scene 2

Copyright © Eddie Bear Publishing 2003-2009. All rights reserved. This play may not be reproduced or redistributed without written permission from the publisher. Eddie Bear Publishing © rights reserved.

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