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SCENE . The living room in the house of four friends: LIZ, JESS, JAKE, and ROB. Liz is sitting at the dining room table on her laptop. Jess is sitting on the couch, reading a book. Liz is typing away feverishy, and she gets frustrated, slamming her hands on the keyboard. JESS. Are you trying to break your computer? LIZ. I’m frustrated. This isn’t working. JESS. I don’t know why you put such a pressure on yourself. To write 31 plays in 31 days? That’s kind of ridiculous, don’t you think? It’s already day 12 and you’re out of ideas. LIZ. I just need to think… JESS. Liz, take a break. The boys will be home soon. We can go out! Do some drinking… meet some men… LIZ. I have to finish. JESS. This can’t run your life. I thought it was supposed to be fun. LIZ. But I love doing it… it’s just…stressful… JESS. Yes, so you say in like all of your Facebook updates… and blog posts. We should go out! LIZ. I’ll go out as soon as I finish. I just have a little bit of writer’s block, that’s all. JESS. Oh no! The dreaded writer’s block! LIZ. Haha, very funny. (She gets a “spark of genius” and types away.) Yes! (She types and gets more frusterated. The spark is gone.) Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck! JESS. Liz? Hi! You need to control your anger. Do you want help? LIZ. I should really do this myself… I’m sorry. (Jake enters.) JAKE. What’s up, ladies? (He sees that Liz is distressed.) Liz, have you been to the bathroom today? You look a little constipated. JESS. It’s the plays.
JAKE. The plays? JESS. The plays. JAKE. Oh no, not the dreaded plays! Are we going out tonight or what? JESS. Not until Liz finishes her play for the today. JAKE. Doesn’t she realize she needs to get a life? JESS. I know. But she loves them… it’s kinda making her a bitch. LIZ. I can hear you. JAKE. Sorry. Hey, I ordered a pizza. It’ll be here any minute. LIZ. I can’t eat, Jake. I’m writing feverishly. I have no idea what to write about. I’m completely stuck. JESS. Why don’t we just… throw out some ideas for you? That’s not against any rule, is it? LIZ. There aren’t really rules, per se. Just… I feel like I have to do this myself. I don’t need help. JAKE. That’s too bad, because I have some really great ideas. LIZ. Like what? JAKE. Well, what if you wrote a musical? LIZ. In a day? JAKE. Well, Rome was built in a day… (He stops.) I got that wrong, didn’t I? LIZ. I can’t write a musical. JAKE. That’s too bad. JESS. What if you wrote a romantic comedy? Everyone loves those. We could get Kristen Bell to star in it… JAKE. Oh! Or Rachel McAdams! JESS. Yes! And it could be about some… artist who loses her memory and her husband has to try and make her fall in love with him all over again! LIZ. I think they already wrote that. JAKE. I know! Why don’t you take a classic story and adapt it? Like Shakespeare! Oh! You know what you could do? You could make “Romeo and Juliet” into a musical set in New York! That’s original.
LIZ. No it’s not, it’s “West Side Story” JAKE. Well, you should take a break from all this and we should all go out! LIZ. I can’t go do anything until this is finished, guys. (Rob enters, a la Kramer from “Seinfeld.) ROB. Hey guys, how’s it hanging? JESS. We are trying to help Liz write her play for the day. ROB. She’s still doing that? I thought she broke her computer and gave up on that after Word crashed and she lost that whole play. LIZ. We should not talk about that… JAKE. We’re trying to give her some ideas. JESS. She hasn’t really liked any of them so far. JAKE. But we really think she’s getting too stressed out. ROB. You’re right. And she hasn’t been a whole lot of fun since she started this. She’s kind of a bitch. LIZ. I can still hear you! ROB. So… you’re still having trouble with an idea… hrm… I’ve got it! Porn! LIZ. Porn? ROB. Porn! Just have them end with porn. Look, the point is finishing them, right? Might as well make it interesting. (Jake giggles.) JAKE. Ok, I’m sorry, but that was hilarious… JESS. I agree with Rob. A pizza delivery guy can always show up. LIZ. I’m not going to write a play about porn. ROB. You’re not writing a play about porn, you’re just writing a porn. LIZ. No! Absolutely not! JAKE. Oh! Can I be in the porn play? JESS. Me too! I can make porn faces! (She makes some porn faces.) ROB. We are all actors, Liz. We got your back. We will be in your porn play. LIZ. Guys, I’m sorry, but the porn play is not happening!
ROB. But… it would make your plays so much more interesting! I’ve read them, honey, and some of them… JAKE. The one with the two letters, that was good! JESS. And the Peter Pan thing, that was classic! ROB. But what was the deal with the art gallery play? JESS. Oh… and the 2nd grade spelling bee? That was one was weird. ROB. But I did like the frequency of which you used the word “sadomasochistic”. That was sexy. LIZ. You know what. This just isn’t working. Maybe I should quit… I’m a horrible writer. JESS. Not allowed! LIZ. What? JESS. You can’t stop now! Here, we’ll help you. What do you have so far? LIZ. Just a stage direction. JESS. Let me see. (She goes to the computer, and reads.) “Scene. The living room in the house of four friends: LUCY, TESS, JOHN, and RON. Lucy is sitting at the dining room table on her laptop. Tess is sitting on the couch, reading a book. Lucy is typing away feverishy, and she gets frustrated, slamming her hands on the keyboard.” See, that doesn’t sound too bad. What happens next? LIZ. I don’t know. JESS. Yes you do! Just think! ROB. What if this John character were to come in? JESS. Yes! ROB. Now, what kind of person is John. JAKE. I think he’s a ruggedly handsome gentleman who gets all the ladies! ROB. Right. JAKE. No, seriously! ROB. No. Seriously? JAKE. He sounds like a fun character. LIZ. Fine. He enters, when Lucy is frustrated.
JESS. Why is Lucy frustrated? LIZ. Well… she’s trying to write a play. JAKE. Ooo… that’s so Meta. I like it. Then what? LIZ. She bitches and moans about how her writing is going nowhere for a good page and a half. ROB. That’s so boring. PORN! LIZ. This isn’t turning into a porn, Rob. ROB. You’re making me very sad. LIZ. If you want to have a porn play, why don’t you just write it yourself? ROB. Now there’s an idea… (He smirks, and exits into his room.) LIZ. Now where’s he going? JESS. I don’t think I want to know. LIZ. You know what, guys, I just don’t think this is working. Maybe I should just… start writing. Thanks for your help though. (She begins to type, she is a bit more inspired this time.) JAKE. Fine. Do you want anything to drink? LIZ. Sure. Wine? JAKE. I’ll grab it. (He goes and gets some wine, he pulls the cork. Jess pays attention.) JESS. Ooo… Jake, I really saw your definition in your biceps when you pulled that cork. JAKE. You did? JESS. It was nice. Do it again. (Things become a bit heated, almost as if it’s a dream. Jake motions as if he is pulling the cork again.) Ooo… that was nice… JAKE. You like that, baby? JESS. Oh… Jess… (Liz perks at attention.) LIZ. Uh… guys? JESS. Yeah? LIZ. What are you? JAKE. Huh?
LIZ. Nevermind. (She goes back to typing. Rob comes out of his room.) JESS. You’re back already? I thought you were going to write a porn play. ROB. Well, I thought I would go online to get some inspiration… and let’s just say… my inspiration didn’t last long. JESS. I bet it’s longer than you think. ROB. What’s that? (He joins in on the “fun”.) JESS. I said, I bet it’s longer than you think. ROB. Oh, you have no idea. (Jess and Rob look at each other for a few moments, and then kiss, passionately. Liz senses something is amiss, and looks up, just as Rob and Jess pull away.) LIZ. I just… ROB. What? LIZ. Nevermind. (She goes back to typing. Jake goes over and hands Liz some wine, as the doorbell rings. Jess goes to answer it. THE PIZZA BOY is on the other side.) PIZZA BOY. I’ve got a large pepperoni. JESS. I bet you do. PIZZA BOY. I meant the pizza. JESS. I didn’t. (She runs to the Pizza Boy, and starts making out with him. Jake and Rob join in as well, and in the chaos, Jakes turns on some sexy music. Liz is typing feverishly, as the crazy sexy dance happens behind her. Suddenly she stops.) LIZ. Fuck. PIZZA BOY. Oh yeah, baby, we are. LIZ. Oh fuck, oh fuck! JESS. Liz? LIZ. FUCK MY GODDAMNED LIFE! FUCK IT ALL TO HELL! ROB. Liz, are you ok? LIZ. I just lost it! I lost the entire play! JAKE. Again?
LIZ. Two lines away from the end of the play and it’s gone! All gone! FUCK! (She notices the pizza boy.) Who’s that? PIZZA BOY. Oh… that’ll be 17.50. JESS. Here, keep the change. And call me. (She winks, and playfully slaps his butt as he leaves. She goes to Liz.) LIZ. I’m an absolute failure. This play was horrible to begin with, and now… I don’t even have anything to show for it. I suck. ROB. Liz, you don’t suck. LIZ. I do. I suck. I don’t know why I thought I could do this. I just… don’t understand. I’m a talent-less ass clown. A hack. This will never amount to anything, so why am I doing it? JAKE. Liz, you’re not talent-less. LIZ. I couldn’t even hit save every few lines to make sure nothing got lost. The most simple thing to do in the world and I counldn’t even remember to do that! God… JESS. Liz, you are talented. Don’t let a little thing like this get to you. You’re doing something big and scary, that’s true, but… you still have us supporting you. We can help. LIZ. How? JESS. We can… bring you chocolate. LIZ. What? JESS. And read your plays and give you honest critiques when something is not working. ROB. Or… read your plays outloud so you can revise them. JAKE. Or tell other people how awesome you are so people know. JESS. And all we ask for in return is for you to write killer roles for us. (Liz smiles.) LIZ. I guess I should start over. (She types again. As she types, Jess reads over her shoulder, and the two of them recite the lines on the page.) JESS. “Are you trying to break your computer?” LIZ. “I’m frustrated. This isn’t working.”
JESS. “I don’t know why you put such a pressure on yourself. To write 31 plays in 31 days? That’s kind of ridiculous, don’t you think? It’s already day 12 and you’re out of ideas.” LIZ. “I just need to think…” ROB. That’s good. I like it so far. JAKE. It’s still meta. JESS. Nice. Keep going. We’re here. (They all smile at each other, as Liz rewrites the play. The lights fade.) END OF PLAY