And Now, For Something Completely Different

My blog software just told me that this is my 100th post on my blog–I meant for this to be some sort of intelligent and interesting trek back through time, but then I thought, well…why not just make a bunch of testicle jokes instead?

So today I was super excited to find a message in my inbox from my awesomely talented friend Andrew asking if I might find it in my heart to write him a short monologue for a big audition he has coming up.

I love writing monologues. I’ve written a few for friends before, but today’s was a particularly interesting challenge as the audition required it to be a “non-fiction” piece.

Andrew requested it be about juggling.

Seeing as the show is about Oscar Wilde (who I am a huge fan of), I decided that really the only way to do him justice would be to be…Wildly (sorry) inappropriate.

I’m a little out of practice, but I thought I did pretty well for twenty minutes of writing on a Tuesday after a strike!

How to Juggle (Or, 2 Minutes to Over-kill)
By Catie Osborn

So you’d like to learn how to juggle. Congratulations, dear reader. You have taken your first steps into becoming the life of every party you may find yourself attending from now until the day you find yourself uninterested in attending parties, or dead. Should a party not be available to you, the techniques and skills outlined in this article can still be used to entertain yourself privately for hours on end.

The basic three ball juggle can be learned by most people in a short amount of time… maybe half an hour with help from a good teacher or perhaps a few days on your own. Go through these instructions at your own pace. Before you try each step, relax and visualize what you want to happen. With a little practice and patience, juggling will become easy.

Before you start, it’s important to accept that dropping is inevitable. Work on your technique first and worry about catching anything later. Many people find that juggling over a bed saves a lot of time and energy in picking up dropped balls.

The first and most important thing to learn is to throw and catch a single ball—we will move on quickly, dear reader, because if you can’t manage one, an additional two in your hands may prove disastrous.

When you are confident with your grip (and catching technique), you’re now ready for two balls. Hold one ball in each hand. Throw one of the balls up and across—Each of your hands should receive a ball at the culmination of each throw. Throw, throw, catch, catch.

Spend a few minutes throwing your pair back and forth, right to left and left to right. Each time, try to keep them at eye level or above—one might picture the balls hanging in the air above them—your hands are merely there to keep them from hitting the floor. Practice until this move is smooth and easy. Congratulations! You’ve learned the basic move needed for juggling!

Remember here to take a pause in between throws. “Juggling” works best when done relaxed and slowly.

Finally, when you’re ready, move on to three. Do not be intimidated, dear reader—the three ball juggle is identical to what we’ve just learned—think of the third ball as an additional guest, deserving of as much attention as your other two.

Begin by simply holding the balls to adjust to the feeling of three, placing 2 in the hand that you want to start with and 1 in the other hand. It should be a comfortable feeling. Then, simply toss as you’ve previously learned, adding the third ball directly behind your 2nd toss.

If you are having trouble catching the balls, think about where you are throwing them. The most common problem for beginners is throwing too far out in front of you. To cure this problem, try to keep your balls in front of your face. It may help to juggle in a confined area, such as a closet or out-of-the way room so as to minimize distractions.

With practice, you may even be able to add two sets of balls into your daily practice routine! As you practice, Remember, dear reader, that dropped balls happen. Simply dust them off and try, try again.

A Few New Monologues.

So I’ve been writing a lot of performance stuff recently, and a few friends have asked me to write them up monologues for various occaisions and auditions. Also, my boyfriend just broke up with me, so please ignore some of the sappy emo-ness of some of them. It happens.


Monologue 1:

Okay, so, listen. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. Three of these and your collection is complete. But what if I told you that right now, I am willing to throw in a vintage 1987 yankee? And not just any Yankee, either. I’m talking a vintage, never before touched by human flesh Willie Randolph. The most acclaimed infielder of the ’87 season. Batting average .305, salary, $900.000  big ones. And all of this can be yours if you just ask my sister to the dance. Look, I know she’s not that smart. Or pretty, but she really wants to go. Last year she was sick and the year before that she had a broken arm and so this is her last chance at getting to go to the Starry Enchantment Under the New York Pyramids Dance. I’m on the committee, Mrs. Flynn said there wasn’t a budget for new decorations since the gym needs repairs and so we just pulled from storage but anyway, listen, Ricky. You’ve known me for a long time, I’m an honest guy. I’m fair. What if I threw in a 1980 Bobby Sprowl? Best pitcher the Astros ever had. Three seasons, not one error. Mint condition, Ricky. Mint. And I will include, in this once in a life time deal, this bag of Twizzlers. Cherry, Ricky. Cherry. Just please. Ask my sister to the dance or Mom says I’m grounded.

Monologue 2:

So there you are. And there he is. And then, suddenly, he’s not. And you’re sitting there and you’re thinking “what the fuck” because that’s all you can think and meanwhile everything around you is moving at the speed of light and you’re stuck in slow motion trying desperately to catch up, but you know that everything is going to be different by the time you get there. That’s what it’s like. Or something like it, I suppose. It’s different maybe, for others. A new series of factors: how long, how much, how little, that sort of thing. But in the end, you’re left with just you and this world that keeps on spinning no matter how desperately you wish it would stop for just one moment, just to let you catch your breath and figure out what the hell happened, where it went wrong, catch everything before it falls apart. But that’s not how the world works. No matter what we do, it just keeps moving. So we have to keep up. You have to keep up.


Monologue 3:

My neck hurts in the evenings and it is then that I miss you most. Not you–I stopped missing you before you were gone. Somewhere between your immeasurable sadness and my desperate need and inability to fix you, I ceased in caring because I couldn’t care enough. I couldn’t love you enough to fix you, so I forced myself to let go, because I knew in the end, it was coming. Which, I suppose, is what led to the end. So I have resolved not to miss you. But I miss your touch. Your arms, the sweat of your forehead–I miss you. Not you. Your person. The bits and pieces that I can recall when I shut my eyes. Your breath on my neck, me holding on desperately and knowing I’d have to let you go eventually. There was such beauty in those moments. Hope. A hope that maybe things would work out, that the fates would collide and the stars would allign and suddenly, you would be okay. You would be okay. Things might work for me, just this once. I knew they wouldn’t from the beginning. But still I hoped. I wanted it to. I think I needed it to. So I don’t miss you. I miss what we could have had.

Monologue 4:

There is this moment, just before the dawn, when the stars shine down and watch as the world vibrates its way to a new morning. There’s always been something about that moment. The way the whole world seems to stop and the stars hold their breath, waiting for that great rebirth. This sudden perfect stillness that gives way from velvet black  into the magnificent golden dawn. It’s as if we’re given a chance, another turn–as though nothing bad could happen because all of the energies of the universe are focused on creating the new day. Anyway, after he–after– I realized that that stillness is just the stars holding their breath,hoping that just for one night no such–abominations will occur under their timeless watch. Unfortuanately for those celestial beings, the men of earth strike at night. They use that perfect stillness to muffle screams and silence cries, and they use that beautiful velvet blackness to sneak away unseen night after night after night. It’s then that the dawn comes, but I know better.  And that, Daniel, that is why I write. To make sense of such beauty in an ugly, ugly world.