The New Age Journalism Synonym Drought Sketch

This is a scene from the Yoga Show: Wealth and Hellness.

I wrote this scene while I had a job as the manager of a yoga studio. During that time I wrote all the flyers for the different upcoming workshops. It was challenging to say the same thing over and over again, but to make it sound different. I would read the local Yoga Chicago, and always marvel at how the writers could keep it fresh.

The over-eccentric passionate writer character (played brilliantly by Katrina), is a mix of my mom’s and my own drama when it comes to cutting off everything else and writing.

This video can be found at youtube.com/karmalampoon

The Yoga Show was written and acted by Tom Vencil, Brittani Ebert, Nick Vatterot, Angel Rodriguez, Jen Shin, Katrina Wilman, Renee Gauthier. Karma Lampoon editor, Jeb Cadwell was the headwriter and director of The Yoga Show.

For posterity, I am including below the original script that I wrote for this scene.

The Synonym Drought Sketch

Cast

Annie: Yoga Ad writer: Katrina
Francine: Annie’s roommate: Renee
Joelle: Brittani
Tiffany: Jen
Jimmy: Jeb
Club Dancers: Remaining cast.
Voice Over: Jen (as Mallory)

Voice-Over
And now it’s time for, New Age Journalism.

Lights up. Annie is typing excitedly at a computer upstage left.

Annie
…And this workshop develops a…what’s the word I’m looking for…a relaxed but alert mind, and…what’s another paradox?  Softened but strengthened awareness of… no I’ve already used strengthen…softened but…livened awareness.

Shouting from down the hall (off stage)

Francine
Annie

Annie
No, not awareness.  Something like awareness?

Francine enters

Francine
Annie! !  Annie, are you ready?

Annie
Mindful…no. Conscious, mm, no. Perceptive…

Francine waves her hand in front of oblivious Annie’s face.

Annie
Perceptive?

Francine
Annie.

Annie
No not perceptive….

Francine
Come on Annie, Joelle and Tiffany are picking us up.  We’re going to the Hip Square in Bucktown.

Annie
No Francine, I have to write.

Francine
Annie, I won’t let you kill another Saturday night writing for Chicago Yoga Magazine.

Annie shakes her head.

Francine
Don’t worry, you’ll be comfortable. If Jimmy ‘s  D.J, maybe he’ll put on your OM CD.

Annie considers the idea, as the scene becomes a dance hall. Lights change, whole cast enters. Jimmy Emcees, Music volume lowers.

Jimmy
All right you all!  Who’s having a good time!

All except Annie respond

Group
Yeah!

Jimmy
Then we’re ga-zonna to keep ja-zammin’ with a special request.

The volume increases.  Snoop Dogg, “Niggaz and Bitches” cuts to the droning “Eternal OM” relaxation CD.  People are confused. Annie appears exasperated, shakes her head.

Annie
No…

Flash-forward ends, everyone exits. Lights change back. Annie still shakes head.

Annie
No Francine. You don’t understand. I love writing about New Age workshops!

Francine
New Age Workshops?  They’re all the same!

Snapping

Annie
Look, you don’t know me! My real community isn’t at the Hip Square, my heart resides with my mother’s spirit in the astral realm.  She tells me sometimes what to write…

Francine
Annie, you’re doing it again, using new age fluff to justify using new age fluff!  If you don’t live you‘ll have nothing to write about.

Doorbell.

Francine
Annie they’re here, if you’re coming we’re leaving.

Francine exits.  Annie sets herself determinately at her typewriter. She works fast.

Annie
Ok then… an integration of the… inner spirit.  Yes. The inner spirit, and the inner spirit, what does it do, it. It…it brings us to reality.

Looking up, stunned

Annie
Reality?  Um no, not reality.  It can’t be reality, reality is overused.   Not reality, not reality, what is not reality, what is reality?  I don’t know, reality is…. It’s palpable. The inner spirit brings us to…palpable. NO.

Tensing face, leaning over keyboard, voice deepens, maniacal now, as though wrestling, physically draining. Hitting herself in head to overcome repetition.

Annie
Reality, no, reality, no, let’s see, Actuality, no no no.  Tangible, I’ve tried that. No, No NO!  Oh my god.  I don’t know what stands for Reality. That must mean…. I’ve…

Rising and collapsing to knees, clenching fists.

Annie
I’ve…I’ve run out of synonyms.  NO!

Flailing, she collapses over chair.  Francine, Joelle, Tiffany enter.

Francine
OK Annie we’re goin… Annie!

Annie
Reality, reality, Apple, apple, momma, momma.

Joelle
Holy shit, it looks like she has quick on-set Lou Gehrigs’ disease!

Francine
No Joelle, it’s from being isolated in the name of the Yoga Community.

Francine grabs Kleenex, wipes mouth, and tests pulse.

Tiffany
This girl needs to get out, go clubbin’

Annie
Clubbing, clubbing, pubbing, stubbing, dubbing…

Joelle
Tiffany, she can’t come like this, she’s drooling.

Tiffany
Joelle, It’s Bucktown.

Francine
Ok, her pulse is good. Annie, you just have to calm down.

Joelle
Yeah, but how do you make a new-ager down to earth?

Tiffany
I don’t know, a shot gun? She just needs to hang with us, have a stiff drink.

Annie
I’ve…run out of synonyms.

Tiffany
Or a thesaurus.

Francine
Annie, Come to reality, where your friends are.

Annie
Friends?

Joelle
Yeah. Friends.

Annie
Friends.  Yes.  Friendship. That’s it; it’s all about friendship.

Annie stands herself up, straightens her chair.  Sits down again.

Francine
Oh my god Annie, you’re back!

Annie
Friendship.  The inner spirit brings us to a new level of friendship.  Yes, and the present level, it, it radiates community…Um, you guys go without me.  Yes, community.

“COMMUNITY’ is written in block letters on a piece of paper she holds up.

Lights out. She tapes sign to curtain, stage left. Someone places mat pile beneath sign.

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1 comment for “The New Age Journalism Synonym Drought Sketch

  1. sandy
    August 9, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Renee is superb in this scene, and Katrina is Lucy–essk!
    BRILLIANT!!

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