The Alcott scholar

How famous is my 20-year-old monologue “Television?”

I knew it was being taught in high schools and colleges, but I didn’t know that papers on it can be purchased by lazy or uninspired students.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been in school, but based on the opening paragraphs of the “scholarly paper” offered for sale here, the student who pays for this analysis is getting ripped off.

“Television” again

Now available in tasty Youtube flavor!

Television

Speaking of monologues I did for the TV show The 90s, the one with the oddest trajectory is “Television.”

The director of the piece, Skip Blumberg told me that the theme of the episode he was working on was “television,” and could I write a piece for it?  My thought was, well, if I were a television, what would I say?  What does a television want?

Since I did the piece, it’s taken on a very strange life.  I used to open my monologue show with it, since it was a great way to get people’s attention.

Me doing it in my monologue shows got the attention of the editor of The Spoken Word Revolution, an anthology of slam-poems, intended to get high-school students interested in poetry.

It seems to have worked to a certain extent. Every now and then I get a message from a student, of both the high-school and college variety, about an adaptation of the piece they’ve done. Beth Fulton’s is the best I’ve seen so far.

Television is a drug. from Beth Fulton on Vimeo.

Money

This turned up on Youtube today.

I shot it about twenty years ago for a TV show called The 90s. It’s a monologue from a play I wrote called High Strangeness. It was directed by a great director named Skip Blumberg, who was completely fearless about just walking out into the street, pointing the camera at something and assuming something interesting would happen. In my case, I had all these monologues I used to do and I had them all memorized, so he could just turn the camera on and I would just do the piece and everything would be done in a few minutes. I don’t remember us ever doing a second take, which is how he could do things like shoot me, literally in the middle of Wall St in the middle of the afternoon, without either of us getting hit by a car.

As I recall, he didn’t even plan out the shot — he just said “How’s this?” and I said “Okay,” and he rolled camera and started walking backwards and I followed him. New Yorkers, being New Yorkers, knew better than to make faces at the camera or anything like that.