LIGHT change: flush, house light on lower stage too
(enters EIGHT to stand on the raised platform. He dresses like a boxing trainer and drinks from a sport drink)
(enter LY and V from stage right. they are surprised at the sound)
– Woah, what’s this?
EIGHT (shouts over the taiko drumming sound)
– V! Come!
(LY and V goes towards SL. drumming sound subdues but still audible throughout the scene. EIGHT, LY nod to each other)
– Hi EIGHT, what’s with the sound?
– Actors training.
– What do they train?
– Rock climbing. Running. Calisthenics. Those kinds of things. (Shouts to the back of the audience)HELLO I’M STILL HERE. IT’S NOT TWO MINUTES YET. GET DOWN TO THAT SQUAT.
V (squints towards the back of the audience)
– Okey. Are they my actors?
– Yep. They’re warming up, then they’ll be sharks.
– Sharks. Where’re sharks from? What script is Mr. DIRECTOR working on again?
– No script. Special Director training. Your actors are all looks but can’t do even 20 push up. Gotta bulk them up. (Shouts)SIR THAT DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A SQUAT. GET DOWN.
V (to Ly)
– Are there sharks in your new script by any chance?
– Haven’t thought of that but (dismisses the thought). What’s all this?
– Told you this director is a peculiar one. And this is just a meet-up, who knows what else is in store. Oh that one doing squat really looks like “i want to go the chinese way but my mom says no” doesn’t he?
– Oh yeah. And that one, whatever he does, is like “i’m a frog, I jump and jump and I don’t like it”
– True, true! (Side)It’s actually called frog-jump. But maybe Captain Obvious here would like to think she named it. (To LY)hey I gotta talk to Mr. Director before my actors break all their pretty bones. You ok being here a bit? I think he’s around so I wouldn’t be long.
– Don’t worry about me.
– I kinda should. But ok. In a bit. (to EIGHT) Is Director in the hut?
– Should be.
– Ok. See you guys in a bit.
(V exits SL hurriedly)
(as V exits, taiko drumming sound picks up)
– Guys, frog jump towards me. Do it properly. HOP! And jump. And HOP! And jump! HIGHER KNEES! TOUCH YOUR BOOBS! (side)I should be so happy if you can touch your lower abs. (to Ly)Come up here please, you’re in the way
(EIGHT goes down to center stage, Ly climbs up the ledge, ACTOR #1 and ACTOR #2 frog jump from the back of the audience towards stage, looking exhausted)
– Gentlemen, warm up yet? (ACTOR #1 and #2 give EIGHT a blood-shot look)Oh, no stamina but that’s a lot of anger. Good. Now comes the exercise. Lets be sharks. (points to the red dot on the ceiling)Sharks, up there is your meat. Try catching it. Once you do, you may rest. But before that, you’re just angry and hungry, like you are now. Come.
(ACTOR #1 and #2 jump clumsily. The following section is delivered over the ascendingsound of taiko drumming)
– Ah hah! Thinking of how to use your legs? Sharks don’t have legs. Guys. You don’t have shoulders, stop thinking about them. You don’t have hands or rib case. You’re a fucking weight with a tail. You have teeth and speed, that’s it. Smell the blood – it gets directly in your brain, it releases you from thinking. The blood leads you to that meat? Yes you know that meat is there and you want it. But then there’re other sharks, they want it too. You can’t let that happen. Fight them. Push them! Bite them! (ACTOR #1 and #2 “swim” around, responding to each other like cats defending their food)SHARKS, you’re SHARKS! Fight like one! (Actors gradually behave more fish-like, e.g. less claws or neck, more upper back and face)VERY NICE! Fight for the meat. Punch in. Draw out. Observe! Fight back, you, fight back! Chase them away! This is your meat! Take the chance when the other is down! Catch it. Fly! Lengthen your reach! Reach up! UP! UP! (throws the sport drink)
(at one point everybody including EIGHT jumps, trying to catch the “meat”. taiko drum sound picks up further to VERY LOUD. LY stands up and tries to reach to the dot too but she can’t – it is too far.)
EIGHT (flings his arms up)
(everybody freezes. taiko drumming stops.Lights out completely.Twospotlights on Ly and the sharks)
(everybody slow-motion subsequent actions over LY’s lines: actors falling down on floor, EIGHT motivating them to go on at no avail so he gets everybody up and exit stage-left, picking up his sport drink; V enters checking on LY and then exits stage-right. LY does not recognize any of those actions. she goes down from the platform. at the end of her lines she is alone on stage)
– What is it? What is all of this? Sharks. I don’t get them. I can’t touch them. No, I know they’re here but I can’t feel them. Sharks? Where are they? Why does their existence elude me? Where is here? (slow taiko drumming picks up)The smell. I smell blood too. Why? The meat, I want it too. Why? My heart beats differently and my guts churn. I can’t control it. Why? (beat)It’s in me, these sharks and their world. I’m here. I… I’ve just been pushed out of myself and I’m watching myself think. I’m seeing myself wondering all these questions and can’t figure out any because at the very same time I’m not thinking, I’m just watching myself do that – I’m seeing myself inside me, in this shark world, in this void. From within. I’m filled with silence and nothing else. Yes. That’s why I hear myself but can’t understand anything. There’s nothing to be understood here. I’m the hollow right here. Ha ha ha… I’m wordless, and I’m nothingness. What is it that I’m feeling? (beat)Happy. I am happy, me, within and at the same time containing this void. Can I be? Yes I do feel it. This. I get it. I want to write this void, this indescribable nothingness. Now. Yes. I’ll do at least that before… Before…
(flush light on stage up. MUSIC: Tartini’s Devil’s Trill Sonata – Largo : 00:03-03:23 in mezzo-piano. spotlight on LY reaching for the red dot center stage.She moves about the stage as if trying to solve a puzzle. As she does so SHADOW comes out, slowly throwing papers:whiteall around Ly. She does not recognize SHADOW at first, then she catches a sheet of paper, then she catches more of them or pick them from the ground)
LY (gradually gets more pieces of her imaginary puzzle and becomes more relaxed)
– There there. You, good you. There. Thank you. Thank you.(SHADOW dance around Ly, who now recognizes him. She watches him, then, hurriedly retrieve more papers:with noteshidden under the speakers and lanced them around. all the papers have words on it: some are scripts, some are stories, some are random notes. When out of papers LY balls up between center-stage and stage-left. the papers fill the stage. SHADOW embraces Ly, then leave to dance again. Music continues until V’s line, then subdues)
(to be continued)