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May 29th, 2020 donnahoke



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After last week’s revelations, we move into something of a utility phase. I need to get these girls out, but also get cement some more info. These scenes are necessary but, for me, are often written to get to the next place and usually need to become more active later.  (Suggestions welcome now for how that might happen lol)


Lots of great feedback on the thematic development from last week, and I had to go back to Scene 1 and add in this bit:


CHA-CHA: The kid can’t say “My mother bought it at a garage sale,” you think she’s going to tell you you can’t land a joke? Lesson one: don’t give the expected. Lily’s punch, no expected, therefore funny–

KATIE: It wasn’t–

CHA-CHA: Why did the chicken cross the road?

KATIE: To get to the other side. Everybody knows that.

CHA-CHA: Exactly.

KATIE: So why did the chicken cross the road?

CHA-CHA: To ask Tonio what he thinks.



There are a few more tweaks but that’s the most important. I’m also paying close attention to be sure that Cha is the funnier throughout (and notice I switched those lines around in that bit, which makes more sense); if Katie’s funny, it’s by accident or because she’s doing something funny but not intending to be. Women are funny and that’s something I really want to show in this play. Katie is funny but her trying to be funny is almost meta. Of course the real challenge in all this is that I’m not funny lol. 


I did also have this great idea of how to take Katie’s first monologue and use it later. So stuff is coming…


Meanwhile, time to join FINDING NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, already in progress…


Take it from Neil Patrick Harris: 'We're complete because we're ...




KATIE has a laptop. CHA-CHA is cleaning basins.


KATIE:  Maybe magic clubs?




KATIE: To find NPH. He’s a magician.


CHA-CHA: He is?


KATIE: On Glee, on How I Met Your Mother. On American Horror Story.


CHA-CHA: I thought he was acting.


KATIE: So maybe he practices places and it might be easier to find him there then I don’t know, anywhere.


CHA-CHA: Abracadabra.


KATIE: If he was in a show right now, we could just stage door.


CHA-CHA: We would definitely get arrested flinging ashes at a stage door. He has to be alone.


KATIE (delete): Okay, then looking at his schedule isn’t going to help.


“How to meet Neil Patrick Harris.” All this has is stories about how he met David.




KATIE: Don’t you know anything? The first time was just on the street.


CHA-CHA: We aren’t going to get that lucky.


KATIE (Googling): “How to meet a celebrity” Do we have any mutual friends?


CHA-CHA: Check Facebook.


KATIE: Just saying that might be easier than getting a job on a film crew.

(continues Googling)

What are your pilots about?


CHA-CHAL: About six-foot two, dark haired, and dreamy.


KATIE: You got pitches, right?


CHA-CHA:  It doesn’t matter. Nobody wanted them.


KATIE: I told you what mine was about.


CHA-CHA: Stalactites.


KATIE giggles. 


KATIE: The word just makes me laugh.


CHA-CHA: [shakes head]


KATIE: I want to hear what’s better about yours.


CHA-CHA: Nobody wanted them, so there’s no point.


KATIE: Just tell me one.


CHA-CHA: Okay… One is about two waitresses who are trying to save money to open a dress shop.


KATIE: That sounds like Two Broke Girls.


CHA-CHA: No. It’s not. It’s called Serving In Style, and it’s a dress shop.


KATIE: But still–


CHA-CHA: Okay, so that’s probably why nobody wanted it. And nobody wants Jungle Girl in Space or Babes on a Bus


KATIE: Maybe they’re just not funny.


CHA-CHA: They’re funny.


KATIE: How can you be so sure?


CHA-CHA: Because I’m funny.


KATIE: Yeah, but that doesn’t mean–


CHA-CHA: You know what. It doesn’t matter. You’re right. I’m never leaving this place so just leave me alone.


KATIE: What are you talking about?


CHA-CHA: I don’t want to go.


KATIE: Why not?


CHA-CHA: It’s a stupid idea.


KATIE: It was your stupid idea!


CHA-CHA: We’re never going to find him.


KATIE (imitation): “You’re so negative.”


CHA-CHA: Not negative. Just changed my mind.


KATIE: Why do you always do that?


CHA-CHA: The mystery keeps people guessing.


KATIE: It doesn’t: every time you make a plan, you change your mind: completely expected.


CHA-CHA: My plans aren’t supposed to be funny.


KATIE: No, they’re just a joke.


CHA-CHA (stung): It’s just not the right time.


KATIE: You said it’s all about time!


CHA-CHA: Even a broken clock is wrong most of the day.


Utility: Cha’s inferiority complex. Katie is the driver, but she’s not funny. Cha IS funny. Clarifying wants. Utility.



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5 Comments on “EPISODE 12: FINDING NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, A Play In Process”

  1. 1 tina said at 9:23 am on May 30th, 2020:

    I’m beginning to understand Kate and Cha’s deeper wants and fears.

  2. 2 Josie DiVincenzo said at 3:46 pm on June 3rd, 2020:

    I’m catching up, I’m catching up!!! I love this play and these characters, and while you think the challenge is ‘You’re not funny” – I disagree. SO many funny dialogue moments but also in between dialogue too. Back a few scenes when we discover the urn is Tina’s husband, we’re not ahead of you, even tho I waaaay in the back of my head flashed on the possibility, when it happens it’s happening for us all at the right time, and it’s delightful. The Lucy and Ethel situation of possibly mixing the ashes – so fun. You’ve created scenarios and moments of opportunity for Cha and Katie’s physical comedy… I’m still cracking up imagining Cha trying to hold on to the freezing lasagna, for instance. I will read the latter parts again, but just wanted you to know I’m back and catching up. Also love the thematic additions…the specifics of Katie being disappointed when the little nail polish flowers started to chip. SO universal! LOL And yes, I believe the monologues work. To me, monologues that answer a moment or try to move the motion along are, to me, the ones that always leave a mark.

  3. 3 Bill Crouch said at 4:45 pm on June 3rd, 2020:

    I absolutely adore this play. I adore the fact that she giggles at stalactites. Great stuff, dear Donna.

  4. 4 Tony Schwab said at 12:17 pm on June 4th, 2020:

    Yes, “Because I’m funny., emphasis on the “I’m”. That’s a line from the gut of Cha-Cha’s need and Katie’s too. I like the characters’ motivation (life-need) of “Am I funny? I want to be funny! I will make the world laugh!” And I misread a line of Katie’s in an interesting way: Instead of “word, “The world just makes me laugh.” And when Cha-cha wants to give up it is sad (that’s good). Don’t give up Cha, Tonio needs you to complete the mission! (And Donna, what do you mean by the term,’utility’?

  5. 5 donnahoke said at 12:31 pm on June 4th, 2020:

    But utility, I mean a scene that needs to happen for plot, so I just get it down and then later figure out how to make it more active.

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