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July 17th, 2020 donnahoke


If you are still with me, thank you, thank you! We are so close to the end and I could not have done it without you. Even you who don’t say anything, I know you’re there and it means a lot to me.


I don’t have much to say by way of introduction this week, but you are getting an entire scene! I’m curious to see how you feel about this scene works, how you feel it might work on stage. I think it has so much directorial potential and really would allow these two actors to showcase contrasting comedic styles.


I also wanted to talk about another thing on my revision to-do list and that’s to start each monologue with a different joke and to vary them among different joke styles. The idea is to not only contribute to the overall humor theme that has developed but also to give each monologue the feeling of stand-up, at least initially.  There’s also an overarching purpose for this that will become clear later, but I also can’t help but feel if this play were in development, there would be a lot to mine there. But that’s for the future. For now, I just need to start coming up with all those jokes, which you won’t get to see, so I just wanted to explain how I thought that might work when I go through and add them in.

For now, let’s join FINDING NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, already in progress!





(We’ve just come off of Cha’s monologue about her sister)

Turns out it was benign and she went back to being perfect.




CHA-CHA and KATIE get ready for bed. They are not talking. They get in each other’s way and they still don’t talk. They get into the beds. With each thing CHA-CHA says, KATIE can or can’t react; sometimes she might almost speak and the pause is longer, maybe she rolls over. The suspense of when she will answer builds.


CHA-CHA: I can’t sleep.




CHA-CHA: I can’t sleep. KATIE …


CHA-CHA: Do you have a passion?




CHA-CHA: What does that really mean?




CHA-CHA: A brain doesn’t pay attention to boring things. It dies a little.




CHA-CHA: That’s why comedians are judged every twelve seconds.




CHA-CHA: Melinda told me once I was my own worst enemy and imagine what life would be like if I made a truce with myself. What does that mean?




CHA-CHA: I should call her.




CHA-CHA: How do we find enlightenment?




CHA-CHA: My dad told me the secret to being funny.




CHA-CHA: Do you want to know it?




CHA-CHA: Melinda never acted like she was better than me. She just is and we both know it.






CHA-CHA: Pickle My Fancy isn’t bad.




CHA-CHA: But pickle green isn’t a pretty color.




CHA-CHA: Cherophobia is not the fear of gypsies, tramps, and thieves.




CHA-CHA: It’s the irrational fear of being happy.




CHA-CHA: Cher and Cher Alike. The brightest, most audacious red.




CHA-CHA: Aliens have–




CHA-CHA: What?


KATIE: I don’t have a passion, not like you mean. I like making people happy.  Making life easier for them. Being a good friend. I just can’t measure that in dollars or projects or paintings. Oh my god, I really did kill Tonio! I bored the last part of his brain. I wish I was a comedian because being judged every twelve seconds is better than being judged every two seconds and I’m not better than you and you don’t have to be a bitch trying to prove you’re better than me. Try meditation. I hate it because it puts me to sleep so even if you don’t find enlightenment, you might shut up. And for the love all things in the universe, tell me the damned secret!


CHA-CHA: You didn’t kill him. You’re not that boring.


KATIE: I am. I’m not a fun mom. I’m not a fun person. That’s why Pete left.


CHA-CHA: He left because he’s an asshole.




CHA-CHA: Didn’t expect that, did you?


KATIE: It’s the nicest thing anybody’s ever said to me.






CHA-CHA: Laughter is a gift someone chooses to give you.


KATIE: What?


CHA-CHA: That’s the secret. Nobody needs to tell you you’re funny. They just have to laugh.


KATIE: Is that all?


CHA-CHA: You know that even if you’re hilarious, only like twelve sitcoms get made a year.


KATIE: I really don’t want to peddle a sitcom.


CHA-CHA: Neither do I.


KATIE: Can you try to meditate now?


CHA-CHA chuckles.


CHA-CHA: Cary Grant.


KATIE: Go to sleep!


CHA-CHA: I think we’ll find him tomorrow.




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5 Comments on “EPISODE 19: FINDING NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, A Play In Process”

  1. 1 Jim Caputo said at 7:21 pm on July 17th, 2020:

    Hi Donna
    Very nice scene. I have one thought to pass on. As a reader, I felt suspense during the 16 times Katie chose not to respond.
    When she does, it is a very good mini monologue. I would not drop a word of it. But what if you rearranged and added to it so that it first responds to each of Cha-Cha’s lines — a series of bullet statements that show that: 1. Katie was not ignoring Cha_Cha, 2. she remembered every single thing Cha-Cha. said, 3. she refutes every Cha-Cha statement.
    Much of this is already in her speech, it’s just a matter of juggling.
    I think it would be funny, a nice way to end the suspense and enhance the structure that is already there.
    Good luck

  2. 2 donnahoke said at 11:25 am on July 18th, 2020:

    In effect, that was the intent of her response, and I think initially I was thinking more in terms of a parallel structure with it, but the thing is… ever since Cha asked if Katie had a passion, that’s what Katie was stuck on. That’s what prompts her to finally respond at all, the question that bothers her most. I felt like her going back to that question shows where she is emotionally and everything she responded to is the emotional stuff, like I don’t feel like she needs to respond to the Cher and Cher Alike nail color because it would feel like ticking that box. But I hear you; it’s definitely something I considered and something I can play with if the play ever gets into development. And mostly, thank you!!

  3. 3 Josie said at 12:57 am on July 20th, 2020:

    Still here, catching up. Still love it! Love the ever evolving relationship between Cha and Katie – evolving for them and us. And I can see the scene in a dark hotel room, Cha staring at the ceiling while asking Katie her questions. So funny.

  4. 4 Bill Crouch said at 10:37 am on July 27th, 2020:

    I really enjoyed this entire scene, that they are in bed, not responding, which a lovely bit of conflict immediately. My favorite line is: “I like making people happy. Making life easier for them. Being a good friend. I just can’t measure that in dollars or projects or paintings.” As in your past work, this poignancy in the writing grounds the “why” of this play for me. Why I care about these characters, finding their way in the world and in their friendship. Beautiful. It’s crystalizing their self-discovery for me as I follow them in their journey, which I love.

  5. 5 donnahoke said at 12:50 pm on July 27th, 2020:

    Thanks Bill and Josie! You’ve been such great supporters!

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