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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NOW AVAILABLE: A Salutatorian's Gratitude (how and why I wrote it)

Hello everyone, and welcome to Theater is a Sport.  My name is Bobby Keniston, and I like to talk about all things theater.  Why?  Because I love it oh-so-much.

Today I'm going to introduce you to a new script of mine that is now available and give you a little insight into how and why I wrote it.  I have always found it interesting to read about the "behind-the-scenes" of different writers, so I thought I would share a little of that with you, in hopes that you find it entertaining or informative. 

The script is a 10-minute comedic monologue called A Salutatorian's Gratitude, and it is available from Brooklyn Publishers.  Here is the description of it that you will find on their website:

After four years of hard work, graduation is finally here, and James (or Jamie) is about to give a Salutatorian speech that no one will ever forget! After discussing the importance of gratitude to his fellow graduates, he quickly begins to10-min drop the facade and let his true feelings come out, including jabs at the Valedictorian (who happens to be the Headmaster's son), his own father (who would have bought him a car had he been number one in his class), and about the "dinosaur" teachers who he feels should have retired long ago. Shakespeare once wrote "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." Well, James is going to show the world that a serpent's tooth ain't got nothin' on him!

So, first things first:  why bother write ten minute monologues anyway?  Obviously the royalties are much lower, so what's the point?

Good question!  Here's the answer: 
There is a pretty wide market out there for speech and forensics clubs, not to mention acting classes that may purchase monologues for in-class scene work.  Writing the monologues or 10-minute duets is not only a great deal of fun, in truth, they take less time to write, and can really help get your name as a writer out in different markets.  Heck, even in different countries.  I got an e-mail from a girl in Australia who was working on one of my monologues for her acting class.  Australia!  That's pretty cool, while I'm sitting here in Maine writing my plays.

From a financial standpoint, for those truly interested in the business-side of things, my 10-minute duets and monologues account for MORE THAN 20% of the royalties I have earned this year from Brooklyn.  That is more than my full-length plays account for. 

So yeah, they're fun to write, and they help earn money.

So, why A Salutatorian's Gratitude?  How did you get the idea for such a bitter graduate?

Okay, here's the truth.  I was Salutatorian of my graduating class.  And yes, being Salutatorian is a great honor that demonstrates a student's commitment to hard work and academic achievement.

But I was still number 2.

You see, I didn't have a whole lot to be competitive about when I was in high school, so academics were very important to me at the time.  And, I was only 1/100 of a grade point less than the Valedictorian of my class.  Such a small margin made it all the more difficult for me.

Of course, now, as a rational adult, I can see how things like class rank really have no bearing on a person's potential for success.  After all, I'm a bit of a struggling writer without much to call my own, while many people behind me in the class have far more real-world financial success. 

Also... as human beings, especially still as teenagers, do we really need to pay attention to a "ranking"?

On the other hand, I think competition can be could, and striving for success in academics is important, and, still in my heart of hearts, I wanted to be number 1 in my class and feel like I actually deserved it (All AP classes and such).  While this feeling exists, I do realize how silly and funny it is to have it. 

Hence, this monologue was born.

And I happen to think it is quite funny, and hope that people will agree.  I also happen to think it is a great piece for a forensics (speech) competition, or a night of monologues and scenes. 

Thanks to you all for reading this.  If you want to read a free sample of A Salutatorian's Gratitude, just click right here!

Until next time, please remember that theater is not only an art form, craft, and business--- it is also a sport.

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