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37 Scenes: Two Women

37 Scenes: Two Women

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37 Scenes: Two Women

147 pagine
1 ora
Oct 29, 2014


On set, actors are frequently asked to deliver big emotion on a moment’s notice – much like landing a jet on the head of a pin. It is crucial to develop a practice that allows access to a full range of emotions without delay.

37 Scenes: Two Women has been crafted specifically for the intimate form of storytelling on-camera. Its priority is to provide emotional arcs with rises and falls substantial enough to prep you for the rigors of this medium.

There are not enough scenes written for women. The voices here speak true – if not feminine, wholly human. They differ in age, sensibility, genre, character, region, and in tone – subtle and gross. For classes, auditions, and workshops: May they serve you in a variety of means. Good luck out there!

Oct 29, 2014

Informazioni sull'autore

Brett Rickaby is an actor, teacher, and writer. He has been in over two dozen films and over forty TV shows, including HBO’s True Blood, Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in West, Dexter, The Crazies and Return to the Batcave. His plays 70 Dollars to a Bus Ride Home and Asylum were produced at the Hudson Avenue Theatre and The Court Theatre in Los Angeles, respectively. He received an MFA in acting from NYU and worked in the theatre regionally and in New York. He has been teaching on-camera acting for ten years including workshops at the University of Minnesota; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and at other programs along the west coast. He is also the founder and principle teacher at Inside Job Acting Studio in Los Angeles.

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37 Scenes - Brett Rickaby


From the outset, we actors have been on the prowl for material. Where is that piece of writing that shows my depth, my vulnerability… my passion? In the theatre, a plethora of material is available, perfectly suited for the disciplines of the stage. The practice of on-camera acting, however, exercises different muscles. Material crafted to communicate to audiences over a hundred feet away is not always suited for the intimate form of storytelling an actor in CLOSE UP will be asked to perform. Here our emphasis shifts from the well-delivered line to the internal flow of thought and emotion. Plays are great literature, but do not always meet the needs of the on-camera medium.

The second difficulty we run into when trying to find good on-camera material is that scripts from well-known sources, i.e. Pulp Fiction, New Girl, or The Walking Dead, place a nearly insurmountable burden on the actor. Performances by originating actors in those same roles have been captured in images that are frequently unshakeable. You will never be asked in a film or TV audition to bring in a scene from anything other than that for which you are auditioning. What is important is that you find material that preps you for the rigors of this medium.

You will regularly be asked to deliver big emotion in a moment’s notice – much like landing a jet on the head of a pin. This requires a regular exercise of those emotions so they remain supple and available. I am hopeful that you will find these scenes conducive to such a practice. I have put some effort into creating arcs for the characters with emotional shifts that are sometimes subtle, sometimes profound. With any luck, you will find several pieces here that allow you to show what you do best!

It is my pleasure that this first On-Camera Scene Book be for TWO WOMEN. I have been aware for some time of the lack of scenes for two women. My doing so first is also a thank you to all of my female students. You women have taught me the most about where I need to grow as a teacher and an actor in this medium. I hope you find the voices in this book speak true – if not feminine, wholly human. Writers do not write enough scenes for women. For classes, auditions, and workshops: May this serve you in a variety of means. Good luck out there!

I have tried to keep the descriptions of these scenes and the directions within them to a minimum. I have found it best in most cases that actors discover the imaginary circumstances for themselves rather than be told what they are. Feel free to ignore directions that do not serve to that end.

The formatting in this book favors the aesthetic rather than the practical. For on-camera work, traditional screenplay formatting favors the actor’s needs. These same scenes are available in screenplay format in PDF.


CHARACTERS: Hallie-Ray – 30’s, disaster relief volunteer

Trish – 30’s, fire victim

SCENE: A small town is consumed by fire. Its residents scramble to put their lives back together. Hallie-Ray, herself a disaster survivor, now Red Cross volunteer, tends to one of its victims, Trish. Trish has just seen her home go up in smoke after a day-long battle. Her family is being treated in a local emergency shelter.

THEMES: Disaster, survival, difficult times, being of service


TRISH: (to herself) …supposed to host the family reunion… next week.


TRISH: Hmmn? (to Hallie-Ray) I don’t know what I’m going to do.

HALLIE-RAY: Come on, let's get you something to eat.

TRISH: I don't know.

HALLIE-RAY: Come on. You need to eat, you need to keep your strength up.

TRISH: I'm not hungry.


TRISH: What’s the point? Everything is... There’s nothing left! Everything we worked for!

HALLIE-RAY: Nothing's going to make sense for a long time.

TRISH: We don't even have insurance!

HALLIE-RAY: Listen, you've got to start thinking about day today things. Just day-to-day living. What's here right now. It's not going away. (beat) You know... your kids are going to be looking to you.

TRISH: Yeah...

HALLIE-RAY: Probably looking to you now.

TRISH: I know...

HALLIE-RAY: It would be good to give them some kind of hope.

TRISH: I don't have any.

HALLIE-RAY: Fake it 'til you make it.

TRISH: What…?

HALLIE-RAY: You know, you got it a lot better off than some of the others, Trish. You got out with your family intact. Your kids are fine, your husband has a few burns, but he's going to be fine. Others weren't so lucky. You need to be grateful you still have each other. (beat) When that E5 ripped through Joplin, I just sat there on my front stoop crying -- my house scattered all over the neighborhood. I didn't want to live. Living didn't make one lick ’a sense to me. I begged God to just take me right there. I was done with living. That's when I heard it: Just a faint cry, at first, then louder… more distressed. And I ran over there, started tearing at the boards, the brick and plaster... and there she was -- Emmy. That little girl saved my life. I got involved. I ran around offering food and water to volunteers, lending a hand everywhere... in any way I could. I helped them -- it helped me. It got me out of myself, gave me a purpose. (beat) Now, I guarantee there are people out there who could use some help, Trish. This thing’s not over with. There's a lot of life left out in that ash. Right now, there is someone out there looking for a relative, a lost pet, an heirloom -- plenty of people need supplies. I'll bet

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