...after this message from the Professional Organization of English Majors.

GK: So you went to Yale, and you decided to major in Theater.

SS:nI could major in English but English majors are so unattractive. I'm a physical person (TAP DANCING)--I like to embody things - I crave physical movement ----- (SWORDFIGHT W VERBAL OUTBURSTS) ----- I love to be looked at!

GK:nSo you graduate and go to New York City where you land the role of Juliet in the Queens Shakespearean company---which is in Queens.

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title.

GK: And a few years go by and the theater runs into financial problems, a new board of directors comes in, a new executive director, and then----

TR (BURLY): Hi. I'm Jack Spratt, the new artistic director.

GK: And he takes you aside.

TR (BURLY): Look, Theresa.nYou're a great gal. But we're going in a different direction. We're gonna try something new---


FN (NEW YORK WOMAN): Hi. I'm Tiffany. I am, like, really inspired by your former work.

TR (BURLY): We're looking for something more youthful, Theresa.

GK: And that's it -- you're fired.n

SS:nMore youthful-----??? But I'm only------ thirty-two...(?).n(STING)

GK:nTheater is a brutal business.nOne day you're a star, and the next day you're mulch.nYour agent gets you a job on a soap opera.

SS:nOh thank god.

TR (HIGH, PUNCHY):nIt's called Blazing Pajamas, daily show, 3 pm Eastern, a continuing role, $10,000 a week minus 15% for me, of course.

SS:nOh thank you, thank you, thank you. This will keep me going until I get back into theater.

GK:nAnd you do Blazing Pajamas though the dialogue is sort of chunky-----


SS (BREATHY):nI don't know, Craig. Ever since your mother broke up my parents' marriage which meant that Mom and I had to live in squalor in the Meadowlands of New Jersey and she came down with amnesia and I had to clean the houses of the rich with nothing but a roll of paper towels and a travel-sized hand sanitizer, as your mother and my father sailed away on a 200-foot yacht and formed their own pharmaceutical company and adopted 14 children, including you -----n technically that would make you my step brother -- and yet, I love you.

TR:nI love you too, Bethany.

SS:nI forgot what I was saying.

TR:nYou love me?

SS (BREATHY):nOh yeah, I love you Craig.nBut it doesn't seem fair to my mom. Oh, what to do?


GK: And three years pass as Bethany and then--

FN (QUIET):nLook Theresa.nYou're a great gal. But we're going in a different direction. Bethany's had four marriages and been abducted by aliens and fought off a terrorist attack and we just don't see her going anywhere so tomorrow she's going to fall down an empty elevator shaft.

SS:nI can't believe this!!!

FN (QUIET):nSo tomorrow, wear comfortable clothes and get ready to work with a harness.


GK:nThree years as Bethany.nFinished.nAnd you go home that night and you eat 5 pints of Lumpy Lucy's Caramel Catastrophe Ice Cream (SS WEEPS, EATS ICE CREAM), and two weeks later you have a part on C.S.I. You're standing on the edge of Washington Square Park and say--

SS (UNDER): Smoke smoke smoke smoke smoke.

GK: That's your only line.

SS (UNDER):nSmoke smoke smoke smoke smoke smoke--


GK:nOne day of shooting. 400 bucks.nAnd then weeks go by.nMonths.nYour agent doesn't call.nAnd you find a job on Craigslist, standing around Lower Manhattan in a chicken suit, (CLUCKING), handing out flyers for Lower Manhattan Broilers.n(CLUCKING). The mask is hot and the eyeholes are tiny and you're making $3.50 an hour, but it's an acting job---so you take it.n(TRAFFIC, BREATHING IN MASK)nBut all the while you're thinking---

SS (MASK):n Where did I go wrong?n

GK:nFrom Yale graduate to standing on a corner dressed as a chicken---

SS (MASK):nWhy is my life a disaster?nWhy why why??????

GK:nIf you had majored in English instead of theater,nyou would know that disaster is a major literary asset. You could move back to the Midwest, rent a farmhouse for cheap, sit down and write your memoir entitled FAILURE.

TR (RADIO ANNC): My next guest is Theresa Montclair, author ofn FAILURE. A memoir of her years in Manhattan. Forty-one weeks on the NY Times bestseller list.nAnd now to be made into a motion picture with Jennifer Aniston playing the role of you.

SS: That's right.

TR:nSo is this true? The story about you in a chickensuit handing out coupons for a fried chicken joint?n

SS: It's all true.

TR: You write so beautifully, it reads like a novel.

SS: Thank you.

GK:nThere is always fresh hope for an English major because failure is only material to a writer. A message from the Professional Organization of English Majors.