Sales of a Death Man
It's a teaser this month! Here's an excerpt from my short play that's part of the Antaeus Theater Company's Classics Redux festival.
SALES OF A DEATH MAN
Casting office. PAULA paces, talking on the phone.
PAULA It was a total waste! We saw over fifty actors and I’ve got noooooobody!
Yeah, she read - they said she’s not fuckable. Yes for the Grandmother part. It’s Hollywood, even grandmothers have to be fuckable.
WILLY LOMAN enters, wearing a rumpled, 1950s suit. He totes a battered brief case.
PAULA Hang on a sec - (to Willy) Auditions are over. (in phone) And you wouldn’t believe - (to Willy) Did you hear me? Auditions are done. Go home. (in phone) - the losers who - Uh, lemme call you back. (hangs up; to Willy) Can I help you?
WILLY I’m Death.
PAULA Oh. CAN I HELP YOU?
WILLY Not deaf. Death.
PAULA Death? Uh - No, you’re not because the breakdown clearly stated Death is Hispanic, and hot, and auditions for that Straight to Video Masterpiece were yesterday so Buh-Bye.
WILLY Y’know, America is full of fine, upstanding people. People that know me. Up and down New England; I am known.
PAULA Yeah, well, this is Los Angeles.
WILLY Exactly! Why’s my territory California? Where’s the logic in that?
Offstage, we hear a BELL ding!
WILLY Damn! Miss Julie just made another sale.
He sinks into a chair, pulling a file from his brief case.
PAULA Look - no - you can’t -
WILLY Paula Watkins. Thirty seven years old - born in Chicago -
PAULA You’re stalking me?! OHMYGO -
The BELL dings again. LOUD.
PAULA What IS that?!
WILLY You grew up in Dayton. Ohio, right?
PAULA I’m calling security!
WILLY You killed your sister’s goldfish.
PAULA I - what?!
WILLY She had more Girl Scout badges, you were jealous, you poured Clorox into her fish tank.
PAULA How did you - no one knows about that. No one.
WILLY I’m Death. Well, a representative of. A “Death Man” if you will. Bill Loman - maybe you’ve heard of me?
Friends call me Willy?
Huh. Surprising. I am very well liked.
The BELL rings again.
Another one?! Ah well - here’s the deal. The Grim Reaper, or ‘Boss Man’ to me - and he can thank nepotism for that promotion, he is not well liked, believe you me - Boss Man passed out the new leads today and I got you.
PAULA Grim Reaper?! I’m - dead? No! Why?!
WILLY Dunno why your name came up, Hon. Decisions come from Downtown. I hear it’s mostly random. Sure, sometimes they cherry pick - like Steve Jobs, when they needed I.T. support - but me? I just take the leads, make the sale.
PAULA Sale? You mean you have to sell me...?
WILLY Your death. Yes.
PAULA That’s easy. Not Interested.
WILLY Please? I need to make quota.
PAULA What’s in it for you?
WILLY Job security. And maybe a set of steak knives.
The BELL rings again.
Christ - Miss Julie’s killing me. Look, this world? It’s over populated. The Boss can’t get to everyone, so he delegates. Heck, even us reps can’t get to everyone, so we offer incentives. Perks for those who “D.I.Y it” and off themselves.
PAULA Wait - you want me to kill myself? Are you crazy?!
Want to know what happens next?
Check out the The Antaeus Theater Co's Ten-Minute Play Festival
February 4 – 7, 2016
Box office: 818.506.1983