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Sample from Jack in the Box
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By Brian Weilert

This Duet/DI involves the actor to imitate the voice of someone with Cerebral Palsy (C.P.). There are many varied degrees of those affected with C.P. and so it is important to find a level that is both understandable yet effective at conveying the emotion. I would recommend watching the film My Left Foot as a starting point.

Starts with C.P. stricken Jack (the box) sitting in a chair. His posture should reflect Spastic C.P. affliction. The other actor is positioned behind the chair, out of sight.

Box: (C.P. voice) Hello, my name is Jack and I have an IQ of 180. (Pause) Thats genius level. Now, you are either shocked because by the sound of my voice you were probably thinking an IQ more in the range of a low scoring hockey game or not shocked, thinking, " It figures, all those crippled freaks are geniuses. Man I wish I was that lucky." Well, to be honest, no one would be more shocked about hearing me say my IQ was 180 than my mother who had to always harp on me to apply myself in school. I seemed to just hover around the dreaded "C" range. To be honest I dont know what my IQ is. I took a test out of Readers Digest when I was in the 5th grade. My mom kept shoving it in front of me. I think she secretly was hoping I was gifted but lazy. When she left the room, I cheated. I looked up all the answers in the back and scored an impressive 158. Mom was thrilled and it was rare that Mom smiled, so I let it ride. But after a couple of months the pressure for her brilliant son to do better at school became too much and I told her the truth. She was angry. But mostly disappointed that her son was just normal.

Jack: (springing from behind the chair) NORMAL!!! NORMAL!! Did you hear me? You see that is what I strive for, normal. I dont want to be the blind one legged guy who climbs Mount Everest. I don't want to paint Rembrandt knock-offs with my left foot. I just want to be normal.

Box: Good luck.

Jack: I just wish I could get people to see the real me.

Box: Thats the hardest thing about C.P.

Jack: Thats Cerebral Palsy for you lay people.

Box: People see that you move a bit different and speak a little different... (looks at Jack)

Jack: ...and they just assume Im an idiot without feelings. (Yelling to imaginary person) "Hey dude, I see that you're staring! See the two EYEball looking things under my EYEbrows? They're EYES!!!!!" Idiots.

Box: (laughs)

Jack: Yeah, I laugh sometimes. (Pause) So, I don't cry.

Box: People treat me like I have some infectious disease. I cant convince them other wise. It takes time to get to know anyone and people just dont have the time. I feel like the real me is trapped inside like a Jack-in-the-box. If they would just take the time to turn the handle a few times then...

Jack: Hey world!!!! You would find out I am a pretty cool guy. Love sailing, moonlit walks on the beach and romantic dinners

Box: (laughs)

Jack: Really, you can get close to me, it's not a disease.

Box: It's really just an injury, an accident

Jack: I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck a few times and somehow managed to throw a few knots in the sucker while I was at it.

Box: A born Boy Scout.

Jack: No one had any warning that I was going to be this way.

Box: Not enough oxygen to the brain and...

Both: Bam! C.P.

Box: I wasn't some two pound premi, I was a healthy nine pounder. That's what ticks me off, up to the point of delivery....

Jack: I was normal.

Box: Dad, or Ass Dad as I like to call him disappeared before I could even crawl.

Jack: Which wasn't until the age of three. I used a walker to get up at age seven and didn't take my first steps alone until age nine.

Box: So, why the chair? I have what is called Spastic C.P.

Jack: Which is why I run around (start running) and jump so much. I'm SPASTIC!!!!!

Box: I wish. I really can't do any of those things.

Jack: I could if I could upgrade to a better box. With a new body, I'd be break dancin'

Box: That would be so 80's. I'm glad I'm trapped, save me the embarrassment. Spastic really means...

Jack: ...I am a bit stiff and my movements are a bit jerky.

Box: Because my muscles are too tight, I have a hard time relaxing them.

Jack: (Joking) Let me shake your hand and you might no get it back.

Box: Rip it right off at the wrist.

Jack: (Mimicking someone else) "Pleased to meet you Jack, (mimes hand shake) AHHHHH!!!! MY GOD HES TORN OFF MY HAND!!!!

Box: (Laughing hard)

Jack: At least Spastic C.P. is the most common C.P. So, ....

Box: ...amongst the C.P. community, I am normal.

Jack: (Sounding depressed) Yeah, normal.

Box: Whats up with you all of a sudden?

Jack: Nothing, and need a remind YOU that YOU, me, is YOU. Stupid.

Box: Yeah, forgot. Stupid.

Both: (Sarcastic) Ouch.

Jack: It's just.... I'm not even C.P. normal. That was a lie. Sometimes I really feel shafted.

Box: (To audience) He's just mad.

Jack: He!? He!? Would you quit with that already. You have C.P. you're not schizophrenic.

Box: You!? You!? You're talking about yourself. Now who's schizo?

Both: We are.

Box: I feel shafted about the whole walking thing.

Jack: Like I said, at nine I was up and mobile. I was on my way to winning the next Iron Man competition.

Box: If the bike could have three wheels.

Jack: But then...

Box: See, I was mainstreamed into regular classrooms since I was in kindergarten.

Jack: Mom, insisted.

Box: The kids were all told by the teacher that I was...

Jack: ...normal,. Of course they explained it all right in front of me, pointing and gesturing like I was an inanimate object.

Box: A bowl of plastic fruit.

Jack: "Hey, people, I'm sitting right here."

Box: I'm not sure they..

Jack: ...the teachers, totally believed I was normal.

Box: But over the next few years I did make a few friends.

Jack: Few, meaning one.

Box: Ok, one.

Jack: I remember she was hot, for an eight year old.

Box: Creepy, saying that at my age.

Jack: I was eight at the time!

Box: Still creepy. She talked with me like I was...

Jack: ...normal. She was my inspiration to walk.

Box: And I did.

Jack: Man, it felt good. She lived one block from school and Mom let me walk her home once.

Box: Yeah, tailing 50 feet behind me in the van.

Jack: But then came third grade.

Both: Bam! C.P.

Box: You see, I was starting to have trouble with my hips

Jack: Mom set me up for surgery to get things fixed.

Box: Bilateral dislocations

Jack: Bilateral dislocations

Box: and bilateral hamstring contractures

Jack: Yeah, what he said....I said.

Box: Things were all down hill from there.

Jack: They put in all sorts of nuts and bolts.

Box: Hurt all the time.

Jack: Three surgeries.

Box: Constant, severe pain.

Jack: Plates, pins, a large mid 70's Buick...

Box: Ok, maybe not the Buick, but it felt like it.

Jack: Finally, Mom had enough and she ordered them go back in and take enough metal out to earn $4.80 down at the recycling place thats open only on the first Monday of each month.

Box: Mom blamed herself something horrible, I didn't. The pain went away, but I was never going to walk again.

Jack: I hit my prime at nine. These ol' legs of mine (Touches Boxs legs) had logged less than a mile. Shame, good lookin' legs too.

Box: Wheelchair bound for the rest of my life. I wanted to..

Both: SCREAM!!!!