Friday, June 29, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1595 Barnum (Scene 1) by Janet S. Tiger (c) June 29, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1595 Barnum (Scene 1) by Janet S. Tiger (c) June  29, 2018 

    From a one-man showI'm working on - this is the first scene   
                       A monologue by Janet S. Tiger (c)  2018   all rights reserved

(A man enters, this is P. T. Barnum, and he comes onstage with the flourish we expect..)

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to this lecture!  I appreciate your support - these lectures have enabled me to pay back my debts!  And I hope you feel you receive a good result from the story of my life - my successes and my failures....and when I say hope......I truly hope that's what you will have!

Please let me start with a small story - one from my childhood.  I was seven, and I found out that I had inherited land!  And I was told that I was the luckiest boy in Connecticut because this land was the most beautiful in the whole world!

And that I was wealthy!  Me!  A boy of seven, then eight, and nine....and every year the story grew!  I, me, Phineas Taylor Barnum, was a landowner!  

I knew this land was special, that it was full of rubies and diamonds!  Oh, how I would dream of seeing it, because it was not near, and I was too young to travel there,

Everyone would tell me how great this land was, and I kept asking to go.....but I was too young!

But youth grows, as does age, and one day, I asked to see my land.....and I was told I was old enough!

Oh how that filled my soul!  I felt like I could fly there!

And I almost did.....

         (He travels around the stage throughout the next)

Unfortunately, I had to travel to my inherited land by was a trek....through heavy terrain, and thorns and there were bees......'where is it?' I would ask, and would be told.....'soon, we'll be there soon'

And I would keep walking.  At 12, you can walk forever, and I almost did!  Finally, we were at a was a worthless, horrible place, and I looked, and the man who had taken me said.......'Here it is!'

And I looked......

          (He takes a deep breath, and surveys the room, shaking his head)

It inheritance!  A joke, and everyone was laughing at me all those years!  Telling me how wonderful, and now.....the truth.

This is where my life turned.

And yours can, too, when your hopes and dreams are dashed.

But it was the most amazing revelation I have ever had!  And I share it with you now......I realized that the getting of the dream was only a very tiny part of the whole show!  

For years, the thoughts of my inheritance, the dream.....the hope had made me happy!  It had given me strength and purpose!  And it had me work to get to that point and I was never going to wonderful the journey had been!

All right, you say, but weren't you disappointed?  Yes, I was, for a minute, but then I knew that when you want people to be on your team, you must give them that hope!  That dream!  so that they will pay to come to see what you have in your stable, in your your theater,,,,,in your museum!  

You want them to be fascinated, to be mystified, to be horrified.....but always, you want them to have the hope that what they will encounter.....will be amazing.

And have to give that to them.  Maybe not every single time or every single person, but if you can have that hope spread through crowds  and over land and seas and distance and yes, over time, then you can make memories that will never be forgotten!

And that is what I plan to do this evening, ladies and gentlemen, show you how I turned a worthless piece of land.....into the Greatest Show on Earth!

          (He raises his arms and there is a flash of light, and he disappears.  End of Scene 1)


This is from the autobiography of Barnum's life - click here

Note: A few words about 'free' -  all these monologues are protected under copyright law and are free to read, free to perform and video as long as no money is charged. Once you charge admission or a donation, or include my work in an anthology, you need to contact me for royalty 

Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983

Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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