Stage Interview with Barbara Lindsay

SEATTLE ACTRESS SAYS HER MARRIAGE IS A 10.

 First Interview with Barbara Lindsay

© Carl Nelson / Seattle Celebrity News / 2010

CHARACTERS:

            REPORTER, (JEFF) from the Seattle Celebrity News with pad and pen

            BARBARA LINDSAY, local playwright/actress/celebrity

            BILL SELIG, celebrity’s husband

PHOTOGRAPHER, (TINY) with huge camera mounted flash

(As JEFF recollects,  “It was so hard to get access, we had to catch her onstage while she was plugging something between acts.”)

                                    REPORTER

Barbara Lindsay!  It’s great to meet you.

We’re from the Seattle Celebrity News!

                                    BABS

Thank you.  The feeling is mutual, I’m sure.

Anybody from the press is a friend of mine.

                                    REPORTER

You’re quite a prominent actress around town.

                                    BABS

I’m a Ham!  That’s for sure.

                                    REPORTER

No really.  You won raves for your recent role in the staged version of “My Antonia” at the BookIt Theater.  Your plays seem to have been produced on every continent in the world, and published in collections… 

                                    BABS

Well let me tell you:  It hasn’t been without a LOT of hard work.

                                    REPORTER  (slyly)

And you live with the prominent local director, Bill Selig.

                                    BABS

He’s my husband.

                                    REPORTER

You’re sure?

                                    BABS

That’s a funny question.  What do you mean, am I sure?

                                    REPORTER

Well.  Your last name is Lindsay, and his is Selig.

                                    BABS  (laughed loudly)

Lindsay is my ‘stage name’.  I’ve had the stage name “BARBARA LINDSAY” LONG before I met Bill.

                                    REPORTER

…and after.

                                    BABS

…AND after.

                        (a long beat)

                                    BABS

We are married!

                                    REPORTER  (stopped writing)

If you say so.

                                    BABS

It’s not a matter of my “saying so”.  There are records.  Court records attesting to the fact of our MARRIAGE.

                                    REPORTER

I’m sure there are.

(wrote) “Claims court records bear her out…”

                                    BABS

We went on a honeymoon for goodness sakes.  You covered it!  In your …journal.

                                    REPORTER

That’s nice.  But it’s really a tabloid.  Better to just call it by its rightful name.  Put all of our cards on the table.  (slyly) You know what I mean?

                                    BABS

Okay, fine.  Our marriage was covered in your “tabloid“.

                        (a beat)

                                    REPORTER

How does that make you feel?

                                    BABS

Feel?

                        (REPORTER leaned in aggressively.)

                                    BABS

Come on, I’m an actress.  The tabloids are my bread and butter. 

                        (for quotation, she slowed when it looks like I’d fallen behind)

(Also, throughout this little monologue she paused for the PHOTOGRAPHER to catch her best gestures!) 

“How do you think it makes me feel?  It makes me feel GREAT that a lot of my fans, who do the daily grind, perform “the grit and the slog” – to quote D. H. Lawrence – “of existence”, think enough about me to want to follow my daily doings, my ups and my downs, and my marriage – for goodness sakes!”  In your “tabloid”.

                                    REPORTER

Okay.  (nodded)  Right now, what I have for the lead is:  “Prominent Local Actress Claims She Is Married”

How does that suit you?

                                    BABS

It doesn’t.  How’s this?

                        (grabs pad and wrote)

Prominent local actress is married to Prominent local director Bill Selig and has a different last name BECAUSE  Barbara Lindsay is her STAGE NAME.

                        (underlined STAGE NAME several times, and handed  it back)

                                    REPORTER

(reading, nods)  Okay, moving on…

So how IS your marriage?

                                    BABS

What do you mean?  You want its temperature?

                                    REPORTER

Back at the office we call it the marriage “thermometer”. It’s the kind of thing our readers like to know.  Running hot, or cold?  You know, before the (purported) ‘wedding’, things were perfect, and now…. They are…?

                        (a long beat)

                                    BABS

A ten!  “They are” a 10.

                                    REPORTER

That took you a while.

                                    BABS

I was counting my blessings.

                                    REPORTER  (disbelief)

So.  Things have gone from perfect to just about… perfect!

                                    BABS

Pretty much.  Yes, that’s how I’d describe them.

                                    REPORTER

No ups and downs?  No bumps! In the road?

                                    BABS

It’s been a pretty smooth transition.

                                    REPORTER

Unbelievably smooth!

                        (a beat)

Okay.  So far, this is what I’ve got:  “Prominent local actress married to Prominent local director Bill Selig, who, has a different last name because  Barbara Lindsay is her STAGE NAME” – is leading a fairy-tale life.”

                                    BABS

I like it.

                                    REPORTER

I don’t know.  It feels a little short…  you know, on credibility.  Like the reporter hasn’t “dug” enough.

                        (REPORTER motioned for PHOTOGRAPHER to cap the camera.)

                                    BABS (sighed)

How can I help?

                                    PHOTOGRAPHER

Give her the checklist.

                                    BABS

Checklist?

                                    REPORTER

It’s just a form we use.

                        (shuffled papers)

                                    BABS

You want me to fill out a form?

                        REPORTER  (handed her the form)

It’s pretty short.  And there’s a postage paid self-addressed envelope included with it, so that all you have to do it to fill it out and drop it into the mail.

                                    BABS

What is the purpose of this form?

                                    REPORTER

It’s just to see if there are any newsworthy items we might have missed, or overlooked.  It’s for your benefit!

                        (a beat)

You fill it out.  Drop it in the mail.  It goes right to my editor.  His secretary reads it.  Circles anything in red that may be of interest.  Kicks it up to my editor.  And if he  passes on it, we’re right back out here.  And with any luck, you’re in the next issue.

                        (hands her the form)

Don’t worry, it’s not going to bite.  See.  Here.  You just check these boxes:

  • Cellulite?  Put an x on the body diagram where it has appeared.  Attach photo.
  • Baby Bump?  How far along? 
  • Infidelity?  How many partners?  Other celebrities involved?  Missionary or Kinky?
  • Abuse?  Spousal, sexual, familial, child?  Court hearings?  Arrests?
  • Done hard time?  Circle the penal institutions.

 

And there’s a big box at the bottom where you can write comments.  And you can take it with you, so that Bill could help you with it at home, if you’d prefer.  In which case I’d like to keep the small wooden pencil.  I’m running out.

                                    BABS  (hands back pencil)

Uhh, thanks.

                                    REPORTER  (leaving)

I’m sure if you and Bill put your heads together, you can come up with something – really great!

                        (shook hands)

It’s good to meet you.  And I hope we do so again soon!

                        (REPORTER & PHOTOGRAPHER walk out of sight.)

                                    BABS  (looked at form)

Yeah. Sure.  Thanks.

                        (Lights go to half-light.)

                        (BABS wanderered stage right where her husband, BILL was sitting.)

                        (BABS sat down beside BILL.)

                        (Lights up)

                                    BILL

I don’t know lambchops.  Things are going pretty well now.  Why rock the boat?

                                    BABS

Apparently Bill, because people want to know.

                                    BILL

What people?

                                    BABS  (gestures to audience)

Them.  Out there!

                                    BILL

But pumpkin…  I know I said I would be behind your career, and I am.  Every step of the way.  You can count on me!  But this… This is sort of personal, isn’t it?

                                    BABS

ONLY if you think of it that way, honeydew.

The personal is now public.  That’s how it is.  It’s the new order. 

                        (a beat)

So you see pretty soon they’ll ALL be sharing this stuff, so that it won’t even matter.

                                    BILL

Some of those sexual positions have been handed down through the family.  They are virtual heirlooms.

                                    BABS

That’s it!  We’ll call them “Barbara Lindsay’s Favorite Family LOVE Recipes”.  Oh Bill!  I can imagine a BIG spread.  Centerfold!

                                    BILL

I don’t feel right sharing these without first holding a family meeting.

                                    BABS

Oh Bill, you know your Aunt Kate would never agree.  Plus, most of the rest of your family –  they would go to the grave, before sharing the tools to the treasure we have found.

                                    BILL

(recollecting fondly)  You’re right, aren’t you.

The world should know.

                                    BABS

That’s it.  The world should know!  Maybe honey, this can be our small contribution…

                                    BILL

Well, I wouldn’t call it “small”.

                                    BABS

Well, our ‘lasting’ contribution then, to world peace.

                                    BILL

And afterglow.

                                    BABS

Oh sweetiepie.

                                    BILL

You go get the charts and diagrams out of the locked safe behind my Great Grandfather Alfred’s portrait in the hall.  And I’ll try to figure out where to put these tiny ‘x’s on the body diagram.

(Lights go down as BABS left, and BILL tried to get his pen to work.)

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