Posted on May 22, 2012 at 2:42 am

Climbing Uphill

The piano begins a very clunky rendition of “When You Come Home to Me” as the lights fade on JAMIE. CATHERINE is at an audition.
She is incredibly nervous and cannot manage to get enough breath to project more than five feet in front of her or to quite get up to the pitch.

When you come home to me,
I’ll wear a sweeter smile
And hope that, for a while,

Okay, thank you.  Thank you so much.

The lights change.  She is having dinner with her father.

I’m climbin’ uphill, Daddy.
Climbin’ uphill.

I’m up ev’ry morning at six
And standing in line
With two hundred girls
Who are younger and thinner than me
Who have already been to the gym.

I’m waiting five hours in line,
And watching the girls
Just coming and going
In dresses that look just like this,
‘Til my number is finally called.

When I walk in the room,
There’s a table of men –
Always men, usually gay –
Who’ve been sitting, like I have,
And listening all day
To two hundred girls
Belting as high as they can!

I am a good person
I’m an attractive person.
I am a talented person
Grant me Grace!

A bell tone.  She steps forward and begins another audition.  Instead of hearing the song, however, we hear what she’s thinking.

When you come home…
I should have told them I was sick last week.
They’re gonna think this is the way I sing.
Why is the pianist playing so loud?
Should I sing louder?
I’ll sing louder.
Maybe I should stop and start over.
I’m going to stop and start over.
Why is the director staring at his crotch?
Why is that man staring at my résumé?
Don’t stare at my résumé.
I made up half my résumé.
Look at me.
Stop looking at that, look at me.
No, not at my shoes.
Don’t look at my shoes –
I hate these fucking shoes.
Why did I pick these shoes?
Why did I pick this song?
Why did I pick this career?
Why does this pianist hate me?
If I don’t get a callback,
I can go to Crate and Barrel with Mom to buy a couch.
Not that I want to spend a day with Mom,
But Jamie needs space to write,
Since I’m obviously such a horrible annoying distraction to him.
What’s he gonna be like when we have kids?
And once again…
Why am I working so hard?
These are the people who cast Linda Blair in a musical.
Jesus Christ, I suck, I suck, I suck, I suck.
When fin’lly you come home

Okay.  Thank you.  Thank you so much.

I will not be the girl stuck at home in the ‘burbs
With the baby, the dog and the garden of herbs.
I will not be the girl in the sensible shoes
Pushing burgers and beer nuts and missing the clues.
I will not be the girl who gets asked how it feels
To be trotting along at the genius’s heels!
I will not be the girl who requires a man to get by,
And I…

Bell tone.

When you come home…
…And banish any trace of gray!
Soon a love will rise anew,
Even greater than the joy…

JAMIE interrupts her and the lights change.