4 Monologues for Women 20-40's
(free for students & auditions)
from the one act play Cast Spell
By G. L. Horton
copyright © 1985
Three members of the cast party at the close of a critic-panned
musical, "The Heart Tried By Sorrow", where the disappointed
actors swap ghost stories and dabble in the occult.
MICKI: the teen age assistant stage mgr; intense and volatile,
she's had too much to drink. BECKY FARREL: 40-??, Micki's
charming mother; a retired B movie actress.
VERNA: 20's-40's; mysteriously seductive leading lady.
MICKI: Feel the vibrations in this room!
Something wonderful's just waiting to happen! I'm charged with energy.
Feel it. Can't you'll all feel it, flowing through and around us?
It's drawing me. I'm floating away, on the wind and the northern
lights! Like a rainbow. I see all your auras, but far far away.
Seven turns of the astral spiral. Dizzy, I'm so dizzy. Dark and
bright in ringing waves, round and round on the starpath. Our old
friends, the ancient souls. Hooded eyes, hawk's eyes, huge red eyes
burning in the dark! I'm not ready, I'm afraid! They want me to
wear the hood, and the twisted burning cross. To step into the spiral.
Help me! Help me across! I'm all numb. I'm ice, ice, ice. My body's
gone! Lost! No! Don't touch, don't let them touch me!
VERNA: Acting is magic. "Magic Time"
isn't just a cute show business expression, it's a literal description
of what we do. The concentration exercises for warm up? They are
a kind of incantation. We raise a cone of power, we project our
power out into the audience-- aligning their spirits with ours,
mesmerizing them. It works! Sarah Bernhardt could move people
to tears reading the telephone book. What was that, but a spell?
The Divine Sarah wasn't reciting a printed list of names and numbers,
but telepathically, through images and emotion, taking control
of the imaginations of her audience. With your help-- your unconscious
help-- opening night I was able to cast a spell over what we were
doing out there. You were all feeding into it, with every ounce
of your concentration. But then on Friday something went wrong.
The transmission is delicate. A receptor can put up barriers.
There are people-- and some of the worst of them are employed
as critics!-- who produce a kind of static. Emotion and empathy
are sent out from the stage, but they hit this person's interference,
and bounce back to us actors in negative waves, like silent heckling.
Friday, a powerful counterforce was watching the stage with hostile
eyes, stripping off all our glamour. Our concentration was destroyed.
It wasn't just an actor or two with critic-night nerves that threw
us all off. There was certain sick critic, yes, but aligned with
a powerful member of our own stage crew, both sending out malign
VERNA: In Cajun country men are
kings, little kings. Women learn the hard way what they have to
use. In Moon Grove there was a girl, a girl just my age. Her Granny
was a conjure woman, but the girl never had any truck with conjuring
herself till the boy she loved ran off to New Orleans, and left
her carrying his baby. Every night in her bed she'd moan and say
his name. She didn't eat, but even so she began to swell. She
went to her Granny and got some medicine, and then she went out
in the Bayou under the full moon and moaned and moaned until that
baby came out of her, dead. Now she hated that boy, and she was
crazy for vengeance. She took the baby's cord, and she knotted
it round a wax doll, and she dipped that doll in blood and she
held it over the fire, crying on the power of the moon! And it
came down to her. That boy in New Orleans, he couldn't make love
to his new woman. Every night the girl would come to him naked
in his dreams, and curse and taunt him. One day the boy came home
to Moon Grove. He wasn't big and handsome then-- his flesh had
just melted away. He begged the girl to make him a man again,
and when she laughed he tried to beat her. But he couldn't. He
just shook, he was so weak. When he called his old dog to him,
it whimpered and cringed. The boy took his gun and went hunting,
and he never came back, not in the flesh. But his ghost walks
there in the Bayou, moaning at the moon.
BECKY: The ghost I saw? He looked
like his pictures. This was a rather famous ghost, which is why
I can't be sure it really happened. I may have been influenced--
Anyway, the famous ghost was Charlie the stunt man, killed in
a fall. Charlie was said to haunt the studio where he died, and
to show up sometimes in the rushes. One of the crew showed me
a bit of film he had of Charlie, this kind of transparent gunman,
and I had a nice shivver out of it. But I don't think for a moment
I believed in him. Trick photography, I thought. But then a day
or two later I was late changing, most of the lights were out,
and on the way to the exit I walked past a man in costume, standing
in the shadow, familiar but--? Then I realized where I'd seen
him. Charlie, in the film. I stopped dead, I couldn't move; I
swear my hair stood straight up on my head. Of course, by the
time I'd recovered enough to turn around, there was nothing there!
I wasn't terrified, exactly. I never thought I was in physical
danger. It was just eerie. Uncanny. Just remembering it, Charlie
gives me goosebumps.