is a stunt monologue originally created for a showcase of actors who happened to own a lobster suit

(Enter ANGELA for an audition.)

ANGELA. My name is Angela Thayer, and my scene partner is Michael Anchetta, and this is a scene from

The Shell Game
by Jeff Goode
copyright © 2008

(Enter MICHAEL in a LOBSTER SUIT. He stands next to ANGELA. She stares at him.)

ANGELA. What are you doing?

MICHAEL. Gettin’ ready.

(He gets in character.)

ANGELA. What the fucking hell are you fucking doing, you fucking piece of shit??

MICHAEL. "Laura, I gotta tell ya somethin’–"


MICHAEL. "Somethin’ I never thought I’d hear myself sayin’, but I guess you oughta know it, Laura: It’s lonely at the bottom–"

ANGELA. No, stop.


ANGELA. This is not what we rehearsed.

MICHAEL. No, I know, but I really got to thinking about everything, after you yelled at me the last time.

ANGELA. You were drunk! You showed up at rehearsal wasted off your ass.

MICHAEL. Exactly. What was I thinking??

ANGELA. What were you thinking?

MICHAEL. Exactly!

ANGELA. Michael–

MICHAEL. And I know you didn’t mean all those things you said about me not being committed to the scene, and being a fuck-up, and fucking things up for both of us, and go fuck myself–

ANGELA. Yes, I did! I meant all those things. You are a fuck-up. You can’t help yourself. You’re doing it right now!

MICHAEL. But I thought: Y’know what? It’s not her fault. She’s right.

ANGELA. Thank you!

MICHAEL. I should read the play.

ANGELA. You should have read it months ago.

MICHAEL. This could be the chance of a lifetime, and what am I doing? I should take things more seriously.

ANGELA. This is you being serious?

MICHAEL. So I was looking over my part, like you said I should, and it suddenly it hits me like this, like this huge, like this deer in the headlights moment. Y’know what I mean? Because suddenly it all, everything, makes sense.

ANGELA. So are you the deer or the headlights?

MICHAEL. Do you know what this guy is? This character? Like, at his core?

ANGELA. A lobster?

MICHAEL. He’s a lobster!

ANGELA. He is a lobster.

MICHAEL. He’s a total lobster!

ANGELA. No, Michael, listen to me. He’s a lobster. That’s the character. Larry the Lobster. He’s literally a lobster.

MICHAEL. So you’re saying I’m right?

ANGELA. No, I’m saying you’re an idiot. Because it took you this long to figure out that you’re playing a lobster.

MICHAEL. Angela, I know this guy! I can play this part!

ANGELA. That’s why they cast you, Michael.

MICHAEL. I mean, check it out: Think about this: The Ocean… Doesn’t that just blow your mind?


MICHAEL. No, but it blows my mind. And I know it blows Larry’s mind! That’s why I’m perfect for this! Cuz he’s a lobster. And I get that. In the Ocean! I mean, the mother (catches himself) lovin’ Ocean!

ANGELA. Yes, the ocean.

MICHAEL. I mean, think about the possibilities! (He does.) I could go this way. (He scuttles left.) I could to this way. (He scuttles right.)

ANGELA. So you went out and got yourself a lobster suit. Without telling me.

MICHAEL. I don’t think you understand, Angela. This is the part I was born to play.

ANGELA. Then why don’t you play it?? Why don’t you just be a lobster?! Why do you need some Disney cartoon reject Halloween suit to get in character if this is the part you were so fucking born to play?!

MICHAEL. I don’t see why you’re so bitter. I’m your scene partner. I had a breakthrough. Why do you want to deny me that?

ANGELA. Because, Michael, I’m a lobster, too.

MICHAEL. Really? I didn’t get that.

ANGELA. Larry and Laura? We’re both lobsters! We’re married! Our children are all lobsters!

MICHAEL. They are?

ANGELA. We send them away to "Lobster College"!

MICHAEL. I guess that’s one choice.

ANGELA. The whole play The Shell Game is just lobsters and starfish and shit swimming around in this big extended undersea metaphor that obviously you could not fathom!

MICHAEL. Heh. Fathom.

ANGELA. And after months of not doing the work and showing up drunk to rehearsal, you finally have this breakthrough and decide to come out here in a full-on lobster costume, and I’m dressed like this. And how do you think that makes me look?

MICHAEL. Like you didn’t read the play?

ANGELA. I read the play!!

MICHAEL. If you say so.

ANGELA. You didn’t even know I was a lobster.

MICHAEL. Fine! Be a lobster. Can we do the scene?

ANGELA. No, we’re never doing this scene. Look at us!


ANGELA. Who do you think they’re going to remember from this audition? The one who spent months preparing for this audition, and treating it like a real commitment, and spilling her guts into this role? Or the jackass in the lobster suit?

MICHAEL. Which one am I?

ANGELA. I really thought that for once–just once–you might not pull this kind of shit when it really matters. And I knew that if I worked hard–and carried you in the scene–And prayed to God that you could get through one day of not being such a dick. That somehow this one opportunity could make up for everything I’ve had to put up with. Not just from you, but my fucking parents, my boyfriend, my abortion, my sick fucking uncle. And if things went well up here, right here, right now, maybe this could finally be the turning point. And maybe we could both go out after and have a few drinks and celebrate this not being the worst three minutes of our entire lives. But now you can go back to the hotel alone and get drunk and suck your own cock!!

(She storms out.)

MICHAEL. In this outfit?! (He turns to the audience, a little embarrassed.) Sorry about that. Little too much information. She’s really very talented. (Awkward silence.) Aaaaand "scene"! Heh heh. That totally did not just happen. (He waves his claw, hypnotically.) "These are not the droids you’re looking for." …I gotta go. Michael. Michael Anchetta.

(He scuttles off.)