Superdelegating

November 3, 2016

Directed by Jon Wai-keung Lowe

With Shannon Harney & Joelle Wagner

 

Setting:

An apartment in San Francisco in 2016 with a few things lying about (one Blue Apron bag and a carelessly draped jacket; a guitar lies in the middle of the floor)

 

Characters:

Gracie, an aspiring indie singer-songwriter and taskrabbit who turns out to be more than she appears. Calm, kind, patient demeanor.

 

Hamilton, an ultra-busy, work-focused young woman in tech. She is not entirely aware of her alienation from the world and herself. Impatient/not that nice at first. 

 

Lights up in Hamilton’s apartment where she’s on a call (with a headset/earbuds) and texting/swiping on some other device.  There’s a knock at the door.

 

 

HAMILTON Opens the door distractedly while on the phone, pacing, mainly listening and mumbling “Uh huh...uh huh,” “That’s not what the data says,” etc.

 

GRACIE

I have a delivery for a...Hamilton Pryce-Ensworth?

 

HAMILTON

(Finally looking at her) You’re not my taskrabbit.  Unless your name is Noah and you can lift up to 75 pounds.  

 

GRACIE

(good-naturedly) I can, actually! Hey, I’m Gracie, at your service.  Can I get started?  (taskrabbit places munchery/blue apron bag down; pulls out a feather duster and starts dusting) 

 

HAMILTON

I don’t know what happened with that, but -- yeah.  (removing boxes from bag; to person on phone) But the algorithm was designed to eliminate those kinds of -- 

 

GRACIE

You having a good night so far? (tucks duster in her belt, goes to put guitar back in case)

 

HAMILTON

Um, could you leave that?...(to person on phone) I gotta go.

 

GRACIE

Oh, ok -- I was just tidying up.  You’d like this here?

 

HAMILTON

Yeah.  Look, I need you to get me organized and then leave because I have a couple of things I need to get done tonight.  (Gesturing to bag) Dinner kit?  (starts tapping furiously on ipad) 

 

GRACIE

(regarding lack of clutter; folds jacket and drapes it on back of chair) Great, I’ll go start your…(looking in bag) spaghetti and meatballs!  My mom makes the BEST meatballs...

 

 

 

HAMILTON

Yeah, my mom’s meatball secret was lemon zest and fresh parsley... (trails off, blows dust off guitar) Um, first could you?...(picks up guitar, gestures to duster in GRACIE’s belt)

 

GRACIE

(dusts guitar) You learning to play? 

 

HAMILTON

Re-learning, I guess.  (beat) My mom got me guitar lessons for my 13th birthday and the only song I can remember all the way through is A Hard Day’s Night.  I’m not sure my hands even work on a guitar anymore.  I have to finish this song by tomorrow or my siblings will kill me, or just, hate me more, even though we’re all grownups and I’m just trying to live my life without all this ‘emotional’ crap getting in the way, and all during an app launch with, oh, just half a million in VC money riding on it --

 

GRACIE

Wow, that sounds like a lot.  (goes to exit) Lemme go get this started--

 

HAMILTON

Wait -- can you -- this isn’t really a household chore, but instead of cooking can you, um...do you play guitar?

 

GRACIE

Yeah, yeah I do.  I’m kind of a singer-songwrit--

 

HAMILTON

Really?  Do you think you could rewrite two verses of “In My Life” for me, record yourself singing it, and then send it to my judgmental older brother by tomorrow at 6:00 o’clock eastern time?  (Hands guitar to GRACIE)

 

GRACIE

Wow. I think I can help.  Could you give me some sense of --

 

HAMILTON

It’s for my mom’s birthday party. Not sure which one...I stopped counting after she started calling me her sister’s name and talking about how we’d move to Vancouver if Bush won a second term.  In a fucked up way it’s almost better doesn’t know what’s happening now...(beat)  Anyway, I need to crunch some numbers if you could do that for me.  Basically we need to make one of the already saddest Beatles songs of all time sadder by adding lyrics about a alive-but-not-alive woman. (Beat) And if you’re wondering, she will definitely not notice it’s not my voice.  

 

GRACIE

(after a pause; already strumming “In My Life”) It sounds like this ‘task’ is a pretty personal one.  

 

HAMILTON

(snapping at her) Are you gonna talk to me in therapist voice all night? (Beat) You probably think it’s appalling that I superdelegate pretty much everything, but you know, when you’re the only girl in a den of tech bros at a startup--

 

GRACIE

I’m sorry, did you say ‘superdelegate’?

 

HAMILTON

I did.  You know, when you outsource all the tasks so you can focus on achieving financial and emotional freedom?  There’s never enough time. (beat) How am I supposed to keep up if I have to, like, wash the dishes or deal with my family or whatever? 

 

GRACIE

That’s a good question.  Although I might not call this song a ‘task’ --

 

HAMILTON

It’s NOT a good question!  If you wanna BE here and buy an ethical car and not actually have to have five roommates, there’s NO TIME for anything else. (studying GRACIE for a moment) How do you do it?  Is there a trust fund behind your indie thing and your taskrabbitting?  Or maybe this is undercover work and you’re gonna write some cool article about screwed up tech girls for VICE or something.  Great.  (beat) You also think I’m a shitty daughter for not going in person to the most depressing family birthday party in history because of a work thing, more or less.

 

GRACIE

(stops playing) I don’t think that.

 

HAMILTON

(after a pause) That’s it? (beat)  Are you gonna write the lyrics or are you just gonna keep...looking at me?

 

GRACIE

(firm but kind) I’m going to support you and you’re going to consider booking a plane ticket to Ann Arbor for the party.   Even the bros will understand.  (pause; does something happen with the lights and/or a sparkly/otherworldly sound cue here?)  

 

HAMILTON

Wait, how do you know where I’m from?  (Beat) I’ve heard about this. Are you one of those rabbits who...what are they called?...

 

GRACIE

Burden Bunnies.  

 

IPAD/SIRI

(Reading out loud from her phone) A Burden Bunny is a shadow rabbit who comes to the aid of someone experiencing near total dissociation from his or her emotional life. It is wise to accept the aid of a Burden Bunny when one appears.  A Burden Bunny is a gift. (Beat) 

 

HAMILTON

Oh Christ. 

 

GRACIE

It’s ok, Hamilton.  I’m with you  now.  I picked up your request, and now I’m here.  Off the clock.  For as long as you need me. (smiles and puts feet up, starts strumming & singing softly)

 

HAMILTON

I can’t do it.  I can’t talk it out and I cannot go home.  You really have no idea.  Please just do the song for me so I can finish this report.  (beat) Is this some kind of supernatural thing?  

 

GRACIE

I prefer ‘ultranatural’, actually.  (Beat) I’m gonna help your life feel more real. I’d say that’s the magic.  (Beat) And talking isn’t necessarily the way through. (Beat) Forget the lyrics, language isn’t really her medium anymore anyway. (Put guitar down)

 

HAMILTON

Maybe we could choreograph an interpretive dance?

 

GRACIE

Maybe to something more fun...or psychedelic? (GRACIE clicks iPad; cue “Magical Mystery Tour”

 

HAMILTON

My mom still loves the 60s, so -- perfect.  

 

GRACIE

Let’s see where this takes us. 

 

GRACIE and HAMILTON do an “improvised” interpretive dance together.  

 

FIN.

 

 

 

 

 

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