‘Snakebit’ (Jenifer)

'Snakebit' by David Marshall Grant

From: Play

Type: Dramedy

Character: Jenifer

Gender: Female

Age Range: 20's | 30's

Summary: Jonathan and his wife, Jenifer, visit their oldest friend, Michael, at his home in Los Angeles. Jonathan, an actor, is in L.A. auditioning for a film—his first big break at stardom—and he's dragged Jenifer with him for support. Jenifer is distant because their daughter was left at home with a relative, and she's become ill.

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JENIFER: I don’t want to be an actress. I hate acting. I’ve always hated acting. It fills me with nothing but self-loathing. There, I said it. And, you know, you do your affirmations, you know, your prayers, that you’ll be like, you know, so filled with self-love that all that won’t matter. What am I saying? The whole thing’s a joke.

You know why I don’t want to act? And don’t tell Jonathon this. I’ve never told anybody this. I started to stutter. On stage. Can you believe that? Honestly. I would get to a word in the script, and when I came to it, I wouldn’t be able to say it. I would freeze. Every time I would get to it. I couldn’t get it out. I get fixated on a word. Last time, I was playing the blind Mexican flower vendor in Streetcar Named Desire. Don’t ask me why. And all I had to do was say, “Flores para los muertos.” There, I said it now. “Flores para los muertos.” I had nothing else to say, just that. I sat around waiting all night. “Flores para los muertos. Flores para los muertos.” I couldn’t say it. Now I can say it. It’s pathetic. Muertos. I couldn’t say muertos. It wouldn’t come out. I ended up saying, “Flores para los dead people.” Blanche DuBois accused me of sabotaging her performance. All she wanted me to do was to say the line right. That’s what I was not getting paid to do. And Jonathon made me feel so… You know, why don’t I just leave him? I really should just leave him.

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