‘Up in the Air’ (Ryan): “How much does your life weigh?”

Ryan's (George Clooney) Monologue from Up in the Air

‘Up in the Air’ by Jason Reitman

From: Movie

Type: Dramatic

Character: Ryan Bingham, "a suave, smartly dressed businessman"

Gender: Male

Age Range: 40's

Summary: Ryan gives a speech to a group of business people.

More: Watch the movie

Click Here to Download the Monologue

Ryan: How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to feel the straps on your shoulders… You feel them? (gives us a beat) I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. You start with the little things. The shelves and the drawers. The knick-knacks. Collectables. Feel the weight as that adds up. 

Then you start adding larger stuff. Clothes, table top appliances, lamps, linens, your TV. That backpack should be getting pretty heavy now and you go bigger. Your couch, your bed, your kitchen table. Stuff it all in there. Your car, get it in there. Your home, whether it’s a studio apartment or a two bedroom house. I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. 

Now try to walk. It’s kind of hard, isn’t it? This is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move. And make no mistake. moving is living. 

Now, I’m going to set that backpack on fire. What do you want to take out of it? Photos? Photos are for people who can’t remember. Drink some ginkgo and let the photos burn. In fact, let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing. (a beat of emphasis) It’s kind of exhilarating, isn’t it? That is how I approach every day.

More Monologues from ‘Up in the Air’

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