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The Dumb Actors

body len: 2343
  • Director, Others in a Studio (Clapper Board, Lighting Men), Mother, Son, Doctor,
  • Undertaker, brooms for the actors

("Set the scene" with the "actors" standing around on break, and the Director calling them in, saying that they'd had enough time already.)

Director: Lights, Camera, Action!

Clapper: Scene one, Take one!

(The actors play the scene without the least sign of emotion as lighting people follow and cameraman films. Mother is flipping pancakes at the stove when son walks in.)

Son: Mom, I don't feel too well. (He collapses)

Mom: (Goes over, looks at son.) Oh, I'd better call the doctor. (Moves to the phone, dials making click, click, click sounds.) Doctor, come quick. My son's collapsed.

Doctor: (Enters, checks pulse and breathing.) He's dead. I'd better call the undertaker. (Goes to phone, dials making dialing sounds like Mom did.) Undertaker, you'd better come. I have a dead body here.

Undertaker: (Enters and begins to measure the body.)

Director: (Jumps up.) Cut! Cut! That was terrible. You had no emotion AT ALL! Let's do it again. This time, give me more emotion!

Cast: (Exiting) Right. More emotion.

Director: Lights, Camera, Action!

Clapper: Scene one, Take Two!

(The actors redo the scene, using exactly the same words, but with great hammy histrionics. Mom weeps uncontrollably throughout, son dies very dramatically, etc. At the same point as in Take One, the Director yells, "Cut! Cut!")

Director: That was better, but too fast. Let's try again. This time, slow it down. Lights, Camera, Action!

Clapper: Scene on, Take three!

(The actors redo the scene in slow motion-talking slowly, mowing slowly. For example, when the telephone is dialed it goes click ... click ... click ... and after the doctor check's the son's pulse, the son's hand falls slowly back to the floor, etc. The Director yells "Cut!" in the usual place.)

Director: That was far too slow! Let's speed it up!

(This time the actors do the scene so quickly that the son throws himself to the ground, the doctor is there before Mom can hang up, and so on.)

Director: (At the same place) Cut! That was absolutely terrible! Actors? Do you call yourselves actors!!??

Cast: Actors? Who said anything about actors? We're the cleaners! (All pick up brooms and exit.)

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