[For this week's edition of Monologue Madness, we go to Model Minorities (2000)—which at one time was called Model Citizens—a play about Asian-American fashion models, the outrage of minority groups, an anchorman in limbo after a suicide, and a sock puppet who claims to be god. Despite being a runner-up for the National Play Award and despite being perhaps my most ambitious piece, it has never been produced. Oh, well. (By the way, playwrights, that's how you should handle rejection. "Oh, well.")
I have read the following monologue on occasion during Jukebox Stories because it's just too damn good to not be seen or heard by the public. I'm taking it one step further by presenting it to you here and now. I hope you like it.]
(Loud drum music. A lone spotlight shines down on nothing. After a few more beats of the music, VIOLET (20s, Japanese American), wearing jeans and a tank top, floats down from above the stage. She is hooked to a thick white rope. The music stops as soon as her feet hit the ground. She unhooks herself, and the rope disappears above her. She begins striking poses, as camera flashes flicker at her with exaggerated clicking sounds. After a while, the flashes stop, and VIOLET addresses the audience.)
VIOLET: I never intended to become this country's most famous and highest-paid young butch lesbian Asian-American Indiana-born Stanford-dropout fashion model.
But, alas, my ass was in the perfect place at the perfect time.
Lucy Chan, my agent, first discovered me lying in a pool of my own vomit. It was right outside the Y.W.C.A., I had just turned 20, dropped out of school, drove to L.A., partied all night, and I was drunk out of my mind.
Lucy's not the type to help a stranger—she's more likely to kick 'em in the crotch 'cuz they're in the way. But that particular morning there was something about me that made her wanna reach out, make some kind of connection, no matter how clumsy.
Basically what happened was that she was hurrying to work and she slipped in my puke. Slammed into the sidewalk. And when she hit the ground, she landed in such a way that her face was facing my face, our noses just and inch or two apart.
I must've been a disgusting sight—bloodshot eyes, worn-out face, chunks of God-knows-what dried and sticking to my chin. But somehow Lucy saw right through that, she saw the face behind the junk, the potential behind the mess. She had been looking for someone just like me for a very long time now. I guess in a way she was looking for me, period.
She told me that Asian America had always been overly feminized. This country turns Asian women into girls and Asian men become emasculated. She said that what Asian America needed was a healthy shot of masculinity, straight up the ass. And I was to be the first step. Kind of ironic and weird, but she had a long-term vision.
So, basically, all this modeling bullshit? It had to happen to someone. And in the young butch lesbian Asian-American category, it was either me or Connie Chung. And it sucks for Connie, because she's not a lesbian, she's not butch, and, most drastically, she's not young.
She's old. She's too fucking old to pose for the Gap, for Calvin Klein, for DKNY.
I know, I know, "You should respect your elders." Even Connie Chung. Who's not really an elder. Who's not really old. But she's older than me, and that's all that matters, and that's what I'm talking about, and do you think Maury Povich is bangin' her right now even as I speak, I don't know, my mind wanders, and I don't have to respect her.
'Cuz when you make as much money as I do, when you've accumulated all the fame and fortune that I've accumulated, respecting people is not necessary.
"Shame on you," you're probably thinking, "shame on you." And you say that I'll regret acting and thinking the way I'm acting and thinking when I myself get older, but lemme tell ya somethin': I don't plan on getting older. The day that the words "I'm old" can honestly come out of my mouth is the day that I put a gun to my head and pull the trigger.
Is there an afterlife? I don't give a shit. I'll worry about it when I'm dead.
'Cuz, I mean, you know, I'm not afraid of death. I've done some crazy shit in my life. Skydiving and hang gliding and wild river rafting and bungee cord jumping and walking hand in hand with my girlfriend on public streets in the suburbs of L.A. I've done cliff diving, the running of the bulls, kickboxing, and once I missed a fashion show downtown and accidentally showed up at the Republican National Convention.
Somehow a trillion things got mis-communicated, and I ended up in a corner with a bunch of Log Cabin Republicans—you know, those gay guys who are also idiots?
Anyway, by the time I figured out that the place that I actually needed to be was way across town, it was too late, so I just decided to submit myself to the horror and sat in the back and watched as people got up on stage and expressed their disdain for foreigners to enthusiastic cheers of agreement from the crowd.
And I think back to those couple of times that I got the shit beat out of me while walking down the street. And I think about those assholes that did the beating. And I wonder what they hated more—the fact that I was a lesbian or the fact that I was Asian.
And I wonder how much hate one person must be filled with before they begin to die from it. And I think it must be a hell of a lot. And if that's true, then it must be my job to get these people to hate me even more than they already do. It is my job to be visible and loud and in-their-face. Because hopefully their hate for me will grow and grow and grow, until one day their hate has become so enormous that they begin to suffocate, to choke, to die. And on that day, believe me, I will rejoice.