Director [to twelve-year-old son]: Remember, you’ve been brought in here by your elementary school Guidance Counselor. This woman is also a friend of your mother’s, and she wants you to tell your mother that it’s okay to let go. Your mother’s body is wracked by cancer and the only thing that’s keeping her here is you. And your motivation in this scene is that you don’t want to tell her; you know you’re lying, saying that you’ll be okay. But this woman, your guidance counselor, has made you feel like you have to.
12-y.o. son: I don’t want to do this.
Director: Exactly, perfect. But you can’t say that—that’s internal. You have to emote.
12-y.o. son: No, I mean I don’t want to do this. This scene.
Director: What do you mean you don’t want to do it?
12-y.o. son: I don’t know how I feel about it.
Director: You’re not supposed to know.
[knocking at the door.]
Director: Look, if you’re confused, that’s okay. That’s part of the scene: confusion, anger, fear.
[knocking becomes pounding.]
Director: Sometimes you have to do things that aren’t exactly stipulated in the contract, okay? And I’m not gonna lie to you kid—you’re not gonna get much recognition. No one cares about the machinist. But the world’s gotta keep running. You understand that, right?
[pounding is accompanied by shouting and door rattling.]
Director: Time’s wasting, kid.
[director puts hand on 12-y.o. son’s shoulder to find that he is a cardboard cutout.]
[door breaks in.]