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In Memoriam Monologue

In Memoriam by A. Garland
Character: Anthony
Gender: Male
Age (range): 20-25
Style: Drama
Length: 5 minutes

 


Background Info: Materialistic motivational speaker Anthony Westin opens his seminar on how to leave a lasting impact on this world: by getting filthy stinking rich. There is a small table onstage beside Anthony, upon which is a glass of water.

You sir, (pointing to someone in the audience) are going to die. And you (points to another), and you (points again) and you (points again) and me (points to himself). Don't like it? Want to ignore it? Fine, that's what everyone else does anyway. They think they'll live forever, and let's face it, who wouldn't want to? It's immortality, ladies and gentlemen... the one thing that every human being desires above all.

Has anyone found it, though? Has anyone here been able to cheat death recently? (Looks around the room) I didn't think so.(Anthony takes a drink of water and continues) The cold facts are as follows: We are all going to die. Everyone we know will die. You can say "I love you" to your wife a million times, and it won't make a shred of difference... she'll be going too. There are so many people out there that will never leave a mark on this earth, no record that they were ever here. Just a name and two dates chiseled onto a stone. And a stone will crumble. A stone will turn to dust.

So what will last? What can stand the test of time? It's not flesh...it's not stone... (Anthony stops in center stage, and rubs his middle finger and thumbs together.) It's money. (Grins) Stocks, bonds, real estate, diamonds, cars, businesses... money! You think art is important? Fine! Let's see how fulfilled you feel hucking cheap caricatures to people on the street. You think family should be more important than work? By all means, think that... but you're gonna be the one sitting 'em down when they graduate and saying "Sorry Johnny, I don't have the cash to put you through college because I thought father-son bonding was more important." (Laughs)

And don't even get me started on God, because God is poor, always looking for a handout. Only the deluded and the desperate would choose the Bible (takes out a wad of bills from his pocket) over a billfold. You see it? You want it? I know you do, because that's why you're all here. I look at you people, and I see ambition... raw, hungry ambition. And by the end of the day, you will know what you need to do. You see, that's the beautiful thing about money... it's out there, it's everywhere, just waiting for you to take it. It doesn't care if you have morals or principles. It doesn't care who you leave by the side of the road, or who you have to cut in front of to get ahead. That's the beauty of it (kisses the wad of bills)... it's so unconditional. (He returns the wad of bills to his pocket)

But you can't ALL have it... it's like lifeboats on the Titantic: somehow, there just ain't enough to go around. Those other speakers you guys were listening to all morning... they were just warming you up. This is the show you came to see. This is the headliner. (Consults his watch) It is now eleven fifty three. You guys are free to go for lunch... I hear we've got a decent buffet going on out there. At exactly one o'clock, we'll be starting again, and those doors behind you will be closed and locked. Anyone who isn't back here at one won't be admitted. And it's not because it's policy, and it's not because I'm an asshole. It's because of Rule Number One: Get it while it's hot. (Claps his hands together) I'll see you all in an hour. Have a nice lunch.