Talents Anonymous!

By Michele Pitman


A very silly sketch about burying your talent, done in the style of an AA meeting.


Bill. (If the role of Bill is to be taken by a female, change to Jill and edit appropriate gender bias in the script).
At least 5 others.


(The cast is seated on chairs facing a small desk or table.  All are dressed down in plain, non-descript clothing.  There is general chattering, as you would find at the start of any meeting. The Leader is seated behind the small desk writing some notes.  There is a large white sign hanging above the desk on which is written, in black, the ‘oath’ recited below.)
LEADER: [Stands] I welcome you all to our meeting today.  Before we start, lets just stand and recite our oath.
CAST:  [All Stand and read the large white sign with right hands across their hearts.] Cause me not the inconvenience of being Talented, So that I may forever live in comfortable mediocrity! [Cast sits again]
LEADER: [Sits] Right! Good!  [Looks about the group expectantly] Have we any new comers to Talents Anonymous today?
BILL:  [Puts a hand up but does not stand.] Ah!  Here!  I’m new here.
LEADER: Please? Tell us your story.
BILL:  [Shyly, and uncertainly stands] My name is Bill and I have Talent.
CAST:  [In unison and all looking at Bill] Hello Bill.
LEADER: Go on Bill, you’re not alone.
BILL:  [Starts of hesitantly but warms to his story.  However, he retells his experience with an attitude of remorse and guilt]  It all started a couple of years ago.  I discovered that I was really, really good at something.  At first it was kind of fun.  You know!  I was enjoying myself.  Time just seemed to slip by so quickly whenever I was doing what I was born to do.  [CAST:  Commiserates with nodding and murmuring] But, then it got so I couldn’t stop using my talent.  I became so happy and content that I just wanted to use my Talent more and more every day.  The more I used my Talent, the more it seemed to grow and improve. [CAST: More murmuring with sympathy]  I became passionate about people and about life.  I became deliriously happy and a well-rounded inspirational person to be around.  I was - oh! ah! [Almost overcome with emotion] How do I say it?  I was ALIVE!  It was awful. [Bill is overcome and wipes tears frantically from his eyes.  Cast members can reach out to him to pat him and shake his hand in sympathy.  There are sympathetic comments such as “It’s okay!  Don’t fret!  It’ll pass Bill!]
LEADER: [Gently] It’s all right Bill, you’re among friends.
BILL:  [Bill is encouraged and regains some composure] Well!  My wife started to get really uncomfortable around me coz I wasn’t mediocre or predictable anymore.  But I only realized how bad my problem had become when she left me yesterday.  [With gloomy sadness] She took our kids and went home to her parents.  That’s why I’m here. [Bill sits abruptly.  Cast members sitting near him touch him comfortingly]
LEADER: You’ve taken the first step Bill and that’s the most important thing.  Admitting you have a problem is 90 percent of the cure.  Let’s give Bill a round of applause, people!
CAST:  [Clapping and cheering.  Encouraging comments such as “Well done Bill!”  “Good on ya cobber!”  “Way to go Bill!”]
LEADER: [Allows the hubhub to subside and then stands] Folks, we can all relate to Bill can’t we? [CAST: General agreement. The Leader addresses Bill in the crowd] You see? We’ve all been where you are Bill.  We’ve had Talent too, and it caused us no end of inconvenience.  Some more than others!  [With authority] But! We are here to help each other to remain as unsuccessful and as tiresomely mediocre as possible. [To the whole group] Having Talent is an overwhelming responsibility isn’t it Folks!
CAST:  [General agreement] Yep! Sure thing! Right on mate!
LEADER: [He/she becomes more impassioned and ‘preachy’. Use lots of gestures to illustrate and stress points.  ] Talent is for those who can handle the commitment, the energy and the time as well as the relationships that it seems to inspire.  Using a Talent is for those who aren’t selfish, or who don’t care if they’re being imposed upon.  It’s only for those who can enjoy the thrill of changing people’s lives for the better.  It is not for the majority of us who want to keep the status quo at all costs! [The crowd is murmuring enthusiastically.  They are becoming excited]
[Comes out from behind the desk and stands in front of it, pacing in the style of a motivational speaker] Yes!  Exercising ones’ Talent is [spits the following two words out venomously] joyfully satisfying work!  And for those of us who can’t tolerate large amounts of work that isn’t [says the following words with tender relish] tedious, boring or unnecessary, or the responsibility; [very slight pause] having and using a Talent will cause all sorts of damage to the id. [Taps his forehead on the word ‘id.’]
[Speaking more forcefully and passionately] Let’s re-commit ourselves to burying our Talent.  [CAST: Cheering and punching the air with their fists]  May we never have to exercise the responsibilities of improving the lot of others, people!  [CAST: Cheering again] Let’s quash the all pervading illusion out there in the community that having and using a Talent is somehow healthy and worthwhile.  [CAST:  Cheering again] Let us move backward to the beige, non-descript destitution of soul-less mediocrity.  [CAST: Cheering wildly.  The Leader allows them to let off some steam. Then he says a little more quietly] Let us live simple, selfish, sordidly plain lives with no relationships other than those that serve our own purposeless existence.  [Quietly, but forcefully impassioned and as if he/she can see this ‘paradise’ in the distance] Let us amble aimlessly on this mortal coil and reap the benefits of a zero account, comrades.  [Pause. He/she thumps the desk passionately to stress the point] This is our purpose, to quash the Talent in our selves and in others so that our lives can be left in the blissful, salubrious equanimity we un-aspire to! [CAST:  Goes completely wild with cheering and talking amongst themselves. Backs are thumped.  Hands clasped and shook.  Some stand and hug emotionally]
LEADER: [Gestures with hands in a pushing down motion] Folks!  Folks!  Calm yourselves! Calm yourselves!  [CAST: The cheering subsides. Those who stood up are seated again] Yes!  That’s better.  [Becomes business- like again] Let’s close our meeting on that note.  [Moves to seat behind desk again but doesn’t sit] Please recite the oath each day.  And remember! A Talent used is a Talent doubled.  [Looks severely at each member of the group. Slowly and forcefully] You have to make the choice, one day at a time, what’s it gonna be?  Double or nothing!  [CAST: In unison, shouts “NOTHING!”] Good! [Sits abruptly and writes a note on his pad] See you all next week.
CAST:  [All get up and chat amiably with each other as they collect their gear and move out.  Bill is escorted out by a couple of people.  He is emotional and dabs at his eyes.  The two have their arms around him and appear to whispering to him.  They lead him out.  The Leader stands again and packs his notes into a brief case. As he/she begins to exit, one of the cast shakes his hand and they leave chatting amiably]
© Michelle Pitman, all rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any
entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what
purpose the play is performed. She may be contacted at: michelle_pitman@hotmail.com