Audition Monologues for Every Brilliant Thing
Content Warning: These monologues include themes of self-harm.
Every Brilliant Thing Monologue #1
I forgot about the list until her second attempt, just over ten years later. Dad showed up halfway through Chemistry. The same trapdoor feeling. Fight or Flight. The same wordless drive to the hospital. As a teenager I dealt with it less well. I wore my heart on my sleeve. The night she came home, she sat at the kitchen table and said that if it wasn’t for the ham and pineapple pizza lining her stomach from the night before she’d be dead. And I said:
“You took three weeks’ worth of anti-depressants, a packet of aspirin and half a tub of antihistamines. You’re probably healthier than I am. If you’re going to kill yourself go jump off a bridge.”
Rather than storm off I sat there and started to shovel food into my mouth. I’d spent ages on this meal and I was furious that she was sitting there wishing she was dead and letting it go cold. There was a moment of absolute, deafening silence. And then she started to laugh. It was such a genuine laugh that after a while I found myself joining in. Eventually, Dad got up and left the table, going into his study to listen to records.
Every Brilliant Thing Monologue #2
It’s the 9th of November 1987. It’s dark and it’s late. All the kids had gone home long ago. Eventually, my dad pulls up.
Now, normally it’s my mom who picks me up and normally she’s on time. Normally I travel in the back because I am seven and I make things sticky. But this time it’s Dad. And it’s late. And he opens the door to the front passenger seat.
Dad looked at me. I looked at him. When something bad happens, your body feels it before your brain can know what’s happening. It’s a survival mechanism. The stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline flood your system. It feels like a trap door opening beneath you. Fight or flight or stand as still as you can.
I stood very still, looking at my dad. Eventually, I got into the car. Dad had the radio on. He’d been smoking with the window down.