Town Hall in New York, NY
GK: And now it's time for LIFE IN THE ARTS
HM VOCAL INTERLUDE & FADE INTO...
ER: Dear Diary:
I auditioned for a role in a staged reading of "Ulysses" by James Joyce and I was sure I wouldn't get it because I'd dyed my hair blonde for a commercial for a yeast infection cream called Cooling Moments but then the director called me up.
TR (IRISH): Emily? It's Mr. Huggins. From the Irish Repertory Players.
ER: Oh. Hi.
TR (IRISH): You were terrific in the audition. Everyone thinks you're perfect for the role.
ER: Oh. Nice. As Molly Bloom?
TR (IRISH): No, as Gertie Mcdowell?
ER: But I tried out for Molly Bloom. Gertie Mcdowell is the one who goes around in her underwear, right?
TR (IRISH): We want you to play Gertie Mcdowell and we need you to pose for a "Ulysses" calendar that we'll be selling to raise money for the production.
ER: I don't know. What sort of calendar?
TR (IRISH): Well, it'll be very artistic. Very much in the spirit of Joyce.
ER: This is an underwear picture?
TR (IRISH): Not really. Let's talk. Okay? Can I meet you for a drink?
ER: I'm an actor. I'm not a bimbo. But when you're young and glamorous, they're going to use you any way you let them.
SS (MARILYN): Hi. Emily. I like your hair that way. It looks just like mine.
ER: Oh, thanks, Marilyn.
SS (MARILYN): Glad you said no to that calendar. I was a calendar girl once and I've always regretted it. You're an artist, Emily. Be true to yourself, no matter what.
ER: And then I got an offer to be in a commercial for an air wrench.
FN: All you need to do is stand there in your coveralls and tighten up the lug nuts on that truck tire. Like this----- (AIR WRENCH). See? It's easy.
ER: And I don't have to wear a low-cut pair of coveralls and a push-up bra and you don't want me to caress the air wrench as I do it?
FN: Nope. Just show how it works. (AIR WRENCH)
ER: That air wrench commercial paid my rent for a month, during which I kept trying out for serious dramas.
TR: Hi. Emily. I'm Randall Tibbetts, you remember me from the audition. I'm directing Jane Eyre.
TR: And guess what?
TR: You're Jane Eyre.
ER: Oh my gosh. Omigosh omigosh omigosh. You're kidding. You're not kidding. Jane Eyre. Oh thank god. I've got to call my mom. Oh thank you, Mr. Tibbetts. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Oh this is the happiest moment of my life. At last I get cast in serious drama.
TR: It's a sort of contemporary take on Jane Eyre. We're doing it in modern dress. You'd be wearing thongs with the low-cut top. ----What's wrong? You seem surprised.
TR: We're just taking it in a different direction.
ER: Okay. (DARK CHORDS & HM VOCAL
So I played Jane Eyre for three months. With glossy blonde hair and bright red lips and glowing skin and you could see a lot of binoculars up in the balcony. That was the summer I became a vegan and read Albert Camus and I learned to make lentil soup. I put oranges in it. I don't even cut them up, I throw them in there whole. It is such an exhilarating soup!!!!! It makes me feel so alive!!! And so real. Lentil soup is what keeps me grounded. I decided that, as soon as Jane Eyre was over, I would become a brunette again. And only smile when I mean it.
FN: Emily, it's Vince at the agency. How are you? Good. Listen---- I've got something for you ---- it's three weeks on a film, "The Portrait of A Lady" and you'd be playing Isabel Archer----
ER: The novel by Henry James? No way.
FN: Way. It's a little different take on Henry James.
ER: Oh oh.
FN: They're shooting it on a beach.
ER: No thanks.
SS (MARILYN): I thought you were going brunette.
ER: I'm thinking about it, but movie people want me to be blonde.
SS (MARILYN): You're so skinny, you know that?
ER: You've got to be, these days. Everybody's got to be willowy.
SS (MARILYN): You need to eat more. How come you're not making that lentil soup? It was great. But put some ham in it.
ER: I might do that.
(HM VOCAL INTERLUDE)
TR: Emily, it's Earl from United Implements. The agency gave me your number. Listen----- I've got a jackhammer commercial and I'm on a tight schedule ---- I'd need you today for about three hours ----- I can pay top price----
ER: Okay. What do you want me to wear?
TR: Jeans and a sweatshirt and a blue denim jacket. And work boots.
ER: I wanted to rip up this old garage floor so I could put in a patio but I'd never run a jackhammer before. And then I found the 2011 Applejack. It's the digital jackhammer that's twice as fast ---- and it firms up your abdominal muscles too. (JACKHAMMER)
SS (MARILYN): I think you should stick with blonde. And keep working on that lentil soup. And you were really good in that commercial.
ER: It was only a commercial. For jackhammers.
SS (MARILYN): Doesn't matter. You were good. You looked like you wanted to be there. And that's what's important. I'm very happy where I am now.
ER: Where are you now?
SS (MARILYN): I'm in Minnesota.
SS (MARILYN): I died and went to Minnesota. I live on an island on a lake way up north, an old cabin --- one big room with a wood stove and a hand pump and a Golden Retriever and ----- can you hear the loons out there? (LOONS) They just flew in yesterday. Oh, by the way, I got you another commercial.
ER: You're the one who's getting me those commercials???
SS (MARILYN): I've got friends. I know people.
(HM MUSICAL INTERLUDE)
FN: It's Vince, Emily. Listen. I got a hot one. "Hamlet" ---- you'd be Ophelia. But instead of Denmark, it's the desert ---- we're in Palm Springs ---- you go nuts ----- you drown yourself in a swimming pool. It's R-Rated. They're shooting in two weeks.
ER: You mean two weeks from now?
FN: No, they'll start shooting tomorrow and shoot for two weeks.
ER: Sorry. Not for me. I'm busy.
FN: What you doing?
ER: I got hired for a Home & Garden show in Minneapolis.
TR: We want you to demonstrate our composter.
ER: What's the costume?
TR: Pair of coveralls.
TR: Yup. Here's the composter. It's a Moody. All you need to do is stuff the garbage in here. (SFX) And turn it on. (SFX) There she goes.
ER: So I don't need to wear a miniskirt and a little tank-top?
TR: Want the people to look at the composter, and remember the name. Moody. (BRIDGE)
ER: The Moody Composter ---- it's so satisfying. You take all this disgusting garbage and dreck and gunk and sludge and shove it in here (SFX) and turn it into fertilizer that stimulates growth and a few months later, you're surrounded by beds of daffodils. Isn't that something! It's all yours----- in a Moody.
HM (SINGS): Stuff that you despise the most
That gross you out and burn your toast
All that stuff becomes compost.
It's a beauty. From Moody.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).