Eat Your Heart Out

By: Nick Hall


This is a humorous play that takes place in a Manhattan restaurant. Charlie is a personable and attractive young waiter who wants to be an actor. Between comical scenes with customers, he comes downstage and talks directly to the audience.

If there’s one thing I can’t stand in theater, it’s walking out along on stage at the beginning of the evening to open a show cold. (Grins) But it’s better than waiting tables. I’m Charlie (ironic)…your waiter for the evening. I’d rather be on stage tonight. Waiting tables is a toy job. You probably don’t know what a toy job is. I’ll explain. A toy job is a job that you don’t really care about, that you do to make a living, while you wait for the chance to do the job you want to do. (Beat. He measure the audience) But maybe you know already. Being a waiter is sort of a standard job for an actor, it’s expected. I mean, if you’re a dentist or an insurance salesman and someone ways “where’re ya’ working’ nowadays?”, and you say, “I’m a waiter at this little French place on fifty-sixth street,” they think you’re a failure. But if you’re an actor, they understand. So. (Indicates the restaurant with a gesture) Ici, personne ne parle francais. (Beat) That’s the name of the place (Beat) Yeah, well I didn’t get it the first time either. It means no one here speaks French. It’s really a lunch place. At lunch they use four waiters. After lunch through dinner: one waiter. (Indicates himself) We just get a few semi-regulars in the evening, and now, between lunch and dinner, nothing. (By now Charlie has started to fiddle with things on the tables.) The food’s good, French, reasonable. At lunch you can get a great meal here for about three-fifth, four bucks. Of course, the price soars if you start ordering little extras like coffee.

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