Motivational Speech [monologue]

(LIGHTS UP. The stage of the Quarantine Theatre is empty. M L Woldman goes to CENTER STAGE wearing a ragged thrift store business suit that doesn’t fit right. He’s wearing one of those tiny microphones that stick to the side of the face as if by douche bag magic.)

Welcome back to the Quarantine Theatre. I like what you’ve done with your hair. It’s very distinctive.

I asked you here today because I saw an ad on Facebook that told me I should be a motivational speaker. And seeing as I always do what Facebook ads tell me to do, I decided that I’m going to motivate the shit out of you today. So look out! Motivation is coming at ya!

(He pauses a beat and looks around, unsure of what to say next.)

Do you like my suit? I think it exudes a certain motivational gravitas. That’s one thing you can say about people in suits. They always look so motivated. Wearing suits, waiting impatiently, on business calls, checking watches, being shitty to people in the service industry… these are the signs of a motivated person.

So how do you become a motivated person? Well, it helps if your parents were motivated professionals who worked nonstop throughout your childhood and who treated you like an unwelcome house guest. That way you can learn from an early age to supplant material reward in place of love. This will allow you to crush underfoot any ethical encumbrances in your pursuit of capital.

(As he says the following section, he slowly takes off his jacket, tie and button-down shirt.)

But that’s just one kind of motivation. That’s the motivation that poisons the world. There are other motivations out there that don’t get as much play.

What motivates you? Is it love, light, truth, beauty, art, equity, and human connection? Or is it venality, avarice, vengeance, spectacle, and atomization? Is it some weird combination?

We’re all motivated by something at any given point. That’s just the human drive. Even if you’re too depressed to get out of bed, depression is motivating you to stay in bed.

(As he takes off his shirt, he reveals a t-shirt underneath which reads “Choose your motivation.”)

The most empowering thing I can tell you now is that you can choose your motivation; and that doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason.

Our culture fetishizes action.

“Make sure you’re doing things all the time. Don’t stop to think about why you’re doing these things. Don’t consider the implications of your actions. Just produce.”

So it’s important to stop for a minute. Look at what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Ask yourself if you’re happy with your methods and motivations.

Because there is no magic more powerful than your examined will exacted with clarity and heart.

(LIGHTS DOWN. CURTAIN.)

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