Mirror Conversation: the One Act
Lights up on a makeup-less Renna scrutinizing herself in front of her mirror as she adds the final touches to her outfit: shorts, a vibrant tank top, ankle boots, and a funky necklace.
Satisfied, she breathes in deeply, grabs her purse, and heads for the door. A VOICE from her reflection, MIRROR RENNA, stops her.
MIRROR RENNA: Are you really going to subject innocent bystanders to that outfit?
RENNA whirls around to face the mirror. RENNA rolls her eyes and continues on her way.
MIRROR RENNA: Do both of us a solid and don’t you dare wear that in the light of day. HEY. Flabby Arms.
RENNA stops in her tracks.
MIRROR RENNA: Oh, good. She's not deaf.
RENNA: I don't have time for you.
RENNA moves toward the door, but half-heartedly.
MIRROR RENNA: Obviously. You also apparently don't have time to work out those arms... or anything else for that matter. Change. Immediately. This is not a drill.
RENNA grits her teeth, but does not turn around.
RENNA: What’s wrong with my outfit this time?
MIRROR RENNA: Face me, coward. It's worse from the back.
RENNA: JUST TELL ME WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT.
MIRROR RENNA: Geesh. She’s testy when she’s ugly.
MIRROR RENNA (mocking): Aw, did I hurt wittle wenna’s feelings?
RENNA: Is it… the outfit?
MIRROR RENNA: It’s definitely a contributing factor.
RENNA: Which part?
MIRROR RENNA: Apparently, I’m going to have to spell this out for you.
RENNA: Should I sit down?
MIRROR RENNA: And force me to watch your thighs bulge out of those shorts? Shoot me.
RENNA: Standing it is.
MIRROR RENNA: No more interruptions. You may not wear that in public--
RENNA: It’s literally 102 degrees outside—
MIRROR RENNA: ZIP IT! That tank top shows off every fat-fold you have, and probably creates some more. Your arms look like Flubber. Your stomach looks about 6 months pregnant. You don’t have the body for anything but high-waisted shorts, but preferably, high-waisted-pants, even though you look like a fat pear in pants. At least the high-waisted style sucks in that stomach. But honestly, you really shouldn’t be wearing anything above your knees. You have the legs of a 50-year-old woman with cellulite. And what in the world could possibly convince you that it’s a good idea to wear ankle boots?
RENNA: They’re cute and I got them on sale—
MIRROR RENNA: That was rhetorical. Ankle boots cut off your already-fat legs and show the world your cankles.
RENNA: I didn’t think I had cankles.
MIRROR RENNA: I’m a mirror. I reflect reality. I can’t make this stuff up. I just show it to you.
MIRROR RENNA: Are you going to wallow or fix the problem?
Wordlessly, RENNA storms to her closet. She pulls out a colorful T shirt and jeans.
MIRROR RENNA: Do I have to do everything for you? Black is slimming!
RENNA retreats and flings colorful outfit after colorful outfit to the floor, which resembles a clothing graveyard. She finally locates a baggy black T-shirt, and loose-fitting black, hole-y boyfriend jeans.
RENNA starts to undress.
RENNA: You're not going to watch, are you?
MIRROR RENNA: I’d rather not.
As quickly as she can, Renna turns away from the mirror, rips off her clothes and covers herself in the shroud-like new outfit.
MIRROR RENNA starts to nod but blurts—
MIRROR RENNA: Can I say one more thing? I’m sorry, I’ve been holding back—
RENNA: Holding back?!—
MIRROR RENNA: Why would you think it’s a good idea to leave the house without makeup?
MIRROR RENNA: You simultaneously look like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and a pizza face. And you have those weird veins under your eyes that look like cobwebs. It’s creepy. And now that you’re wearing black—
RENNA: You MADE me change!
MIRROR RENNA: I didn’t MAKE you do anything. But now that you’re wearing black, you look deathly pale.
RENNA: Ok, well, thanks for this little pep talk—
MIRROR RENNA: Any time.
RENNA: But I’m late, so—
RENNA heads for the door.
MIRROR RENNA: Better late than hideous and humiliated.
RENNA drops her bag. She storms to her drawer, pulls out a makeup bag, and collapses in front at MIRROR RENNA’S feet.
MIRROR RENNA: Thank God.
RENNA slathers too much foundation over her face.
MIRROR RENNA: Don’t forget the under-eye circles. Man, I thought you’d almost lost it today.
RENNA cakes on eye shadow.
MIRROR RENNA exits the mirror. She stalks RENNA like a vulture.
MIRROR RENNA: Come on. You never leave the house without make up and at least a sweater to cover your flabby arms. And low-waisted shorts? I mean, what was your deal today?
RENNA applies eyeliner and mascara.
MIRROR RENNA: What, no snappy retort? More eyeliner. It’s too bad you can’t wear false eyelashes everyday without looking like a freak. Those make you look somewhat presentable. And sit up straight for God’s sake. Your stomach looks bigger than your boobs. Nobody wants to watch an actress that looks like that. Unless you want to play the character roles. Then, by all means, slouch and keep up that carb intake.
RENNA paints on red lipstick. She sees MIRROR RENNA frowning in disdain.
RENNA: What now?
MIRROR RENNA: That lipstick makes look like you’re trying too hard.
RENNA: The Amy Winehouse eyeliner didn’t? Lipstick is my favorite thing! And it looks sassy against this funeral apparel!
MIRROR RENNA: Why are you getting so offended? All I’m trying to do is look out for you, and this is what I get? You’re such a jerk.
RENNA: I’m the jerk?!
MIRROR RENNA: Obviously! I am trying to keep you from being humiliated!
RENNA: No! No, no, no, no! THIS (RENNA feels her body) is not humiliating! Humiliation is giving up on what you want most. Being unprepared. Failing because you didn’t try. Focusing on petty things that don’t matter.
MIRROR RENNA: So your body doesn’t matter?
RENNA: I didn’t say that!
MIRROR RENNA: YES, you did! I’m so SORRY that this world is not a Disney movie! And if it WAS, you wouldn’t be the lead anyway, because Disney princesses are size double 0’s! Is it my fault you wanted to be an actor? If you want your body not to matter, BE AN ACCOUNTANT!
RENNA: I’M BAD AT MATH!
MIRROR RENNA: SO SUCK IT UP AND SUCK IT IN!
RENNA: SHUT UP! SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!!!
MIRROR RENNA tries to retaliate, but no words come. RENNA is stunned at the silence.
Again, silence captures MIRROR RENNA, who fights against it to no avail.
RENNA: Get back in your mirror.
MIRROR RENNA obediently returns to her mirror.
RENNA: And don’t you dare talk to me that way again.
MIRROR RENNA falters as if struck with a powerful blow.
RENNA: You’re not reality. You’re not truth. You’re nothing. You’re not even REAL. Get out! Get out, GET OUT!
RENNA rams herself against the mirror.
BLACKOUT. SOUND OF SHATTERING GLASS.
When LIGHTS COME UP, Renna kneels in a graveyard of broken glass. She climbs to her feet and strips herself of the black. She trudges to her closet and pulls out a red dress. She steps into it. She moves next to her drawer and pulls out a washcloth. She scrubs her face clean. Out of habit, she moves to face her mirror. She realizes it’s broken. She drops the washcloth and raises her hands to her face. She feels it for what it is. In this new way of exploring who she is, she smiles at last.
FADE TO BLACK.
Inspired in part by Rachell Campbell and "Mirrors" by Hannah Bushyeager