Enter Whoopi



At center stage is a foldout picnic table placed parallel with the lip of the stage. Around the table, in folding metal chairs are seated Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta Jones, Russel Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Whoopi Goldberg and Jeff.

JEFF: Whoopi— Whoopi thank you. Thank you for being here. I wish that you’d been introduce with your own scene like everyone else here but—

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Child please! We gonna have our scene. Don’t you worry.

JEFF: Oh I’m not. I just— well, I’m just very touched and grateful that you could come.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: I’m glad I could help.

JEFF: (to everyone) I’ve made some revisions to the goals list. If it’s okay, I thought I’d just read them now.

He reads from a Moleskin journal.

JEFF: Here are my revised goals as of January 1, 2015: Number one—I own a residence that I love in NYC. Number 2—I weight 260 lbs and have 15% body fat. Three—I lift or do CrossFit six days per week. Four—I write for four hours every day. Number five—I have written 25 movies, 10 TV shows, 25 plays. Six— I am the man of my dreams and I’m married to the right and perfect husband for me. Seven— I head a successful production company. Eight—I make $110K or more every month. Number nine—I live off 10% of my income and direct the rest to do good on the planet and ten—I head a very successful non-profit that helps Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. We teach Pure Peer Support techniques, host weekend retreats, sponsor creativity workshops, and offer paid internships in the entertainment industry to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans helping them to find work that fulfills them and sustains them financially. It has  big, beautiful workspaces and headquarters in New York City.

Jeff closes the Moleskin and looks around the table. 

HELEN MIRREN: There’s some changes in there.

JEFF: Yeah.


JEFF: (sadly) No. No more kids.

CATHERINE ZETA JONES: (to Whoopi) Do you know how he arrived at these goals?

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Well I assume he came to them the way most of us find our goals.

ANNE HATHAWAY: (to Jeff) Why don’t you spin her up real quick on the whole process.

JEFF: The whole thing?

ANNE HATHAWAY: Well, no, but like starting with September 1st.

JEFF: (pauses, somewhat embarrassed) Okay, so on September 1st of this year—

RUSSEL CROWE: Last year.

JEFF: Huh? Oh right, so last year, 2014. On September 1st, at 2:30 in the morning I— well, I was in a pretty rough place. September 1st is my sobriety anniversary so essentially— well, essentially the blog post said something like “this is the beginning of eighteenth and possibly last year of my sobriety and perhaps my life.”

HELEN MIRREN: No, that was pretty much exactly what it said.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: (to Jeff) Were you serious about that shit?

JEFF: Well— well, I guess when I wrote it— I mean in the moment I guess I did and I— well I apologized and made amends for being so cavalier about it the next night— but, well, goddamn I was hurting pretty bad. I was back there in Salt Lake which will always on some level remind me of Adam and why we moved there. I got stung bad on that whole deal and it is now very clear that he has absolutely no intention on doing right by me.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Woah, woah, woah, I don’t know anything about all this.

JEFF: I was— well, you know what, I just don’t have the energy to rehash it all over again. I’m really doing my best to move on and just cut my losses— is there any way I can just—we can—

RUSSEL CROWE: Why don’t I get Whoopi copies of the earlier script segments that explains all that?

JEFF: Yes.

ANNE HATHAWAY: Great idea.

JEFF: So anyway for all the reasons that got me there that early morning— and I should say I was pretty thick in the PTSD symptoms too— I was— I mean I could see— can see all the things I have to be grateful for in this life and I know that I am surrounded by people who love me but for the things that weren’t working in my life, they really weren’t working. So I made a commitment in the “suicide blog” that I would blog everyday for the next year starting with that one and that I would do every single thing that I was “lead” to do to try to correct what wasn’t working in my life.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Now when you say “lead”—

JEFF: I mean what I consider to be divine guidance.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: So you do believe in God.

JEFF: I do. I do— but you shouldn’t get confused by that and think that I believe in any of the conventional ideas of God. I am definitely in the camp that organized religion has done more harm that good throughout history—solidly in that camp. We can get more into what exactly I believe when you and I meet alone. I’m getting pretty sleepy and I know the rest of you are. If fact if we could—

RUSSEL CROWE: Well at least finish— or I guess start telling Whoopi about how you came round to these goals.

JEFF: Okay, yeah, well real quick. Essentially I decided that since I couldn’t kill myself, I was going to have to do whatever it took to fix the shit that was driving me to the point where I would want to anyway. I knew that a lot of that was going to have to do with another whole layer of letting go of resentment and grief around Ada—

RUSSEL CROWE: For fook’s sake, Mate!

JEFF: Okay, okay! Fuck! So basically I divided my life into four categories: Health and Fitness; Career and Finance; Sex and Romance; and Emotional, Spiritual, Psychological. I set the timer for five minutes for each category and basically wrote as fast as I could stream-of-consciousness about what I would like my life to look like in each of those categories. From those blocks of writing, in each category, I gleaned five or so goals and bullet pointed them. From those, I chose ten goals that I wanted to work on first— not to discount the others but just to give myself somewhere to focus. That list was probably pretty much complete less that a week after that ultimatum blog— and I should say something about that real quick— even though I pretty early on decided that I probably would never be able to kill myself for fear of what it would do to other people, I decided to stick with the premise to “keep the stakes high” and as a constant reminder of where I’d gotten to. I mean it was a full year and a half after I had gotten rid of the shitbag of a—

HELEN MIRREN: Jeff. Come on.

JEFF: Okay, alright. Well, that’s pretty much it. The goals have gone through a series of revisions which I thought would happen from the beginning. That’s fine too and I knew it would be part of the process.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: So you say all this was around September 1st and the week after that, yeah? So these goals or some version of them were listed about that time.

JEFF: Yeah.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: So how you doing on them?

JEFF: Huh? Well, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time uncovering and discovering what’s— like the shit that’s happened to me and trying to take a look at my fears and—

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Listen Sugar, if— let me put it to you this way— those goals, as you just read them to us, if you had all that in your life right now, would you be worried about any of that shit that happened to you?

Everyone is very quiet. This is a point that’s been made before. 

JEFF: Well, probably not.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Probably not. So here’s what I propose— my ass is draggin’. I don’t usually stay up this late anymore. How’s about you and I get in here a little bet early tomorrow morning and go over that list together again. I might have some ideas you haven’t thought of— then the rest of you guys can come on in at— what time y’all usually get started?

JEFF: I’m usually in by six or six-thirty at the latest.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Okay six-th— (realizing) Jesus!

JEFF: Once a Marine…

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: (staring at him) I don’t know what that means. (back to business) Anyway, So I’ll get in here at seven and you’ll have the espresso machine crankin’ and we’ll take a look at these goals. The rest of you good with coming in about eight?

The others reply in the affirmative. Whoopi stands to leave.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: And unless you guys close these little pow-wows with some kind of kumbaya circle, Ima put these dogs in some epsom salts or they’ll keep me up all night barkin’.

Whoopi checks the faces of those gathered around the table who in turn exchange looks with each other. There are smiles all around at how Whoopi has taken such initiative and seems to be moving the process in a good direction. 

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: See y’all tomorrow.

Whoopi Goldberg exits. 

The rest of the cast, still smiling but cautious about how all this might have landed with Jeff, eventually are all looking at him.

HELEN MIRREN: (to Jeff) How do you feel?

Jeff stands, checks in with himself for the answer to Helen’s question, nods.

JEFF: Hopeful. See y’all tomorrow.

Jeff exits. 

HELEN MIRREN: (to the others) See y’all tomorrow.

The rest of the cast exchange what has become the traditional salutation. 

ALL: (on their own mark) See y’all tomorrow.

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