“Paint by the Numbers”

…is the name of the new song to end Act I, a melt-your-face-off ballad. The kids leave “Art is Your Rock”, inspired, minds set on success and somehow, in Kitty’s case, determination to be famous. And, of course, we realize she’s completely misguided.

EXCERPT, p. 40

KITTY stands in front of her bureau mirror, staring at herself and slowly replaying the choreography from “Art is Your Rock,” still holding the paintbrush. She gets more and more excited as she practices.

KITTY
Who knew I could actually look good? (beat) This place is a how-to for success. All I have to do is exactly what I’m told, and I’ll go to SHoHo. And I’ll be somebody! And nobody will ever have to know I’m a fraidy-kitty inside.

Her voice suddenly changes as she steps into a different light and begins to speak self-importantly into the paintbrush as though it’s a microphone.

Individual lights illuminate TONI-O, smoking a cigarette and leaning against a stoop, and EDWARD, reading a copy of AWE (Art World Enquirer). Both boys stare into space as they dream their own art world dreams.

Thank you all for coming to my gallery opening. These paintings are everything you asked for: they match your couch, they make your neighbors think you’re cultured, they don’t force you to confront your inner emptiness with uncomfortable symbolism, and they have a guaranteed 500% resale value after my tragically early death from an accidental asbestos overdose. I know there are so many other places you could have been tonight, but you chose me. You chose me.

Behind KITTY are projected media images and news headlines of her as famous artist—hand in the camera of the paparazzi, award ceremony acceptance speeches, guest appearances on Charlie Rose, plastic surgery rumors on the cover of the Art World Enquirer (AWE), a painting selling for $10 million at Sotheby’s, etc.

Lights down on TONI-O and EDWARD as KITTY starts to sing.

Song (#8)—“PAINT BY THE NUMBERS”
(singing to her imaginary gallery audience with genuine excitement)

YOU FOLLOWED MY WORK
TO THIS PLACE WHERE WE KNOW
I’M SPECIAL, IMPORTANT,
THE TOAST OF THE SHOW.
WHO CARES IF I PAINTED
FROM DEEP IN MY GUT?
THIS ART MAKES ME FODDER
FOR HEADLINES AND SMUT.

YOU CHOOSE THE COLORS,
THE BRUSH STROKES, THE SIZE.
I GIVE YOU THE PORTRAIT,
YOU GIVE ME THE PRIZE.
I FOLLOWED THE RULES
LIKE GOOD POP ICONS DO.
MY WORTH AS A PERSON’S
DETERMINED BY YOU.

I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
NO TEARS, SWEAT, OR BLOOD.
I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
NO RISK OF A DUD.
I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
WEAR FAME LIKE A GLOVE.
I’LL PAINT BY  THE NUMBERS
TO EARN ALL YOUR LOVE.

ART IS MY WAY TO NEVER LOOK BACK,
TO FOCUS ON FORTUNE, DEVELOP A KNACK
FOR FENDING OFF QUESTIONS ABOUT WHO I AM,
TO PAINT PRETTY PICTURES, BE POPULAR, GLAM.

I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
NO TEARS, SWEAT, OR BLOOD.
I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
NO RISK OF A DUD.
I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS,
WEAR FAME LIKE A GLOVE.
I’LL PAINT BY  THE NUMBERS
TO EARN ALL YOUR LOVE.

KITTY raises her paintbrush in the air triumphantly.

I’LL PAINT BY THE NUMBERS
TO EARN ALL YOUR LOVE.

EDWARD crumples his copy of AWE and throws it in the trash. TONI-O puts out his cigarette.

Lights out.

End of Act I.

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2 Responses to ““Paint by the Numbers””

  1. Bob Anderson Says:

    I love the new song…can’t wait to hear the music!

  2. AHHH!!! i can’t wait to hear it!

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