Amy Rosenthal’s ‘Sitting Pretty’

I was going through some monologues… and found this which reminded me of what we do! The play is about life modeling, well partly.

Zelda says to Nancy who has just started life modeling:

“Well, it’s a lousy job, grandma. You freeze your tits off for two hours while this lot fuck about with their crayons, and they all completely ignore you. They don’t even meet your eyes. You know why?

They’re embarrassed. And they’re a bit worried that nudity might be catching. They think if they say hello to you their knickers might drop off.

Even when he gives you a break they ignore you. Even when you put your robe back on. No-one offers you a fag, no-one brings you a coffee and God forbid anyone should actually THANK you for lying there like a fucking Playboy centrefold for the last half hour.

When you’re posing they talk about you like you’re deaf, like when you take your clothes off you lose the use of your ears. They get all fractious if you move a muscle by mistake, you can hear them tutting if you breathe too deeply. I got cramp once and one of them asked for his money back.

But you get cramp. You get pins-and-needles. And you get bored rigid. Which is of course, exactly how they want you. Nice and rigid. Like a corpse.”

I ought to add that while Zelda was the only character with a speech suitable for a monologue for myself a few years ago, the play is centred around Nancy who is middle-aged and had been experiencing a confidence crisis through job loss and being compared to a seemingly more successful sister. She comes across the job of life modeling unintentionally, and through it restores her self esteem. She is supposed to be a larger woman who previously did not feel good about her body, but by arriving at the point where she felt she had nothing to lose, and feeling sadly invisible to those around her, she decides that she might as well bare all when she is mistaken for the life model. From this point life turns around for her.

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