Is Barack In You?
by Jeff Goode
(LIGHTS UP ON: Someone who looks nothing at all like BARACK OBAMA. Enter a VOTER. Stares at Barack awhile.)
VOTER. Hey! Arent you Barack Obama?
VOTER. It is! It is you!
BARACK. No, its not.
VOTER. Oh, cmon! I know its you. Ive seen you on TV. Youre the one in all those attack ads, talking about how you wont be ready to be president on day one.
BARACK. I dont know what youre talking about.
VOTER. Barack Obama. First African for president.
BARACK. Thats not who I am.
VOTER. No, I know. Youre just a regular American. Just like everyone else. Why does everybody have to turn it all racial?
BARACK. You have me confused with someone else.
VOTER. Whos that?
BARACK. Barack Obama, obviously.
VOTER. (Beat.) That doesnt even make sense.
BARACK. Please, leave me alone.
VOTER. No, problem. Candidate needs some alone time. Stressful on the campaign trail.
(Pause. Looks him up and down.)
VOTER. I dont mean to criticize, but theyre right, you know.
BARACK. About what?
VOTER. You are not black enough.
BARACK. Im not black at all.
VOTER. Thats what Im saying.
BARACK. Im not a black man.
VOTER. I hear you, brother. Were all one thing. And after 8 years of divisive crap, its about time someone like you came along and gave people a reason to want to be something different than what they already are. Or however you put it. Youre way better with words than I am.
BARACK. Why are you talking to me?
VOTER. Youre right, youre right. I should let you do the talking. Go on, inspire us. Talk to the people. Make us feel the way Jack Kennedy makes his brothers and sisters feel.
BARACK. Im not going to inspire you!
VOTER. (looooong pause) Because weve got to find inspiration in ourselves?
VOTER. Because true inspiration
BARACK. Because Im not Barack Obama.
VOTER. (Beat.) No, I get it. Youre not Barack Obama
VOTER. Im Barack Obama.
BARACK. No, youre not.
VOTER. (pointing to the audience) And hes Barack Obama. And hes Barack Obama. And shes Mrs. Barack Obama.
VOTER. Were all Barack Obama, if we just believe in ourselves.
BARACK. No, were not. Nobody is Barack Obama. No matter what they believe.
VOTER. (to the audience) Clap your hands, if you want to believe. Clap your hands if you want to be Barack Obama!
BARACK. Stop it.
VOTER. They have to hear you all the way to Washington!
BARACK. Oh for Christs sake.
VOTER. If we clap long enough, and hard enough, we can change this whole race from a race-about-race, to a race-about-changing-our-race.
BARACK. No, we cant. Your clapping isnt doing anything. This isnt real. Its not working. None of this is actually happening.
VOTER. (Pause, disillusioned.) Youre right, youre not Barack Obama.
BARACK. Thank you!
VOTER. (Beat.) Youre Bill Clinton.
BARACK. (exiting) Argh!
VOTER. I saw the way you were looking at me.
First performed at No Shame Los Angeles on February 15, 2008.