Guidance Counselor [Sketch comedy]

I stumbled upon this unfinished sketch while perusing my Google Docs. It dates back to 2012, when I was the head writer of a sketch comedy group in San Francisco. I’m not sure where I was going with it, or what exactly I was trying to say. Maybe that’s why I never finished it. But it still gives me a laugh or three.

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Sketch – Guidance Counselor V3
EDW Lynch

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Characters
ELIZA WELLS- career counselor. wants to be every student’s cool grown up buddy. hippie dippie new agey.
MICHAEL POTTER – high school junior. standoffish teen.
KAREN POTTER – Michael’s mother. Obsessive “helicopter mom.”
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Desk and office chair and two guest chairs. ELIZA WELLS sits behind the desk. There are buddhist tchochkes on the desk as well as a musical CHIME instrument. KAREN POTTER is seated. MICHAEL enters.

ELIZA
The man of the hour. Welcome Michael. Your mother and I were just discussing your situation.

MICHAEL slouches in the guest chair and scowls at his MOTHER and then ELIZA.

ELIZA
I want you to know this is a safe place and there are no wrong answers.

KAREN
We just want what’s best for you honey.

ELIZA
So. You’re almost done with high school. Your mother tells me you’re having trouble settling on a life path?

MICHAEL
No I’m not. I know exactly what I’m gonna do.

KAREN
Well, honey, you’re 16, you don’t have to lock yourself in…

ELIZA raises a hand.

ELIZA
Mrs Potter, let me facilitate this journey. Michael I’ve looked at your records, you’re a gifted student. Where would you like to apply your gifts?

MICHAEL
I’m gonna be a doctor.

KAREN is visibly upset.

MICHAEL (to karen)
Mom! Stop it. (to Eliza) She always does this!

KAREN
Honey I just want what’s best for you–

ELIZA
Mrs Potter, it’s important we create a triangle of exploration between our three beings.

KAREN
I’m so sorry.

ELIZA
Please don’t be sorry in our triangle.

KAREN
Oh, I’m sorry, I mean…

ELIZA hits the CHIME, creating a musical tinkle that silences KAREN. ELIZA sighs contentedly.

ELIZA
Michael. I’m not sure you’ve fully explored your potential as a creative being.

MICHAEL
What are you talking about?

ELIZA
If you become a doctor, all you’re gonna do is (counting on her fingers) help people, make a good living, be respected by your colleagues and friends, but who’s gonna take care of this?

ELIZA points at her heart.

MICHAEL
I dunno, like a heart surgeon? A cardiologist.
ELIZA
No, Michael, no. I’m talking about your spirit. Who is going to be a caretaker for your spirit?

MICHAEL
I dunno, I’ll just pay someone.

ELIZA
Michael. The only person who can nourish your spirit is you. I don’t think anyone has told you this but you’re a creative spirit.

KAREN
I’ve told him that–

ELIZA sounds the CHIMES again.

ELIZA
I have a list of art schools I’d like you to look at.

MICHAEL
What? I suck at art. I’m gonna go to Harvard and then I’m gonna go to Harvard Medical School!

KAREN chokes back a sob.

ELIZA
Michael, all that Harvard is gonna do is give you the skills and connections you need to succeed as a doctor. Art school will give you the skills to find yourself.

MICHAEL
That’s stupid I’m not going to spend 4 years painting or something.

ELIZA
Of course not. Because you’re going to drop out after two years and you and Grace are moving to Brooklyn.

MICHAEL
What? Who’s Grace?

ELIZA
Michael that’s going to be your half-Chinese girlfriend. That you met at art school?

MICHAEL just stares at ELIZA.

ELIZA
See that’s what art school is about. Finding yourself, and finding an arty, alternative girlfriend. Now in Brooklyn you’re gonna start your band. Something bluegrassy but with a beat?

MICHAEL
I’m not doing any of this. This is so stupid. I’m going to Harvard pre med, then I’m going to med school, then I’m gonna be a doctor. Done. Can I leave?

ELIZA
Look, Michael—

KAREN (yelling, nearly hysterical)
I have had it!

ELIZA goes for the CHIMES but KAREN grabs them and throws them.

KAREN
Your father and I have done everything to foster your creativity.

ELIZA
Mrs Potter!

KAREN
I can’t believe how much money we wasted on the guitars, the marijuana, paying that college student to give you a sexual experience—

MICHAEL
Melissa!?

ELIZA
Mrs Potter please be serene in our triangle!

KAREN (to ELIZA, shrieking)
Shut up! You cost 300 dollars an hour! (to MICHAEL) Goddamnit Michael! We have done everything so that you can lead a meandering, unproductive creative lifestyle, and all you wanna be is a stupid boring doctor!

MICHAEL
I thought you wanted me to be happy!

KAREN
No! I want you to spend your youth dabbling in different artforms and impractical business opportunities like a normal young person. I want you to be constantly dissatisfied so you can write ukulele songs and date a series of attractive but emotionally distant girlfriends. I’ve always wanted what was best for you. And this is how you thank me. So you know what? Be a doctor for all I care.

KAREN begins to weep.

KAREN
And when I’m old and frail and all I want is a vintage typewriter to use as a flower pot. Who’s gonna sell it to me Michael? You, the good doctor? I don’t think so.

KAREN runs off stage weeping. MICHAEL and ELIZA watch her go. Awkward beat.

MICHAEL

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