Cream a play by Kandi Champion
Updated: Sep 2
True story, guys! Writing is my first love. I can spend days lost in a spiral notebook or laptop, pen in hand, coffee, and an endless supply of seaweed without a care in the world, except to dance with my pen and words. It's the reason you see so much effort on my part in research and in content. I love words. I love stories. I love learning about systems and uncovering how every single system in the known universe is connected. I believe I have activated my body's natural DMT and cannabinoid from my adventures in writing. Doing what you love really does affect your nervous system!
Back in 2012 I wrote a play about massage therapists and call it 'Cream.' So much of what we do and have talent in is lost behind the scenes. Although this could definitely use an edit or 50, I thought it would be fun to change up my content and share my first love with you- writing! It's an oldie, but it is inspired by the many adventures I had working at a spa in Kemah many years ago.
And fyi, things have changed drastically in the spa industry since I wrote this. I was young and so were my co-workers. Changing my perspective to viewing them as colleagues and them seeing me in the same light has altered the conversations drastically. In the early days, when a job was just a job, people joke about things they do not quite understand. Just to be clear, it wasn't the anomalies that were funny, but the newness of the experience and how to handle that in light of the bet. First experiences can be awkward, and laughter, rather than condemnation, is a great way to transition. 😉
So here you go- My first attempt at writing a play and it happens to be about behind the scenes conversations of LMTs at a spa. Enjoy!
by Kandi Champion
Guida: Twenty-something female. She is fresh out of massage school, bookish, and enthusiastic about her new career. Her eagerness to relate academics to the business causes her to come across as self-righteous with her knowledge.
Kalidas: Mellow thirtyish male. He is a seasoned massage therapist who delights in sharing his knowledge with others, especially females.
Mrs. Doss: One of Kalidas’ middle aged female clients. She is quite boisterous; a businesswoman who enjoys pampering herself.
Wynton: One of Guida’s prospects. He is overweight, sickly, and squeamish.
Amunet: A regular to the Spa. Guida’s client, who is a religious vegetarian, expects perfection in each session.
Glen: The play’s musician. He sings Prince’s song, Cream, with his acoustic guitar.
There are three small sets on stage, because the play is short and does not call for an intermission or set change. Stage left, Glen is sitting on a barstool with his acoustic guitar in hand. Center and right stages are the Spa. Center stage has two doors that face the audience. These are set up so that people may enter and exit them. It is displayed as a modern business type array with contemporary colors and design. Stage right is a break room that includes a refrigerator, cabinetry, a small bookshelf, round table and chairs, and posters of the female and male muscular systems on the wall.
The spotlight is on stage right, in order to keep audience focused on the break room, where the play begins.
Glen: (Begins singing slowly and then hesitates as if he is working on a song) This is it/ It’s time for you to go to the wire/ You will hit/ Cause you got the burnin’ desire/ It’s your time (Repeats ‘time’)
Kalidas approaches break room at stage right. Guida is sitting at the table reading.
Kalidas: (In a comical tone) Hey smarty, well you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, don’t you?
Guida: (Matter of fact tone) I’m studying this manual. One thing we never really learned in school was which the best lubricant to use was.
Kalidas: (Cocky) That’s because it is all up to personal choice or technique. For instance with Swedish massage…
Guida cuts him off.
Guida: (Matter of fact tone) Yes, I know all of that, smarty. (She emphasizes the word smarty in her tone and exaggerates it by drawing it out.) Our spa is the Envy of all spas. We are always booked, and therapists simply don’t have time to change lubricants. There has to be one lube to fit them all, you know?
Kalidas: (Grabs Guida’s book and begins flipping through its pages) So how much could a book chuck chuck , if a book chuck could chuck lube?
Guida: (Rolls her eyes) How do people like you end up choosing careers like ours?
Kalidas: I feel the same way about you. (Laughs out loud) You think everything dot and tittle must be addressed. You young ones don’t realize that massage is an art, it’s your personal dance. You’ve got to feel the energy flowing between you and your client and thrive off that. Knowledge is great and grand, but in this business everything is not always by the book. I hate to break it to you sister, but you’ve still got a lot to learn.
Guida: (Grabs her book back and quickly stuffs it in her bag sitting next to her feet.) You’re missing the point. I want to know what the best lubricant is. I’ve been using gel, but in school we used oil. (Exaggeratingly) I am tired of slipping, sliding, and losing my bearing, or my dance, if you will.
Kalidas puts out his hand to offer a handshake.
Kalidas: (Confidently) Alright! It’s time to go to the wire. We are going to investigate lubes and find the best tube, hon. (Laughs out loud) Today I am your wise sage.
Guida shakes hands with Kalidas.
Guida: (Laughs) This should be interesting. It beats the hell out of studying books.
Kalidas: (Confidently) Oil stains, so that is out of the question. Gel is the alternative, because it has the same texture as oil. We will try this one first. (He walks to cabinet and removes a bottle. Hands it to Guida) Here is yours.
Spotlight fades on stage right. Stage is dark.
Glen: (Continues singing slowly and then hesitates as if he is working on a song) You're so good/ Baby there ain't nobody better (Ain't nobody better)/ So you should/ Never, ever go by the letter (Never ever)/ You're so cool (Cool)
Spotlight lights center stage. Guida is standing in front of door A.
Guida: (Addresses her client in a professional voice.) So how was your massage Amunet?
Amunet: (Walks out of the door.) I think the flow was a little off today. My hamstrings are still a bit sore. (Hands her gratuity) Next week I think you should focus on stretching my legs more and don’t use so much of the oil.
Guida: (Smartly) Actually, I didn’t use oil. The gel is similar, but it doesn’t stain. Please make sure you stretch plenty while you are at home. That will help to relive the soreness between sessions. Also, drink plenty of water to flush out your lymphatic system. Your body needs a little more this week.
Amunet: (Surprisingly) Well, I didn’t realize that. Thank you.
Guida: (Professionally) You are very welcome. I hope you have a good evening.
Amunet walks off stage. Kalidas walks to door B and turns towards Guida.
Kalidas: (Engaged) So what do you think of the gel?
Guida: (Discouraged) Honestly, I’m not a fan. (Frowns)
Kalidas: (Comical) No qi?
Guida: (Goofy tone) No qi. (Changes to an investigative tone) What about you?
Mrs. Doss exits door two with a pleased expression on her face.
Kalidas: (Turns towards Mrs. Doss) So, how are you feeling?
Mrs. Doss: (Refreshed) Wow, I feel awesome! It feels like a hobbit jumped up and down all over my back. (Hands Kalidas gratuity) I will see you again next month.
Guida struggles to contain laughter. Kalidas accepts gratuity.
Kalidas: (Surprisingly) Ok, well you have a great day then.
Mrs. Doss smiles and walks off stage. Kalidas and Guida laugh. Spotlight fades on center stage and softly lights stage left.
Glen: (Sings slowly) Everything you do is success/ Make the rules (Rules)/ Then break them all 'cause you are the best (Draws out last line) Yes you are
Spotlight fades on stage left and lights stage right. Guida is sitting at the table. Wynton walks towards Guida.
Wynton: (Respectfully) Ma’am, sorry to disturb you in here, but I couldn’t find you after I got dressed.
Guida: (Professionally) It’s no problem. I knew you were taking your time and I didn’t want you to feel rushed.
Wynton: (He is flustered and stutters) O-Oh-Okay. (Laughs) You did a great job. It felt like my skin was being pulled a couple of times, but I think I just need to lose some weight. Thank you so much.
Wynton gives Guida gratuity.
Guida: You are quite welcome. Enjoy your evening.
Wynton walks away, as Kalidas walks towards Guida.
Kalidas: Did you hear about my last client.
Guida: (Anxiously laughs) No.
Kalidas: (Smartly) Well, I had a prospect – Mrs. Wallace. I told her to lay face down under the sheet after she got undressed, and I would be back in a sec. I walked in and began to undrape her, saw a boob, which startled me, because I told her to lay face down. I jumped back and the countrified woman said, “Oh, no need to worry ‘bout that old thing, honey, it’s just an extra. When you get to my age, you ain’t bashful ‘bout nothin’. Just rub that down like you would the rest of my body, ok?”
Guida, dumbfounded, stares at Kalidas for a few seconds.
Kalidas: (Confused) Don’t you think that is crazy? She had a boob on her back.
Guida: (Still dumbfounded) Nipple and all?
Kalidas: (Smiles) Yes, nipple and all!
Guida, still dumbfounded, stares at Kalidas for a few more seconds as she tries to register what he just told her.
Guida: (Sarcastically) Wow, that’s some total recall shit, there! (Both therapists laugh hysterically.) Did you have her sign a breast massage form?
Kalidas: (Laughs) Honestly, I thought about it, but no I didn’t. The lotion I used kept drying out, so lack of glide wasn’t keeping abreast with a sense of flow.
Guida: (Shockingly laughs) Oh my! The lotion did the same on my client, but thank goodness he didn’t have boobs . . . well, on his back anyway.
Both therapists laugh for a bit. Spotlight fades somewhat on stage right as Glen begins to sing.
Glen: (Sings in an upbeat tempo) Do your dance/ Why should you wait any longer?/ Take a chance/ It could only make you stronger/ It's your time (It's your time)/ You got the horn so why don't you blow it (Go on and blow it)/ You're so fine (you're so fine)/ You're filthy cute and baby you know it (you know it)
Spotlight brightens on stage right.
Kalidas: (Exaggeratingly) Well, Ms. Smarty, I think you might be onto something.
Guida: What do you mean? You think there is a cure all lubricant for our diverse clientele?
Kalidas: Yes, ma’am. Gel glides too well.
Guida: (Matter of fact tone) Is there such a thing as gliding too well. (Laughs) I agree gel is out, but too well?
Kalidas: Hey, I’m not a little person! Don’t talk down to me.
They both start laughing.
Guida: (Matter of fact tone) And lotion does not work well on those who have extra skin.
They both laugh again.
Guida: I guess that means cream is the winner.
Kalidas: (Cheeky) Predictable. Cream keeps an even consistency. If you have too much, you can just spread it. (Whispers) On the extra skin (Reverts back to cheeky tone) You can have the glide of gel and the smoothness of lotion. It doesn’t dry out either.
Guida: (Jokingly) Well, wise sage, I have to hand it to you. You have convinced me of your great powers. Cream it is.
Kalidas: (Subtly smiles) Cream it is.
Glen walks towards stage right while singing and strumming his guitar.
Glen: (Singing) Do your dance/ Why should you wait any longer?/ Take a chance/ It could only make you stronger/ It's your time (It's your time)/ You got the horn so why don't you blow it (Go on and blow it)/ You're so fine (you're so fine)/ You're filthy cute and baby you know it (you know it)
Glen, Kalidas, and Guida: (Simultaneously singing chorus) Cream/ Get on top/ Cream/ You will cop/ Cream/ Don't you stop/ Cream/ Sh-boogie bop
Mrs. Doss, Amunet, and Wynton join the rest of the cast on stage right. Kalidas picks up a tube of cream and sings into it as if it were a microphone. The entire cast sings the song’s chorus.
Prince's song, Cream, is the song Glen and crew sing in the play.