Tim Tunes

4-1 The Waiting Room - Part 1

April 02, 2023 Tim Rose Season 4 Episode 1
Tim Tunes
4-1 The Waiting Room - Part 1
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to Season 4 of the Tim Tunes Podcast. We’re starting this season with a serialized set of podcasts that encompass the music and script from my musical, “The Waiting Room”. In this episode we’ll cover three songs from the show. The first song establishes what the show is about. The second gives us a little bit of a look ahead and the last song digs into what the experience is like. 

Back in the mid-nineties a friend told me that he had been diagnosed with cancer. At that point he was one of those “husband of a wife’s friend” kind of friends. It was around that time that we started playing golf together. We would ride to the games together and that gave us a time to talk. Alone, without the wives or children or other relatives in the car with us we were able to relax and talk about what was going on with each other in a “safe” space. My friend and I didn’t believe in the same things politically, but that never interfered with our ability to be friends. It was as if this safe space was more important to us than winning any argument over some philosophical or political point. I should mention that my friend didn’t usually speak very much when others were around. He was noted for his reserved character. He was a sort of self-made renaissance man in the sense that he could fix anything, mechanical, not emotional. He recently passed away and now I think of him often.

 In 2010, I joined a group called Voices of Hope. This is a group of singers, actors, dancers, musicians, and crew who perform to raise money for cancer research and to support those who are going through the cancer journey. My friend was well into his second cancer diagnosis, and I began to form an idea as to how to help Voices of Hope, or any fundraising group, raise money by creating a set of songs around this journey. It was then that I got the idea to make this set of songs into a musical. So, I set about writing the songs in the early 2010s and seeing if I had enough material for a show. 

I decided to go with the “Jukebox” format where different characters sing their songs. Some of these songs are thought pieces where we are taken out of the action of the play and into the mind of the character and other pieces occur in the present within the action of the play. In casting about for some kind of plot or organizing principal, I hit upon Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief. Both of my parents had recently passed away and I had personally experienced this. So, the five stages denial, anger bargaining, depression and acceptance, became the first organizing principle for the show.

Support the show

Please consider making a one time donation via the Paypal link above

Or, consider becoming a monthly subscribing patron of the show here:
https://www.patreon.com/timtunes
And get lots of extra documentation and music associated with the show.

[Intro]
[Intro Theme – Motor]

Back in the mid-nineties a friend told me that he had been diagnosed with cancer. At that point he was one of those “husband of a wife’s friend” kind of friends. It was around that time that we started playing golf together. We would ride to the games together and that gave us a time to talk. Alone, without the wives or children or other relatives in the car with us we were able to relax and talk about what was going on with each other in a “safe” space. My friend and I didn’t believe in the same things politically, but that never interfered with our ability to be friends. It was as if this safe space was more important to us than winning any argument over some philosophical or political point. I should mention that my friend didn’t usually speak very much when others were around. He was noted for his reserved character. He was a sort of self-made renaissance man in the sense that he could fix anything, mechanical, not emotional. He recently passed away and now I think of him often.

In 2010, I joined a group called Voices of Hope. This is a group of singers, actors, dancers, musicians, and crew who perform to raise money for cancer research and to support those who are going through the cancer journey. My friend was well into his second cancer diagnosis, and I began to form an idea as to how to help Voices of Hope, or any fundraising group, raise money by creating a set of songs around this journey. It was then that I got the idea to make this set of songs into a musical. So, I set about writing the songs in the early 2010s and seeing if I had enough material for a show.

I decided to go with the “Jukebox” format where different characters sing their songs. Some of these songs are thought pieces where we are taken out of the action of the play and into the mind of the character and other pieces occur in the present within the action of the play. In casting about for some kind of plot or organizing principal, I hit upon Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief. Both of my parents had recently passed away and I had personally experienced this. So, the five stages denial, anger bargaining, depression and acceptance, became the first organizing principle for the show

[Pod Lick]

Hi. I’m Tim Rose and welcome to Season 4 of the Tim Tunes pod cast. We’re starting this season with a serialized set of podcasts that encompass the music and script from my musical, “The Waiting Room”. In this episode we’ll cover three songs from the show. The first song establishes what the show is about. The second gives us a little bit of a look ahead and the last song digs into what the experience is like.

So, on with the exposition phase.

[Pod Lick – Big D]

[About This Part]

This show is dedicated to my friend, Don Pilote. During the last 25 years of so of his life, Don endured four different types of cancer. We used to joke that Don would never die, but unfortunately, eventually, he did. His perseverance and longevity was due in no small part to the people who give themselves over to trials of new treatments and to the doctors nurses and administrators who run them. This show is dedicated to Don and to all the people that help to make cancer history.

Production Notes
Lighting isolation is required as various lights come up to take us out of the reality of the waiting room into the minds, hearts, and imaginations of those we follow on their journey through the waiting room.
Beside the four principal actors – RENE and KELSEY in the reception desk and the doctor ANGELO and fundraiser KAI, the rest of the actors can double and provide a pool of characters that are used as CHORUS members and to act out the songs “Waiting Room”, “DABDA”, “How a Flaw Becomes a Bill”, and “Second Opinion”. Everyone participates in the finale/bows.

Casting is intentionally flexible.  Ages and sexes of the cast are left to the discretion of the artistic team. To that end, all cast names are gender neutral and an intentional effort was used to avoid the use of gender specific pronouns. By the way, I made the decision to cast the show like this back around 2016. I made this choice because I thought it would be interesting to see how different sexes and ages would play the different parts. And having worked with many directors on many shows, I had firsthand knowledge of how difficult it can be to cast a show. So, go crazy with casting if you want. I believe the show could be performed by as few as 8 cast members and as many as infinity. I don’t really think you could have an infinite number of cast members. I was just using a little tool called hyperbole with a soupçon of sarcasm.

Scenario
The stage is set up to resemble a waiting room. There should be a desk or window where arriving patients can register/check in, numerous chairs, end or coffee tables with magazines, an alcove or area with a few vending machines or a coffee pot should also be included to provide a small area for semi-private conversation, and a large open area for movement and dancing. There should be at least three entrances on to the stage. Actors may enter and exit through the audience, if practical.

The overall impression should not be uplifting, but rather somewhat neutral in the way that waiting rooms are. Not exciting, but not really depressing either.

The entire action is contiguous and takes place in real time.
[Pod Lick]

[Act I - Scene 1 - Opening]

During the preshow actors enter in full view of the audience and are preset onstage before the opening of the show. The actors mime a regular waiting room routine. This includes the staff, doctors, nurses, receptionists, as well as patients.  Improvisation is encouraged so long as it is subdued and flows with the regular activities and operation of a waiting room. RENE and KELSEY are behind the reception desk.
There is a slow fade on the house lights. Once the audience is quiet, “The Waiting Room” is cued. The band begins and various cast members sing:

[The Waiting Room]

CAST:
In the waiting room life is passing you by.
Each moment drags to the next as your life ticks by
Waiting for the word on what comes next, waiting for life to go on -
In the Waiting Room, the Waiting Room,
In the Waiting Room, the Waiting Room.
Seconds are minutes and minutes are hours
and hours seem longer than days
You wait while the rest of world turns without you.
You’re waiting for someone to say…

In the waiting room life is passing you by.
You can live your lifetime in the blink of an eye
Waiting for the word on the miracle cure.
Waiting to see how long you’ve got-

In the Waiting Room,                                               
                     Seconds are minutes and minutes are hours
The Waiting Room
                    and hours seem longer than days
In the Waiting Room,                                                         
                     You wait while the rest of world turns without you.
The Waiting Room, 
                    You’re waiting for someone to say…

In the Waiting Room, 
                     Seconds are minutes and minutes are hours
                                          The Waiting Room
The Waiting Room
              And hours seem longer than days
                                         The Waiting Room
                                                                      Hours seem longer than days
In the Waiting Room, 
             You wait while the rest of world turns without you
                                         The Waiting Room
The Waiting Room
         You’re waiting for someone to say…
(solo)
We’re killing time, precious time, let me out of here before I start screaming,
There’s still so much I have to do -
Seconds are minutes and minutes are hours and hours seem longer than days.
You wait while the rest of world turns without you,
Waiting for someone to say - your name.

[Act I - Scene 2 - DABDA]

RENE: (Patient receptionist, from behind counter, loudly and with a flourish) Max! You’re up! (MAX goes to the desk) They’re ready for you in Exam Four. (indicates one of the exits) Please follow Pat and take a seat. The doctor will be in...
MAX: Thanks. (Hurries off with Pat)
RENE: (aside to KELSEY)…eventually.
KELSEY: Do you have to announce everyone like that? It seems kind of disrespectful.
RENE: It’s the only way I can rouse them out of their phone trance. Besides, if the doctors didn’t keep them waiting so long they wouldn’t have the time to get lost in the book of faces or sending candy grams or whatever.
(considering) Maybe I should just text them when it’s their turn.
KELSEY: I know we work on some serious stuff here and have to deliver some pretty bad news from time to time, so maybe we should show a little respect is all.
RENE: Well, well, well. Our little newbie has a spine after all.
KELSEY: In my last job I was an executive administrator for a medical App startup.
RENE: Weren’t we all…
KELSEY: I had to balance the needs and expectations of my bosses against a constantly dwindling supply of caffeine…
RENE: Sounds tough…
KELSEY: It’s just that we had to show the same respect to everyone regardless of race, gender or…
RENE: Well of course we do. But I’m an equal opportunity grump. I sass everyone regardless of, well, whatever they are.
KELSEY: Well, okay then, I guess…
RENE: You know, you’re going to have to develop a little thicker skin if you expect to make it here. How did you get this job anyway?
KELSEY: My friend Sal got a job here and told me about it. We were working together at my last job. Sal said it’s great here.
RENE: And Sal works in…
KELSEY: I’m not sure, some admin job…
RENE: Well, as you said earlier, we deal with some pretty dire issues here and you’ll be getting to know those who come in on a regular basis. If you don’t develop some mechanism for coping, then this place can eat you alive. Hence, my endearing sassiness.
KELSEY: I don’t know how to respond to that. I’m not even sure what exactly to expect. I signed up to be a waiting room receptionist, not a therapist!
RENE: I’m afraid you’ll have to be a little of both. Look, I’m not saying the bad outweighs the good, but I’ve seen it all working here. Bad news, good news, the worst news and more.  We’ve got DABDA coming out of our ears around here.
KELSEY: I’m sorry. What-DA? What is...
RENE: DABDA? You know, the five steps: (quickly) Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I know this is your first day but if you’re going to work in a place like this you should get to know the five stages of grief. (KELSEY looks puzzled) Elizabeth Kubler-Ross? (Still nothing) It’s the process that almost everyone goes through when faced with the type of situations we deal with. Am I right? (to other patients, orderlies and admin milling about. Others catch on to RENE and join in.) C’mere. Let’s clue her in guys.
RENE and CAST: (sing DABDA)
Dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da
Dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, Dab-da!
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, Ah!

At first, I couldn’t believe what was happening to me
I was watching myself like I was dreaming
But pretty soon friend reality set in
And that’s when I really started screamin’
             
I blamed everybody and everything, Man I was really burned
But it was all to no effect, so I decided what the heck
This is not the life that I’ve earned

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, Ah!

Dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da
Dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, Dab-da!

I would have given anything not to be where I was
But there was no way I could buy my way out 
I made promise after promise to the Lord up above
It didn’t seem to matter should I pray or shout
I lost everybody and everything, Man, I was really all alone
But when I finally got my fate, although it didn’t feel that great
At least all of my changes were done

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, Ah!
Dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da
Dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, dab-da, Dab -da!

KELSEY: Huh! I think I get it. So, are you saying that everyone here is going through some part of this DABDA stuff?
RENE: Not everyone, but most are.
KELSEY: That kinda reminds me of when my Grandma died.
RENE: What do you mean?
KELSEY: It took me a long time to get over that! I kept forgetting she was gone. I’d be like, “I can’t wait to tell Grandma”. Then I’d remember… (pause)
RENE: Wow! Feel like sharing much?
KELSEY: Oh, sorry. I’ve always been one to wear my heart on my sleeve and - how did my Dad put it – (air quotes) “over-share”.
RENE: (amused) It’s not a problem, we see a lot of that around here. I’m glad that you already feel comfortable enough to (air quotes) “over-share” with us.
KELSEY: (Watching CHRIS and REED) What do you think about that couple over there. They seem kind of…detached. Together, but separate. What do you think is going on with them?
RENE: Those two? (singing acapella) Dabda, dabda, dabda, dabda, dab-da – De-nial! 
KELSEY: Hunh…

[Act I - Scene 3 – Keep It Together]

(Lights shift to REED and CHRIS. REED is standing and nervous. CHRIS is sitting, cool as a cucumber.)
REED: Do you think it’ll be much longer?
CHRIS: We really haven’t been here that long…
REED: I mean, why do they make you wait like this?
CHRIS: I’m sure they can’t predict how long these things will take. You should just relax, it may be a while. Besides, do you have somewhere else to be right now?
REED: No. It’s just that I was hoping to maybe get a little more work in today.
CHRIS: Sit down and play with your little phone. You know that’s what you want to do…
REED: Nah, nah, nah. I’ll just keep standing if that’s ok with you.
CHRIS: Suit yourself. (CHRIS picks up a magazine and starts aimlessly flipping through not really looking)
(lighting isolates REED and CHRIS as REED turns to audience and sings Keep It Together)
REED:
We found out just the other day that maybe there’s something wrong
Now we’re waiting until they call us in to tell us what they found
Your so cool (indicating Chris), like it’s no big deal, (Chris ignores Reed) but I have to confess
I’ve never dealt with this stuff before. It feels like a great big mess
But I have to keep it together, I’ll keep it together, keep it together for you
So I’ll hold my chin up and look on the bright side, though I’m tied up in knots inside
Can’t let you see what I’m really feeling. I don’t want to burden you, too
So I have to keep it together, I’ll keep it together for you   
(REED sits and thinks as at some point the CHRIS stands and sings to the audience)
CHRIS:
The doctor called just the other day and said that I should come in
With my family’s genes, I need support, from my partner and my best friend
Now you’re so cool (indicates Reed), like it’s no big deal, but I must confide (Reed ignores Chris)
Though I stand tall, all in all, I’d rather go somewhere and hide
I have to keep it together, I’ll keep it together, keep it together for you
So I’ll hold my chin up and look on the bright side, though I’m tied up in knots inside
Can’t let you see what I’m really feeling. I don’t want to burden you, too
So I have to keep it together, I’ll keep it together for you
(REED stands. They turn to face each other and sing)
REED:                                               
What if everything changes now?     
CHRIS:
What are going to do? 
REED and CHRIS (together):
If I can’t tell you how I feel, how will we make it through?
CHRIS:                           
What are you feeling?
REED:                 
I’m free falling, reeling.
TOGETHER:
Please tell me you feel that way, too
If we can’t keep it together, I won’t keep it together, without you
So when I hold my chin up, and I look on the bright side,
I know you’re tied up in knots, too
(Embracing or holding hands)
CHRIS:
I can share what I really feel
REED:
We’ll share this burden we two…
REED and CHRIS (together):
And we can keep it together, close and together, I’ll keep it together with you, with you, with you

KELSEY: Well they look like they’re getting along fine now. I wonder what happened?
RENE: (RENE shrugs. Says in a normal voice.) Chris?
CHRIS: Yes?
RENE: The doctor will see you now. Please follow Pat to Exam 2.
CHRIS: Thank you. (CHRIS and REED follow PAT and exit to exam rooms)
RENE: (to KELSEY) Better?
KELSEY: Much!


[Outro]

That’s all we have for this episode. Make sure you come back for the next episode where we learn more about our character’s journeys as our story unfolds.

Please feel free to send me comments on this episode via Facebook at the Tim Tunes Podcast group or email me at timtunespodcast@gmail.com or via twitter @rimtoes or if you are a Patreon subscriber you can send me messages via Patreon.

Special shout out to Larry Greene whose generous donation is helping to keep the lights on here at Tim Tunes Podcast. All donations are appreciated. And, if you’d like to donate to cancer research, may I suggest that you go to vohboston.org/donate and make a donation to Voices of Hope. 

If you can’t donate, I get it. Times are hard. You can also help out the podcast by writing a review on whatever podcast tool you use or by liking us on Facebook or iTunes. That will go a long way towards increasing my reach. Also, you can support the show just by listening to some of my songs on your favorite music streaming service.

How ever, you choose to support the show, I appreciate you. 

We’ll be back in a few weeks with part 2. Until then…

[Outro Pod Lick, [After Outro Pod Lick ends]

Intro
About this part
Act1 Scene 1
The Waiting Room - Song
Act I Scene 2
DABDA - Song
Act I Scene 3
Keep It Together - Song
Outro