Extract from Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame
By Noel Anderson
EDIE SCREEN TEST
WOMAN 1 enters with dark glasses, smoking and drinking. A director’s chair with star written on the back is on Stage.
WOMAN 1: Hi. I’m Andy’s it-girl. Where should I sit? Andy?
No one answers. She smokes and drinks.WOMAN 1: Okay. Screen-test. Sedgwick. Nov 16th. Andy’s factory. Action
SOUND OF CAMERA ROLLING.
WOMAN 1: Talk. Hmmm, I’d like to discuss on camera, a bullet to the head. Now, if you took a bullet to the brain would, or would you not, be conscious of being shot. I say you would not be conscious, because the damage happens very fucking fast, too fast for your brain to realize it’s been hit. I don’t know this for a fact because it isn’t really my thing, I’m not a gun crazy kinda girl, my thing is really suicide. Accidental suicide! Of course there are many ways to die, hanging is one, the electric chair is another, and a bullet is another again. Not all deaths are accidents though! That’s why you hire a wound–ballistics-expert, that’s when you’re an expert on gunshot wounds to the body. Right! That’s right, right? Andy? Andy’s not talking anymore today. Oh, is that right? Come out from behind that camera Andy! Come out come out wherever you are!
She takes out a small bag of pills.
WOMAN 1: Left? No. I’m his voice from now on, yes. I do all the TV interviews and the talk shows…whatever… Turn to the camera, right? Red light on! So, where was I then, bullets…if you should happen to take a bullet say while shopping at Tiffany’s, then you have, and this is important, about a 50/50 chance of surviving. Not everyone dies from fucking head injuries no matter how badly shot. So, killing people, shooting them dead, may not be the answer because they might live anyway. I’d try and talk to them first. Try a little kindness. Andy agrees, don’t you? But, it also import…important to note a bullet wound will not necessarily damage consciousness. That’s the point I’m trying to make on the show tonight. Like if I was a soldier, at war, Vietnam, right? And, I was shot. Well, head wounds are not necessarily good to get, are they? I’ve studied this.. I’ve been in lots of hospitals! It’s not good to get shot because it just fucks up your day (She laughs) Okay, I nursed my brother when he died, suicide, and I did read a book on combat fatalities. I found it lying on the Factory floor. The cat had pissed on it. (She laughs) Gee, that lights getting bright? Can we turn one off? Andy? Andy? Can we turn one down? He’s not talking I forgot. Dumb me. I…it’s worth remembering…remembering that trauma…that trauma can happen to anybody. Blood loss is a key…is the key. (She laughs) Did you know…we have 6 litres of blood, the internal artery clears about a quarter of a litre per minute, and in stressful situation, like, being shot, or squeezing into a size ten dress, then that output can double. If we lose just 20% of our blood, then we lose consciousness. Amazing…but, I’ve got to stop rolling, I mean filming because I’m not feeling so well, well informed. My head is fragmented, like someone has pushed a missile through and out the other side. What’s happening? Can we dim the studio lights – please? Andy I think I need a neurosurgeon and some fucking “digital palpation” What do you mean Ms Sedgwick anything wrong?
She stands shaking.
WOMAN 1: Wrong? Jesus Christ, it’s a complicated, man. It’s a medical term for sticking your fingers in and wiggling them about. Stop the camera. Please stop the fucking camera. Where’s the audience? I’m sorry my skull just shattered. Applause!
She falls to the floor.
WOMAN 1: Golly Edie. What about a Kronlien shot to the head? I don’t know what you mean, sir. Can’t you see I’m shutting down. What do you mean it’s the shot that splits open the skull…but neatly ejects the whole brain on the ground like a neat pile of dog shit. Bright! Bright!
She takes a handful of pills and drinks.
WOMAN 1: Ciao Manhattan, I’m shutting down. I’m done. No really…I’m done. Cut. Turn off the camera. Consciousness before death… it’s simply not guaranteed.
She slumps back in the chair, and drops a bottle of pills on the floor.
ANDY WARHOL’S FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME : SCRIPT AVAILABLE ONLINE