[Scene : Joey and Michael’s house. Joey is reading a book. Gina Enters.]
Gina: (Deep Voice) I need a drink.
Joey: You sound just like dad.
Gina: Dad didn’t drink.
Joey: Oh I know, but your voice is deep like a man.
Gina: Heh, you want a beer?
Joey: No no, I have an audition in an hour with this great theater company. I have to memorize a monologue from Shakespeare’s Richard III.
Gina: Oh, how’s that going?
Gina: Why would you even want to do Shakespeare?
Joey: Well, this could be a great opportunity for me you know? Really turn things around. Get people to look at me as a serious actor. Plus I get to wear a crown.
Gina: You know, maybe it would help you memorize it if you understood the dialogue.
Joey: Yeah, but it’s like a whole other language.
Gina: Well, let me help you. Let’s start with the first line.
Joey: Okay, uh (Reading from Richard III) “Now is the winter of our discontent.
Joey: “Made glorious summer by this sun of York.”
Gina: Uh, okay sure.
Joey: “And all the clouds that lowered upon our house in the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
[Awkward silence as they sit staring at the book]
Gina: You wanna get a pizza?
Joey: Oh, God yes.
[Scene : The courtyard outside Michael and Joey’s house. Michael is working on his computer. Joey enters.]
Joey: Hey Michael.
Michael: Oh, hey Joey. How’d the audition go today?
Joey: Ah, I didn’t get it. I’m gonna be the understudy.
Michael: That’s great!
Joey: Uh, Michael, I don’t know what that means in rocket science business, but in show business it means you suck.
Michael: You’re looking at this in the wrong way. If the lead actor gets sick, you’re in. This is an oppurtuinty. You just need to be ready to seize it when you’re moment comes.
Michael: Absolutely. Remember what happened to Lou Gehrig? One day Wally Pip got sick and Lou filled in for him. He was so good he replaced him permanently. The guy played every single game for like thirteen years.
Joey: Michael I can’t wait for this part that long. I’m supposed to go to Sea World in three weeks!
Michael: The point is you could get your big break, and you need to be ready.
Joey: Hmm, yeah. I’ll just wait for my chance and then go out there and be the best Richard III there ever was.
Michael: Well actually, Sir Lawrence Olivia set a pretty high standard for that one.
Joey: Oh. Maybe I should put “Sir” in front of my name
[A girl enters carrying a big box]
Michael: (Whispering to Joey) Girl. Girl, girl, girl!
Joey: Why, well hello.
Joey: Let me help you with that. (Joey takes the box from her)
Joey: And let me be the first to welcome you to the building.
Girl: Oh actually I’m moving out of my apartment here, and in with my fiancé.
Joey: Aw, there you go. (Gives her the box back)
[The girl leaves]
Michael: Joey, she’s moving out. This is bad. This is really bad.
Joey: Come on Michael, you didn’t have a chance with that girl. I could still get her. You wanna see?
Michael: No! Just look. An apartment is open in the building. My mother’s gonna want to move in.
Michael: Yes! When I moved in here she asked me if there was an apartment open for rent. God, she hates being alone, and now I’m not there to do yard work anymore or move furniture around.
Joey: Whoa whoa whoa, you move furniture?
Michael: It’s mostly wicker.
Michael: This cannot happen! You have to help me.
Joey: Alright, alright, alright. Uh, well we better take that sign down. (Points to the “For Rent” sign)
Gina: (Yelling from the parking lot) You better just back off mister!
Joey: (To Michael) Get the..!
[Michael rips down the sign and hands it to Joey. Joey sets it by a plant. Gina enters.]
Gina: (Yelling to the parking lot) I didn’t hit your car! You would know if I hit your car! (To Joey) I just totally hit that guy’s car. What’s going on with you guys?
Gina: (Notices the “For Rent” sign by the plant) Hmm, what do we have here? A plant for rent? Pffh, California, what a bunch of weirdos, huh?
Gina: Okay, I’m gonna go get dinner ready.
Howard: Hey guys. Hey Gina.
Gina: Hey Howie.
Howard: Hey, did you notice anything different about me?
Gina: Did you get shorter?
Howard: No, I’ve been working out! I have a Bowflex. Good things are happening to my body almost daily.
Gina: I can make good things happen to your body almost daily too.
Howard: I wanna marry her. (Notices the “For Rent” sign by the plant) Hey that’s not supposed to be here. It’s supposed to go over there.
Joey: Listen, uh, we don’t want Gina to know about the empty apartment right now, so maybe you don’t mention it to her.
Howard: Why can’t she know?
Michael: Uh, because if she finds out, she’ll want to move into it and we really don’t want her living with us.
Howard: She’d move in here?
Howard: I want that!
Joey: Howard, no!
Howard: I’m gonna tell her.
Howard: (Yelling) Gina!
Joey: You wanna have another pizza tonight, just you and me?
Howard: That was the best night ever. We watched Die Hard and then you showed me your Days Of Our Lives cast photo and pointed out everyone you slept with.
Joey: Uh huh. Well, we can do that again if you don’t mention the empty apartment to Gina.
Joey: Yeah, but this time we can Die Harder.
Howard: Ahh, the same thing happens only this time they’re on a plane!
[Scene : The back porch at Joey and Michael’s house.]
Joey: Hey, guess what. I’ve got great news. The guy who plays Richard III has been throwing up all day.
Joey: yeah, yeah. They think it might be serious. I’m gonna get to go on!
Michael: I’m so happy for you. See, I told you. So how are the lines coming?
Joey: Oh ah, words – the worst part of acting. I can’t get that opening monologue. I think I have too much information stored in my brain.
Michael: That’s an interesting theory.
Alex: Hey guys.
Joey: Oh, hey.
Alex: Uh, do you know what’s been happening to the “For Rent” signs I’ve been putting up?
Joey: Yeah yeah, we’ve been taking ‘em down and tearing ‘em up.
Alex: And why have you been doing that?
Michael: Because if my mom finds out there’s an apartment here, she’ll want to move in immediately.
Alex: Oh, well that might be okay. We’re getting along pretty well.
Joey: Really? You think you’d want her as a tenant? Alright lets’ do a little role play, okay? I’ll be Gina and you come and ask em for the rent.
Alex: Okay. Gina-
Joey: (As Gina) Bite me blondie!
Alex: That felt so real. Okay, you know what, you’re right. This can’t happen. She’s crazy.
Joey: Whoa whoa Alex, we can talk about her like that but you can’t. That’s my sister.
Michael: Yeah, and that’s my mother.
Alex: Oh my god, I’m so sorry.
Joey: Ah, we’re just messing with you.
Michael: She’s crazy. So look, we have to find somebody else to live in that apartment. Is anybody interested in it?
Alex: No, I was thinking of having an open house.
Michael: Oh, oh, have one tomorrow. She has to go to San Diego for a wig convention.
Joey: Ooh, San Diego! Only twenty more days ‘til Sea World!
Alex: Okay, this can totally work. I just have to rent it to someone by tomorrow. I just wish my husband were here. He’s the real salesman in the family.
Alex: Yeah, the last apartment we had open, he rented no problem even though there was bad plumbing, faulty heating, and there’s mold in the walls.
Joey: Uh, weren’t we the last people to move in?
Alex: So, Sea World, huh?
[Scene : Joey and Michael’s house. Joey is polishing his crown for Richard III. Gina enters.]
Gina: Huh, all hail Kind Meatball.
Joey: Hey, you’re gonna come see my play tonight, right?
Gina: And pass up the chance to see you in makeup and tights? Haha, that’s gonna be Christmas card. So, you ready to go on?
Joey: Yeah, I got everything down except that damn opening monologue. Hey, what do you think about sitting in the front row and mouthing the words to me?
Gina: I don’t know it.
Joey: You know it better than I do.
Joey: (On the phone) Hello. Uh huh. Oh. Okay, thanks. Bye. (Hangs up) Uh oh.
Gina: Fraternity test results?
Joey: No, that was the theater calling. I’m going on tonight.
Gina: You knew that.
Joey: Different theater. Different play.
Joey: Well, I liked understudying so much I took another job. I- I over-understudied!
Gina: Why would you do that?
Joey: Well I figured if I understudied in more than one thing, it’s increase my odds of getting on stage.
Gina: you know, you think just enough to really screw things up for yourself.
Joey: I know! I know. I can’t believe this. What are the chances of two people getting sick at the same time?
Gina: Well, it’s flu season.
Joey: Get a flu shot!
Gina: You didn’t get a flu shot.
Joey: I’m not in a play! What am I gonna do?
Michael: Hey Joey, there was a weird phone message for you. Your producer called and said you were going on tonight.
Gina: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hunny, he knows already. He’s in two plays tonight.
Joey: Actually I should hear this.
Michael: Okay, the message was Trent’s stuck in Florida so they need you to play the part of Gus.
Gina: You’re in three plays?
Joey: Ah, I was afraid it was Gus! Damnit Trent! Unprofessional, unprofessional, unprofessional!
Gina: So what’s the third play about?
Joey: (Confused) I don’t remember!
Michael: Joey, what are you gonna do?
Joey: Well, I don’t know. I can only do one.
Michael: Well hey, don’t do the one with the monologue in it because you don’t know that one very well.
Joey: But I haven’t studied the dancing in that cowboy thing at all!
[Joey tries to do the dance]
Joey: I don’t know it!
Gina: Oh, please do that one!
Joey: I can’t believe this. What are the chances? It’s like everything’s lining up to screw me! It’s the understudy perfect storm!
[Scene : Bobbie’s Office]
Bobbie: Joey, thank you for coming in. Listen, the reason that I called-
Joey: No no, you didn’t call me. I called you.
Bobbie: Oh, good. I was just about to make something up.
Joey: Okay, look Bobbie, I got a real problem and I need your help. I took an understudy role in this play-
Bobbie: Oh no, I hate plays!
Joey: That’s not the problem.
Bobbie: Oh, it gets worse?
Joey: Well I signed up to understudy in three different plays, and they all want me to go on tonight.
Bobbie: What? Oh, why can’t you just have a coke problem like everyone else?
Joey: I’ll give that some thought!
Bobbie: Alright, you have to do three plays at one. Well lucky for you, I am the queen of multi-tasking. Right now, as we are talking, I am doing butt clenches, and I’m learning Spanish in this earpiece. (Shows Joey her earphones) Me llamo Bobbie! I’m trying to seduce a Mexican soap star. Alright, let’s see if we can juggle these. All three plays are at the same time?
Joey: No, no, no. One starts a little earlier. Oh, and one I’m not in until the second act.
Bobbie: Great! You can do both of those, and for the third, maybe we can get the actor to go on.
Joey: How are we gonna do that?
Bobbie: Well, I’d offer to call and threaten to ruin his career, but it couldn’t do much worse – he’s doing a play.
Joey: Uh, maybe I can just go talk to him.
Bobbie: You do that. You’ll think of something to say. You’re a big, bright guy.
Joey: Yeah, yeah, I get that a lot.
Bobbie: Really? (Talking to the Spanish lesson in her earphones) Ah, enough of that “¿Donde esta la playa?” crap. How do you say “Take off my bra?!”
Joey: Quitame mi Brassiere.
[Scene : The courtyard outside Joey and Michael’s house. Alex is hosting the open house]
Joey: Hey, Alex, how’s the open house going?
Alex: Hey, we’ve had a few bites but no one’s really interested.
Joey: Ah, did you mention there’s a celebrity living in the complex?
Alex: There is? Who?
Joey: Uh, Sir Joey Tribbiani.
Alex: Oh yeah, well let’s keep that quiet. We don’t want the paparazzi crawling around here.
Joey: I hate those bastards always following me around in their helicopters. (Checks the sky for watching helicopters) Well, you better rent it soon because Gina’s gonna be back in a couple of hours.
Alex: Well, I’m doing the best I can. It’s not like I’ve got the greatest prospects here.
Joey: Don’t be so choosey. The important thing is to rent it to someone who’s not my sister, alright? And maybe someone who’s hot, and has Hollywood connections, and HDTV-
Alex: Get out of here!
[Joey walks inside his and Michael’s house]
Joey: Hey Michael, looks like there’s a lot of people at the open-
[Gina pops up from behind the counter. Joey didn’t know she was there.]
Joey: Hi Gina! You’re here. What happened to your wig convention?
Gina: A lot of stylists came down with the flu so they cancelled the whole thing.
Joey: Flu, you are killing me!
Gina: All right Michael, I’m just gonna get your laundry and I’ll be on my way.
Joey: How long has she been here? Did she see the open house?
Michael: No, she came before it started, but now she just has to stay ‘til it’s over. So how are we gonna keep her here?
Joey: Uh, oh wait, keeping her here will be easy. What’s her favorite thing to do in the world?
Michael: Telling us what to do.
Joey: Be more specific.
Michael: Uh, telling me what to do.
Joey: Exactly! So just, as her advice about something.
Michael: Uh, like what?
Joey: All right, don’t worry. I’ve been working on improve for my new theater class. Watch me think on my feet.
Michael: This is scary.
Gina: Okay guys, I got your laundry. I’m gonna take off.
Michael: OK, you know what mom? Stay. Just ‘cause I wanna talk. I have a problem.
Gina: With what?
Michael: Well, it’s a problem with-
Joey: A girl!
Michael: Yes, with a girl.
Gina: Really? What’s her name?
Michael: Yes uh, her name is Raisin, and she’s a little bit-
Michael: ..She’s a little bit Cajun.
Joey: And her father’s a dirty cop!
Gina: (To Michael) Okay, I’m glad you came to me about this. Here’s what you’re gonna do.
Michael: Wait, you actually have some advice about my Cajun girlfriend Raisin?
Gina: First, there’s a few things you two need to get strait-
Joey: Okay, great. I’m taking off.
Michael: Joey, where are you going?
Joey: Well it turns out, time-wise I can still do Richard III and make it across town for the second act in the cowboy musical, so now I gotta convince the sick actor in the third play that he’s well enough to go on instead of me. (Stops to catch his breath) Okay, I’m ready.
[Scene : The sick actor’s (Tim’s) Bedroom]
Joey: Hey Tim.
Tim: Who are you?
Joey: It’s me, Joey, you’re understudy.
Tim: What are you doing here?
Joey: Oh, uh, your roommate let me in. I just really wanted to thank you for giving me the chance to go on tonight, and I want you to know that I am not going to let you down. I’ve been busy making the role of Henry my own.
Tim: You mean Henry?
Joey: (To Himself) Good thing I’m getting out of this one. (To Tim) Anyway, I just want to tell you a little story Tim. Do you like baseball?
Tim: Not really, but I like A-rod. He’s yummy.
Joey: Amen. Uh, anyway, you remind me of this first baseman, Wally Pip.
Tim: Why, did he die with an understudy in his room?
Joey: No, but he was sick one day and he allowed a young no-name backup to come into the game for him, and he never made it back into the line up. You know why?
Joey: Because his replacement turned out to be Lou Gehrig, one of the most beloved figures in baseball hitting almost 500 home runs.
Joey: You do know what a homerun is, right?
Tim: I’m not that gay!
Joey: Sorry. Anyway, I just want to leave you with that little story before I go out tonight and act one out of the park.
Tim: Wait, why are you telling me this? Are you threatening me?
Joey: If I was, would it work?
Tim: Is this some kind of All About Eve situation?
Joey: (Not knowing what he means) Uh, if it was, would it work?
Tim: You know, maybe I am starting to feel a little better.
Tim: Yeah, I think I can go on tonight.
Joey: Well hey, if that’s what you want Tim, I’m not gonna be the one to stop ya. If only I hadn’t stopped by!
Tim: You know, coming into here and trying to talk me into going on, you may be the worst understudy ever.
Joey: You have no idea!
[Scene : The Courtyard]
Joey: Hey, did you rent the apartment yet?
Alex: I did, finally. Actually to a really nice girl who just moved here from New York.
Joey: Oh, I hope it’s not someone I slept with and never called back.
Alex: I doubt it. I mean, what are the odds?
Joey: Actually, quite high. Come on, let’s go tell Michael the good news.
[Joey and Alex enter Joey’s house. Gina is still talking to Michael about Raisin.]
Gina: She really sounds worth fighting for, but remember, the Cajun are emotional people.
[Joey gives Michael the thumbs-up sign]
Michael: Okay, Mom. Uh, thanks for the advice.
Gina: And I want to meet this Raisin.
Michael: That’s actually gonna be difficult because she lives-
Joey: In a submarine!
Michael: She lives on a submarine.
Gina: All right, I’m gonna take off.
Howard: Okay, okay. Keeping the secret’s been torturing me. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can barely Bowflex! Gina, there’s an apartment for rent across the way.
Howard: They didn’t want me to tell you, but I want you to live here. I think you deserve to know, ‘cause you’re super, super pretty.
Joey: No more Die Hard for you, Howie!
Howard: Really? ‘Cause I just ordered pizza.
Joey: Bring it down and we’ll talk.
Gina: (To Alex) Did you know about this?
Joey: Hey, hey, hey, she had nothing to do with this.
Alex: It’s true. I would’ve rented it to you in a second. I love having you around. In fact-
Gina: Bite me blondie!
Gina: Wow, so all day you’ve been trying to keep me from finding out about this place? You guys must’ve really not wanted me to live here, huh?
Joey: Look, Gina, I just thought it would be better for Michael.
Michael: Look, Mom, I’m sorry. I just, I like things the way they are. I like having my own space.
Gina: Me too.
Gina: Look, there was a time not too long ago when I would’ve wanted to live there and be closer to you, but I have to say this is kinda working out for me. You know, I went strait from being a kid to raising a kid. I’ve never really lived alone before.
Joey: (Realizing) I’ve never lived alone either.
Gina: (To Michael) And it’s scary, but its’ nice. I got the whole place to myself. I can listen to bad music whenever I want. I can light my smelly candles that you hate, and I can take super long baths.
Joey: He’s always interrupting my baths..
Gina: I guess I’m figuring out who I am away from you. And it’s strange, but I’m kinda having fun.
Michael: It’s just, it’s weird. I didn’t want you to smother me, but now that you’re not doing it anymore, it’s actually kind of sad. I guess things are changing.
Gina: Yeah. In fact, maybe you should start doing your own laundry.
Joey: (To Michael) Haha!
Gina: And maybe you guys should start cooking for yourselves too.
Joey: Hey, you are this boy’s mother!
[Scene : The play. Joey is dressed as a king, practicing his lines backstage.]
Joey: Now is the winter of our discontent. What’s the next line? What’s the next line?! God, please, help me get through this and from now on I promise I will not understudy for more than two plays at once.
[The play starts. Joey walks onto the stage]
Joey: (As the King) Now is the winter of our discontent. Made glorious summer by this sun of York, and all the clouds that lowered upon our house in the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Now, are our brows bound with victorious wreaths? Our brusid arms hung up for monuments. Our stern alarms changed to merry meetings. Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
[The curtain opens revealing Cowboys dancing. Joey realizes he’s doing the wrong play.]
Joey: Also, enjoy the cowboys!
[Scene : Joey, Michael, and Gina at Joey and Michael’s house]
Joey: Oh, I can’t believe I finally nailed that speech. It was in the wrong play, but still.
Gina: I would like to make a toast to my brother. To his LA stage, debut.
Joey: Aw, to acting.
All: To acting.
[They touch glasses]
Michael: Um, to independence.
All: To independence.
[They touch glasses]
Gina: Oh, and to Michael and Raisin.
All: To Michael and Raisin!
[They touch glasses]