Being Tom Cruise
(When DreamWorks would not arrange for an interview with Tom Cruise in 2005, and would not even send a press photo to run in our paper, I made up the answers to the interview in this monologue. I have another based on Spielberg but Iíll put that up later)
I donít recall much about my real dad.
Sure, I ached for one, especially when I saw that all the other kids had theirs.
They all seemed happy on that account.
I envied other kids because they all seemed to have real homes, too.
With me, each time my mom got a new man, we moved on.
I was always the new kid in town with many people looking at me as if I had two heads.
I never felt very important.
Down deep, I kept hoping Momís latest man would turn out to be the dad I needed.
I didnít give up on school either, putting on an act when I came in each time I greeted a new crowd.
I pretended as if nothing anybody said or did bothered me and that I was an important as even the coolest kid.
I made acquaintances and made them in my mind seem like long time friends.
When we moved into a new house, I fixed up my room as if I intended to remain there forever, and sincerely wished I could.
Hints of impending change always came when I heard the angry voices at night and knew Mom was getting ready to dump her man and find a new one.
I started packing even before mom said I should.
At school, I struggled not to cry when I said goodbye, my fiction turning real, at least, in regard to how I felt.
When we left a place, I blamed myself.
I hadnít done enough to make my mother stay with her man, or in the same place, or even to make other people like me.
When we got to New Jersey, I was old enough and angry enough to stand up for myself.
I told Mom Iím never going to move again.
The look in her eyes scared me a little.
It was the same look I saw there when she got turned off another man.
I knuckled down at school, too.
Not so much in study as in things I thought I could do well: wrestling and acting.
I really loved plays.
And I found many of the people involved with protection were a lot like me, outcasts who needed to act it out.
At that point, I figured I might even make something of myself.
I didnít need my mother to tell me where to move next.
I didnít need a father who wasnít around when I needed him anyway.
This doesnít mean I felt good when she dumped her latest man and tried to convince me I needed to move with her.
In fact, I felt like shit, especially when I got caught between her leaving me or me having to leave those people I really thought were friends.
Thatís when I took my life in my own hands.
I moved to New York and tried for acting parts, and got them, and saw real admiration in other peopleís eyes when they claimed I was going to become a superstar.
Iím not saying I had it easy since.
At times, Iíve doubted myself and it was hard getting other people to see in me everything I thought I might become.
Worst of all, I still feel guilty about leaving mom.
She had nobody but me and my sister.
Hell, at times I didnít even eat right or know where my rent would come from.
Oh, I took care of everybody later when I started to climb that ladder to the top.
I couldnít give mom the man she wanted, but she never had to worry about money.
Nor did my sister.
As for me, I began to believe I really did have a place in the world.
People might tease me these days for being in love or believing in a strange religion, but Iíve learned to ignore their insults just like I did when I was a kid.
No oneís going to make me feel bad about my life.
Iím never going to let anybody make me feel like shit again.