‘The Trump Card’ by Mike Daisey

Mike Daisey performed his one-man monologue The Trump Card in Summer 2016. Later, Daisey released a “transcript” of The Trump Card under an open performance licence that permits others to perform and modify the work (within slight limits). Daisey had done something similar with The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs and claims over 100,000 downloads of that work.

The problem here is that Daisey released The Trump Card in a format one can barely use and that is nearly impossible to actually modify – a badly typeset, unstructured PDF that was simply exported from Microsoft Word. You the playwright or performer or dramaturge simply cannot work with a PDF if you want to modify it. The typography of the document, to the extent it could be called that, is barely legible and is impossible to read in a performance context. The text, moreover, contains a great many copy errors.

I was not going to sit there and let a work with an open performance licence be downloaded up to 100,000 times in an unusable format with bad type. Here, then, are versions of The Trump Card in formats you can use.

Items meant for table reads

In the list below, “meant for table reads” means the document has a wide left margin, big type, and lots of whitespace. Even someone who wears glasses should be able to read the text, including reading it out loud without enforced errors, when seated at a desk or table.

Licence terms are included for all versions

It was perfectly possible to set the licence terms not to print. I did not do that. Licence terms print by default in all versions (and always display).

The Trump Card in formats you can actually use and modify

Mike Daisey original

HTML versions

You can look at these in a browser or load them in any program that can read HTML. Valid code in all cases.

Microsoft Word version

  • If you want a really basic MS Word version you can modify, then import the basic HTML version and work on the stylesheet. (This is a deliberate choice informed by decades of experience. Try it)

  • MS Word version (.DOC) meant for table reads

PDF version

This PDF version (20 MB) is derived from the Microsoft Word variant and is intended for printing. It’s a tagged PDF with bookmarks and structure and uses the same layout as for table reads.

ePub version

This is not the greatest ePub file I have ever produced (I did better previously), but if you want to use an E‑book reader for The Trump Card, you can download an ePub version.


Daisey knows about this project and, apart from a remark on Facebook, did not respond to inquiries about it, nor to draft versions of several of these files.

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