I liked the script. It intrigued me. Skip to now, it looks like the job is mine. At least, that’s what they’re saying. They say I’m a perfect Noam. “Exactly what they need.” Whatever that means.
They’re also saying I get to help pick my co-star. I, ultimately get to decide who will be Stella Leigh. I’m not buying this entirely… Obviously, they saw I was capable but I can’t imagine them giving any actor, even me, that kind of control. Or even that kind of control to Sid for that matter. So I feel a bit manipulated somehow, though I’m not sure how or why…
Sid seems so chill, and fucking smart and honest that it feels wrong to think he’s being anything but real with me. Maybe he just wants to make sure the chemistry’s good. Maybe he just really values my opinion. He is a smart guy.
“Welcome back to Carrefour Studios, James.” They’d done a great job choosing her voice. It was low and soothing, with a faint hint of a British (or was it Australian?) accent, so you felt like she knew what she was talking about.
“You’re expected on the set of ..” I like to listen for the ever so brief pause in the computer’s performance when it looked for your personal information to fill into their templated script. “.. Strange Adventures at ..” Another pause there. “.. lot 11. You can find directions to your lot on your car display. Enjoy your time at Carrefour Studios, James.” No pause filling in my name. I bet she remembered it from earlier.
Closely following the display, I pull my car into the tiny, dusty lot temporarily being used by the pilot production crew of Strange Adventures. Couldn’t they have afforded to properly pave this thing? I just had my car cleaned and my shoes are looking so good and just-the-right-amount of shiny. The lot is fuller than I expected. I see a few cars nicer than mine, and I park, away from them, and being careful with my shoes, I plug-in and make my way to the entrance.
With one deep breath, I grabbed both doors to the building and blow them open, with flair. I want people to know that I have arrived. Noam. Is. Here.
There are a few guys in the waiting room. I thought it was just going to be the women reading and me. I’m not a sure thing for Noam? What the fuck? I. AM. Noam. I’m going to work this shit, as I always do.
Pausing to get a feeling of the room, before I take action, I notice that the guys are all sitting together while the four women? girls? ladies? reading for Leigh congregate in the hallway. Three of the ladies, let’s go with ladies, are chatting away while the fourth seems transfixed by something on her unexpectedly dusty boot. They’re men’s construction boots. Kinda weird. Her long, stringy hair covers her face. Was she cute? Can’t tell but the chatty three are pretty enough, each beautiful in her own way and completely average nonetheless.
I smoothly dip into their conversation with a smile and “Hey, I’m James. Your Noam.” I look each lady straight in the eye and shake her hand. Each gives me a big smile and introduces herself. I’m trying, but I can’t remember what any one of them say their name is. “Do you ladies believe in the impossible?” The taller one says something I barely hear. I like the way her mouth moves so I laugh and tell her “I don’t believe either but I like believing in the idea of travelling the world with you.” She laughs of course and I keep staring at her lips. She seems cool enough. I turn to the next lady and ask her the same question. She’s a believer. No, she’s not. No, she is. It takes her too many words to come to her conclusion. I lose interest. I smile and say, “I’m never sure how I feel either. I seem to change my mind all the time.” She smiles crookedly at that and, for a moment, I fall in love with the crook and her. Every woman is so gorgeous, aren’t they? The third, I turn to study closely. Eye contact, I learned a long time ago, was the greatest attractor. The wonders I work with my eyes. I ask her what she thinks with a wink. “No way. To believe in the fucking impossible is to believe in things that are fucking not possible. The answer is in the fucking word. The very words tells you ‘do not fucking believe.’” I like the way she said “fucking” with such tenacity that I couldn’t help but think of fucking her and how angry it would be. There was something about her that was very sexual and overtly so. My immediate arousal triggered my brain to conclude that she wouldn’t be the most convincing Leigh. She’s not it. I turn to the last girl, the one outside their group.
The chick is still looking at her fucking boot. Not once, I noticed, did she look up during my exchange with the other girls. She just kept kicking and looking at her boot. Was there something wrong with her? Why didn’t she notice me looking at her now?
This isn’t my finest opening but I said it anyway. I need this chick to acknowledge my presence.
“Nice boots.” is the best I come up with.
I also lightly touch the tip of her boot with my shiny but not too shiny shoes. I’m smiling at her ever so cutely, seductively which she would know if she would bother to look at me. I don’t think she likes the toe touch. But it gets her attention. Her head and these eyes rise to pierce right through me. They are startling, blue like… I can’t describe the colour. They are big and blue and angry globes of fire.
She doesn’t smile as she thanks me for my compliment. She looks like she doesn’t trust me. She looks at me like she knows exactly who I am. And she seems unimpressed. No, that would describe more interest than she shows. She seems like she barely cares to be in the conversation. Then she looks away and leaves it. And leaves me standing alone, right in front of her, and the other ladies. She wants me to go away and leave her alone. I’m hardly taken by her behaviour but there is something about her that makes me feel that she is my best bet.
“Why are you acting like I’m not here?” I hit her straight.
“I’m practicing.” She delivers it with a dryness I hope to emulate soon. Ever. So. Subtle. Ever. So. Shady.
Despite her continued ignoring of my presence, I ask her to run lines, and although she precedes it with a very deep sigh, she agrees.
I lead her to a closet-type room I discovered the week before, down the hall to the entrance to the production office. She snorts kinda as I open the door to the tiny room, and with a smirk, we begin to rehearse the scene in the small space. It’s a good scene for Noam and I’m good in it. I want her to see how good I am. I don’t know how long we are in ‘the closet’ but I knew pretty quickly that I am right and that this chick is Leigh. Her talent is obvious and slightly intimidating. She has a quiet intensity about her. I can’t help but watch her eyes, amazed at how they change throughout the scene. I must be in a bit of a stupor since I miss my line, staring at her wet eyes, and she curses at me and says she is done practicing. The tenderness I had just witnessed disappears from her. But the emotion she shared, it hangs on to me. I carry it out of the closet and into the waiting room, eager to use it as more fuel for my audition.
Just before they call us in, I make a strategic move and ask her, if we get the chance to choose, if she’ll be my scene partner for the audition. I knew for certain that with her at my side, elevating my performance, that Noam would be officially, unequivocally be mine.
Again she narrowed her blue eyes at me, a sign I think meant she was skeptical, and yet she said, “Fine.”