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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 15:52:46 CSTLogin ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 1[2]345678910 ]

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Date Posted: 16:34:32 05/08/23 Mon
Author: Comicality
Subject: (Chapter 30)
In reply to: Comicality 's message, "(S) "Waiting Outside The Lines 30"" on 16:29:50 05/08/23 Mon




"Waiting Outside The Lines 30"



It was more than a few deep breaths that got me back out onto that set. My thoughts were a chaotic mish mash of kinetic collisions to refused to stay still long enough for me to slow things down and concentrate. Already, I could feel the new lines that I was trying so desperately to memorize in such a short amount of time evaporating into thin air as the other workers on set rushed over to make sure that I looked just right for the next few scenes that they wanted me to shoot. It’s one hell of a distraction, believe me. You can’t even imagine what it’s like to concentrate on ten different things in many different dimensions all at once. It’s enough to drive anybody fucking insane in ten minutes or less.



But you’ve just GOT to do it, you know? Otherwise, you’re out of a job! So what other choice do I have? Especially after having been online and in the magazines and stuff? How embarrassing would it be to go from a young Hollywood hopeful to...well...anything less than that? They’ll ridicule and harass me forever. One thing about fame, once you get even a taste of it and the public sees it...you’re stuck trying to reach an impossible standard for the rest of your life. It’s one of those things that they don’t tell you when you’re just a kid trying to have some fun.



“Alright, so we’re moving your spot to coincide with the new directions, Evan.” One of the tech people told me, and brought me over on the set to show me a metal plate with a bright orange piece of tape on it. “Ok...so you’ve got your new sides down, right?” I didn’t...but I sort of lied and nodded in agreement. “Good. So, when you deliver the first two lines You’re going to walk along this line in the sand, and we need you to stop on your mark right ‘here’. Ok? Don’t miss your mark. The camera is set to capture you from a certain angle right here.”



“Ok.” I said with an uneasy tremble in my voice. Focus, Evan. You HAVE to focus! Like, right now...they’re expecting you to perform. Get your head in the game. No excuses. Right now. Like...NOW!



“But, remember...we don’t want you to look down at the mark. Ok? Just get a feel for it and know where to stop walking.”



“Ok.” I said.



“But we want it to look natural. So just don’t think about it.” He said. “But don’t miss it. It’s important.”



Ugh! Acting is a fucking pain in the ASS sometimes, you know that? “Ok...” I said, trying to keep all of these things in my head at the same time, all while trying to remember the new lines the writers wrote for me. To anybody who thinks this job is easy...let me expose the man behind the curtain. It isn’t. Not by a long shot. Then again...I can’t even imagine what the writers must go through. Especially since that’s probably the hardest job on set. I can’t fathom how hard it is to write as much as they do, and have to fulfill constant demands, whether rational or irrational, on a continuous schedule and still be under appreciated. Jesus!



Still...my own part of the process is really hard to do too without a significant headache sometimes. So I get to experience a teeny tiny bit of their pain too.



Ugh...if only people knew what folks go through for the sake of their daily entertainment...



I took all of the direction and listened to all of the director’s notes, but my brain just...it wouldn’t work right. I flubbed a few lines and tried to successfully ad lib in order to keep the scene going so everything would move along smoothly...but the director of this particular episode was a big stickler for staying true to the script. Which, I mean, I was sort of tough on us since the writers keep changing everything without warning...but it’s sort of a do or die situation. Some directors of the current episodes are fine with a few improvised lines here and there. Others, they want it as written. I wasn’t lucky enough to get the former today.



It’s not like I wasn’t trying my hardest though. It’s just...Greyson. He might be leaving me today. Like...today. And trying to keep that from invading my every thought and emotions was taking a real toll on me. In a major way.



“Cut!” The director said, and after a few seconds of going over his notes, he looked up to beckon me over towards him. Already humiliated, I began walking towards him, and I saw him stand up out of his chair and take a few steps off set. Never a good sign. He sort of pulled me aside and said, “Evan...what’s going on with you? You were doing so great with the dialogue and being in the moment before. I’m not really feeling your performance today.”



“I’m sorry.” I said softly, looking down at the ground to avoid his eyes. “I’ll do better.”



“It’s not about you doing better, Evan. I just feel like your mind is somewhere else, today. What’s going on here? How do we fix this?”



What was I supposed to tell him? That I was in love with a boy popstar, and our love affair was very quickly coming to an end? Something that my poor virgin heart wasn’t really able to handle on top of the advanced script that had been dropped in my lap less than twelve hours ago? “I’m alright. Can I just have a few minutes for the extra script? You know...before Asa gets here?”



The director sighed, “How long do you think you’re gonna need? Do we need to make even more adjustments in the dialogue in order to make things a bit less stressful?”



“No! No, I’ve got it. Promise.” I blurted out. “I’m doing it. K? Champion effort, and all that.”



The director took a moment to see if I was serious about this, and wondering if he should skinny the role down a bit to make sure that I’d be able to give a decent performance. But he seemed to trust me, and just nodded his head while putting a hand on my shoulder. “If you need a couple of minutes to get it right, you’ll let me know. Right? Our budget isn’t going to allow for too many retakes, here. I need you at a ten, buddy. Nothing lower than that.”



Shit. PLEASE don’t fire me! I mean...I just want to get my head together so I can get my emotions in line. Give me a few minutes! K? I now that time is money and everybody is waiting on me to perform, but...no performance is so much better than a lame performance, you know? Because a lame performance can’t be taken back once it’s been put out there. Please be a little patient with me. Please?



“Let’s take a few minutes, folks. Alright? We’ll get this shot and printed soon. We just need a few moments to get it to get it all worked out over here.” The director said, and then he looked me in the eye and said, “Whatever it is that’s got you all twisted up...I need you to put it behind you. Ok? Game face on. We’re working on a daylight shoot, and if you take much longer we’re going to have to re-light and get new levels all over again from scratch. So help us out here, Evan. Let’s get this done.” And as he walked away from me, I found myself wanting to hide my face away from Chandler, Asa, and everybody else on set. Even the zombies were giving me somewhat nasty looks...after spending all of that time in makeup and wardrobe for today’s shoot. I guess it was a bit unprofessional of me to be so unfocused. Ugh! I was seriously ruining everything for everybody, and I really hated myself for it.



You know...I wasn’t exactly sure if I was going to make things any better, or potentially make them infinitely worse by doing this...but I decide that I just wanted to hurry into my trailer and tell Greyson that I loved him. Just...something really quick. I was hurting inside, and I knew that my mom could see it on my face as I walked past her, but when she called my name out, I quickly told her, “I’m ok. I just need a minute...” I hurried towards my trailer. Was my voice trembling? I felt a bit shaken up, and the hurt was going to make me cry if I didn’t get away from everything. I know that it was only going to be for a minute or two...but I just had to find a moment to catch my breath.



Why am I being like this? Why did I invest soooo much heart in something that wasn’t meant to last beyond a few stupid weeks?



I closed the door behind me and pressed my forehead against the wall, closing my eyes and hoping to regain my composure. My trailer is really tiny, so it was barely big enough for me to start pacing or anything...not that I had much time for that anyway. The whole production is waiting for me to get it together. People are depending on me to ‘perform’. They’re going to hate me if I don’t. I have to do it. I have to do it today. No excuses. Come on, Evan. Hurry up! Stop being weird and let’s get it done.



I grabbed my phone, and even though I hesitated for a second or two, I nervously pressed the button to call Greyson up and prayed that he’d be around to answer. Please answer. Please?



“Hey, Evan. What’s up? I was just thinking about you. Hehehe!” Greyson said the moment he picked up.



“Hey...” I said, feeling my heart beating fast, but in a way that kind of hurt this time around. I just...stayed quiet for a moment, trying to force my way through the panic that I was experiencing.



“Evan? Dude...what’s wrong?”



“Nothing.” I said. A lump forming in the back of my throat. “I just really needed to hear your voice right now.”



“I’m here. What’s going on?”



Th emotion was bubbling up out of nowhere, and it was getting harder and harder to choke it back down. And before I even knew what was happening...a tear slid down my cheek and I began to sniffle. “I love you, k? I just wanted to tell you that. It couldn’t wait.”



Greyson was obviously confused by all of this weirdness, and to be honest...I think I was too. “I love you too, Evan. Just...I mean, do you need anything, or…?”



“No. I’m ok.” I said with a shaky voice, a few more tears falling as I tried to wipe them away without ruining my post apocalyptic makeup.



“You don’t sound ok.” He said. Great. Now I’m ruining his day too. I could hear a few voices from the background on his video shoot saying that they were ready for him. “I’ll be there in a minute.” He said, and I tried to suck my emotions back up and suppress them as deep down as I could. “Evan? You still there?”



“Yeah. I’m sorry. Look, I’ve got to get back on set. I just wanted to call and let you know...that I was thinking about you too.” I said. “I’m always thinking about you. Always.”



He paused, and he was like, “When do you guys wrap for the day? Why don’t you come over tonight and we can go down to the hotel swimming pool or something and have a good time? That should be fun, right?”



“I don’t know. I guess.” I said, already pouting as I felt our extremely short phone call already coming to an end.



“Well, geez...don’t get too excited or anything. My poor heart can’t take the anxiety of living up to your high expectations.” I knew that he was kidding around, but...it only made me sink lower into whatever this dark and murky feeling was that was so rapidly dragging me down to the bottom. Down into an abyss that I couldn’t escape...and without Greyson, I almost didn’t want to.



“Sorry.” I told him. “I’ll see if my mom can drop me off as soon as I’m done. I’ll text you when I get ready to leave. K?”



Greyson sounded really suspicious about it, but he responded with, “Ok...” But then he was quick to add, “Did I, like...do something wrong? You can tell me if I did. I’ll fix it if you think...I do something annoying or...”



“No. You’re fine, dude. You’re perfect.”



“Evan…?”



“I’ve gotta go. I need to get my attitude and my feelings in order so I can get back to the set. They’ve been waiting, like...forever. No time for a bad day. I’ve gotta give the people what they want. They’ll stop caring about me if I don’t.”



“I highly doubt that.”



“You’d be surprised...” I moaned sadly.



“Ok. Well, I’ve got faith in you, babe. Go shock the world, or whatever.” He said. “I love you too, Evan. Ok?”



“Alright.”



“You believe me, right?”



“Uh huh...” I nodded. And I told him, “I’ll talk to you later, ok?”



“I’ll be waiting.”



And I heard him mak this really cute kissing noise before hanging up. It was just in time too, because the dirctor sent someone to come knocking on my trailer door. “Evan Elliott? We’re ready for you, buddy.”



I wiped a few stray tears from my cheeks and tried to keep all of my new lines of dialogue in the front of my mind so I could, hopefully, deliver them with some sense of a natural tone. “I’m on my way.” I said, and straightened up so I could swallow these feelings of despair and not let the rest of the cast and crew down with my personal bullshit.



I left my trailer, and the makeup lady had to reapply some of my dirt and dusty appeal for the cameras. I couldn’t tell if she noticed the fact that it was my young tears that had washed her expert work away in the first place...or if she didn’t care one way or the other...but it only took about thirty seconds for her to fix it up and get me ready for the cameras. That’s when the director came over, attempting to hype me up. “You alright? Got your head in the game?” He asked.



I put on the bravest face that I could, and I looked him dead in the eye and said, “Yeah. I’m good. Let’s...let’s get it done.” Probably the best acting job that I had done all day.



So I tried to get everything right. I mean, this isn’t like doing homework. This is my job now. It’s how I make a living for myself and my family. And with Meagan and Nate being fans of mine, standing there smiling and all excited about watching me work...I didn’t want to disappoint them either. But, I was just awkward and off today, and it’s not like nobody noticed.



“Cut.” The director called out. “Ok, let’s take that one again. Asa? Great as usual. Evan? Ummm...I’m not really feeling it. Try to put a little more emphasis in the dialogue. You sound a little outside of the moment. K? Places. Let’s take it again.”



He called for action, and I attempted to push Greyson as far outside of my head as I could. But tiny little split second flashes of him kept crossing my mind while I was trying to act. That first day when I saw him on the set and recognized who he was. Our private little lunch together when he brought me that awesome sandwich in that greasy bag. The cute ladybug on him, and the gentle way that he caressed it and set it free. Our first kiss. Our time together in his hotel room. The taste of him, the boyish scent, the feel of his sensual body heat, the silky smoothness of his skin, the tender pitch of his singer’s voice as he whimpered with an explosion of pleasure...it was too much for me to ignore. I was trying, ok? But my heart wasn’t in my performance today. My heart was with him, and him alone. And I could feel it stretching and being torn in half as I felt him becoming more and more distant with every second that ticked by on the clock.



“Cut. Let’s try it again.” The director said, now sounding a bit more impatient than before. Asa seemed to shrug it off and not really let it bother him, but I’m sure that he was getting tired of trying to mimic the same steps and dialogue over and over again just because of me.



“Cut. Let’s concentrate, people.”



“Cut. Evan, I need you to focus, ok? New script. New lines. Let’s take it from the top.”



“Cut. Remember not to look directly at your mark, Evan. It’s got to look natural. Can somebody run him through the blocking a few times to keep his eyes off the mark?”



“Cut. You flubbed that last line a little bit. Do you need to look at the script again? Refresh your memory?”



The director kept having to stop the scene and restarting it all over again, and it was sooooo humiliating. I just...I couldn’t force my emotions to do what I needed them to do in that moment. And when I saw the episode’s director sort of close his eyes and rub his forehead with growing frustration, soon having a softly spoken conversation with one of the writer’s, I knew that I was royally screwing up my chance to have a bigger role on the show. I mean, they actually went out of their way to give me extra lines and more screen time...but it looked like they were beginning to regret it.



Like I said...when you’re only here for other people’s entertainment...you don’t just get to have a ‘bad day’.



There was a pause on the set while the director went over his notes and took out a pen in order to make a few changes. I think that worried me more than anything. Especially when I saw his hand going back and forth to scratch a few things out of the script. To say that I was heartbroken would be an understatement, because any other day I would have been able to pull this scene off with no problem at all. Just...not today.



Peeking off to the side at the crowd of onlookers outside the lines...I saw Meagan smiling, eager as ever just to watch me do what I do. Even if I was doing it poorly. And then I looked elsewhere to see Nate standing there, as close as he could get without crossing the line, and grinning with both thumbs up to encourage me to keep going. They both seemed so sweet and supportive, but I don’t think I deserved it. I mean...if I can’t entertain...who am I? Do I even matter at all? Will I be forgotten and discarded? Even by Greyson...once he no longer finds me interesting enough to even casually talk to me outside of this madness known as show business?



What happens to the people’s favorite ‘clown’ when he’s not a part of the circus anymore? Does anybody even care?



“Hey...” Asa said, coming over to pat me on the shoulder. “...Don’t sweat it. K? You’ll get it. We all have times when we’re not at level ten, but we try to keep our head on straight and we struggle through it. Right?”



“Yeah.” I said softly, looking down at the dirt. “I’m sorry...”



“Don’t be. You’ve got this. Shake everything off, all the nerves and the stress, and you’ll be fine. Promise.”



I nodded, but as long as I had Greyson’s inevitable departure on my mind...I don’t know if I’m going to be ok with this. With any of this.



I’m barely a teenager, but if I lose the one big love of my life...



...I don’t know if I’ll ever be ok again.



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