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Suddenly Starlet

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Chapter Thirteen

            The next day, Laney found herself once again in Mr. Hyperman’s office. Her mom had gotten them there in under twenty minutes, which was no small feat in Los Angeles, considering the constant traffic.

            He had called Laney to tell her that her pictures were in and so were the first batch of her completed headshots. Mr. Hyperman had explained that there were only about 10 headshots printed out for her to take with her and that the rest would be delivered to her house a few weeks later.

            She couldn’t believe how fast things worked in Hollywood!

            She sat across from Mr. Hyperman and watched him look through sheet after sheet of pictures. Each contact sheet contained over 20 tiny pictures and Laney grew increasingly nervous as Mr. Hyperman’s face continued to sag as he plowed through the pile.

            Laney started to sweat and she could feel her heart pounding in her chest as she waited.

            Are they really that bad, she thought, looking at her mother nervously.

            “You wanna take a look?” he asked, pushing the sheets toward Laney and her mother.

            Laney nodded slowly and peered forward, squinting her eyes as she looked at each picture. She felt her heart drop as she saw what Mr. Hyperman had obviously saw for herself.

They were just horrible!

As she continued through the sheets, she found that there were a few salvageable ones, but for the most part they were all pretty bad. She was blinking in one, looked constipated in another and there was even one where she looked as if she might be sick.

            In fact, as she continued to look through the pictures, Laney felt as if she might be sick—for real!

            Mr. Hyperman saw Laney’s expression and quickly pulled the sheets back toward himself. As if he knew what she had been thinking, he added, “Not to worry Laney! This is just par for the course.”

            “Yeah, par for the course. I’m sure Hilary Duff looks like a blowfish in all her pictures too,” she said embarrassed.

            “Well, maybe not a blowfish, but definitely a sea mammal of some kind,” Mr. Hyperman said jokingly. His voice turned sincere. “Sometimes photographers are lucky to have less than a dozen workable pictures after finishing up a photo shoot. It’s all about luck, really.”

            “Well, what are we going to do now?” Laney’s mom asked Mr. Hyperman.

            “Nothing,” he answered. He pulled out a white envelope. “We’ve got our picture, now we just have to wait for the parts to start rolling in.”

            He passed the envelope over to them and Laney moved toward it hesitantly. She was almost afraid to look at the picture inside, knowing that whatever it looked like, she would have to live with it until she could get new headshots.

            “Go ahead,” Mr. Hyperman said, nudging the envelope toward her.

            Before she knew it, Laney had pulled the picture out and was looking at herself—only, it was the “her” she had always wanted to be.  Her hair was perfect, her makeup looked natural and she didn’t look at all like she needed to go to the bathroom. The smiling girl in the picture looked like a million bucks! Maybe even two million. In fact, Laney couldn’t remember the last time she had even liked a picture of herself.

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