I was sitting cross-legged, surveying the LA in its finest glory. Dawn was approaching, and it tinted the sky gorgeous shades of red, orange and yellow, setting fire to the city landscape. Its beauty was undeniable, and -
My Blackberry's ring tone completely interrupted my mental monologue that will totally win an Oscar one day. I have faith.
"Hello?" I asked, in my best "publicity" voice.
I was on the Y of the Hollywood sign. It was the easiest to climb, and the easiest to wedge yourself in. Well, apart from the three Os, but they're almost too easy.
"Ricky! It's me, Cris."
"Oh! Hey, Cris. What's up?"
"Darling, I heard about Ben. Are you going to be okay?" he babbled, worry coloring his tone.
"I'll be fine," I said, smiling a little. Cris was my manager. He was totally adorable, and was the absolute best. He was gay, of course. Ben was the most jealous guy I'd ever known, and I knew he would've flipped out if I didn't get either a gay man or a straight woman. That's right. He was afraid I could've turned gay and left him. I kind of wish I had, now. "He was always an idiot."
"Yeah, he was," Cris said, laughing. "But he left you for that slut Jessica. I think that makes him go from idiot to totally brain-dead."
I laughed now, the first time I'd laughed since Ben had packed up his bags and told me that we were too different and left me to pay for the rent on the new flat we'd just picked out. And I mean JUST picked out. As in, the day before. He was such a jerk. A tear leaked from my eye, and I captured it between my fingers before it could ruin my mascara. I didn't need Ben to break my heart and ruin my face in the same week.
"Well, this should cheer you up. You got a job."
"Well," I said, sighing, my smile gone. Before, the word job would have made my heart jump. Now, however..."Let me have it. Swimsuit modeling? Lingerie Catalog? TV ad for a small-time channel in Oklahoma? What?"
"No, darling, this is a big one. A really big one."
Forgetting my heart-brokenness, I sat up.
"What do you mean?" I asked, my voice completely over-the-top excited.
"You have been asked to be the lead in a film."
I almost fell off the Y, and tumbled down the hill.
"What?!" I screamed, jumping off the sign. "A FILM?!"
Was this the big break I needed? After my massive debut film eight years ago, I'd wrecked every single acting job I'd gotten. My first job had been too much pressure for me - I was only eleven at the time, though. I was completely and utterly certain I could beat the problem I had all those years ago.
"There's a catch."
I paused. I knew it was too good to be true. I sat back down onto the sign, in the third "O". I wouldn't be able to climb back up to my favorite letter, the Y, with a phone in my hand. I knew the catch would be something like - it's a geeky science documentary with a hundred words you wouldn't understand, or it's a not really a film but a gay porno, or you'll be the lead in spirit but you'll really only have two lines, etc. I've heard them all.
"You have to play a guy."
I closed my eyes.
"Look, darling, hear me out. You remember you're massive debut, yes? The film where you played that little boy who taught his step-dad how to love? The one that won you a BAFTA? Well, the director for this film - the one who directed that amazing movie, Oscar-winning movie, The Full Moon - is actually a massive fan of yours. He called me up, and asked for you, and was actually shocked that you were a girl. He asked for me to send a couple pictures of you the way you are now, and he thinks you'll be perfect."
"No, Cris. I can't keep playing boy's parts. That's why I gave up acting all those years ago, and made myself a new stage name. I don't want to be forever remembered as the "cute little boy in How to Make a Family" forever. I need to move on."
"But this would open up a whole world of parts for you. I remember you're old manager telling me about how many offers you got after you played that part - hundreds and hundreds."
"They were all boys parts. There wasn't a single girl character."
"Well, if you do this, a girl's part will eventually come. Just keep waiting."
I ran my fingers through my hair.
"You'll be able to show Ben."
I was paying attention now.