1: Fit for the Role

333 23 73
                                    


"You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty."

- L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz

"I wouldn't advise a gay leading man–type actor to come out," read the text in an article that Finn is reading on his fold out phone

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

"I wouldn't advise a gay leading man–type actor to come out," read the text in an article that Finn is reading on his fold out phone. The words were a quote from Richard Chamberlain, an original star of the Thorn Birds series.

Finn scrolls down with the stylus. "It's complicated," the interview in the Advocate continues. "There's still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It's regrettable, it's stupid, it's heartless, and it's immoral, but there it is,"

"For an actor to be working is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren't, so it's just silly for a working actor to say, 'Oh, I don't care if anybody knows I'm gay' — especially if you're a leading man."

Finn folds the phone back up, placing it on the table, and sighs. No one warned him when he started acting in his teens, nearly 20 years ago, that it would be his life that would be the ultimate illusion - his life that would be the greatest box office hit.

Out of habit, Finn glances side to side, discreetly checking that he is still alone on the mezzanine floor of the cafe. Even without a mirror, he is able to carefully rearrange the strands of his fringe over his forehead, in case a smitten fan appears out of nowhere wanting a selfie with him.

Finn appreciates the modern, industrial and clean design of this cafe. He runs his fingers over the rustic finish on the bricks of what must be a reclaimed factory. It's a relief to be in public and yet alone - no minders, no press, no make up - as he savors the aromas of the roasting beans from the cafe bar below. Finn doesn't drink coffee - but he appreciates the art of coffee making.

Another five minutes passes. The aloneness that was a luxury is starting to feel like a liability. In the celebrity world, where every minute in public is another minute he can be recognised, waiting for his friend puts Finn in an uncomfortable position.

The best thing he can do is fake looking busy - he gets out his phone again and starts organizing his calendar. When he's finished color coding that week's events, he sighs, and opens Twitter. He has a pretty good sense now - honed in from all those years acting in front of the cameras - when someone is watching him or not.

Finn's about to click on the hashtag for his own fandom when he notices the shadow of a tall person coming up the stairs. He quickly flips the phone closed and lays it face down on the coffee table, pasting on an open and friendly smile that he wears on for every member of the public.

"Hi, I noticed you've been waiting up here a while. I just wanted to check that you know to order at the counter?" The waiter cocked their head sideways at him, a look of bland recognition on their face. "Or do you want me to bring anything up here? It's no trouble."

Just Act Fool | LGBTWhere stories live. Discover now