50: Recording

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They carpool to the studio when they're called, and Autumn doesn't even think about what could go wrong. She's too happy to. 

The silence of the studio is absolute. They are told that the best way to record is in a silent, soundproof room for the clearest sound. Understandable. 

The ten ensemble members gather around a single microphone, and they first record the scene where they're supposed to laugh. 


The ten of them erupt into believable laughter as their animated selves would be laughing at the main character. 

Autumn's throat starts, to itch, but she ignores it and keeps laughing. But soon, she can't physically stop it and her laugh turns to a cough. She gasps for air. 

"Cut!" The laughter stops. "Miss... Paisley, was it? What seems to be the problem?"

She collects herself as her face turns red from embarrassment. 

"I, um, I guess I can't laugh for a long time without my throat drying out," She says it like it's supposed to be a joke, trying to laugh it off. 

"Don't let it happen again," the director says, not amused. "Again. Action."

They laugh. Autumn nearly makes it to the end of the fifteen seconds before her breathing catches in her throat and she coughs. Her face burns red. 

"Cut!! Miss Paisley, you need to control your coughing!"

"I am so, SO sorry. I don't know why I can't keep it in for fifteen seconds..." she doesn't meet his eye, as she knows he's glaring at her. She's never felt so humiliated. 

"Last chance. Get your coughing out now, before we start."

She takes advantage of the offer and coughs, even though she doesn't have the urge to. She lets out all the air in her lungs and fills them again. She turns her back without looking at anyone and goes to the back of the crowd. She feels every pair of eyes on her. She feels a hand brush her shoulder as she nudges her way through the other nine and knows it's Adrian's. 

"Okay. I think we're ready now. Action!"

She's able to do it this time, and she wonders if it's just her willpower to get it over with that let her get through it. 

Most of the songs go well, only a few interrupted with coughing fits. On the second day, she tells the director more of the truth, saying she "just found out" that she has a breathing condition. He seems to forgive her a little more after that. 

Through all the humiliation, Autumn still feels great when she leaves every day. Though the recording sessions aren't her definition of fun, she keeps her focus on the final result: that her voice is going to be among the many voices in a Disney film. 

On the third and final day of recording, Autumn looks up from studying her script when she feels like someone is staring at her. 

Someone is. 

It's a man, probably in his late 30s. Jaxson, she thinks his name is. She recognizes him as one of the members of the chorus, like her, but that's not all. There's something else familiar about him, but she can't decipher what. 

He has pale skin with freckles covering his face. His dark brown hair is brushed into a quiff, and his dark eyes are creepy but at the same time, interesting. 

Their eyes meet for only a second, then he looks away. 

Autumn looks down at her script, but her sight passes through it. Where has she seen him before? And does he recognize her, too? Is that why he was staring at her so strangely? She contemplates for a few minutes, until the end of the session. 

She doesn't tell Adrian about him. She knows he won't recognize him. He looks like someone she knew when she was little. Maybe she did. 

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