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  1. #1
    Hollywood Dreams (w/ Shades)

    Hollywood Dreams (w/ Shades)

    Sojourn

    Gloria Neal wanted to make it big. And she needed to go to the big city to do that. She was heading to Hollywood. Her father thought she was crazy. He told her to settle down, marry a nice boy from their small town. But that wasn't enough for the young woman. She didn't want to do what the other girls did back there. She wanted more.

    Gloria had always loved to act. Her mother had saw her love of acting at a young age. Gloria would spend hours with her dolls, acting out movie scenes. At school, she get all the kids together, and they would act out famous scenes. Gloria always ended up being the star of those games. A teacher had told Mrs Neal that Gloria should try out for the local theater during the summer. Those summer days, acting in front of an audience and with more experienced actors, was the best days of her life. In high school, she was in every play.

    Her father encouraged it, he thought it would be a fun hobby for her. When he realized that Gloria wanted to make a career out of it, that's when he started to disapprove. You had to move to make it and lots of young people from all over, wanted the same thing. It wasn't like a local theater or high school plays. It was a cutthroat world and he didn't want his daughter to leave home.

    Eventually, Gloria was able to convince Mr Neal to let her go. Her mother was a big part of it. She made the promise to call everyday and to give it six months. After six months, she would come home and marry a nice boy if she didn't get anywhere with her dream. Gloria knew Dad still didn't want her to go, but she was happy he was letting her live her dream. She was a determined young woman. She was going to make it.

    Gloria stepped off the bus, with everything she brought with her in a suitcase. She was so excited to be here. Hollywood. A place where her dreams would come true. The bus stop was next near a movie theater. Gloria walked over to it to look at the movie posters.

    "Some day, my face will be on one of these. With him as my co-star."

    Gloria said to herself out loud as she stopped to look at one of the posters. On it was a beautiful woman with red hair. The male star was a handsome man with blond hair and blue eyes. His name was Martin Hayes and he was quickly becoming the man in Hollywood. Women wanted him and men wanted to be him. He was becoming very in demand, directors wanted Martin to be in their movies. It was becoming a guarantee that seats would be filled if Martin Hayes was in the picture. The only thing was, to get to be in a movie with Martin Hayes, you had to be in touch with his agent. His agent only worked with certain directors and all the female leads in his movies were all under contract with that agent.

    To get her dream, Gloria Neal would need to meet with Rich Porter and convince him to take her on as a client

  2. #2
    Shades

    Like pretty much every girl out there, Amy Stevens wanted to see her face on the silver screen. Unlike Gloria, she had been around the town for a while, and was starting to lose hope.

    Back in her little home town, Amy had been quite the popular one, and done pretty well in acting. Sure, it was in school plays, but still, everyone had always told her she had potential, and she had believed them. What nobody had told her, however, was that talent wasn’t enough in Hollywood. One needed luck, and the right agent, to make it. And that was not easy to find.

    Refusing to give up hope, Amy had stayed. She had to sleep at a sleazy motel, and spend the entire day walking from here to there every time someone advertised they were looking for actresses, but without an agent to represent her, the answer was always the same - a firm and round no.

    When one of the cheap newspapers she bought daily in search of a job printed that Rich Porter was looking for a girl to play a supporting role to one of his stars - a guy named Martin Hayes, who had been rising to the top pretty quickly -, Amy jumped to the chance. She had the characteristics the ad required, after all - blonde hair, blue eyes, a height below the star’s and a petite figure. And she could act - which, curiously, was not a prerequisite in the ad. Apparently, Porter just wanted to make sure that the girl didn’t attract more attention than his star client, and that was just fine with Amy, as all she wanted was a foot in the door.

    Picking out her nicest clothes and making sure she looked nice, but not too nice, Amy made her way to the address provided on the ad. She prayed that nobody else had gotten there first while she made her way. This had to be her chance.

    Breathing a huge sigh of relief when she found out that the agent had yet to find someone to work with Martin Hayes, Amy answered all of the questions the man’s secretary had to ask and allowed her measurements to be taken. Only after the woman took note of everything did she sit down again. The waiting room of the agent’s office spoke of wealth and success, and Amy felt like this was finally her chance. It had to be.

    The secretary walked through a door and into Rich’s office. She waited to get the agent’s attention before speaking to him. “We have a new one. Blonde, blue eyes. She measures a little under Martin’s shoulders, and the measurements fit. She will definitely fit into Mary’s costumes”. Mary had been the previous girl. She had been way too independent for Rich’s liking, talking back to him and refusing to serve as a stepladder for Martin. The girl sitting in the waiting room looked desperate enough, though. “She looks hungry”, the secretary asked, since Rich loved taking advantage of struggling actors and actresses. “Hasn’t had one single acting job since she got here”, she completed, waiting for the agent to make up his mind.

  3. #3
    Sojourn

    Gloria knew that it would take time to get a meeting with Rich Porter. She'd need to find his phone number and schedule an appointment. Plus, she'd need so find a really nice dress. She assumed all the women here, especially the would be actresses, dressed very nice. Like they were already movie stars. Gloria didn't have anything that nice yet. She'd have to find a real job first. Maybe as a waitress, just long enough to earn some extra money.

    She'd also need a find a place to stay. Gloria didn't come with a lot of money. She'd have to stay in a cheap motel until she could afford an apartment. Which she would be able to eventually. She was sure once she got a chance to meet Rich, he'd see that he needed to take her on as a client. Everyone back home told her she was a good actress. Now she was in the city where she could really prove it.

    Gloria left the theater and hailed a taxi to take her to a cheap motel.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Finding Martin Hayes was like finding a goose that laid golden eggs for Rich Porter. Before Martin, Rich was a just like every other two bit agent. Trying to make it but not having enough star power to land big contracts. Then Rich saw him. Martin had been busing tables at a local restaurant. Rich had no idea if Martin could act worth a shit, but he had the all American looks. Martin was handsome, in good shape, blonde haired, blue eyed...He was exactly the type of man directors had told Rich they looked for.

    Thank God Martin could act. Martin Hayes had been his ticket to the big leagues. Instead, of calling directors to get his actors cast on their movies, directors called him. Begging to have the Martin Hayes in one of their pictures. Rich had made it and he was not going to lose it.

    It didn't take Rich long to realize he could make more money with package deals. If a director wanted Martin to star as their male lead, Rich demanded that they cast one of his actresses as Martin's lead female co-star. Of course, the females had to beautiful. And they had to be able to act, but they could never out act Martin. No one could out shine his golden boy on camera. The women could never be taller then him and they had to be slim built. They had to look like they belonged on the arm of the man who was becoming high in demand in Hollywood. Because of that requirement, Rich tended to go through a lot of female actresses and was constantly having his workers put new want ads out.

    Rich was making a list of things he needed Diane Simcox, one of his secretaries to buy. Actually, Diane was more of a personal assistant. She needed money, her father had some issues, so she was always willing to take on extra work for him. Stuff he didn't trust others, including the woman who came to the door, to take care of. Rich had some things in his personal life he wanted to keep very personal and Diane understood that. For some extra pay, she was willing to keep his secrets.

    Rich set his pen down and listened to what his secretary had to say. The latest ad had brought a lot of would be actresses to him. Especially since it seemed like everyone wanted to be in a movie with Martin Hayes. Stupid Mary, too arrogant for his taste. She didn't seem to understand that her job was to make Martin look good. Bitch thought she could use him and Martin to further her own career. No way in hell that was going to happen. He had made quite a few phone calls when he finally had enough of her back talking. He made sure she'd be blacklisted with a lot of reputable directors and agents.

    It was good that this new girl fit Mary's costumes, then they wouldn't have to pay a seamstress a lot to alter them. When the word 'hungry' came up, Rich grinned. Hungry girls were always the best ones. Especially when they were so desperate for their first break. They would do anything he wanted. Which is what Rich liked. He liked being in total control.

    "Send her in."

    He replied, setting Diane's list off to the side.

  4. #4
    Shades

    Amy was feeling her heart race while she waited. Would this be her break? Like any other girl, she had come to Hollywood waiting for a big break. Now, she just wanted any break at all. Asking around, she had learned that some agents had girls in their regular payroll to serve as support cast. That would be good enough for Amy. Heck, it was a regular job, and time on the screen. If they made support cast for a big name, they could make a very decent living off of it. Amy didn’t expect for any more than that now.

    When Rich told her to send the girl in, the secretary nodded. She really hoped he approved of this one. She was getting tired of talking to stupid girls and taking measurements - not that she would ever say that anywhere Rich could hear her, of course.

    Closing the door quietly, the secretary stepped back at the waiting room. “Mr. Porter will see you now, Miss”, she announced, watching Amy leap to her feet and smooth her dress with both hands. “Thank you”, she murmured, before letting the woman lead her to Rich’s office.

    “Miss Stevens, Mr. Porter”, the secretary announced, before allowing Amy in and excusing herself.

    The young woman in front of Rich was a fresh beauty, like they called those girls who required minimal make up to step in front of a camera. She had big blue eyes, light blonde hair - natural, which made things easy - and the ‘girl next door’ look many directors wanted for a female lead. The girl was obviously wearing her best outfit, and the desperation in her eyes was very clear. Yet, she gave Rich a warm smile and her voice sounded quiet and calm when she finally spoke.

    “Thank you for seeing me, Mr. Porter. I know you are a very busy man”, she stated, enunciating her words clearly, but not putting too much effort in it. “I have come because of your ad, sir. I really do hope we may work together”, the girl completed, her eyes almost begging for a chance.

  5. #5
    Sojourn

    Rich didn't give a shit if his secretary was tired of this. Rich was looking for the right girl. One that was pretty enough to be on screen next to Martin. And one that could at least act her way out of a paper bag. But she couldn't be that great of an actress. She couldn't look better then Martin. Martin Hayes was his ticket to the good things in life. Rich would never risk pissing him off to the point, that Martin would leave because he felt out shined by a woman. Rich Porter would never go back to where he was before he found Martin. He wouldn't be poor again. People polished his fucking shoes, not the other way around.

    When Amy Stevens walked in, Rich grinned. She definitely fit the requirements of the ad. She was young and beautiful. She had a natural beauty, one that wouldn't need to brought out with lots of makeup. Nor would she need to spend forever at a hair salon getting her hair the correct color. She would definitely save the studio money in the hair and makeup department. Very minimal things would need to be done to get her camera ready.

    Of course, it was her eyes that lured Rich in. Not because they were blue, but because his secretary was right. Miss Stevens looked so desperate. Like a dog begging for a treat. He could definitely work with this. He sent his secretary off and stood up.

    "It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Stevens."

    He replied, offering the young woman his hand and then a seat in front of his desk after they shook.

    "And you're welcome, thank you for answering the ad."

    He reached into the top drawer of his desk and pulled out a folder after retaking his seat. Inside was the questionnaire he always asked the young women who came to see him. Amy had fit the first part of his ad, she physically could be a match to Martin, but studios didn't want just a pretty face. She had to be able to act.

    "So, tell me, what kind of experience do you have, Miss Stevens? I understand you haven't been offered an opportunity here. How long have you been in Hollywood?"

    How long Amy had been living here without an acting job, would definitely help him gauge how desperate the young woman truly was.

  6. #6
    Shades

    Amy had no idea about the thoughts in Rich’s mind. Even if she did, though, she would probably have taken the opportunity he offered anyway. After a while and too many ‘nos’ heard, a girl learned that she would be smart to accept anything anyone offered. It would be experience, at least. And she could always move on to better things in the future, or at least make a decent income.

    Trying to focus on the present, Amy made her best to look as good as she possibly could. Looking good was part of the job, after all. Showing a bright smile, the girl waited for Rich to say something. “Thank you, sir”, the girl murmured when the man finally spoke. “It is an honor”, she completed, trying not to sound too excited.

    When Rich thanked her for answering the ad, the girl nodded.

    She was a little ashamed of her failure when Rich asked about her experience. “I… school plays, and stage acting b-back at my home town - mostly comedy, but I’m sure I can do something else if I’m required to...”, Amy finally replied, a little nervous.

    It took the girl a while to answer Rich’s question about how long she had been in Hollywood. Admitting it only made her feel more like a failure. It took some effort to tell Rich the truth, but Amy decided to speak up anyway. After all, she was already as low as she could possibly sink. Things wouldn't get any worse for her, probably. “One year and a half, sir”, she replied very quietly. “I promise I can act, Mr. Porter, just give me a chance, please? I… g-give me a sheet of text, and I’ll read it here, please?”. It was clear that the girl was really desperate for a break, and would take anything that Rich offered her.



  7. #7
    Sojourn

    Rich watched Amy very carefully. He had learned to read people from their eyes and body language. This young woman was nothing like Mary. She was desperate, she wanted a chance. Any type of chance. She felt like a failure for not having landed a single job since arriving in Hollywood. Amy Stevens would be perfect, as long as she could act.

    Rich would not have worry about Amy trying upstage Martin. Plus...She was very pretty, she might be some fun. Rich was married. Actually two women thought he was their husband. He was only legally be married to first one, but Raquel didn't know that. However, he got bored at times. It was fun to spice things up and he liked them young. Preferably before they had kids.

    "I'll tell you what, let me call Sidney in here. He's Martin's stunt double."

    Martin Hayes didn't get to do his own stunts. He had wanted to when he first started but Rich put an end to that quick. He was too valuable to the agent to risk him getting seriously injured. Martin let Rich have his way. Rich would rather someone else get hurt then his golden boy. Rich called his secretary on the phone and told her bring Sidney.

    "I think I'd get a better feel for your acting abilities, if I had you reading a scene with someone."

    Of course, Amy wouldn't get to meet Martin. Not unless Rich decided to hire her. To get the job, she had to be able to act. Sidney was an okay actor. He made a living pretending he was Martin Hayes for the camera and doing the stunts. When Sidney came in, from a distance, he could pass for Martin. He had blonde hair and a similar height and build. Up close, though, people could see their differences. Sidney was a good looking man with brown eyes, but not as attractive. At least not by Hollywood standards. He had scars on his face and arms from performing stunts. His nose had also been broken a few times.

    "Sidney, this is Miss Amy Stevens. I want you to read a scene with her."

    Rich told him, introducing the two. Sidney smiled as he replied.

    "Sure thing, Mister Porter. It is nice to meet you, Miss Stevens."

    Sidney was a friendly man. He liked his job. He didn't mind that people thought Martin did all his own stunts. He was okay being in the shadows. It was pretty fun to him be in movies and do stunts.

  8. #8
    Shades

    Amy did notice that Rich was watching her, of course. What she didn’t know was what the agent was thinking. To be honest, though, even if she knew what Rich was thinking, Amy would probably have accepted his offer anyway. It was work, after all, and work that could get her face out there.

    Rich’s other thoughts would have bothered her a lot more, definitely. She hadn’t come to Hollywood to become a prostitute or a mistress. She could have done that back home. Of course, Amy had yet to learn the ropes and how things worked - in Hollywood and with Rich Porter.

    When Rich said he would call Martin’s stunt double, Amy nodded. He should look enough like Martin that she could get a feel for the scenes she would eventually do with the All American Actor himself should she be approved. “Yes, sir”, she murmured politely when Rich said he could get a better feel for her acting skills if she would read a scene with someone. That definitely made sense, and she was more than willing to do anything to cause a good impression.

    As she waited for Sidney to come in, Amy thought of everything she could do to get hired. She really needed that job, and hoped she could calm down enough to perform.

    Seeing the man made Amy feel a little more relaxed. He seemed like a good enough guy. “Nice meeting you too, sir”, she replied in her usual polite manner. This was her chance, and she needed to make the best out of it. ‘Act as though nobody is watching’, her teacher had told her back home when she was getting ready to go on stage for the first time, for a school play. She would have to remember this piece of advice and act as though she was alone with Sidney now, too, as she would be way too nervous to do anything if she focused on the fact that Rich Porter was watching her.

    Closing her eyes for a moment, Amy opened them to read the scene a few times. It was a scene that involved an argument, and at the end, she would need to slap Sidney. For a timid girl like Amy, it wasn’t easy to get into this kind of character right away, but she knew this kind of scene sold. She knew moviegoers liked seeing intense scenes, and she would have to deliver if she wanted the job. It was a relief that she would not do the scene with Martin. It would be even harder to slap Martin Hayes just like that.

    After a break to get into the scene, Amy did manage to deliver her lines. She wasn’t a great actress, of course. She was still too green to be considered anything more than a good enough actress not to embarrass anyone, but that probably meant she was what Rich wanted. Not bad enough to cause problems, but not good enough to get more attention than Martin. And since she was used to small productions, she had a good memory and caught her lines quickly.

    She would only break character after her final part of the scene. “It’s over, Jonathan!”, the girl exclaimed, slapping Sidney. Of course, she wasn’t really used to this kind of scene, and ended up slapping the man for real. A second later, she was already back to herself and nearly crying. “I’m so sorry, did it hurt?”, she asked, completely forgetting for a moment about why she was there. Oh, well, if that would mean that she wouldn’t get the job, then she was already screwed, right?

  9. #9
    Sojourn

    Rich Porter had plans for Amy. Not that he'd ever show all his cards at once. Hell, it would be weeks, if she passed her little audition, before she ever found out what all he had planned for her. Rich could be a very patient man when he wanted something. If she could at least act her way out of a paper bag, Rich had a feeling Amy would be willing to do anything he asked down the road. After all, the girl had been here for about a year and was desperate for a chance.

    Rich leaned back in his chair as he waited for Amy to act out of the scene with Sidney. Sidney knew it already, he knew it well. Any time Rich met a girl he may hire, he called Sidney in. It was always the same scene. Sidney could recite the whole thing, both parts, in his sleep if required. Rich felt that anyone could pretend they love someone, but emotions, like anger, were harder to fake. He liked to see how passionate someone could get in the character.

    Sidney was a pretty nice guy and patient. He was used to being the stand in for Martin. Whether it was in a dangerous scene, that could cause great bodily harm, or in a situation like this. Where the young lady was supposed to pretend he was Martin and show her acting chops.

    Rich thought Amy was a decent actress. She had obviously acted before, but she wouldn't out shine Martin. Which was good, Martin Hayes was supposed to be the star. And no one, not man or woman, could look better them him on camera. Martin's leading ladies had to be pretty and decent actresses. But their job was to make Martin look better, not be better actors then him. She also didn't have to constantly look at the page he had handed her to remember the lines, which Rich thought was good.

    When Amy slapped Sidney for real, both men were shocked. Rich sat up straighter in his chair and Sidney held his cheek in surprise. It was turning bright red.

    "A little...You got a hell of a punch, lady."

    Sidney replied to her. Although it wasn't as bad as the one time a woman actually puked on his shoes because she was too nervous. Rich hadn't hired that young lady. Rich told Amy.

    "Well...You definitely got some passion. We'll need to get that under control before you got to act out a scene like this with Martin."

  10. #10
    Shades

    Amy thought that she had done better than expected. At least up until she actually slapped Sidney at the end of the scene. Amy had done light comedy for most of her time acting, and the intense of the scene, ending up with her slapping someone, was not something she was used to doing. She would definitely learn - that is, assuming she hadn’t scared Rich Porter away from doing business with her.

    When Sidney answered her question, Amy’s eyes went wide. “I’m so, so sorry…”, she murmured, before turning to Rich.

    Amy was ready to hear Rich yelling at her and telling her to go away and never set foot in his office again. Instead, he actually said something that made Amy think that she might have a chance.

    “Really?”, Amy asked, surprised and excited. Her blue eyes lit up enough to light the Hollywood sign at night. This was much more than she had ever expected in life. Hollywood had, after all, the ability to create dreams, but it could also crush them in just as much time.

    After convincing herself that she wasn’t dreaming, Amy took a few steps towards Rich’s table and held out her hand. She would wait for the Agent to do the same, before shaking the man’s hand. “Oh, my God”, she murmured excitedly. “Thank you so much for this chance, Mr. Porter”. Amy’s voice sounded as though she was nearly out of breath.

    “I promise you will not regret this decision”, she completed. “I will do anything you tell me to do, sir. Anything at all”. Of course, Amy had no idea what she was signing up for. Telling Rich Porter you were willing to do whatever he wanted was probably the Tinseltown equivalent to a deal with the devil. But that, of course, was something Miss Amy Stevens had yet to learn.

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