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It was, was like an avalanche! I never thought I would actually get this far! But I did it! Out of the thousands and thousands of blond boys from all over the world that tried out for this part, that were meticulously screened for this part, they chose me! *I* was actually casted to play ‘the’ “Justin” for the new “Gone From Daylight” film! I still can’t believe it! But already everything seemed to start rushing at me like a huge avalanche of excitement, work, spotlight, work, fame, work, work, and work! I haven’t even met any of the other cast members let alone start actual principal photography and I was already incredibly busy! And I thought it kinda funny that I haven’t met any of the cast, but whenever I shared my thoughts on this I was always told not to worry. We were towards the end of pre-production, finding the last few locations around the Chicago area, and a few in New York, but even then they were always finding clever new ways of keeping me occupied during what seemed like every single minute of the day! And just when I thought I’d get a little break. . .
“What this” I asked groggily, raising my sleepy head from the desk. I saw Dave Benzki standing in front of me. He had his hand on top of a pile of papers the thickness of an English dictionary that he had just let fall on the desk.
“Re-writes. Go through them carefully Adam, we’ve underlined the changes and highlighted them pink. Oh and Jim wants to see you in five minutes,” he replied hurriedly. He was one of the scriptwriters, a really nice guy but very determined to get this movie ‘perfect’.
“Awww Dave! C’mon! This is like the HUNDREDTH re-write! It was fine the way it was. . . can’t you guys just leave it alone?!” I whined as I looked desperately at the pile of papers under my nose. I had just spent the last few hours, since FIVE in the morning, doing choreography and martial arts training. I was exhausted, and this pile just meant MORE work!
“Sorry dude. It was absolutel-,” he looked over at me and then gave me a funny expression, “hey. . . hey Adam, hold on a second! KEEP that thought!” And he suddenly ran out at top speed. I sat there for a second slightly dumbfounded but still pretty pissed. ANOTHER re-write?! Jesus! You know what?! I’m NOT going to read this re-write because by the time I’m done reading it they’ll have another fresh re-write ready for me!
The door flung open and before I knew it there were flashes of light blinding my face for what seemed like a whole minute! It caught me by such surprise that for the first few seconds I actually sat there with my arms crossed looking sulkily at the monstrous re-write in front of me before I started to blink and shield my eyes.
“Perfect!” said a voice. I couldn’t see anything in front of me for a few seconds, but I recognized the voice as Donna Pertson, our assistant and lead acting coach.
“. . .Zwa. . .?” I groaned, completely confused and dizzy.
“You know, we hit gold with you Adam! We’re gonna save those pics as reference shots for later!” said Dave. Great. Now they were ‘cataloging’ my facial expressions in a binder!
“Sweetie, we need you for rehearsal first thing tomorrow morning at 2 a.m.,” interrupted Donna as she put away the camera. She began skimming through her copy of the script, “We’re gonna go through. . . oh. . . pages two through. . . seven, down at Navy Pier,” she said as she highlighted some lines on the pages. My ears perked up instantly.
“Wait, you mean we’re actually gonna start shooting tomorrow?!” I said excitedly and quickly grabbed the script and started scanning pages 2 through 7.
“Definitely we are, sweetie!. Jim also wants to test something out with the lights at the end of the pier and he needs you there. But we need to go through a rehearsal and get your blocking set perfectly, okay?” replied Donna. Jim. . . Jim. . . why did that sound familiar?
“Jim!!! I’m supposed to see him!” Without even thinking I shot up and ran out the room, leaving Dave and Donna behind. Jim was the director of the film and he was EXTREMELY punctual, and if he said to meet him in 5 minutes, he MEANT 5 minutes! I’ve already been working very closely with him these past few weeks and he’s almost like a dad to me now but the FIRST thing I learned was to be ON time! So I ran down the hall, out the door, through the backlot street and into the studio offices at top speed. People turned their heads as I ran, but hopefully all they saw was a blond blur and wouldn’t recognize me quickly enough to stop me and ‘need me’ for something too! I really hoped Jim didn’t need me for anything too exhausting at the moment. . . I was really, really tired.
“Adam! You’re right on time,” said Jim as I entered his office, “I was just about to leave, but I wanted to talk to you about something first,” It was a little weird; I was so used to seeing Jim surrounded by people wanting to talk to him, or asking him to sign forms that he looked a little out of place in a big room all by himself.
“Yea-gasp-yeah. . .?” I heaved. He walked around his desk and put his arm around my shoulder and led me through the door again.
“Er. . . what?” I said nervously as he grinned down at me.
“Adam, you’ve been working extra hard these past few weeks, right?” I nodded slowly and cautiously. I think this was another one of their ‘clever schemes’. “So. . . how would you like to take the afternoon off?” he said as we walked through the hallway and towards the exit. He still had that unnerving grin on his face.
“Tell you what,” he interrupted, “how’d you like a nice lunch out on the town today? My treat. Then you can go home and get some rest,” he said. Before I even thought of responding, a sleek limo glided to a gentle stop right in front of us just as Jim finished talking. I looked up at him and eyed him suspiciously.
“But it’s only just noon,” I said, my eyes narrowing at him. He grinned even brighter.
“So. . . no more training today?” I asked.
“No read-throughs?” I asked hopefully.
“Hehehe! Adam, get in the car! Take a break! And I’ll see you two bright and early tomorrow morning. 2 a.m. and no later, okay?” said Jim.
“. . . You two?” I barely began speaking before he quickly opened the door and literally shoved me into the limo.
But someone else was already sitting in the limo. He was looking out the window, facing away from me, and when he turned his head to see who had come in, I almost let out a loud gasp.
He was. . . he was. . .beautiful. He wasn’t cute. He wasn’t hot. He was beautiful. Absolutely stunningly beautiful. He looked to be about my age, maybe a little younger. He had longish brown hair with an almost reddish tint to it. And his eyes. . . they were so green that they almost looked unnatural! It hurt; it physically hurt to just look at something so incredibly beautiful!
He did a double look when he looked over at me, then peeking at me through his silky hair, he smiled shyly. I felt myself blush. I didn’t know what to say.
“Um. . . hi,” he spoke so softly. His voice was so cute! My heart felt like it was melting from the bottom to the top!
“H-hi,” I replied nervously. I was still slightly taken aback; I wasn’t expecting anyone to be in the limo, much less someone that was as amazingly stunning as this boy. We looked at each other for a moment, me staring at his beautiful creamy white skin. And then it hit me.
“Wait – aren’t you. . . Julian? Julian Clarke?” I asked him, but my voice came out so soft that almost I thought he didn’t hear me.
“Yeah, hehe. That’s. . . me,” he replied shyly.
Oh. My. God. He was Taryn – I mean, he was going to play Taryn!
“I um, I thought Jim was going to come along?” he asked ever so softly and shyly that it sent shivers through my spine! But my eyes widened slightly in surprise and I turned my head to look at Jim through the window, but the limo began to move forward. Jim, not surprisingly, was already surrounded by people who needed to speak to him. But it looked to me like he was using that as an excuse to not let up on what he had just done to me! I quickly looked back at Julian and caught him staring at me. He quickly looked away and I saw a slight blush appear on his creamy white cheeks. God, he was beautiful!
“I – uh. . .” but I was cut off by the driver’s window rolling down at that moment. A woman with long brown hair and red streaks sat in the driver’s seat. She was very pretty, and had I not been gay AND currently enthralled with this beauty next to me I might’ve given her more credit for being so pretty.
“Hey, you two. My name’s Jackie! I’ll be your driver this afternoon! So let’s get right to it you guys! What’ll it be? Pizza? Chinese? Italian? I know this place, Gino’s, really good stuff!” she said. She came out as sounding very professional yet with a ‘cool’ edge to her at the same time.
Julian and I shared another shy glance and he shrugged his shoulders in a very cute fashion. Almost as if saying ‘I’m kinda lost here!’ It was so cute! Jackie, getting no response, glanced at us through her rear view mirror.
“I’ll tell you what! I’ll take you guys to Gino’s! It’s probably the best pick out of the list, anyway!” She pulled out of the studio and into the streets. I looked over at Julian and smiled.
“I guess we have no choice, huh?” I said. He giggled shyly, barely even looking at me.
“I’m uh, Adam. . . by the way,” I said after a slight pause. I extended my hand to shake his. His skin was so silky and soft! I think I held on a little longer than what’s considered normal for a handshake. But I think that kinda broke the ice because he looked at me without turning away this time and nodded slowly.
“Uh, yeah. . . I know. I’ve um, seen you on TV before,” he replied. Ugh! You idiot! Of course he knows who YOU are! Great going, now he’s gonna think I’m ‘slow’! But we peeked at each other once more, and we managed to smile at each other again. I still couldn’t believe how stunning he looked. From the moment I laid my eyes on him he had this soft, almost delicate ‘aura’ about him. It was almost soothing to look at his gentle features. I was usually not this shy around others, but for the first time in my life I felt like I didn’t know what to say. I went through my head trying to find something to say but nothing could come out. All I could think about was how beautiful he was. I mean, I had already known that they had cast a ‘Julian Clarke’ to play Taryn, but from what I heard he was a complete unknown actor. So I had no idea what he’d look like. But our driver Jackie interrupted my thoughts and decidedly fixed my situation.
“So! I gather you two are very important ‘cast members’ for this Gone From Daylight movie!” Jackie glanced at us through her rear view mirror again and winked before continuing, “I have a younger cousin. . . ’bout your guys’ age, I’ll say. Loves the books. He can’t wait ’till the movie comes out! If only he knew who I was driving right now – he’d die! But! I’ve been ‘sworn’ to secrecy on this. You know, I was really wondering why they were offering me so much money for this job when they first told me. . .” but I tuned her out and looked over at Julian who was giggling softly, most likely finding Jackie as interesting and strange as I was.
“So, this your first time? Acting?” I whispered over to Julian while Jackie continued talking in the front. A slight blush appeared on his cheeks again.
“Yeah, it is. I’m still a little nervous about the whole thing. I mean, I’ve been going to this acting school, but I’ve never thought I’d be in something so. . .huge, like this movie,” he smiled over at me, his emerald green eyes hypnotizing me with a single stare.
“It’s not that bad, once you actually jump into it. I remember the first time I stood in front of the camera. There were like a hundred people standing all around me and none of them were saying a single word! They were just watching and waiting on me. I was so scared! The blinking red light on the camera was making me nervous, and the dozen hot lights on my face didn’t help!” I said. Julian giggled as I talked. But his laugh felt, genuine. Like it wasn’t being forced, like I was actually making him giggle. It felt good, it gave me a warm feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was glad to see that I wasn’t like, boring him or anything. Before I knew it, we were talking and laughing almost as if we had known each other our whole lives. But every so often he would quiet down for a moment and glance over at me as shyly as ever and smile, like he couldn’t believe he was there with me. It sent shivers through my body! I felt these butterflies in my stomach that wouldn’t stop making me quiver every ten seconds!
“Okay, guys! We’re here!” said Jackie all of a sudden. I couldn’t believe that the time had slipped by so fast while I was talking with Julian.
“You two can take it from here, right? Don’t go too far from Gino’s though! Or it’ll be my head if something happens to you guys!” she said. Somehow I think what she said wasn’t too far from the truth. She gave us her number so we could call her when we were done and we got out of the limo.
People were bustling about, going about their business on the streets. But the moment that they saw two teenagers step out of a sleek shiny black limo, many did a double take. It made me a little nervous because I was afraid someone would recognize us immediately. I wouldn’t consider myself ‘famous’ or anything. But I’ve had quite a few people come up to me and start taking pictures and asking for autographs. A lot of them were ditsy young girls who swore we were soul mates! I didn’t want that little scene recurring right about now. But fortunately the most people did was slow down their pace to get a good look at Julian and me before they continued on their way.
We went inside and ordered our food. Julian had reverted back to being really shy again, not saying much and only peeking at me quickly before looking away suddenly. He had a permanent blush on his face that made him look all the cuter. But I was beginning to feel paranoid. Did he find me ‘dull’? God! Curse my stupid brain and not being able to be witty or funny at will! Eventually though, we started up a conversation again and just like the first time, something suddenly ‘clicked’ between us and we were chatting away like old friends! We talked about everything! What we liked, what we hated, our growing up, our schools, everything! And I was finding out just how much in common we had. The only subject we didn’t really touch was our participation in the film. I was afraid someone would over-hear us and that would be the end of that little surprise! But as we talked and ate, I slowly began to realize that I had been missing a ‘piece’ of myself all my life. . . and I had found it again, in Julian. It felt like I had found this uncharted area of my heart, my soul, but in reality, it was always there. Waiting for the right piece to fit in. I sighed heavily as I sat here watching him finish his food slowly. He looked up at me and I almost cringed, feeling that the ‘sigh’ said a lot more to him than I wanted to reveal. He grinned shyly and looked away for a moment, before speaking.
“Sigh, this is. . . this is cool, Adam. I don’t think I’ve ever talked with someone and felt like they were listening to me. You know? I mean, like really listening to me,” he said.
“Yeah, I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my breath on some people, talking to them and only getting these ‘forced’ answers. But with you, it’s different. You’re, interesting to talk to,” I said slowly. Hoping the last part didn’t come out as if I was ‘desperate’ or something. He looked at me seriously for a moment. A red blush appeared on his cheeks again and then he smiled.
“Hehe, you see! You really do listen. You’re so. . . cool. I’m glad Jim kinda threw this little lunch for us. Even if it was kinda out of the blue,” he said quietly. He sounded almost afraid to say it. But it warmed my WHOLE body in a way I’ve never felt before! And THAT’S when a sudden realization came rushing to my brain. . . and heart! He was Taryn – I mean, he was going to play Taryn! And that meant. . . That meant I was going to get to kiss him.