Saturday, April 04, 2009

Short Story - Valerie

Valerie desperately tried to choke back the lump in her throat. She could feel her face growing warm and her eyes were beginning to sting. She managed to stammer "Thank you" to the judges as she bowed her head and shuffled out with her shoulders slumped. Outside the studio, she leaned against the wall and took a gulp of air. She breathed slowly, to calm her racing heartbeat.

She thought about the audition and what the judges said. They had slated her performance without mercy. At the end, the casting director told her that she was too tall and her face was "not quite right" for the role. She imagined that she would have to repeat those words to her agent and it pained her all the more."I'm so sorry, I didn't get the part," she would say, and he would express his disappointment like he always did. She had failed three auditions in the last month alone. He was patient enough, but had high hopes for this part. "I've found you a part with your name written on it" he had said cheerfully. She felt the tears rolling down her cheeks and hunted in her bag for tissues. She decided to go and see her agent now before he called her, eager to hear some good news.

She wiped her eyes and ignored the curious glances of passers-by, as she walked towards the bus stop. A bus arrived shortly and she got on it, walking to the back. She slumped into a corner and rested her head against the window."What am I doing wrong in my auditions?" she thought. Maybe the judges just didn't like her. Maybe she was not a good actress after all.

"But I want to be an actress, that' what I know how to do", she said to herself. Ever since she could remember, she had dreamt of becoming a famous actress. When she was a little girl, she used to amuse and entertain her parents and their guests, acting little plays. She loved watching movies, memorising her favourite lines and imitating the actors later when no one was looking. In school, she had been an active member of the Drama club and acted in every talent show or drama the club put on. She remembered that both her drama teachers had been impressed with her talent. One of them even promised her "a brilliant career in acting" if she worked hard and stayed focused.

The bus arrived at her stop, jolting her out of her thoughts. She got off, crossed the road and started walking slowly. Then she heard quick footsteps behind her and moved out of the way to allow whoever it was to walk past. But the footsteps seemed to stop behind her and she was startled when a female voice said, "Excuse me?"

Valerie turned around and stepped back when she saw the lady standing in front of her, carrying a folder and a huge handbag. She was fashionably dressed and she looked polished and confident, which only made Valerie feel like shrinking away from her.

"Hello, my name is Marie", the lady said brightly. "I'm a scout for Storm"
"Wha- I'm sorry?" Valerie stammered.
"Storm, the biggest modelling agency in the UK" Marie explained.
Valerie blinked in confusion, wondering if she was imagining things.
Marie was still talking. "We are holding a search to find new models for our new campaign". She stepped closer to Valerie. "I think you are perfect for us, you've got a striking face and a graceful walk"
Valerie was stunned. The only thing she could say was "Oh?"
"Definitely" Marie said. "Have you ever considered modelling? You've got the figure and the look"
"Em... really?"
"Sure" Marie said breezily. She fished a card from her handbag and handed it to Valerie. "I would love it if you gave me a call tomorrow". And with that she walked off in her high heels.

Valerie stood stunned for a moment, gasping and staring at Marie as she disappeared. Then she looked at the card in her had. Slowly the realisation sank in that a model scout had just spotted her! After all the rejections in the last three months, she was finally picked for something! She wanted to scream with pure elation and excitement. She found her mobile phone and made a quick call to her mum as she ran to her agent's office.