I could barely believe my luck. I was holding the script that would maybe change my life forever. Ever since I had moved from Seattle to Los Angeles almost two years ago I hadn't had an acceptable screenplay in my hand. And that despite me having come here with so much hope. But I hadn't come around making the bitter experience that even in Hollywood you couldn't find a job as an actress that easily, even when I had a good acting education. There were just too many girls here who wanted to live their dream. I was just one among many and not at all the typical Californian Girl. With my 5'4" I wasn't really tall. So I was too short for modeling in the first place. But not just that. My boobs were too small, my hips too wide. But at least I could say that no plastic surgeon had ever laid hand on me. Which was almost daily routine in LA. Everything about me was real; even my shoulder-long blond hair which I mostly pulled back to a ponytail because it was just more practical.
My mother always used to say that looks weren't important. She had no idea. But for someone who had grown up in Seattle and lived there, there were just more important things. Although she had always supported my ambition to become an actress, she never really got why I had to move to LA of all places for it. For a long time I hadn't known that myself, for the success of putting a foot in the industry as an actress hadn't been there so far and I had to keep afloat with occasional jobs. But this, the thing my agent had handed me a few hours ago, was exactly what I had always dreamed of: a role in a TV show. Not a commercial but a real role in the remake of a Canadian medical drama called "Side Effects" that had been rolling in the nineties and canceled after two seasons. Lucky for me that there was a production company that wanted to give new life to the show with new actors. And even more lucky for me that the script had fallen into my agent's hands. Now I could prove my potential to everyone and what I had leaned during the years in drama school. But first I had to get through the casting. And though I had enough self-confidence, I was aware that it wouldn't be easy to stood out in a great number of candidates. But I would make up for my lack of height and good looks with my acting talent.
I put the script away to focus back on the preparation of dinner when the door opened and my roommate Mia came strolling into the kitchen. Mia and I shared the apartment, though she was the actual renter. By accident or maybe by destiny I had read the ad in the newspaper where she had looked for a roommate. And for I had freshly arrived in LA at that time and actually looked for a place to stay, the offer had just been convenient. There had been many candidates, but my unmatched charm and strong persuasion had convinced Mia to choose me in the end. That was two years ago now and we had gone through many highs and lows since. Mia was 25 and therefore two years older than me and she worked as a journalist for the local newspaper. It was funny how the roles were all wrong, for my roommate had the model figure I lacked, plus the needed 5'7" of height. She had long, auburn locks and brown eyes. She probably wouldn't have had to wait for two years to get an acceptable job as an actress. With her look they would have casted her right away. I could envy her, also concerning all the men swarming around her like bees around honey. But she was my friend and I didn't begrudge her the happiness and success. But sometimes the thought of maybe never finding a good man was frustrating. Though I had been on several dates, there had been no one who I would have been interested in on long term. I rather remained alone and waited for "The One". I knew he was out there somewhere. I just had to be patient.
"Hey, sweetie! What's new?" Mia asked, interrupting my thoughts.
"Rick gave me a script. They're looking for someone playing a nurse in a new medical drama," I explained, gesturing to the script on the table. "The casting's tomorrow at Universal Studios."
"Wow! That's just cut out for you," Mia said, laughing. "You can't even look at blood without fainting."
"Fake blood," I corrected, looking at her reproachfully. "It's a whole different thing."
"I heard they use real animal blood sometimes. And that you gotta slice real cow eyes and dissect animal organs…"
"Ew! Stop right there!" I covered my ears. "I don't wanna hear anything else about it. Besides, they're looking for a nurse and not a surgeon!"
"Is there a difference?" Mia shrugged. "Maybe you gotta watch them cut through things anyway."
"You watch too many medical dramas." Annoyed, I rolled my eyes. "It's all fake. Nothing's real about it," I fought off her criticism. "Doesn't matter now anyway. Rick thinks the role's just perfect for me."
"He always says that." Mia suppressed a yawn. "Oh man. I'm so tired. The day in the office was exhausting." She frowned at the vegetables I had wanted chopped long ago. "Will dinner preparation take you any longer?"
"I haven't even started." I handed her a knife. "But if you help, it'll go faster."
"How about pizza?" She ignored my offered knife and went over to the fridge and opened it. "Ha, I knew it. There are exactly two pizzas left. One for you and one for me."
"Didn't we have pizza yesterday already?" I threw in tentatively. I knew Mia wasn't really cut out for cooking which was why she always let me do the cooking. But that she preferred frozen pizza over my vegetable risotto now was a real punch in the face. But I was tired myself and wanted to go to bed soon which was why I gave in. "For once. But after today we'll have real food again."
20 minutes later the pizzas were ready and we sat down at the dining table and started eating.
"Show me that script," Mia said while chewing and pulled it closer. Interested, she turned the first pages and read the text. "Nurse Sara," she then said and looked up. "That's what you'll audition for?"
I nodded and took a bite of my pizza. "Hm…," I mumbled and swallowed the bite quickly. "Though it's only a supporting role, I think it sounds pretty good. I think I could play a nurse convincingly. Besides, you wouldn't mind me adding to the rent for once."
"Side Effects," Mia mumbled, ignoring my comment, then stood up to go to her laptop. "Doesn't ring any bells. Did you look up if there are infos about it on the internet?"
"I didn't have time to look it up yet. Why?"
"Aren't you curious at all?" She shook her head and started the computer. It didn't take long until she found something. "Hey, it actually says something about it here already. And as it looks they already casted some roles," she said excitedly, then turned the screen so I could see something, too.
"Yeah, Rick told me that already. As far as I know most roles have already been casted. What they haven't found yet is a fitting nurse." I watched Mia typing something in and then her eyes widened.
"Wow, you know who they casted for the male leading role?" she suddenly exclaimed, grinning widely.
"No, who?" I asked unsuspiciously.
"Samuel Garrison." Mia rolled her eyes. "That guy's smoking hot!"
"Who's Samuel Garrison?" Unlike Mia, who could memorize actors' names very well, I rather lived in the valley of the clueless. Though, that name had a vague familiar ring. But I couldn't remember where I had heard it.
"That's the guy in that vampire show," Mia jogged my memory and grinned. "Really hot," she repeated then.
I gave it a hard thinking and then shook my head. "Vampire shows are you area of expertise." I turned the laptop to me and typed in the name. Pages on end with articles and pictures of "Samuel Garrison" instantly appeared. Among others also something about him taking the role of a head of department for the remake of the show "Side Effects". I looked at the pictures with interest. The first thing attracting my attention were his deep blue eyes which probably were only that blue because they had photoshopped them. That color couldn't be real. Which was real, though, was his muscular body he seemed to have shown pretty often in the aforementioned vampire show. He probably won't get the chance to do that as a head of department that often, crossed my mind. In most pictures he looked pretty serious and fierce. But there were a few ones where he smiled, showing two dimples and a bright white row of teeth. Another striking thing was that he wore his brown hair short while there were at least three days worth of stubble in his face, which gave him a wicked, dangerous look. "Who did he play in that vampire show?" I mumbled, not able to avert my eyes from his azure eyes.
"A werewolf." Mia grinned. "I downright envy you. I mean, that guy's soooo hot!" She rolled her eyes in adoration. "Imagine you could shoot a love scene with a guy like him."
I threw her an annoyed look. "You and your dirty thoughts." I tapped on the screen. "It says here that he's married with a kid."
"So?" Mia shrugged casually. "He's an actor. He plays what's in the script."
"You got just about any show on DVD," I began carefully. "You don't happen to have a box of that vampire show, too?"
Mia laughed. "I knew he wouldn't leave you cold," she sneered and rose to go over to the shelf filled with DVDs. "Here!" She handed me the box. "Have fun watching. I'll go to bed now."
"And what about the dishes?" I called after her.
"The dishwasher will take care of them. Good night, Becky, and sweet dreams!"
I stared after her, stunned, and then took the DVD and put it in the DVD player. It would be a long night for me if I intended to watch it all. But maybe it wouldn't be too bad to prepare myself before I would maybe run into him in person tomorrow. I sat down on the sofa, wrapped a fleecy blanket around me, and clicked play.