There was a surefire and immediate way to judge a production: the quality of its craft services spread. It was the first thing I checked out every time I was on a new set.
Consider me unimpressed. Definitely one of the sorrier offerings I’d seen–I’d done fat girl deodorant commercials who knew how to feed the cast and crew much better. Maybe because of all the fat girls.
Not a good sign.
Oh well. Better report to wardrobe and get this shit over with. As a side character, I was only in a couple scenes in the pilot, but I knew they were delaying shooting at the morgue thanks to some legal bullshit.
And then there were some vampire mansion scenes, but they were scrambling to find someone to play the vampire lord’s wife, since the actress who played Yolanda Young in Young, Rich and Haught was fired after her agent pushed too hard for more money. So much for a grand reunion–two out of three was it.
Not my problem, though. I just had to get my fat ass dressed and then head over to hair and makeup. But the guy in the wardrobe department didn’t look like he was expecting me.
“I’m supposed to be on set design,” he said with a shrug. “But this is what you’re wearing, according to the notes somebody left behind.” He pointed.
I followed his finger. “What. Are you shitting me?” On a lot of sets, they just let me wear my own clothes–mostly because they didn’t have anything in my size. “Yeah, no. I’m not wearing that.”
He shrugged again. “Sorry. Take it up with somebody else.” And then he sat down and completely ignored me. Fucker.
I stormed off, barely seeing anything as I stalked through the studio. I would take it up with somebody else. Rhys probably didn’t have to deal with this shit–and I knew damn well he got paid at least three times as much.
But I knew how to find the person in charge: the most important person on set always did the least amount of work.
“Yeah, there’s an issue down in wardrobe,” I said. She didn’t even look up when I was standing right next to her–she had to be some producer or assistant director.
“What’s the problem?”
She sighed and glanced up from her phone. “What’s wrong with it?”
She gave me a quick once-over. “Does it not fit…?” Nice way to ask if I was too fat. Bitch.
“I didn’t try it on. I refuse. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s cultural appropriation or some shit, and this stupid show doesn’t need people tearing it a new asshole on social media before it even gets picked up.”
“Oh really?” She raised an eyebrow. “Honey, this ‘stupid show’ can use all the publicity it can get. And if you don’t want this job badly enough to wear your little costume–something professional actors do every single day–we can replace you. Easily.”
I knew she was right. I knew it. And then I’d probably get a reputation for being “difficult to work with,” and without the star power I needed to get away with it. I’d never get work again, or just toilet-tier commercials at best. I could be the younger woman with some old fucker who can’t get it up without a pill. Forever.
Ugh. “Fine,” I said through gritted teeth. “I’ll see if it fits first.”
Had Mom ever started at the bottom like me, or had everything always been easy for her? Isla Straud, the eternally beautiful, multi-award winning stage actress. What are her beauty secrets? Has she had work done?
She’s a fucking fae, I wanted to tell them all. She doesn’t smear any bullshit all over her face or get injections or adjustments. She doesn’t do anything. She’s just naturally perfect, unlike her fat ugly daughter.
Well, her fat ugly daughter would squeeze into her “little costume.”
At this point, I didn’t care who saw me. Maybe my ass cheeks would get their own stars on the Starlight Shores Walk of Fame.
Why the hell did they even have a costume in this size? Was there some chubby chaser working as a costume designer? Maybe it was Daisy’s pervy brother. I told her he was banned from the apartment, so she never invited him over.
Why did Rhys have to be the first thing I saw when I stomped into hair and makeup?
“–your sister?” my brother said in surprise, probably to his new personal assistant. He had as much trouble keeping the help as Dad did.
“Yeah. But if you hit on her, I’ll punch you in the balls. And probably quit, I guess.” What a cute, feisty little lesbian. My grandma would like her. Maybe I could steal her from Rhys if I had a steady paycheck and ever needed an assistant.
Fucking Rhys. I stormed past Starlight Shores Barbie to glare down at him. “I didn’t try to end up on the same show as you,” I told him. “Just so you know.”
“You look like you’re enjoying being on your first real television show,” he said smugly. The same way he said everything else, because he was so far up his own ass that he didn’t know how to talk like someone who wasn’t a massive asshole.
“Eat a dick, Rhys.”
“Why don’t we get started on your hair?” Starlight Shores Barbie interrupted gently. “Unfortunately, um…” She trailed off.
“The boss sent the other lady to go get more hair gel, since he used all of it,” Rhys’s assistant finished for her. “I’m not letting him order you around, Lyanna.”
Girlfriends, maybe? I was glad the shrinking violet had a champion, anyway. “I don’t mind, Dru,” she said, as she guided me into a chair. “I can get started on your hair while she’s gone,” she told me softly. “I’m better at makeup than hair, though…”
Yeah, like you’d want to go to a doctor and be told he was “better at knees than spines.” They must’ve scraped the bottom of the bargain bin for this girl. Or maybe Rhys picked her out so he could get into her pants later.
“So how grateful are you for this job right now?” Rhys said to me.
“Go fuck a mirror,” I said. “Watch out for broken glass.”
“I like the color of your hair,” Starlight Shores Barbie said, but she didn’t say it in a way that annoyed the shit out of me, like tryhard Daisy. “It reminds me of a butterfly.” She stroked my hair soothingly, like that’d help me forget my asshole brother was a few feet away.
I managed to ignore Rhys completely while she worked on my hair. In the end, the other hair stylist never came back, and Rhys was called on set as he was. I looked ridiculous.
“Now for your makeup.” Starlight Shores Barbie tilted my face up. “You have such a bold style–I don’t think I’ll have to do much, since it works so well already. I can do a few touch-ups instead.” That was probably her polite way of telling me that my angry-crying hadn’t gone unnoticed.
“Can you believe he’s my brother? Most people wouldn’t.” I wasn’t sure why I told her. No one else on the entire set knew except for Rhys.
“You have similar bone structure. But you have prettier hair. The prettiest.”
“Don’t tell him that. So was that your girlfriend, playing Rhys’s lackey?”
“Oh. I was sure she wanted to lady-bone you.”
“We get that a lot.”
She was pretty quiet as she worked, but I could tell she was listening while I ranted about Rhys and my costume and everything else I could think of while she held my face hostage. Like Daisy, she was way more camera-ready than I was.
“You have such nice skin,” she said when she was done.
“It’s just the extra layers of fat.” But I felt a little calmer, and maybe a little prouder.
The feeling didn’t last long.
Fuck Rhys and his overstyled hair.
If only he’d gotten the vampire lord’s role and Harry Haught’s actor got the role of human coroner-slash-vampire hunter instead. I’d had such a crush on that guy when I was a kid, but I had a lot of stupid crushes back then. Tough shit for all the fangirls when he finally came out.
I really, really hoped this pilot never saw the light of day.
“Ah, I wish I had my trusty tome of ancient vampire chess moves,” said Rhys. Except his character’s name was Roland, a shameless nod at his old stupid-ass character that nobody cared about anymore.
Rhys had to stay very, very still until I took my place in the shot. They’d edit it later to make it look like I “materialized,” and edit in whatever special effects the budget allowed.
“You expect me to do something about it?”
I was going completely off-script. I didn’t mean to, but at least it’d annoy the piss out of Rhys before I got fired. There was no way this show would get a full season order. No fucking way.
And I kind of forgot all my lines after the whole costume fiasco.
Rhys was grimacing. Good.
“Ah, my beauteous buxom Beryl. I was hoping my favorite genie servant could assist me.” Ugh, he was sticking to the script anyway. And he sounded like Dad. I shuddered.
“How about you help me instead?” I said. “You can take my magic lamp and shove it up your ass.”
Great, he had his Serious Actor Face on. “With your aid, brilliant Beryl, perhaps I can finally defeat my arch-nemesis, Lord Harrington.” Who wrote these scripts? Arch-nemesis? Was this show for eight-year-olds? And now for more pilot episode-style exposition dump. “Never has there existed a crueler, more devious vampire. Although by day I am a simple coroner, by night, I am–”
“Alone in your bed, like a sad sack of shit.”
“–A vampire hunter,” he said, as if I hadn’t said anything.
Were the cameras even rolling? Was anyone paying attention? Were they not going to cut and make me do this shit over?
But when I looked, the Queen Bitch didn’t seem like she was even paying attention. Rhys’s assistant seemed to be enjoying my performance, though.
Well, as Mom always said, the show must go on.
But hopefully not for more than a single season–or even a single episode.