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Meet Venessa: Part Two
Fame for Real
The birds chirped. The sun was shining. Soft music played in the background. Venessa rubbed the sleep from her eyes, almost forgetting where she was. She had fallen asleep on the couch. Again. Learning her lines. It was the second week of filming her next big project, and her reputation was riding on this film. Her last movie, Finish Line, a summer blockbuster about the first female pro racecar driver, was a huge hit. So was the movie before that. Her agency thought she could do no wrong, but sometimes she still felt like that girl who hopped off the bus in Mirage Park.
She glanced up at the wall to her list, now framed behind glass. The words “BIG MOVIE” were scratched off. Venessa still remembered the phone call from her agency to tell her she got the part.
She strolled into the kitchen, flipped on the coffee machine, and headed to the juicer to make her favorite concoction.
What was that? She quickly turned around and saw the shrubs shaking in her backyard.
“Who’s there?!” she screamed.
But she knew who it was. Why couldn’t they just leave her alone?
“If you don’t leave right now,” she yelled out the window. “I’m calling the police!”
The man with the camera bolted from her front yard into the street. He kept going and didn’t look back.
“Great,” Venessa sighed. “Front-page tabloid news again. Wonder if I got abducted by aliens this time.”
She stomped up the stairs to take a shower and get ready for work.
“Good morning, Ms Jeong! Is there anything I can get you? Water? Coffee? Orange juice? Apple juice? Pomegranate juice?”
The set assistant was always eager to please.
“No, thank you, Kevin. I’ll just head over to the set.”
“Oh, wonderful, Ms. Jeong. Sounds lovely. Truly. Have a wonderful day!”
“Uh, thanks,” Venessa responded. Six months ago, barely anyone acknowledged her on set. Now she’s Ms. Jeong to everyone in a fifty-foot radius.
After hair, makeup, and wardrobe, which she always loved, Venessa was ready for her scenes. Wearing swashbuckling leather boots and loads of gold jewelry, she strutted onto the soundstage.
“Lookin’ good, Venessa! Did I say good? I meant fantastic!”
Sofia, the director, was quick to compliment instead of criticize.
“Thanks, Sofia. So, I was thinking for this scene, my character is confident to battle her nemesis. But at the same time, she longs for her home.”
“Oh, yes, Venessa. I couldn’t have said it better myself.”
“Okay . . . Do you have any notes?” she asked.
“I’ll let you know, but that sounds great. Beautiful creative choices. Alright, quiet on the set!”
By the end of the day, Venessa’s head was spinning. She didn’t quite know who to believe. Was her performance really that great? She had never even played a pirate before.
“I’m living my dream. I’m living my dream. I’m living my dream,” Venessa said quietly to herself.
She spotted Kevin heading her way again.
“Good evening, Ms. Jeong! A job well done today. Can I get you anyth–“
“No! I mean, no thanks. I’d just like to go home,” Venessa replied.
“Of course, Ms Jeong.”
Venessa’s phone rang. She sighed.
“V! It’s me!” Thank goodness. Tasha.
“Hi!” Venessa exclaimed, relieved to talk to someone real.
“We’re still on for tonight, right?” Tasha asked.
“Yes, wouldn’t miss it. Studio PBP, here we come!”
Flash! Flash! Flash!
“Venessa!” “Over here!” “Venessa!”
The paparazzi were in full swing tonight. Nothing was going to stop them from getting shots of Venessa, not to mention the other celebs already in the club.
Tasha and Venessa, draped in their most stylish outfits, slipped past the velvet rope. The bouncer gave them a knowing nod.
Inside, the DJ already had the party going. Everyone was on the dance floor. It had been weeks since Tasha and Venessa were able to hang out. Venessa wondered if this was the first time she had smiled all week.
“So! How’s filming going!” Tasha yelled. The music seemed to get louder with every song.
“It’s good! I feel like the director is sucking up to me for some reason! I wish someone would just give me some real feedback!”
“What!” Tasha cupped her ear and leaned closer to Venessa.
“I just wish someone would give me some real feedback!”
“Yeah!” Tasha replied. “That is a cute backpack!”
The crowd went crazy when the next song came on, but Venessa and Tasha just looked at each other. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? they said with their eyes.
“Now this is a party,” Tasha said.
Back at Venessa’s, they made a blanket fort on the floor and flipped on their favorite TV show.
Venessa’s telephone began to ring. She glanced at it, saw it was Sofia the director, and put it back down. Her house and her friend Tasha were the only real things in her life right now. Everything else could wait. Even fame.