The Called Part 5

March 18th, 2011 by Wordsman

A new character appeared on screen, her back facing the lens.  From that angle all that could be seen was a tremendous mass of curly red hair, hair so extensive it had not only its own personality but its own culture as well.  It resisted attempts to tame it like a cat resists being put in bath water.  It had been so long since this hair had felt the touch of scissors that it had forgotten what they were.

Other than that, this low-budget film’s leading lady was much shorter than her co-star, and while her clothes were more casual, her attitude was not.

She unsympathetically examined her brother.  Peter stared defiantly back.  You could see that already the healthy bond of mistrust that characterizes any great actor-director relationship was forming.  If the girl had been a more experienced director, she might have known that she would get much more natural speech out of the talent in this pose than when she stood him up like a condemned man in front of a firing squad.  Sadly, though the camera had been left on, it was out of negligence rather than as a cleverly candid approach to filming.

“First issue: wardrobe.  Who told you to wear a suit?”

As a man who hoped one day to be the one doing the asking, he took pride in his ability to hold his own under harsh questioning.  “A man doesn’t need to be told to wear a suit.”

“Translation: Mom said you should put it on.”

Peter skillfully dodged the question a second time.  “I have my interview this afternoon.  That’s why I’m wearing it.  Besides, suits look cool.”

Though she was facing away from the camera, you could still somehow feel the director roll her eyes.  “Suits look cool on some people, in some situations.  For example, they never look cool when the person wearing them is the son of the person they originally belonged to.  And since, unlike you, I’m not applying to be a bank manager—”

“I’d correct you, but . . . why?”

“—we’re going to go for a different look.  Lose the tie, lose the jacket.”  Peter did not make the demanded adjustments, though his facial expression left open the possibility that they would be carried out later.  “Unfortunately, the biggest problem isn’t how you look; it’s how you sound.”

“You do realize that people train for years in order to be able to sound normal on film, right?”

“Hmm.  If only there were someone in this house who had been practicing to be a public speaker since he was in elementary school.  Oh wait it’s you.”

“This is different.”

The girl shook her head, a dangerous maneuver.  The camera, fearsome though it was, narrowly avoided being struck down to the ground.  “Only different in your mind.”  The young director had already learned the first truth of her profession: actors know nothing.

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