Written by castor :: [Saturday, 12 October 2013 03:26] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 13 October 2013 20:56]
(special thanks to Dru for editing and proofreeding)
Models were odd.
It started with a camera, of course. One can imagine that it captures reality perfectly but it doesn't quite. Ones perspective subtly shifts between reality and the final image – a view that we expect to take up all of our field of vision is a couple of inches across, but we perceive it as if is. Human beings can barely perceive two dimensional objects as it was – we were designed to see cheetahs on the African plains (in case they were cheating). Our Genetic masters did not intend for people look at a picture ff talking bubbles and barely had figured it out.
So the gods created models.
Models were too tall. Arms too thin, faces often too angular.
Sarah saw a lot of models.
and up close they where a little scarry. the angularity beyond dimensions.
The casting director for the TV show she worked at often cast Sports Illustrated style swimsuit models for the girl of the week for the two heroes of the show. They had the kind of Star power a cable show could get. However, well … .
Sarah didn't admit this and didn't put this on her resume, but early in her career she did work a little bit on porno sets – in, yes, art direction, not having sex on camera. She came into an industry at the same time as one of porn’s periodic drives to put money and talent into the films. It didn't work out (for the industy) but she did have fun making a cool starship and, of her efforts as an actual art director, she was most proud. But the point was: She had seen a couple of stars and porn starlets; some had a little bit of talent. She remembered one in particular who she felt a little sad for, one who actually was a good comic actress, who might have been a good romantic comedy lead if she wasn't doing tickle fetish porn … in peril.
Which wasn't to say models couldn't be talented actresses, or couldn't remember their lines, or read their lines, or emote in the kind of manner that show required, or hit their marks, or interact with other actors, take directions, show up on time, craft a character that develops over 48 minutes, or deal with improvisation, or … wow this sentence is getting long.
But one Thursday morning, on a set at an auto body shop at a valley, a model – Monique Swain – was doing something that Sarah didn't always get. She was making her pay attention to the actual filming in front of the camera. Sarah was actually kind of busy – she had a Bar shoot in the next episode which, though only for a few minutes, was always one of the more of the more complex things to do in props. Especially because a lot of the props would be used in a fight. She was in the planning stages, talking, emailing, looking at the Amazon style pages that were popping up in the prop game (which where getting real convenient) but … well. She was watching Swain play an improbably beautiful auto mechanic (okay … that was unfair. Sarah’s transmission shop had a grease monkey who was also very pretty. if also a heavily tattooed punk).
Which wasn't Swains character, but …
It wasn't that she was 'good', but she had the aura of someone pushing as she went through a scene, describing a murder that she may have been involved in. She was supposed to play it superficially tough but inwardly vulnerable – but she had a power that made vulnerability almost silly. Again, not 'good'. But Sarah could see 'something'. The nearly 6 foot actress couldn't quite remember her lines – but, well she had attitude. She had sass. And on the takes she got right, well … Something.
The show’s star was picking up on it, and Sarah could see the respect developing in his face – even though he wasn't of the pair that was supposed to be falling for her. The director was getting impatient. It was fun to watch.
Sarah wondered if someday, if she improved, someday this girl could be, well … a real actress. That was wrong word, as she was on a real show and thus a real actress – but let’s say a real big star. Sarah knew that in terms of looks she was there, and talent – well who knew? In Sarah’s years on the show she had seen a couple of people climb up the acting ranks – which rankled the actors on the show who ended up staying there.
Sarah considered her own dim future. She had never had ambitions of being a director – she had done a couple of short films in college, but found she had no real patience for actors (here was her poopooing the guy). Instead she had always wanted to be an Art Director, and guide the visual style – she admitted she influenced by the movies, the science fiction that had guided her life. She would do concept art, sets, costumes – she would be in charge. Now …
Well, her biggest success was a porn film.
now she was Doing props on a TV show that no one would notice the props on. That she mostly ordered from a book.
And her reward for doing well on it after this show got cancelled – well, was maybe another show where no one noticed the props. She had found a niche on long form episodic TV shows – she could manage props damm well. She had vague knowledge that the network was noticing how low her prop budgets were, and how well she managed it. Maybe she could do a network TV show where no one noticed the props.
There were movies, but, well … she was now been established as good in television, There was sci-fi TV, but no one had shot a sci-fi show in LA for maybe 15 years. She could move to Canada to work on Battlestar whatever …
But, well … she was ‘Mazing Girl. And she defended LA. It was her mistress – and she couldn't leave her career for a little thing like her job.
At last the scene was done.
They were filming three at the auto body shop, but they switched up to one that didn't involve her, so Monique wandered off. Sarah went back to next-weeks shoot. looking at her computer, pressing the buttons … that was her talent. She sipped some coffee.
"Hey," said a voice behind her. "How did I do?”
Sarah turned to see Monique.
"You did pretty good. You do a lot of acting?"
"Not really," said Monique. "Do you want to fuck?"
"Do you want to fuck? Have sex? Fornicate? Make love … copulate, repuplate the little Earth planet..?”
"You can stop with weird metaphors," said Sarah, "Repopulate the Earth planet?"
"Well actually, no. That wouldn't happen," said Monique, "but when I get nervous, I like to have sex. And I am in the mood for, like, a little girl-on-girl, and you’re the only lesbian on the set."
"I'm not a lesbian," said Sarah.
"Well, I saw that you were looking at me, so just how straight are you?" asked Monique "Tell your friends you were with someone who did the cover of Maxim … "
Sarah considered. That would be impressive. She had friends that would in fact impress. It took a lot for Sarah to be with a women, but well, she had dabbled a little bit.
But she was back to the world of … oh fuck.
"Hey … were you in the short internet movie Superb-girl the Great?"
"What was that?" Monique asked.
"It was about a supergirl who got captured by aliens, put on a rack and tortured with a radioactive dildo … that was not-for legal reasons- kryptonite"
"I don't know what you’re talking about," said Monique. "It sounds very … "
"You were one of the aliens. I remember the costume. I helped design it. Actually, I didn't want to go with straight latex, it was more like a skin. Kind of creepy actually, I remember there’s a shot of you in it in some colored lighting that almost looked a bit like a horror movie. One of the better shots of cinematography I ever did. It was in a brief "underworld is a terrible movie but damm if it doesn't look stylish" phase. I was the art director"
"Now you’re here," observed Monique.
"Yep," said Sarah.
"Okay, I admit it. If you don't tell anyone, you can have sex with me," said Monique
"Do you have, like, some kind of nymphomania?" demanded Sarah.
"Nymphomania is caused by very poor self imagery, slut-shaming does great for it," said Monique.
Sarah paused and considered. Tell someone? Did she think that little of her? Superhero or not, that was pretty fucking low … to blackmail someone over something that, yeah, someone probably knew. But no, she didn't really want to sleep with Monique.
"No." said Sarah. "Sorry"
"Do you want to get to know me?" asked Monique. "We can have coffee, and donuts … .want me to love you?”
"Fuck you” said Sarah. ”I have work to do.”
She went back to her computer.
"Come on," pressed Monique. "How do you know you won't like it until you try it?"
Sarah was feeling more and more as if she was in a porn movie by the second.
She looked around. There were still a lot of people, and one actor from the show Firefly. There was no way if she had suddenly entered into a porn movie there would be that many extras.
"Look, ask the make-up girl, or something."
She was just saying that to get her off her tail. It was a pity. There were several gay guys on the set. Cecil, Eric the cinematographer was a very nice man. He owned a pet Sloth with his partner. He had brought it one day to the set to hang out. it was fun. Graham, one of the Teamsters – nice guy. Bill Edwards, the police chief character – okay he wasn't on the set as he wasn't on call until after lunch, but yeah nice guy. Real gay for a guy playing the tough black guy who took away their badges every episode. Really.
"But I want you," insisted Monique. "You see the bind I am in?"
Maybe if she made out with her, Sarah could shut her up.
But fuck no. There where laws against sexual harassment. She could bring this up with her union, and despite what you may think even if Monique was an A-list actress things would happen.
"Think of your career," said Monique.
"Okay, by this point," said Sarah, "I think we have established that this has less to do with sex then more then some weird power fetish."
"That’s what sex always is," said Monique
Sarah shook her head. "No. No … fuck, it’s about love … and I don't know what.”
"Maybe I remembered you from the set," said Monique. "Maybe all this time I have lit a torch for you."
"I am going to walk away," said Sarah.
"Good idea … "
" … ’Mazing girl."
Wait a second. No – she shouldn't have done that.
Stop, I mean.
That was a giveaway.
Waiting, she was pausing some more.
"You think your costume is so great, but really: look at you. A prop designer on a second rate TV show. You think you were hard to find? An amateur detective could find you."
"What are you talking about?" asked Sarah, unconvincingly.
"Were you trying to keep a secret identity? I have … well in fact. Hide in plain sight … "
"What are you talking about" said sarah with a bit more convicibality.
"I could tell you what I do, but then I would have to kill you," said Monique. "Tell you my real name. And note: that is true. Even a CIA operative can't kill an American civilian. But I can. But not you … not right now, that is.”
"You’re a fetish model, turned real model, turned actress on a second rate show. That’s what you do," said Sarah. "Maybe … do you have a line of cookware or something I’m skipping?"
"A cover," said Monique. "But I think you’re confusing me with someone else about the fetish model stuff. Models do look alike. Beautiful women always do. But then, I’m not a real beautiful woman."
Sarah paused to consider.
"I am an angel. Well, an alien really, but angel is better description in reality. I am here on earth to guide the progress of you … well partially through our super agents, the super beings we keep on earth. Such as you."
"Huh?" asked Sarah.
"You’re going to fight Deca, you know. And take what is most precious from him as your own. You will defeat a great impostor, but loose what is most precious in the process. Once these steps are done you will find the real truth, and meet your real destiny, Erica. You will live up to everything that you could, and would, be. There will be a great temptation … but not the kind you think. There will be a great revelation; but of something you already know. There will be choice of the most sadistic kind … and even I do not know how you will answer, but however you do, whatever you do will change the world more then you could ever imagine."
Sarah paused. She let Monique finish before reponding.
"My name isn't Erica."
"Oh?" said Monique.
"And I am not ‘Mazing Girl."
"Oh," said Monique. "Had you going there."
"You’re really fucked up."
"Yep," said Monique. "I am working as an actress you see. It’s a trick my teacher told me to try."
"If you had sex with me, I would have done it though. I didn't really want to but … ”
"Can we make out a little?" asked Sarah. "You know, just to impress the friends?”
And so they found the back of the garage and they did make out a little bit. It actually wasn't as hot as you might think. Models up close were kind of weird looking sometimes, and to do a kind of favor slap-and-tickle wasn't doing anything to help the process.
But yeah … Sarah had something to tell her friends.
And when she got back she went online and clicked to order Monique’s issue of Maxim. She was good at clicking buttons like that.