Austin Templeton is an actor who looks enough like Matt Smith to make American Doctor Who fans fall in love with him. A cable network decides to do its own Doctor Who-ish show, called The Magician, and they hire Austin as the lead. He’s just gotten to work and is already in trouble with the hairdresser for washing his hair with bar soap.
“Is today’s episode one of yours?” Bunny asked.
“Starts next three. Paul wrote this one and we worked together on a couple more. Should be fun. And Dwight also had a hand in the mix. We make a good team, I think. Taking the character somewhere beyond the bedroom. Amazing he has a chance to save the world, all the sex he’s having.”
“Oh, good. You have a cute tush, hon, but I’m so tired of seeing man-ass. . . .” She started laughing as she rinsed his hair. “Not something I ever thought I’d hear myself say.”
“Trust me, I’m a bit tired of baring it. Do you know how many squats I have to do to keep this fit?” He laughed as she swatted his chest.
“You boys and your buff bodies. Not that I mind. But it makes me wish I were younger or you guys were older.”
“Not a cougar, eh?”
She raised an eyebrow as she rinsed his hair. She toweled his hair dry and combed it through. “Follow me.”
Ten minutes later, his hair was styled and sprayed in a bizarre fashion that the viewers seemed to like. Austin felt like an anime character, but he didn’t complain. He thanked her and went back to the makeup chair.
Rochelle took him next, doing his makeup quickly. He sat quietly, waiting for her to finish. When she decided he was presentable, he thanked her, made a silly super model face in the mirror and wandered over to the set. Passing the young women again, he couldn’t help overhearing their conversation.
“You can tell he’s full of himself,” a sultry brunette said as she dabbed on lipgloss. “Oh la, look at me, I’m handsome, outrageously famous and I’ve got great hair.” Her accent placed her somewhere near his home in London.
Pretending he hadn’t heard her, Austin walked away. Her words stung. He wasn’t conceited or shallow. He supposed he was good looking, though he thought his eyes were too close together and his jaw a little too—bony. He had a high, pronounced forehead and ears that tended to stick out. The way they styled his hair, it fell in his face and annoyed him. It was thick and wildly uncooperative. Bunny had a full time job keeping him tidy.
His assistant, Dwight, was waiting for him, standing by his chair with a cup of tea and the day’s pages. Austin flipped through it, reading it quickly. He rolled it into a tube and looked through it like a telescope.
“Okay, then?” Dwight asked, watching him carefully.
“You neither look nor sound fine,” Dwight replied. “Spill.”
“Am I a snob?”
“Something I overheard.” He waved it away. “Petty? Shallow?”
Dwight frowned, leaning close. “Not words I’d use to describe you at all. Me, on the other hand, all three. But then, I’m a bold queen.” He winked, trying to lighten the mood. “They don’t need you for this scene. Come.” He held out his hand, dragging Austin away from the set. “We’re going walkies,” he called to the assistant director.
“Be back in thirty,” she called.
“Yes, ma’am,” Dwight replied as he dragged Austin outside. “Speak,” he demanded as they walked.
Austin told him what he’d overheard, but not who said it. He didn’t want to get anyone in trouble, especially if she was his new companion. He’d set her straight, provided she lasted. For the moment, her impression of him hurt his feelings. Then again, everything was likely to do so. He was still recovering from a very bad breakup.
“Women don’t get it, do they? I mean, we try like hell to please them and nothing makes them happy. What am I supposed to do? Do they want me to jump through hoops or something?” he said, forgetting his audience.
“The problem is, you’re meeting women in the wrong places. You go to a club, you’ll meet club girls. You need a more quality woman. Someone who shares the same interests.”
“I’m not dating someone I work with.”
“Why not? In case you haven’t noticed, there are some very hot women around here. And for a gay man to say that, they must be. Some of them are fairly nice.”
“Yes, but they don’t last, do they? And some of them blame me for getting fired. Am I hard to work with? Am I the world’s biggest wanker?”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes