INT. HOMESTEAD SET. (CONT’D).
Holly stood in front of the full length mirror and took in her reflection. The costume, a deep rich green, had been chosen, makeup and hair had been done. She was standing in the middle of a very twenty-first century room, surrounded by equipment, a television set, a couple of people talking into the cell phones, and she was looking at her nineteenth century self; and she thought she liked it.
She glanced at the clock on the wall. It was time to head over to the saloon to film the scene. Her first day of filming, she told herself, this was the start of an adventure…
She made her way outside and across the mock western town towards the saloon. As she pushed through the swinging doors and entered the building she felt a wave of excitement hit her all over again. The room was pretty crowded. On one half there were extras milling around in period piece, on the other half equipment had been set up.
Walsh came over to her as she was still taking in the scene and he smiled. “Holly,” he greeted her. “You look good. Just head over to the bar. The main action in this scene is going to take place over there,” he waved to a table some distance away from the bar. “So you’re likely to end up in only a couple of small background shots anyways so you can just use this scene to get comfortable. Just serve some drinks to the other extras that’ll be standing there, use the cloth to clean, look busy. Whatever feels natural. Seriously you don’t need to hear all this from me. But because you’re going to be a regular, I want you to feel comfortable. So don’t worry.”
“Right, thank you.” Holly nodded. Walsh was called and hurried off, so she made her away, around wires and crew, towards the bar. She slipped behind it and took stock of its contents. There were glasses, most of which had a smoky tint, bottles of colored and clear liquid, which she suspected were just water and juice, and a checkered cloth.
This could actually be kind of fun. She was going to be paid to pretend to barkeep and didn’t have to worry about forgetting lines or becoming camera shy. She smiled. Best job ever…, she thought to herself.
A few extras leaning against the bar greeted her. The crew seemed to be mulling around setting up a few last touches. For the first time since arriving on set that morning Holly felt completely excited without any mixed emotions.
Absent mindedly, as she watched hubbub in the room she toyed with the checkered cloth, folding and unfolding it. Her eyes wandered around the room taking it all in. First the saloon set, with its old fashioned piano in one corner, the tables and chairs, the wooden staircase leading up. She watched for a few minutes the man that appeared to be the director. She studied the other actors in the room. And then she heard movement over by the swing doors and she looked towards the entrance.
A man was coming in. Like every actor in the room he was dressed in western clothes, but there was also an ease with which he wore them and a smoothness to the way he walked. Charm was the one word that kept ringing off in Holly’s head. This man had charm.
And this man had caught her staring at him, she realized in alarm. Accidently she dropped the checkered cloth and had to bend down to pick it up off the floor. When she straightened up again the man was in front of the bar and he was smiling at her.
“Hello,” he greeted her. “You must be the new bartender.”
“Yes.” She tried desperately to think of something else to say. She wanted to talk to this man…but then at the same time she felt embarrassed and wanted him to go away. She realized she’d never felt this way before; never had this gut reaction on first sight of someone.
“It’s good to meet you,” he extended his hand. Nervously Holly shook it. “My name is Alan Ryder.”
“Yes, I saw you on the airplane six months ago…” She took a moment to realize how awkward that sentence had been and then rushed to clarify. “I mean your movie. I saw your movie on the airplane.”
Alan smiled. It was such an all-encompassing, all inclusive smile. It looked so kind.
Abruptly she realized she had responded a bit rudely to his introduction and hurried to add, “I’m Holly. Holly Woods.”
“It’s very good to meet you Holly Woods. I hope you like working on the show. It’s a great environment. The people here are all very nice.”
“Thank you…I think I will.”
“Alan!” The director was calling.
“I have to go,” Alan gave her a last smile and walked away.
“Oh boy,” she muttered to herself, “This could be a problem…”