EXT. HOMESTEAD SET. (CONT’D).
As the scene wrapped Holly quickly ducked out from behind the bar and beat a hasty retreat to the outside. As she emerged from the building she felt a cool breeze and was surprised to see that the day had grown into late afternoon. Walsh had told her she was free to go home after the saloon scene was filmed, so she started towards the costume department.
She pulled out her hair clip and her hair tumbled down over her shoulders. She shook it out with her fingers, loosening it and then tucked the clip away, her mind playing over the last hour.
Alan. He seemed so…nice. And she wasn’t sure what it was about him that made her think so. Maybe it was watching him joke and laugh with everyone between takes. Maybe it was his smile. Or maybe it was just the way he had come right up and welcomed her and in the middle of a day of confusion and new things that had meant a lot.
But a small part of her hoped it wasn’t just that she had heard of him. She didn’t want to be the type of person who could be star struck. Alan Ryder was probably one of the few actors whose name had broken into even her world of un-popular culture awareness. He had really made it big two years ago when his superhero movie ‘The White Crusader’ had been released. It had broken records. Also since it came out a month after ‘Homestead’ had started airing on TV it had definitely helped the show’s ratings which had skyrocketed. During the last two summer hiatuses he had stared in two more films which had been huge hits and now he was back filming the show’s third season.
She decided when she got home that evening she would Google him, to learn more.
Her thoughts were interrupted by her name and she turned around to see the very person she had been thinking about jogging towards her.
“Mr. Ryder,” she stammered, feeling flustered, unsure why and annoyed at herself.
“Alan,” he insisted. “I wanted to say congratulations.”
“Your first scene on the show. You’re one of us now. And don’t worry; we have no weird hazing rituals. We’re all very adult here as we play cowboys and Indians.” He grinned and Holly felt herself relaxing slightly as she laughed. “Anyways, I just wanted to let you know, I’m having a party at my house this weekend. You should come. A lot of people from the show will be there, it’ll be a good chance for you to get to know some of them.”
“Oh…I don’t know…”
“I know, a party where you don’t know anyone probably doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but you could bring a friend. Someone to hang out with just in case.”
“That’s a really nice offer but-”
He held up his hand quickly. “Just think about it. Here,” He pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it to her. “I’ve written down my address in Beverly Hills for you and I’ll be sure you’re on the guest list. Just consider it. You’d be very welcome.”
“Thank you,” she said sincerely.
He stood there for a moment, smiling at her and then coughed and gestured behind him. “I have to get back.”
“Right, well I will see you tomorrow.”
“Absolutely,” he nodded.
An hour later Holly had turned in her costume, scrubbed off the makeup, brushed out her hair and was making her way towards the parking lot. All in all, she thought, it had been a pretty good day. There had been definite ups and downs and it was all going to take some getting used to before she really felt settled in, but she was confident that she was going to like working here. Evelyn was a bit overwhelming but was very nice, Alan had been extremely welcoming, Matilda had been very pleasant and while Walsh had been busy today, he had promised he would sit down with her tomorrow and make sure she was caught up to speed and knew what she should be doing. She reached the parking lot and headed over towards her car, pulling her keys out of her purse.
Movement in the corner of her eye notified her there was someone else in the parking lot and she glanced up. She did a double take as she recognized the man crossing the lot. She dropped her keys back into her purse and headed after him.
“Hey!” she called out.
He stopped and turned; his expression oddly defensive.
“You were at The Goudge Restaurant? You were the man in the alley who helped me.”
He blinked in surprise, but his expression became more relaxed. “The girl with McCall.”
“Yes.” She held out her hand. “I’m Holly.”
He took her hand but seemed to hesitate for a second before replying. “Peter.”
“It’s good to really meet you,” she beamed, “Thank you so much for that night. I really appreciate it.”
“Happy I was there. Was it a good dinner?”
“It was a very expensive one.”
He chuckled and nodded. “Good.”
“So what are you doing here?” she asked, gesturing around.
“An audition,” he pointed towards a sound stage across the street.
“Ah, well,” he cleared his throat and shifted, seemingly embarrassed. “Crocodiles in Space? TV movie,” he added, as if by way of explanation.
“Well that sounds-”
“I was going to say exciting,” Holly laughed. “Or at least creative.”
Peter laughed as well, shaking his head.
“And how did the audition go?” she asked.
“Unfortunately I got it. We start filming next week and I have to come into tomorrow for costume fittings.”
“That’s wonderful! Congratulations!”
“When someone is cast in Crocodiles in Space you don’t congratulate them, you give them your condolences.”
“Sorry, I’m new. I don’t know the proper etiquette.”
Peter laughed again.
“Maybe you can teach me,” Holly joked.
“Hmm, you know I might have to do that…and what about you? Do I have to give you congratulations or condolences for being on set?”
“I’ve been cast as a regular extra on Homestead.”
Peter pretended to clap and nodded his head in approval. “Very impressive.”
“As you should be. That’s pretty good. Steady pay and I read it’s a good show.”
Holly nodded. “I’m happy…”
“Plus it’s not Crocodiles in Space.”
Holly laughed. “I’m sure it’s not that bad.”
“You’d be surprise. The title is not a metaphor.”
“What could it have been a metaphor for?”
“People keep asking that.”
“I didn’t realize you were an actor when I meant you,” said Holly, changing the subject, “I haven’t seen a lot of movies but, have you been in anything I might have heard of?”
“Uh,” Peter glanced down at the ground and she noticed he seemed distinctly uncomfortable. “Probably not.”
“Holly!” someone was calling her name on the other side of the parking lot.
“I actually have to go,” said Peter quickly. “Hopefully, I’ll see you later.”
Holly watched, a little confused as Peter beat, what seemed to her, to be a very hasty retreat, and then she turned and walked towards the person who’d called her. It turned out to be Evelyn, who was watching with curiosity as Peter’s car pulled out of the lot.
“Who was that?” she asked.
“Just a friend,” Holly answered with a shrug.
“Hmm…well I was wondering dear if you wanted to go grab a celebratory drink; your first day and all.”
“Oh thank you but I probably shouldn’t. I’m actually only twenty,” she confessed.
“Darling no one cares about that. This is Hollywood. I go to a fancy place where I’m known, order two drinks, I get two drinks. The more you pay for something the less they care how you use it. Come on, we’ll have a good time.”
Holly hesitated and then shrugged. “Sounds fun.”