INT. CAR. DAY.
Holly switched on the radio, and tried to use the music to distract herself, forcing her thoughts elsewhere.
It took several more minutes before she felt herself calming down. She closed her eyes and let herself relax to the music, it was pleasant and soothing. She opened her eyes to check the time and felt alarm seize her again. She was going to be late. Quickly she pulled back out onto the road and headed towards the studio. She was twenty minutes late by the time she pulled into the parking lot. She ran across the lot towards the set, making straight for the saloon.
Inside, the cameras were set up, several actors were standing around in costume looking impatient, and Walsh was looking extremely annoyed. As Holly entered hurriedly, most of the people turned to look at her. Embarrassed, she stopped abruptly in her tracks.
“Holly!” Walsh quickly crossed the room towards her. “We’ve been ready and waiting to start filming for almost half an hour.”
“I’m so sorry,” she stammered, still trying to catch her breath and very conscious that almost the entire room was watching them. “I’ll be ready in just a few minutes.”
“You don’t even have costume and makeup done.”
“I’m sorry,” she repeated, still panting.
“You had the schedule of when the shoot was starting. You’ve been keeping everyone here waiting and it’s extremely unprofessional-”
“I’m sorry,” she snapped, suddenly frustrated. It wasn’t even nine yet and she’d been ambushed by photographers, panicked over being late for work and she didn’t think she could handle a lecture in front of cast and crew on top of everything else. Walsh looked at her skeptically. “I’m sorry,” she said for the fourth time, in a more level voice. “I came out of my apartment this morning to find photographers camped outside. Maybe this seems absolutely normal to you, but for me I found it very upsetting and scary!” She realized she sounded nearer tears now than anything else. Maybe she hadn’t calmed down from the incident as much as she thought; all she knew was she had to get out of the room. “I’ll go get ready and be back soon.” She turned abruptly and hurried out before Walsh had a chance to respond.
Irrationally afraid someone might follow her out, she burst into a run again and kept running until she was slamming the costume department’s door behind her.
“Holly?” Matilda looked up in surprise from the costume she was attaching a large brooch too. She set the dress aside and stood up. “What’s wrong?”
“I just made a fool of myself to Walsh and everyone,” said Holly, trying very hard not to let her voice waver. “And there were photographers outside my apartment this morning.”
“Oh Holly, I’m so sorry.”
“It was stupid. I just froze like a deer in the headlights and then I panicked and I could feel my heart speed up and my hands actually shook. They’re just photographers; there was no reason to feel like I was in danger I just…”
“You were in shock dear. It’s a lot to deal with at first. I’m been doing costuming for years and have worked with a lot of people dealing with the cameras for the first time. Everyone responds differently, but it’s always a lot to get used to.”
“But why now? They just appeared out of nowhere.”
“No one showed you the article yesterday?”
Matilda sighed. “A magazine printed an article about you and Alan and your name was given. It probably attracted the attention.”
Matilda pulled up a chair. “Why don’t you sit down for a little while and relax? We can talk and you can get it out of your system. I’m sure Evelyn will be by in a little bit and she can give you a better perspective then I can.”
“I can’t, I’m already late for shooting. I need to get back as soon as possible. Walsh is already angry and I don’t think I helped matters much.”
“You were upset,” said Matilda, “Now come on, I’ll help you get ready and it’ll go quicker.”
“Thank you,” said Holly appreciatively.
With Matilda’s help she was changed in a matter of minutes and made her way quickly outside towards makeup. She gave a hasty explanation to the makeup artist about being late, and the woman agreed to work quickly. In another ten minutes she was finished and making her away, albeit more slowly to avoid damaging her appearance, back toward the saloon. She took a short cut between two buildings and was just reaching the main street when she heard a voice around the corner, that she recognized as one of the camera men, say something which brought her to a halt.
“You’ve got to admit that Holly is quite nice to look at.”
“Not any better than half the extras on set,” responded a female voice. It was familiar though Holly couldn’t quite place it for a second.
“You’re just jealous you’re not the one getting featured in the episode.”
The woman gave a snort, “I’m sure if I dated Alan Ryder, I’d get more screen time too.” Vaguely Holly placed the voice as one of the cast members who had a small role as a character’s wife.
“No one knew about it much before yesterday when that article pointed out they worked together.”
“She hasn’t been in anything, she has no experience, no education, she’s barely out of her teens, and she’s suddenly appearing on prime time television, supposedly as an extra until suddenly she’s having a speaking role, at the suggestion of Alan. And now her character is central to an episode’s plot and from what I’ve heard it was again at the suggestion of Alan. You really think she got this part based on talent? And now she doesn’t even have the decency to show up to work on time.”
Numbly, Holly backed out the way she had come and took a long route to reach the saloon. As she entered the building she felt oddly detached from the commotion around her as people began to take their places and crew moved around put in last minute touches. Walsh approached her a little tentatively and began to run through the scene with her. His voice was very kind and he seemed to be trying to be nice to her, but she only half paid attention. He seemed to figure she was still upset because before walking away he added,
“We can rearrange the afternoon’s schedule a bit and push some of your scenes to tomorrow so you can head home early if you want.”
Holly nodded slightly and took her place.