Holly held perfectly still as the makeup artist slowly added eyeliner and then applied the lipstick. She also had to resist the urge to yawn. It was, in her opinion, unreasonably early, but despite that a surge of excitement shot through her.
Victor had informed her a few days ago that she and Frank had been booked to appear on a morning talk show. He’d waited to tell her till it was absolutely confirmed. She understood his reasoning but felt profoundly nervous now. At least, she told herself, Cynthia had been sent with Adam up to New York to do promotion, right now Holly wasn’t sure she could deal with her.
As the makeup artist finished, a crew member came over to attach a microphone to her. Frank sauntered over and grinned as he got close.
“You look terrible.”
“Wow, thank you,” she said a little shortly. “Well I didn’t do the makeup and hair so it’s not my fault.”
He laughed. “I more meant you look extremely nervous.”
“Oh. Well, I guess I am. This is my first talk show.”
“I’ve been doing them since I was kid so don’t worry about it. Just relax and I’ll handle it.”
“It’s live though. Which means if I make an idiot out of myself it’s going to air.”
“Yes, that’s true. But this is morning television, and this host is very well known for being very vanilla. She asks very softball questions. Just say what a great learning experience it was to work with cast, crew and director, how much you relate to your character and how excited you are for next week’s premier and you’ll be fine.”
“What if they ask something harder?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never done this before!”
Frank laughed. “Look if anyone is going to be asked the tough questions, it’s me. I’m the bad boy here. You’ll be fine.”
“Thanks Frank,” she said, smiling at him gratefully.
The stage manager hurried over. “Ten minutes till we air. Would you mind taking your places?”
Frank and Holly were led over to the stage and placed down on a couch. She shifted nervously in her seat.
“Calm down,” he whispered. “You’re going to be fine.”
The crew was moving about with more intensity now. The audience members clearly sensed show time was approaching and Holly could feel of sense of excitement emanating from them. The host, Laurie Crawford emerged out onto the set and conferred with one of the producers before mounting the stage.
She was very professional looking, with well-coiffed hair and neat blazer and business skirt. She shook both of their hands.
“Thank you for coming, it’s so nice to meet you Holly, and Frank welcome back to show.”
Holly shook the woman’s hand dumbly. Frank kept up the small talk for the next few minutes until the signal was given and the lights dimmed in the rest of the set. The director gave a signal and Laurie turned to the camera, broad smile in place.
“Welcome to the Morning Show with Crawford, we have a very exciting show for you this morning, the perfect thing to get your day started. We have Frank Dorrance and Holly Woods with us today, two of stars of the supernatural mystery The Box of Edward II which is premiering next week right here in LA.” She turned to the two of them. “Thank you so much for visiting us today. We’re thrilled to have you.”
“Well thank you for having us,” said Frank easily, somehow managing to smile at Laurie, the audience and the camera all at the same time. “It’s fantastic to be back.”
Laurie exchanged a few more pleasantries with Frank and then turned to Holly. “And this must be really exciting for you. This is your first film isn’t it?”
Holly smiled nervously, feeling acutely aware of all the eyes on her. “Yes, it is. And I am. Very excited I mean.”
“Did you enjoy working on it?”
“Yes.” The was a beat.
“It must have been very different from Homestead, which you’re currently appearing on I believe.”
“It was very different…” she floundered. Holly knew she wasn’t doing well and could see in Laurie’s expression concealed annoyance. She sensed Frank shift beside her and knew he was about to jump in to rescue her but she felt a jolt of determination. If she was going to do this she was going to do this right. She went with the first thing that came to mind. “But,” she said quickly, “Victor McCall, whose an associate producer on Homestead was one of the film’s producers, and he was very hands on, was usually around the set, you could always approach him, and it made a huge difference for me, to have someone I knew, who I could go to.”
Laurie beamed at her. “It’s a very exciting place to be in your career for a young actress. I would think a lot of opportunities would be opening for you right now.”
“They are,” said Holly. She was too nervous to be diplomatic, so she went for the truth. “I’m still figuring things out though. What I want to do, what I’m interested in. As you say, I’m young, so I have time.”
“Absolutely. And this is definitely the time to decide those things.” Laurie turned to ask Frank a question and Holly took a deep breath.
Okay, she thought, I’ve got a handle on this…