Holly did a double take as she spotted the limo waiting for them at the curb.
“Really?” she asked, glancing over at Alan.
“This is a premiere. It’s traditional.”
He held open the door for her and she slid in. Inside was spacious, the seats soft and comfortable and a small minibar ran along one side.
“Wow,” she murmured. “This is fancy.”
Alan smiled as he settled in beside her and closed the door.
“Sometimes I forget that all this is still new to you,” he said, as the car started.
“Well I’m sorry we’re not all superstars,” she teased, poking him playfully.
He laughed. “At least not yet.”
She shifted in her chair nervously.
“You know,” he said, glancing at her, “My first premiere was for a movie called Take It. An indie film, with a very small budget and an even smaller premiere. It was my first film role and I was pretty young, didn’t really know how things worked. When I was cast I was sure it was my big break. I didn’t really figure it out until the premiere. The theater was half empty and about ten people walked out a third of the way through, including the producer’s own mother.”
Holly laughed. “You’re kidding!”
“She was a harsh critic. I was crushed and positive I’d never be employed again. Oddly enough despite the fact that it was obvious no one was ever going to actually see the movie, I was sure everyone would have heard about it and how terrible it was and that I was in it. I refused to leave my apartment for about a week.”
“Was the movie really that bad?”
“No. It was bad, don’t get me wrong, but not memorably so. Though I didn’t know it at the time. I did watch it again actually last year and had a pretty good laugh. So it all worked out and didn’t do my career any permanent damage.”
Holly studied him suspiciously. “Are you telling me all this to make a point? Even if this film is terrible, I shouldn’t take it too hard kind of point?”
“Possibly,” he said innocently.
“If I IMDBed Take It would I discover that it ever even existed?”
Alan laughed. “Yes it really existed. There’s a possibility thought that it might not have been quite my first premiere. I wouldn’t want to swear to it.”
She smiled and kissed him.
The limo slowed down and then pulled to a stop.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
She gripped his hand tightly for reassurance. “As ready as I’ll ever be. Let’s do this.”
The space outside the theater was crowded. There were cast and crew members Holly recognized, several producers, she spotted Mal Grant heading into the building with Victor and there was a small group of photographers moving through the crowd snapping photos.
Holly could sense the flashes start to go off in their direction, and she held on tightly to Alan’s arm. They moved into the group of people pausing as a man approached Alan and the two started chatting. Holly resisted the urge to fidget, and instead kept a smile firmly on her face.
Frank came over and greeted her, and the two started talking. She wasn’t sure how it happened but at some point she let go of Alan’s arm. Alan must have also taken a few steps away, for five minutes later she looked up and realized he was no longer next to her. She saw a photographer a few feet away taking pictures of her and Frank. She couldn’t resist a small laugh. She’d followed Evelyn’s advice whether she’d meant to or not.
She made her way back to Alan, and she once again slipped her arm into his. He glanced down at her. He seemed to read from her expression that she’d had about as much as she could take right now, because the two were soon making their way into the building.
The lobby had been turned into a reception area, a bar at one end, and several tables for people to stand at scattered around. At the moment though everyone was making their way into the theater.
As Holly sat down in the front row, with Alan beside her, the big black film screen looming ominously in front of them, she wished desperately she could just skip ahead the next two hours so she wouldn’t have to sit through this and she could just know right now if she was about to make a complete fool of herself.
Everyone was seated and the director stood up. He stood in front of the crowd and talked. Holly barely heard a word he said as she concentrated on trying to form a relatively coherent speech in her head. When the director finally sat down, Cynthia was introduced next, she said a few words, and then it was Frank’s turn. He managed to make the audience laugh before handing the microphone over to Adam. And then Holly heard her name.
She stood up, mostly steady, and took the microphone.
“Thank you so much. This is a very exciting moment for me. My first premiere, my first film, and I got to share this experience with so many people I’ve come to know as friends. Making this movie was a wonderful experience and I learned so much, from our director, from my cast mates and from the crew. Thank you for being here tonight to watch the movie with us.”
She handed the microphone away and sat back down.
Alan whispered in her ear, “Good job.”
And then the lights dimmed in the theater and the film started.