I wasn't really inclined to write much about the play I was in because it was kind of anticlimactic at the end. You spend weeks getting together with a bunch of people, reading, rehearsing building shit, working on costumes, and for what? For three nights, you go out on stage, say your line, run backstage and get into another costume, stand around in the background, maybe say another line, and so on, and then you're just done and the whole thing is gone. Maybe someone has mounted a camera in the back of the audience area, but it's one hell of a lot of work to just vanish into the ether.
So I was just going to skip ahead, but Benjamin told me I had to blog about it. If you're going to live Missy's life and be a movie star, she says, you're going to have to learn how stories work, and you can't keep mentioning something like this play and then not have it pay off.
So, fine. I was in a play, even if it was a tiny part. And, okay, that didn't make it any less stressful. In fact, the first time I went our on stage, I nearly pissed myself, because for all that the rehearsal and shit is supposed to make everything second nature, standing in the wings and seeing that there's a fucking audience out there made me suddenly realize that while the original Yuan-wei had probably been doing this all her life, I hadn't done anything like it since, I don't know, junior high?
I mean, shit, was this the reason she decided to give up all of this and stay with Ronan? Wanting something all your life and realizing that not only does it mean standing in front of a whole bunch of strangers and trying not to screw up, but knowing that even if you completely kick ass, you'll still be judged in large part based upon what a while bunch of other people do? I didn't quite freeze like I thought I was going to, but even though there was a lot to do backstage, I did have just enough time to wonder if I was going to make it through.
I did, three times, and I probably got better as I went. The thing that kind of sucks about acting is that you almost always feel the same way no matter how you actually do. Even as I was nervous, I was still kind of like, yeah, I fucking did that, whereas some of the other folks were sure they sucked even when those of us in the wings could see that the audience was just goddamned living it. It's not like working with computers, where you can tell whether the routine you built was giving the right output or whether the change you made ran faster or used fewer resources. Your feedback is mostly subjective and sometimes kind of indirect.
Not always. What my adviser said at the end of term was pretty direct - that most of my instructors said I was performing a bit below the standards the original Yuan-wei had established the previous academic year, and what she saw from me during the play kind of confirmed it. Heck, she said, the very fact that I had such a small role was disappointing; someone with my talent and ambition should really be winning leads or at least strong supporting roles in auditions. This is a very competitive program, she pointed out, and a lot of my follow students who had to rely on financial aid might be looking at moving to a new school or major after two semesters like the one I just had.
Of course, this wasn't entirely news to me; I'd heard a lot of the same shit whispered at the wrap party. Sure, it was mostly dancing, drinking, laughing about how disaster had nearly been averted or stuff like that. But every once in a while, I'd be walking by a group and they'd stop talking. For most of the night I tried to put it out of my head, all too aware of how a pretty girl who thinks everybody is talking about her behind the back they're planning to stab is a cliche and even when it wasn't, I'd always hated those bitches. But eventually there comes a point where it gets just quiet enough to overhear conversations, and I heard one about how for someone who wants to be a Pan-Pacific movie star, I had better start showing something, then another joked that even that wouldn't help, because they blur your boobs out in China. Then Amelia, the one who helped me with my Halloween costumes, called me a helpless princess who didn't know how to do anything, and it was a kick in the gut, especially since I didn't think it was like I started ignoring her once I'd gotten what I needed, but clearly she felt that way or was just trying to make nice with one or another of the others, figuring that other Americans are going to be able to do more for her in the future than a woman in China (we'll see about that), but it soured the evening pretty well, and I headed to the bedroom to retrieve my coat. I was rooting through the pile on the bed when Ernesto found me and said he'd been trying to get me alone.
I asked why, and he said it was because everything had finally clicked into place for the short film, which would be shooting in late January if I was still interested. I'd have to work on makeup and effects as well as play the lead...
It was just what I wanted to hear without knowing it, and I hugged him. Shocked the hell out of me; I know is done something similar at that ballgame with Benjamin, and wondered if like it was some hormonal thing with Yuan-wei's body or if I might have been like that if I ever got drunk enough as a guy. All that bulk maybe made me not react so demonstratively to alcohol, or something.
Especially since I didn't feel that drunk, although I did start acting a bit again, letting myself go weak in the knees. "Ooh," I said, "I think it might be a good idea if you walked me home."
I kind of want the order of events clear: I got the part, and then I led Ernesto to my place and asked him if he wanted to come up. I suppose he may have been hoping for this response, but apparently I'm not exactly noted for my gratitude. Anyway, he got nervous when he saw just how nice my place was, initially not following me into the bedroom until I said I needed help getting my boots off.
That wasn't entirely a lie; I fumble with tiny zippers under seams even though I now have fingers more suited to them. It gave me a chance shuffle forward on the bed and let my dress ride way up and then, when he had gotten the second one off but hadn't yet stood, I could fall forward so that I was straddling him on my knees while he fell back.
He knew what to do with that situation, unzipping my dress and helping me pull it over my head and off, then doing the same with my bra. He then did some of the bra's work, spring my breasts and then going after my nipple with thumb and forefinger, which felt pretty great. I decided to do my part, not-quite-sitting and sort of trading him with my ass, making contact right around his waist, just above the groin. It seemed kind of silly, but he apparently liked it, because I could feel him getting hard. I slid down his body, pulled down his pants, and then kind of stopped four a moment because his dick was right there.
It would have been stupid to chicken out at this point - I was wet and knew what I was in for - but with David and Sam, it had all been happening "down there"; I wasn't ever positioned so as to have the fact of some guy's unit right in my face, as it were, and though it's been over a year since I've had one, the "dude, what do you want with another man's cock?" reaction is still there. That's when he tossed me the condom.
What am I supposed to do there, kill the mood by telling him to do it, or back off? So I put it on, as fast as possible, and then moved up so he could put it in my pussy and I could just think of it as kind of an abstract good feeling, although it was kind of harder, since Ernesto is a much hairier guy than the others and I could feel his beard as he was kissing me. It was kind of unnerving, really, and when he asked me to see if I could get him up for another, I decided to be the hot girl who sets the terms and tell him I was ready to knock off for the night.
And he was cool about that, but I couldn't fucking sleep at all that night, and was on edge for the next couple of weeks all through finals, since he's in a few of my classes, and while he hasn't acted like it was more than some really physical fun, It certainly made spending the holidays on another continent more appealing, although it's going to be kind of weird when we start shooting his short film in a couple of weeks.