fiction

Call II

rifle on horseThe lines were running in my head before I could get the eyes to blink. There was an audition this morning for a movie called Clear Springs, where it’s the middle of the night and I’m standing in the cabin door with a shotgun:

Joelle?

Billy’s gone.

What do mean gone?

I mean gone. Gone for good.

I know he means the world to you.

Can you help me with a search?

You think Billy’s not coming back?

He took all the money in the savings jar. And his rifle. I just don’t want the whole town knowing about this.

Of course.

In the next scene we’re at Joelle’s house the following day. The Sheriff rides up, and the casting director told me to show a profile before I answer the questions:

How’d you get involved in this?

Joelle came to see me late last night.

Why didn’t she call me? That’s what the sheriff is for.

She was hoping to keep it a family matter.

Cut the crap. Has he run off for good or not?

Looks that way. Joelle said he took all the money and his rifle.

She didn’t tell nobody?

Nope. I, I promised her …

Yeah, I know you’re big on keeping secrets. Reckon what happened?

I think he’s gone for good.

Where’s Joelle at today?

Don’t know.

Listen carefully, Jessie Jenkins. Missing persons are the sheriff’s job. Next time you keep something like this a secret from me I won’t hesitate for one tiny little nano-second to charge you sheriff badgewith obstructing justice. You hear me?

I hear you.

To suggest the fashion of a New Mexico town in 1883 I skipped shaving for two days and wore a striped collarless shirt, jeans and black boots. I got to the audition early, did some breathing and stretching, practicing what it’s like being on set, where the actor lives in a state of readiness and flexibility. The reading went well, and I was encouraged when the casting director said, “That was really perfect. Let’s do one more for luck.”

Of course there is also a possibility that for this particular role I might be seen as too tall or too short, too thin or too heavy, too young or too old, too plain or too exotic.

I am just waiting for the day I am rejected as too good-looking.

Jasper Michaels is the pen name for a musician-actor-writer-designer who's just too darn busy living and breathing to care whether or not he'll ever be famous for doing anything.

 

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