It always took far too long to get all of the prosthetic off my face.
When I had performed in Phantom, the prosthetic hadn’t been as intricate and I had gotten getting it, my make-up, wig and costume off in under ten minutes. A record that still held for other Phantoms to beat.
But the Love Never Dies Prosthetic was so much more complex, it took me at least half an hour to get it off.
Heading out into the hallway, a clean face and having changed into jeans and a t-shirt, I was intent on going to the Green-Room to heat up my dinner before Jeremy came back with my two chocolate E’Claire.
As I was walking down the hallway I could hear some very loud laughter. As well as some distinctly female chatter. Frowning I stopped as I came to Sierra’s door, it was closed, but I could hear that the noise was coming from behind it.
Who did she have in there? Surely she would have been telling everyone if she had friends or family coming, she usually did. But I blinked in shock when I heard Sharon’s voice.
Not that it was odd for Sharon and Sierra to be hanging out together, but the fact that Sharon’s Australian accent wasn’t the only one I heard was.
Curious I knocked on the door, “Come in!” called Sierra.
Opening the door, I was not prepared for the sight I was greeted with.
Sierra was sitting on her the chair in front of her mirror, make-up, wig and costume free with a large smile on her face. Sharon, likewise, make-up, wig and costume free was sitting on the couch in by the door.
But what shocked me was that the three girls with them.
A red-head wearing a green dress was sitting neatly on the couch with Sharon.
A blond wearing a golden dress was perched on the couch arm.
And a brunette wearing a purple dress was sitting on the floor by Sierra and the couch, her legs folded beneath her whilst a pair of heels sat next to her. She looked up at me with one beautiful blue eye and one brown.
After a moment I realized, in shock, that these were the girls from the front row.
“Hello there” I said, looking around the room, “It sounded like you were having a party in here and I wanted to join in” I smiled.
“Sorry, girls only” said Sierra with a smile.
“Oh the more the merrier” said Sharon with a flippant wave of her hand.
Sierra laughed, “Ramin this is Cass” she pointed to the blond, who smiled as she let her eyes run over me very flirtatiously.
“Bonnie” the red-head looked up at me shyly, nodding slightly before she looked away.
“And Abby” she said gesturing to the brunette on the floor, she looked up at me and smiled, waving quickly.
“Lovely to meet you all” I smiled, “What are you doing back-stage?”
I wasn’t adverse to having them backstage, far from it. But we weren’t technically allowed to have people back-stage unless they were friends or family and even then, they weren’t really supposed to be there.
Not that I would tell but I wanted to know who they were here with. A small voice in my head hoped, as I glanced at the brunette, Abby, that it wasn’t a boyfriend.
“Their friends of mine from Australia” said Sharon simply, “They wanted to get Sierra to sign their program” she explained.
“And because I liked them so much, they ended up staying” Sierra smiled.
I nodded in understanding. Seating myself on the arm of the chair, closest to the door I opened my mouth to ask a question: what were they all doing in New York?
I wanted to know what they were doing here in the city, but more, how long they were going to be here. As I continued to glance at Abby out of the corner of my eye, I tried not to make my interest known.
When I had seen her in the crowd she had immediately caught my attention. But I tried to dismiss that attention right away as I had assumed nothing would come of it- that I would never see her again. But here she was, sitting in front of me, with a radiant smile and beautiful eyes, filling my head of possibilities of what could be.
Before I could utter so much as a word, Jeremy poked his head into the room, tapping on the door simultaneously, “Desserts here” he said, casting a quick confused around the room before he disappeared down the hallway.
Movement from the corner of my eye caught my attention, I saw the red-dead, Bonnie, look at her watch, a clear sign that she wanted to leave. I wasn’t having that, “Would you ladies like to join us for dessert?” I smiled, looking at Abby.
To my surprise, she stared back, quite confidently too, but there was still a trance of innocence as she slowly began to smile.
“What kind of girl turns down dessert?” she asked, staring at me before she turned to her friends.
Whatever I was feeling when I looked at her. I had the feeling she felt it too.
“A stupid one” said the blond, Cass, smiling at her friend.
“We should probably head back to the hotel after this” said Bonnie glancing around nervously.
“Well you have to stay for donuts though” said Sierra pointedly.
“And I have to introduce my Aussies to everyone else” said Sharon, smiling proudly.
“Yeah Bonnie! We can stay for a Donut” reasoned Cass.
“Are you really going to turn down free dessert?” asked Abby, smiling at her friend in what was clearly a teasing manner
It seemed at that, it was settled. And I, in turn, was delighted.
Stuff like this didn’t happen. Not to me. Not to anyone really.
But here I was, sitting on a couch between Sharon Millerchip and Bonnie, drinking Hot Chocolate made for me by Sierra Boggess.
When we had stepped into the ‘Green Room’ I was stunned into absolute stillness as I beheld the entire Broadway Cast of Love Never Dies. Famous people who I had idolized, all sitting around in a room eating Donuts and various other desserts.
“Wow” I breathed.
Sharon, Ramin and Sierra all walked into the room easily while I stood in the doorway with Bonnie and Cass.
“Nobody pinch me” I warned them as I looked around the room in awe.
“And who do we have here?” asked a charming voice.
Focusing my gaze I recognized the chiselled jaw, beautiful blue eyes and blond of Austin Miller- the Love Never Dies Raoul.
“Oh, these my friends from Australia” called Sharon flippantly as she grabbed a Donut from one of the boxes sitting on the coffee table in between two couches.
It was odd the way Sharon referred to us as ‘her friends’ when we had only really met her an hour ago. She made it sound as if she had known us for ages. But perhaps that was the point as I was sure we weren’t particularly allowed back-stage.
“Sharon you need to warn me when your bringing hot girls back-stage” said Austin, grinning at us.
I couldn’t help the blush that rose to my cheeks. I was nowhere near as shy as Bonnie, who had gone bright red and seemed to be hyperventilating.
But I was nowhere near as confident as Cass who smiled back and said, “Well we wanted to keep it a surprise to see the look on your face”
Suddenly feeling awkward as the two of them stared at each other- mentally undressing one another I was sure, I gave Bonnie a sideways glance and we went and sat down on the couch.
The other cast member’s asked us the general questions. What are you doing over in America: seeing the sights.
Why did you come over here: Celebration for being friends for so long and being finally able to afford it.
How old are you: All of us are nineteen.
“So how do you know Sharon?” asked one of the Ensemble members, I think his name might have been Shia.
That stumped me, “Ah…” I said glancing at Sharon for a moment, who’s eyes had gone similarly wide to mine. I didn’t know what to say. Did I say we had only met a little while ago and risk getting her in trouble? Or did I say we were friends and risk offending her?
“Oh we go way back” I smiled. Finally settling on something that could be taken two ways, as both a joke and serious answer. In turn I answered Shia’s question and didn’t offend Sharon.
I glanced at Sharon and she seemed slightly relieved, coughing slightly before she turned to Cass, “Hey I’ve been meaning to ask you” she said suddenly, “what is that contraption you have with you?”
Cass, who was too absorbed in flirting with Austin, didn’t hear her.
Shaking my head at my friends… simple minded flirtation, I got up from the couch and bent down, grabbing the device she had pointed too, “This, is a Super Eight Camera” I said, “It’s one of Cass’s most prized possessions” I said as I came and sat on the arm of the couch, showing it to Sharon, the two of us glanced up at Cass who was still absorbed in Austin, “Well it used to be” I shrugged.
Sharon giggled and I continued to show her the camera, “It’s a really old Camera. One of the first ones ever made” I explained, “We’ve been taking it all around New York, capturing video memories”
“That’s cool” said Sharon, smiling as she looked over the camera before she handed it back to me with a smile. I smiled back.
“Why don’t you use a Digital Camera?” asked a voice suddenly.
Looking up I saw Ramin, who was leaning by the fridge, staring at my curiously, “Sorry?” I asked with a frown, not understanding the question.
“Most people use Digital Camera’s if they want to record something. Or their phones” he said, “Why are you carrying that bulky thing around?”
A small smile tugged at my lips as I laid my hand on top of the camera and tried to explain, “Yeah its Bulky and Old” I said, “And kinda broken and battered but it still does what its designed to do”
I smiled, “The other camera’s that are all shiny and new have no personality. No story. And there are hundreds like them” I listed, “This camera has personality”
Not a lot of people understood why I liked this camera and that was fine, I didn’t expect them to. But the truth was it reminded me that even something battered and broken could still be capable of great things. It was a metaphor for me and my life.
“I don’t see how that thing can record anything” said Ramin, eying the camera doubtfully.
I grinned at the challenge, “Bonnie” I called.
Normally I would have asked Cass to help me as she had been the one operating the Camera most of the trip. But seeing as Bonnie currently wasn’t wrapped up in the arms of a guy she had met half an hour ago, I thought she was a better choice.
Getting up from the couch she took the camera as I handed it to her with a slightly confused look.
Smiling I cupped my hand over her ear and whispered to her theatrically.