A collaborative work about a cast and crew who work on a new crime show based in a Utopian society. A look in to their lives, and how their lives are put on display by the media and the shows audience. WARNING: Very mature content including a sexual attack.
"Ms. Anderson? Ms. Anderson?"
Kate, my P.A, ran over to me almost as soon as I'd stepped out of the car.
"Please tell me there isn't already a catastrophe on the first day?" I slammed the door shut and locked my car, before smoothing down my shirt and taking the coffee she offered. I began to stride towards the set as she hurried to keep up.
"N-Not quite. But Alex, the director-"
"-Yes I know the name of the director, Kate."
"Well she's late. She called and said that her husband had just got back this morning, unexpectedly. She said she won't be too much longer, but he wanted breakfast and-"
"-And apparently men are completely incapable of making themselves toast? I wasn't aware that feminism had taken such a large step back."
"Yes Ms. Anderson."
"Kate." I paused in the middle of my march, and the young woman almost walked straight past me. She paused, and blinked at me through her glasses. "I'm aware that there are plenty of people that think it's best to just agree with me, to make life easier. But I would appreciate if you used the very intelligent brain I know you have to voice your own opinion."
"O-Okay Ms. Anderson."
I sighed. She was going to take a lot of work. But considering that she'd barely been able to speak to me when she first started, it was an improvement. I turned and began walking again.
"Anything else Kate?"
"Well Miss Greene is complaining that she had to get up for an early start when the director isn't here yet."
"Miss Greene had to get up early because she needs hair, make-up and costume, whereas Ms. Kensington or Finnick or whatever her last name is just needs to turn up on time and be brilliant. Why on earth was she hired if she can't do that?"
"I thought you hired her, Ms. Anderson?"
"I haven't met the woman. I'd seen her work and when they suggested her I agreed. She's very capable, and I hadn't heard a single bad thing about her."
"Well maybe this is a one time thing. And Alex Kensington is her professional name. Her married name is Finnick."
"I can see why she kept her professional name." I mused, as we finally stepped on to the first set of the day; the 'scene of the crime' for the opening shot. I could already hear raised voices, and the unmistakable tone of Miss Aaliyah Greene in a huff. "Ah, the dulcet tones of our female star. I suppose I shall have to deal with her, since our director is M.I.A?" Kate's lack of reply was all I needed to confirm that no one else had tried to tame the argument. "Well then. It's a good job you had my coffee ready."
I took a gulp of the hot liquid and marched over to the group that were crowding around the woman.
"Miss Greene, I can hear you from outside the building. What on earth is worth putting on such a performance, off camera?"
A swish of brown hair and wide, purple eyes later, and she was staring at me.
"I don't quite understand why we're all supposed to show up on time and she just gets to appear whenever she likes!"
"If by 'she' you are referring to your director, then the answer would be that Ms. Kensington does not have free reign over when she turns up to work. She happens to be late, this once, but it will not go without a strict warning."
"All I'm saying is that I could have had a lie in if I had known-"
"Miss Greene," I interrupted. She froze, clearly unused to people standing up to her. "I am going to give you some words of advice. Do you see this cup in my hand?" I raised the cardboard cup of coffee slightly. "This is almost full of hot coffee. There are very few people who may talk to me before I have finished my cup of coffee in a morning. There are even less that can raise their voice to the level which you just did. You, Miss Greene, do not make that cut."
Aaliyah Greene pouted, and made the mistake of opening her mouth.
"Miss Greene, if I hear one more complaint out of your mouth before this cup has been finished, I will talk to the writers about writing some very early morning scenes for your character. Ones without dialogue. As for Ms. Kensington, I will deal with her, once she makes an appearance."
I turned swiftly on my heel, and strode over to where the assistant director looked like he was about to have a heart attack.
"Oh, Ms. Anderson I'm sorry, she's coming I promise..."
"Yes, I'm well aware." I sat myself down in the chair marked director, and took another sip from my coffee. Not so steaming now, but that's what happens when you get a diva on set. Damn the publicity team. 'She's well known', 'She'll be great for ratings'... not great for my mental health, I added silently, sipping my coffee.
"Well I know I'm late, but the ice queen didn't have to hire a replacement." The strong Australian accent came from my left, and I practically saw Kate, who had just appeared in front of me, swallow a whole sentence in a fantastically large gulp.
"The ice queen?"I turned to my left and appraised the woman. Bright, cornflower blue eyes and copper-coloured hair, wearing jeans, a tank top and a blazer. I raised and eyebrow and smiled, feigning ignorance.
"I heard that was her nickname. You know, Helena Anderson?"
"Uhm..." Kate started to talk.
"But she can't be that bad right? Have you met her?"
"I've had the pleasure," I smirked.
"So, what have I got myself in for then? Apart from working with Aaliyah Greene that is." She gave me a conspiratorial grin.
"Well I'd say as long as you're on time and your work is as excellent as usual, you two should have nothing to argue about."
"So I'd imagine I haven't made a great first impression then?" For the first time, her cheeky grin dropped a little, and she had the decency to look a little guilty.
"Oh so you finally decided to turn up then!" Ah, and here's Miss Greene again, and followed by Jack Lynch, the famous, heart-throb movie star, and what seems to be a band of followers. "I hope you're giving her a good tongue lashing Mrs Anderson."
I remember the days, when I was younger, that my friends and I would have snorted about the phrase 'tongue-lashing'. When I had time to see friends.
Alex Kensington had realised her mistake, and cast a guilty look at me.
"Miss Greene," I started, standing up, "I would very much like it if you would observe that my coffee, while considerably colder thanks to our earlier conversation, is still not finished. Any conversation about tardiness I am having with Ms. Kensington is none of your business, and it would do you a great deal of good if you were to remember that you are under her direction. And finally, I am very happily, unmarried, so please refrain from calling me 'Mrs.'" I turned to Ms. Kensington, and raised an eyebrow. "I trust your husband can do without you for the rest of his meals today, Director? I would very much appreciate it if you could begin shooting as soon as possible, without wasting any more time."
With that, I made my way out of the group, not giving any of them a chance to reply. Kate hurried after me.
"Would you like another coffee Ms. Anderson?"
"Black and scalding." I muttered.
Ten minutes later, new coffee in hand, I was sitting behind the monitors, watching the first scene unfold.