When she finally manages to find a second to come back over, she’s practically out of breath.
“Why is it so busy?” I ask.
“No fucking clue. And Barbara is sick, so I’m all on my own back here tonight. She also gave her flu to the waiters she’s sleeping with.”
I choke on my drink. “Waiters? Plural? Isn’t the idea generally not to sleep with your employees?”
“I think Barbara does whatever and whoever she wants. But enough about that, check your email. I sent you something I think is going to help you.”
Pulling out my phone, I pull open the new email from her. I recognize the heading and the format—I’ve seen them before in her emails. I roll my eyes. “Fleece, this is a model casting call.”
“Yes, it is,” she says, replacing my drink. “My agent sent it to me and I can’t go. I’m way too busy with everything here, and Barbara out for who knows how long. On top of that, I’m not the kind of model they hire.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“And why wouldn’t I be serious about helping my best friend?”
I hold a hand to stop her, “No, I know, and I’m grateful, but you’re you. You’re glamorous and you know how to do this. I am not glamorous and I have no idea how to do what you do.”
Fleece pushes my drink at me and I take another sip. “It’s really not that hard, I promise. Besides, how many times have you seen me walk or pose? Just copy me. You’re gorgeous and they would be lucky to have you.”
Anxiety swims in my stomach. “I don’t know.”
“Will you at least look at the email?
I glance at my phone. “Xellum Studios? I’ve heard of them. Why won’t they hire you?”
She shrugs, “They have a darker aesthetic and rarely hire blondes. But you’d be perfect.”
“You’re forgetting again that I’m not a model.” I laugh. “I don’t have an agent.”
She taps my phone. “That’s why it’s perfect. You don’t have to have an agent to go to this one. Just be there early and get in line.”
“Why would they do that?”
“Who knows? Sometimes I think the same models get sent over and over again to castings, and if they don’t find what they want, they’ll try somebody new. I think you’ve got a look they’ll like.”
I roll my eyes again, my stomach churning with anxiety just thinking about it. “I think you’ve been drinking on the job.”
She laughs, but she shakes her head. “I’m serious. Just walk like you’re trying to get a guy to look at your ass, but you’ve also got a stick up that same ass, and you’ll be fine.”
Liquid bubbles out of my mouth and I reach for napkins as I laugh, unable to control myself. “Is that what you think about when you’re walking in shows?”
“This makes your runway bitch face ten times more hilarious.”
She cracks a grin, and I know that runway bitch face is going to have more trouble at her next show. “Seriously though, go to the casting. It’s tomorrow. You’re not going to schedule any interviews by tomorrow anyway.”
I take another sip of my drink. “The real question is if you’re going to let me leave this bar without actually signing up for the call.”
Fleece sweeps her blonde hair over her shoulder and smirks. “Not a fucking chance.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought.”
This was a terrible idea. I’m not as early as I wanted to be. Some people might call it “late,” but I’m choosing to call it “fashionable.” I admit that one popped into my head and made me laugh more than it should have. Probably because of the nerves. I’ve been debating just not showing up all morning. I don’t think I can do this. No matter what, it’s not as easy as Fleece says.
I finally walk up to a white storefront in downtown Manhattan. I don’t come down here that often, but I know this is the place. There are tall, beautiful women milling around the entrance to the store; some talking, some leaving.
A woman in her forties with a headset and a clipboard is standing in the doorway. I’m guessing I need to speak with her. I jog up the couple of steps to where she’s standing and smile. “Hi, I’m Delia Cameron.”