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Casting for the Stage

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“So what parts are we casting today?” Pete asked as he started setting up the clipboards for the senior theatre staff as he glanced at all the men and women standing around the theatre’s lobby which was acting as a waiting room at the moment.

“The main focus will be the final round for our three Leads. We must have them before this weekend so they can start rehearsing if we’re going to open on time,” Michael-the director-said as he took one of the clipboards.

“And hopefully we can also find a good Alexander, Bella and Chris, why are they being so hard to cast. I expected those parts to be filled in the first round,” May-the writer- added as she also took one.

“Which means it will be a long night,” Michael stated before going on, “So send the first group in in about five minutes and make sure we have a steady supply of coffee, Pete,” he finished as he and May went into the theatre’s main chamber.

“You got it boss,” Pete replied as he grabbed the clipboard listing those that had checked in and started calling out names.

It was over three hours-and more pots of coffee than Pete could remember- later then Pete looked at the names for the next group of hopefuls for the last of the secondary parts and paused.

“Andrew Nelson?” he called out as he scanned the thinning crowd, “Andrew Nelson?”

“Here,” the man in questioned called, hustling in through the opened doors leading from the much cooler outside to the stuffy lobby, “I’m here-Pete?”

“It is you. Man, Andrew it’s been awhile,’ Pete said with a smile as he pulled Andrew into a hug.

“Wow, yeah, since high school,” Andrew answered as he shook his head, “Are you in LA now? Wait, are you auditioning too?” he asked.

“Yeah I live in LA but I’m not here for a role. I’m an assistant director and stage hand which really means I do whatever anyone who’d been around longer than me needs done and given this is my first play that’s everyone,” Pete explained, “but it lets me see how this is all done, get some experience. What about you? I knew you enjoyed the play that…what was his name Mr…” Pete tailed off as he pressed his lips together trying to remember.

“Carmicheal, Mr. Carmicheal made me help out and be in that play after-you know I don’t even remember what I did, but yeah I enjoyed it. Got a job at the park as one of the mascots after we graduated but…I wanted more so,” Andrew said with a shrug, “this would be my third play and if I get it my biggest part. I can do this,” he added the last bit to himself.

“You were great that year so good luck, let me know how it goes when you come out, maybe we can really catch up,” Pete suggested.

“Yeah, I’d like that. I have some great memories of that year,” Andrew agreed with a nod, “am I in the next group?”

“Yeah, let me call the others and you can go in,” Pete said before he started calling out names, gathering the next group and sending them, and Andrew, in with a smile, really meaning it when he called good luck after them this time.

***

“You’ll have to let me read your play, it’s got to be good if you’ve gotten offers for it,” Andrew said as he takes the stool next to Pete at a bar around the block from the theater.

“They want it, but they also want to rip it apart and change it. No one want it for what I wrote,” Pete complained as he signaled the bartender and ordering a couple of beers.

“Okay, so that part sucks but they’re still offering. You know how many guys would kill to even get an offer?” Andrew pointed out, “I mean it’s like an actor complaining they didn’t get a starring role right out. Getting a role is getting a role.”

“I hadn’t really looked at it like that,” Pete said as he frowned, “maybe I should find out more details about just want they want to change. And cheers,” he added as he picked up one of the two mugs that where placed in front of the pair.

“Cheers,” Andrew echoed as he took a drank from his beer. “And speaking of actors taking the roles they can any idea who they’re casting for Chris? Or Alexander, I’m not picky,” he asked with a grin.

“I’m a bit to low on the totem poll to be part of that. But I do know they’ve been picked and we’re making called tomorrow so you won’t have to wait long,” Pete explained, “How do you think you did?”

“Well I got the lines right and felt good about how I played Chris and they didn’t seem displeased but,” Andrew ended with a shrug, drinking some more of his beer.

“Yeah, you never know until you get the phone call,” Pete said with a nod, “well I wish you luck. And who knowns, it might be me calling you tomorrow. Latasha and I will be both be making calls so fifty fifty.”

“I could do with a guaranteed call from you tomorrow,” Andrew said as he grabbed a napkin and wrote something on it before leaning over to Pete and sliding the napkin into his pocket, “doesn’t even need to be about the part,” he added in a whisper, grabbing Pete’s shirt and pulling him into a kiss.

Andrew ended it as quickly as he’s started it and jerked back when Pete’s whole body went ridge, “What? Did I. I mean you’re still into dudes right? I didn’t get that wrong?” he asked unsure.

“No, I mean yes. I’m still into guys, just it’s one guy right now. John,” Pete explained as he smiled nervously, “I should have said something sooner. I didn’t mean to-“

“No, you’re cool. I just, we fell back into how was it was high school but that was that like five years ago. I should have, we cool,” Andrew asked as he sat up a bit straighter on his stool before almost finishing his beer in a single gulp.

“We’re good. It did feel like high school and back then,” Pete smiled, “it would have been hot to kiss you in a bar.”

“First we would have had to get in one but yeah I would have totally enjoyed that” Andrew commented with a smirk, “so who’s this John? He part of the theater group too?” he asked.

Smiling as he shook his head Pete chuckled a little before answering, “na, John doesn’t do anything like that. He’s working at a PR firm, and not even one that focuses on actors. Mostly sports and business guys, or people with more money than sense,” Pete explained.

“Is this like a, what do they call it-like a sugar daddy thing? How old is he?” Andrew asked as he cocked his head.

Fully letting out a laugh Pete shook his head again, “No but I can’t wait to tell him someone called him that. He’s 23 just like us, we meet in college, we were in the same fraternity,” he finished, still laughing.

“Whoa, hold on. You, in a fraternity? It’s only been five years not a lifetime. I’m going to need more details here,” Andrew demand as he flagged down the bartender for more beers before turning back to Pete, “start with all the homoerotic stuff and finish with why you join in the first place, unless it was because of the other stuff. If it was feel free to repeat the hot parts,” he requested with a grin.

“It wasn’t anything like that. John was the only one back then. And we weren’t out until our last year,” Pete stated still shaking his head and smiling.

“You were out, like to the fraternity,” Andrew asked, going on when Pete nodded, “and now I really need to hear this story,” he said as they flagged down the bartender again.

“Well then, which do you want to here first, why I joined or how we came out?” Pete asked with a grin, enjoying the conflicted look on Andrew’s face.