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Seventh (or Eighth) Verse, Same As the First

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Everyone thought, when Henry didn’t get the part he auditioned for when he first went back into acting, that he’d spin out again, stop trying, quit all together for real this time.

He didn’t. Or, at least, he hadn’t yet.

It was because of that first audition, really. He didn’t get the part, but he knew he’d nailed it. Every other audition he’d gone to since then was the same. He knew he’d been great, he’d done exactly what they wanted, sometimes better than they wanted. It was just the casting directors, the producers, and the directors wanted something else, someone else. It wasn’t that he was rejected, or that he was terrible, it was that he wasn’t a match, or that they were idiots.

Most of the time, it was that they were idiots, incredible, self-absorbed assholes. He felt comfortable now with that assumption. He’d seen enough of the backstage doors and the behind-the-scenes crap in this town to know that barely anybody knew what they were doing, and he just needed to stick it out until he found someone who did.

Because Casey had been right. He is good at it, he does love it, and he hasn’t felt so good in a long time. He has her to thank for that.

Henry is sitting now in one of the beige-colored offices of casting director number whatever on his agent’s list, up for a part in some kind of TV dramedy, or maybe it’s just a straight-up comedy. Three guys get a new roommate who’s a quirky girl or something. It sounds weird, but he likes how the pilot reads.

He knows they are going to call him soon, so he flips open his cell phone and makes a quick call.

“Hey,” he says low into the phone, glancing sidelong at the guy in the next chair over, who of course, looks remarkably like him.

“Hey,” her voice is groggy with sleep. He remembers she was up late working a gig for Ron. “You there already?”

“Yeah, I’m here. They haven’t called me yet,” he smiles, looking down at the darker beige carpet.

“You’re not freaking out, are you?” She asks with as little sympathy as he’d expect from her.

“No,” he denies, though there always are butterflies before an audition. “I just wanted to do the thing.”

She laughs softly. “You’re ridiculous.”

His smile goes tight, embarrassed. “It seems like good luck, okay? And yeah, I do know I haven’t gotten a part yet. Just humor me.”

He can practically hear her rolling her eyes. “Don’t I always?” There’s a pause and she shifts on the bed, rustling the sheets to sit up. “Okay, ready?” She takes a deep breath and so does he before she says, “Thank you... for saving my people.”

“You saved the galaxy,” he whispers and she giggles. “And...”

“No risk, no reward.” They say the words together.

There’s a long pause over the line then she says, “Good luck, Henry, I’ll see you later.”

“Yeah,” he replies and the door opens. They call his name and he goes in, script in hand, door closing behind him.