Looking over the river at the bright lights of Bridgeport I shivered excitedly. This was my first moment seeing the big city and I wanted to savour it.
I was raised in what’s commonly referred to as a ‘hick town’ as plain little Lily Bell. I had never left Twinbrook in all my 18 years, but I was ready for the big city, ready for my new life. Before arriving in the city I had changed my name to the glamorous, Old-Bridgeport style Lily Belgravia. I may not look the part yet, but I soon would be, and everyone would know my name. I wanted a fresh start, to get away from everyone holding me back. I hadn’t a job nor a place to live, but I had a little money that my mom had given me before I left, telling me she hoped all my dreams came true. They will mom, you can count on me. I hopped on the subway and headed for one of the cities cheaper establishments.
Arriving at the seedy bar, I expected the worst of the worst, but instead the first thing I saw was an extremely famous celebrity! Oh my god! I couldn’t believe it, I had read about her in the magazines back home, and here she was!! I quickly scuttled over and tentatively asked for her autograph.
After she signed it for me she quickly walked off with her friend, publicist, stylist, whoever that girl was with her, but I couldn’t stop staring at her from across the bar as I sipped my drink.
I wanted to be famous like her. I wanted to be recognised, but most of all, I wanted to act. Growing up I had always donned my mothers (cheap) dresses and paraded round the house pretending to be the characters I saw on TV. I could do it, I could be an actress, I just knew it. Drama had been my forte at school, winning several coveted roles across the course of my school career, all I had to do was transfer that onto the big screen. With that thought in mind, I headed for the local studios.
It was quite late when I arrived, but I was wildly excited, I was probably going to get snapped up for a supporting role or something when I arrived, I knew I was a good actress.
“Hi, I was wondering who to speak to about a job around here?” I asked the pretty receptionist, who put down one of her magazines and gave me a once over.
“Do you have an appointment with Mr. Winnerton?” She asked, giving me a knowing look.
“Um, I- uh- I wasn’t aware I needed to, is there any way you could possibly fit me in, please! I’m going to be a famous actress and have to get started right away!.” I said, smiling widely. She looked away and sighed.
“You and everyone else sweetheart, but hey, you’re in luck, his 11 o’clock was cancelled, take a seat and I’ll tell you when to go through” Yes! I wasn’t even aware I needed an appointment, and I’d gotten one just by asking, lady luck was definitely on my side. I took a seat and waited patiently.
Entering his office 20 minutes later, I was alarmed by his size, he could crush me with one wrong turn! I tried not to judge, but I took extra special care of my appearance seen as I wanted to be an actress. He sat stoically staring at me as I talked on and on about my acting skills.
The award on his desk made me forget all about his appearance, it was a Sliimy for best director! Wow! This guy could really make my career.
“Look sweetie – I didn’t listen to anythin’ you just said.” He cut across me mid sentence.
“What?” I was confused, why was he staring at me then?
“Hon, the work you’d be lookin’ at wouldn’t require no actin’ skills. If ya’ wanna’ job you can be an extra. That’s all I got for ya’.”
“I don’t understand, you haven’t even seen me act! Please just give me a chance.” I pleaded with him.
“Hon I know it ain’t fair, but life ain’t fair. You’re a pretty girl in a town full of em’. You ain’t got nothin’ special, or you wouldn’t be in here pleadin’ for a job, you’d have bin’ discovered. Acted in school plays huh, yeah I guessed as much, if you were that good, someone would’a found out about ya’, but they haven’t. Come to the studios on Monday to be an extra, hey ya’ might see 5 seconds of yourself in a movie one day.” I was horrified, was I really just like everyone else? I was about to burst into tears when he came and sat next to me.
“You ever heard of a little somethin’ called the castin’ couch gorgeous?” He tried to put his arm over my shoulders, but I quickly put my arms up in protest
“What do you think you’re doing?! I’m not that kind of girl!” I screamed at him as I jumped off the couch.
“Look here miss I’d be doin’ ya a favour, I could get get ya’ a job as a personal assistant, it’d be good money for ya’, might even get yaself noticed!” Wow, he could really get me that job, it was much better pay than being an extra… No! I had morals, I was going to get to the top legitimately, not on his terms, I wasn’t going to be indebted to anyone.
“As I said Mr. Winnerton, I’m not that kind of girl!” I was in a fury, I’d heard rumours of the casting couch, but only in bad made for TV movies, I didn’t think it was real!
“OK, OK!” He said throwing up his hands, “Ya’ may as well come back to be an extra then, who knows, ya’ might get lucky.” I was relieved he hadn’t stopped me coming back as an extra. “The offer still stands sweetie!” He shouted as I walked out of his office, slamming the door behind me. I was going to make it to the top, I was going to be the best thing the world had ever seen.
As I still had no place to sleep, I decided to pick up where I left off and head back to that seedy bar. I’d have loved to have gone to some of the more uptown establishments such as ‘The Prosper Room’ but hey, I’d met one of the biggest celebrities in town at the supposedly seediest bar, so how bad could it be?
As I arrived in the bar, a few people recognised me from earlier and nodded their heads at me, I was thrilled people remembered me, perhaps I could become a star after all! A rather odd looking man was playing the bass, surrounded by a crowd of beautiful girls.
Stopping to watch, I didn’t feel like it was anything special, but I was extremely interested in the man playing. He didn’t look real. Red eyes gazed out at me, and paired with his dark ebony skin and sharp, pointed teeth, he looked other-worldly. Almost like a wear wolf. Ha, Small town girl meets a different looking man and thinks he’s a wear wolf, gosh, I watched too much TV back home. I booed his skills as I headed to the bar.
Sitting at the bar, staring at all the people who seemd to have forgotton I was here, I was determined to attract their attention.
“Drinks on me!” I exclaimed, beaming round at the faces in the bar that had suddenly lifted in appreciation.
It set me back almost one hundred simoleons, one hundred simoleons!!!! It was definitely worth it though, as everyone came over to thank me and help themselves to a drink. I was even asked to dance by a handsome black man, not really my type, but it was nice of him none-the-less.
I was in ecstasy as I headed for the toilets. Flushed from dancing and smiling broadly, as I waited in the queue which was out of the door by this time, as all the locals had heard I’d bought free drinks and hoped for more, the woman in front of me turned around and started talking.
“Hi, thanks for the free drink hunny” She said looking me up and down, she was a minor celebrity in the neighbourhood, but well away from the leagues of Lola Belle, who eclipsed her tonight.
“Your pretty popular around here, I’m sure we could be friends” She continued warmly.
“Oh that would be great!” I beamed back at her, and promptly informed her all about my disaster with Mr. Winnerton.
She was sympathetic but not surprised. As we headed out to a local club to finish off the night, I knew I was on the rise. I had my first celebrity friend, I’d been asked to dance by a handsome stranger, and met Lola Belle – one of my idols! All on my first day! I never thought it could happen, Bridgeport definitely lived up to it’s reputation as the city of dreams. I just couldn’t get that frightening man off my mind… the way he had stared at me was unnerving, when I thought about it shivers ran up my spine, whatever, I should just leave it in the past, I’d probably never see him again in a city of this size. Conveniently forgetting the casting couch incident, I danced the night away and knew that I was going to have an amazing life here, I was going to be the greatest actress Bridgeport had ever seen, and set the roots for generations of my family to inhabit the city!