Zac Davies peered at his co-star through a haze of dancing spots that reminded him of times as a kid when his parents’ old TV went to static. He still managed his lines, but they were flat, even to his own ears. He took a step toward Lydia and stumbled.
“Cut!” The director called.
Zac ducked his head, raking his hand through his hair. The Vicoden had held the headache at bay—so far—but these dizzy spells were another matter…
He looked up in time to see Gina reach his side. “Zac, I want to see you in my tent,” she said. “Everyone else, take five.”
Being summoned to the director’s tent was like being sent to the principal’s office. Yet in the three-plus weeks they’d been shooting, Gina Devereaux had shown herself true to her reputation: tough but fair. Not to mention damn good at what she did; with her guidance, he’d done some of his best work yet.
This is what it’s like in the big leagues.
At twenty-nine, the golden window of opportunity was slipping away. This was his big break. He couldn’t afford to blow it. He felt sweat tickle down his back.
“Take a seat, Zac.” Gina pointed to the cot. She went straight to a cooler at the back of the tent and pulled out two water bottles. She handed one to Zac and he opened it gratefully.
She pulled a chair and sat so that she faced him.
“Are you okay?”
It was not what he’d expected to hear, and he hesitated. Should he tell her? “Um…the heat has been getting to me,” he said. “Maybe I’m just dehydrated.”
Her eyes narrowed and he braced himself for anger or frustration.
“You’ve been really solid up until the last couple days,” she said. “Have you been partying with the crew at night? Drinking a lot of alcohol?”
“Of course not!” Zac said. “I don’t do drugs.”
“Well, then, what’s your explanation?” Irritation was creeping into her voice. She was under as much pressure as he was. Maybe more. “Because you don’t go from giving above-the-cut performance to what I’m getting from you now.”
“I know,” he said. “I’m sorry. Maybe I’m just coming down with something. A flu bug. I’ll take some cold medicine. I’ve got some in my bag.”
She leaned back in her chair, studying him doubtfully.
“Gina!” The voice outside the tent was unmistakeable.
“Shit,” she muttered. “Sylvester.”
Click here to read Installment #2, “The Collapse”!