"Moon, Starr, and Skyy"
My name is Skyy and I'm a movie star. I have two sisters, Starr, who is twelve, and Moon, who is ten. Starr is short with blonde hair and blue eyes and long eyelashes. Moon is just the opposite. She is tall with dark brown hair and big black eyes. Moon’s taller than Starr. I'm the oldest, thirteen, and I'm sort of in the middle. I have regular brown hair, the color of chocolate, and green-gray eyes. Even though we have different coloring, it's funny, Starr, Moon and I look a lot alike with our big foreheads and rosy cheeks.
If I heard that there was a family with three girls called Starr, Moon, and Skyy, and one of them was a movie star, I think I would automatically think that the girl named Starr was the movie star. Actually, Starr was never the dramatic one. Starr's idea of great fun is to curl up in a chair with a book and an apple.
When we were all very small though, everyone thought Moon would be the family actress. She was always the one taking acting lessons and performing in talent shows, and putting on creative shows at home after school with a friend or two. Then suddenly I was the actress, starting a few years ago.
We were driving to a beach resort during summer vacation, Moon, Starr, Mom, Dad, and I. I was in a crabby mood. Mom and Dad had told me about the vacation just last night, when I was getting ready for bed. I had been very angry since I had already made lots of plans with my friends, Sarah and Rochelle. We were going to have a sleepovers, go bowling, to the movies, and have picnics. Suddenly world came to an end.
When I went to breakfast the next morning, Starr and Moon had just split the last pancake so I had to have cold cereal.
My green tank top was dirty and that was the shirt I had most wanted to wear. I tripped coming down the stairs, and my ankle was throbbing. There I was, in the car with eight year old Moon singing Barney songs and nine year old Starr chewing stinky gum practically in my face. My foot had to be propped up on someone's leg all the time, and the huge plastic bandage that Starr had wrapped loosly around my foot was pealing off. Besides that, mom and Dad were fighting about which road to take to get to the resort. I suffered painfully.
When we got to the resort it was dinnertime. While I was in the bathroom, Dad ordered me the seafood platter, and when I came back, I found a bunch of beady-eyed shrimp on a plate with colored toothpicks in them.
"This is enough!" I screamed, loud enough for the whole restaurant to hear, "I'm sick of you! I have to come on this stupid vacation, and when we get here you give me some diseased water creature to munch on!"
"You lower your voice, young lady," warned Dad, pointing at me.
“You know what happens to bad eleven year olds,” Moon added, laughing.
"I know a lot of children who would have been very pleased to go to a beach resort and who would have eaten whatever was served," said Mom, "But you are just a spoiled brat!"
"Oh, shut up! Both of you!I'm not a spoiled brat! I hate you all!" I yelled on the top of my lungs. My parents exploded.
"Go upstairs to our hotel room and stay there until we come up!" cried Dad, fishing the keys out from his pocket, “And NO T.V.!”
I stomped down to the elevators and held my head high as I stepped in. I held the door for two other men in suits and ties who were rushing toward the elevator. They got in but didn't press any button.
"Hello," said one of the men in a deep voice. He was tall and big with broad shoulders. His blonde hair was cut sort of long and he had thick glasses with dark brown frames. "My name is Mr. Peters. Wesley Peters. This," he said, pointing to the other man, "Is Mr. John C. McNally. Both Mr. McNally and I are talent agents, and we work together."
"Talent agents?" I repeated stupidly, not knowing what that was. I massaged my ankle.
The men stepped back out of the elevator, and motioned for me to follow. I dropped my ankle. Mr. McNally, the other one spoke. He had very short brown hair and no glasses. "Talent agents find talented people with big dreams and make their dreams come true. For instance, If Mr. Peters and I were at talent show at a summer camp, we just might happen to find a really great actress. We would then try to find jobs for the kid. Movies, shows, TV commercials, voice overs."
"Anyway," Mr. Peters continued, "We were dining in this fine hotel and we saw you put on a great performance."
"What if," said Mr. McNally, "We found some great jobs for you, and we were your agents!"
"I'd love that!" I said breathlessly. My stomach felt strange. Sort of like it was empty, maybe flying.
Then I saw Mr. McNally and Mr. Peters talking to my parents, and Starr and Moon gazing at them in wonder, their eyes big. I saw my parents arguing. My mother was twisting in her chair. My father was plucking his eyebrows. Oh please, please let me be an actress, I thought. They nodded and laughed with the men. Good sign! Mr. Peters and Mr. McNally shook hands with my parents. YES!
On the way home from the resort a few days later, I was in a great mood. I was singing country in the car. "Now Skyy," said Mom, "Your good news does not excuse you from your bad behavior. You were very rude at the resort. I expect you to apologize."
"I'm sorry, Mom, Dad, Starr, Moon." I said, sincerly.
The day we got back Sarah and Rochelle came over. I hadn’t told them. What if it was all a big scam? We were talking in my room when Dad poked his head in and said, "Skyy. You have a phone call."
"Hello?" I picked up in the kitchen.
"Hello. Is this Skyy Abbott?" I heard a deep male voice.
"Yes," I cleared my throat, "This is Skyy."
"Hello, Skyy. This is Wesley Peters. We've got you a job." I gasped. Did all agents find jobs so fast or was this an exception? Rochelle and Sarah walked in.
"What job?" I asked. My friends looked at each other.
"A cereal commercial voice over. I was talking to the director and he said that a girl about your age with good acting would do the trick." I got the date and time and place and then he hung up. I wrote everything down.
"Who was that?" asked Sarah, peering suspiciously at my pad of paper. I stuffed it into my pocket.
"Oh, my agent." I said no more.
The morning of the voice over I put on my green tank top, (now clean) and a pair of blue jeans. I even put my hair in a braid.
Mom took me to the studio. A short man in a bright yellow suit handed me a script. My lines were highlighted. This is what the script looked like:
(Children dance and play on TV)
Little Girl's voice: Why do Cheerios taste so good?
Big Girl's voice: I think it's because they're so good for you!
Boy's voice: Or because they have such a great taste!
Adult voice: Maybe, but think it's because they're from General Mills, the healthiest cereal company ever!
Little Girl's voice: General Mills cereal is very good for you, right?
Female voice: It sure is! (laughs) General mills cereal is a heart healthy way to start the day!
Little Girl: Yum-Yum!
I was going to play the little girl, and even though I only had three lines, I was so happy! The actress who would play the big girl was a teenage girl with blonde hair in a ponytail and freckles all over her face, who looked about fifteen. She had barettes all over her head that looked like they were stuck on by a messy toddler. The boy had curly red hair and was wearing a neon green T-shirt and plastic flip-flops. He was playing gameboy and the teenage girl was petending not to watch the game but kept sneaking looks over her MAD magizine.
In the recording studio, some adults gave me a pair of headphones to put on. I was going to go first! I had to say my line over and over again until it was perfect! "Too fast," The adults would say, "Try it a little more meaningful, like you've been thinking about it all day. And slower, too.'
"Why do cheerios taste so good?" I said again.
"That's it!" cried a tall woman. "That's what we want!"
"Yeah," said a man with a bushy brown beard, "We've got it." He took his headphones off and smiled. The tall woman winked and told me to get off the stool. Then the man in the yellow suit handed me $25!
I walked out of the studio with my head high. Mom was so proud of me! At home Starr and Moon looked over the money. "I want to do voice overs, too!" said Moon. Starr begged me to tell her all the details.
And that was just the beginning.
A few weeks later I was sitting on the couch watching TV with a bowl of cornflakes and a glass of orange juice. Suddenly my voice came on! "Why do Cheerios taste so good?"
I went crazy.
It was seven o' clock in the morning on a weekend, and I was the only one up. I ran through the kitchen to the hall, knocking down cookie jars and bottles of spices. I banged on my parents' door, I shook Starr and Moon until they were awake. I ran around screaming.
And Mom and Dad and Starr and Moon all went rushing down to the living room to hear my voice and of course, by then, it was already another commercial.
Now everyone was wide awake and grumpy and couldn't go back to bed. For the rest of the day, everyone had dark circles under their eyes.
The next day was the best. Mr. Peters and Mr. McNally called! "Skyy," said Mr. McNally, "A TV show director heard your voice on TV and wants you to auddition for a role on her TV show!"
"What show?" I asked, my voice trembling with joy.
"I think it's called Wednesday Wendi," answered Mr. McNally.
"I love that show!" I exclaimed, "It's about this woman named Wendi and how she always has a bad day on Wednesdays.It's so good!"
"The audition is next Friday. Be ready," said Mr. McNally. He hung up.
The adudition was in a theater in New York, because the show was filmed in New York. I thought I would be the only one or two girls there. There were about three thousand girls. A woman with lots of make up and sparkly purple glasses tinted pink attached numbers to our sweater. I was six hundred ten.
Mom and I waited in the waiting room for a few hours. We were the only ones just sitting there. some parents were brushing their daughters’ hair, or coaching them on how to act. Some girls were putting on make up or fixing their sweaters.
Finally my number was called and Mom wished me good luck as I walked nervously into the theater. A woman with blue eyes and gray hair told me to go onstage. There were already about ten girls onstage.
"Now," said the woman with blue eyes, "For this audition, you girls will be trying out for the role of Wendi's little cousin who has to come and live with Wendi. We will expect you to be good actresses, because this will be a main part."
I swallowed. How good was I?
"Okay, now, we will be doing this audition by acting out little plays, just to see how you act. Our play is going to be three bears. Each part will be the same size. If you're not Goldilocks or one of the three bears; Mama, Daddy, or Baby, you will be an elf or a talking flower. we'll go around first so I can catch your names."
I got the part of Goldilocks. The woman with blue eyes gave each of us a copy of the script.
I think I did a pretty good job. There were some girl who were terrible! There were some who were just as good, if not better, than me. Anyhow, I left feeling great! Mom bought me a plain doughnut and a low fat milk. Then we went back to our hotel.
The next day we drove back home. It was a long drive, but I didn't care, I kept thinking about the audition, and Wensday Wendi.
I hadn't learned disappointment.
About three weeks later, Mr. Peters called our house. "I'm sorry, Skyy. You didn't make Wednesday Wendi."
There was a moment of silence, of shock. I sat down. I think I heard Mr. Peters take a sip of coffee, though. He was used to this. I wasn't.
I hung up and went upstairs to cry forever.
Sarah and Rochelle were beggining to get curious. One day I get a mysterious phone call and the next day I come to school with my eyes red and damp, and flushed cheeks.
One day they both rang my doorbell, looking very serious and determind. Rochelle looked at me hard with her big brown eyes. Then she raised her eyebrows. I smiled. Sarah tossed her hair importantly.
"We," began Rochelle, "want to know why you've been crying and getting strange phone calls."
"Tell us!" ordered Sarah.
Well, I told them.
"Oh my god!" Sarah squealed. "Why didn't you tell us? You're famous! Your voice is on TV!"
Rochelle made us watch TV until the commercial with my voice came on. Then they taped it on a blank cassete.
The next minute they were calling everyone at school. "I think that we should have an autoghraph party for you, Skyy!" exclaimed Sarah.
My friends went into the family room and started to push the chairs off to one side of the room. "Hold it!" I called. "My parents are not going to let us have a party in here! Anyhow, this is a CRAZY idea!"
But I compromized to having an autoghraph party at Rochelle's place. She lives with her parents and grandfather in a giant victorian house with a wrap-around porch. When we got there, (Rochelle lives just around the corner from me), her mom was alone reading a magazine on the porch in a wicker chair. "Hi girls," she said, in her high, singsong voice. "What's up?" She crossed her legs.
"Momma, I'm gonna have a party." announced Rochelle, going inside.
"Sure," said Rochelle's mother. She's not strict in the slightest. She lets Rochelle do whatever. Inside, we watched Rochelle get out a maroon tablecloth and spread it on the diningroom table. Then she got out two dishes and filled them with some water. She put two rosed shaped floating candles in, and lit them. Then she closed the curtains.
"Like," said Sarah, "The perfect atmosphere!" She tossed her hair. She turned on the radio (jazz music), and Rochelle went upstairs to get some pencils and paper.
Then Sarah called everybody again.
“Like, there’s a party at Rochelle’s place for Skyy. It’s an autograph party. She’s famous, you know. Her voice is on T.V.”
It felt strange to hear my friends talking about me this way. Sarah hung the phone up. “Skyy,” she cried, “They’ll be here at three. WE’ve got to hurry up and get dressed.” I looked at the grandfather clock by the front door.
“Sarah,” I said, “It’s only two.”
“Come on!” She ignored me, pulling me upstairs. Rochelle was ahead of us. She was throwing apart her closet trying to find the perfect dress.
“Come on, you guys!” I complained, “Aren’t we wearing jeans and T-shirts?”
Sarah and Rochelle looked at me in horror. “Your guests better not hear you talking this way about your own autograph party!”
Rochelle found me a shiny, kimono sort of thing, lavender and silky. Sarah decided to wear Rochelle’s black velvet holiday dress. And Rochelle was wearing a white blouse with a Peter Pan collar and a long, navy blue skirt.
Then Sarah had to shampoo my hair, and condition it, and then put it up with a claw and a million pins hidden in the back.
Rochelle did my make-up. I had to have eyeshadow, mascara, and lipliner. Then I went into the bathroom and put on my dress. I came out and took off my old, dirty Doc Martins. Rochelle lent me some black, clunky slip ons, Mary Jane style.
“Wow!” cried Sarah.
“Like, awsomely cool!” Rochelle agreed. Then, they had to do each other. This was all too much for me, a lowly eleven year old. I colapsed on the bed and slept until the party.