lumieredetoiles: (Keelia and Alisha unlimited)
It's really, uh, sharp, don't you think?
You know - black is this year's pink
You deserve each other
This hat and you
You're both so smart
You deserve each other
So here, out of the goodness of my heart*


If people hadn't figured it out yet, Alisha's primary goal for the last two years at least had been to play Glinda in Wicked. She'd loved Wizard of Oz as a child, and though she'd never admit to it, she'd bought Wicked the novel as soon as it came out. Yes, she immersed herself in political satire. If anyone tried to make something of it, she'd likely just ignore it. She liked the book, but the first time she heard the soundtrack, she just knew. She was destined to play this role. Her agent really should have sent her in for the part the moment it opened up, except, of course, that she hadn't had an agent yet, and really, they weren't going to put a novice up against Idina Menzel after the success of Rent and Kristin Chenoweth was perfect for the role, which she'd give her. But still. It was a role that at some point, somewhere along the way needed to be Alisha's. Meg was a good start, or well, it would be if the primary would ever let Alisha get more than two performances in a week. The people would see. And if Meg didn't exactly sparkle, she still had some really challenging musical sequences. And Alisha was sure that she had sparkled quite enough on her recent commercial to convince any producer ever that she could shine.

She just needed someone to put all the pieces together, and then the role would be hers. She'd already told her agent to keep her ear open for anything in the cast, either touring or stationary. She'd leave New York to be Glinda. There might've been a twinge about that, but when a girl just had to do something, a girl had to do it.

So until then, she practiced, she sang, she worked on the characterization in the songs. She memorized the script. She made Keelia spend hours playing Elphaba to her Glinda, which really worked way better than you'd have thought looking at her. The bookish redhead had potential. She just needed prodding. It wasn't like she hadn't done stage before, and her dancing was so much better than Alisha's, but. Keelia just waved her away. She'd practice with her, but no. They were not launching their own performance of Wicked in the Realm just so Alisha could have an entire cast to play with.

Alisha really didn't think that was fair at all. But if Keelia hadn't learned by now that Alisha wasn't one to give up, then she would soon figure that out the hard way.

*lyrics from "Dancing Through Life" from Wicked
lumieredetoiles: (wherefore art thou)
Alisha had received a lot of flowers through the years. Prom corsages. Pink roses everywhere for her sweet sixteen party. Red ones from the first boy who told her he loved her, presented on Valentine's day with a gleam in his eyes that she never got around to quite returning. After a new show opened, they'd litter her dressing room. Orchids. Roses. Tulips. Daisies, usually from Keelia who always remembered how much she loved them.

She loved them all. Appreciated them. Sent thank you notes promptly as dictated by Miss Manners and her mother. But she never kept them. A lot of her friends back home would dry their bouquets and hang them on their pastel painted walls. They littered their rooms, tied up with bows, memories of glories of the past that some of them wouldn't have again, settled down with their high school boyfriends and three kids by age 25.

There were two though, two that hadn't gone the way of the rest.

One was a red rose, still red, just a few months old, with a white lace ribbon tied around the stem, slipped between wax paper and pressed into her Complete Works of William Shakespeare in the middle of Romeo and Juliet.

The second was older, more fragile. A rose as well, white with pink edged petals. There was a dried drop of blood on the wax paper it was wrapped in, where the thorn had pricked her finger. The note that accompanied it was saved as well, though the ink was smudged with a couple of tears. Not many, just one or two. He'd taught her to be economical in emotion and she wouldn't dishonor him by wasting tears he'd call foolish on his gift. But it was wrapped with care. She hadn't been sure what to press it in, and had settled on the first Nancy Drew book he bought her. After his funeral, they wandered in the procession back to the old house that smelled of camphor and cedar. Her mother had clung to her father the whole time, sobbing for hers in an excessive display considering she hadn't bothered to visit him except on holidays for the last five years. Only Alisha had made the trip on her bike weekend after weekend, as often as she could. That's how she justified it when she slipped out with his family Bible with all of their names, births, deaths, marriages carefully inscribed in it by a firm hand in black ink. Next to his name she just as carefully wrote in the date with a hand that still shook a little despite all her care, smudging the purple ink. Just as carefully, she took the rose from between the covers of the Nancy Drew book and put it carefully into the Bible next to one of the illustrations of Jesus in heaven. She took it with her every time she moved, but she only opened it one day a year, reading the note, fingers tracing that firm handwriting. If she worked hard enough, she could smell the scent of the rose. Then just as carefully, she put it back and closed the Bible.

She thought he'd forgive her that one little sentimentality.
lumieredetoiles: (up close)
She was twelve the first time she heard the term "triple threat." It was tossed out randomly by the director at the community theatre, talking about some flash-in-the-pan starlet who'd performed at the Kennedy Center in the touring company of Les Miserables. The comment was more derogatory, lauding her voice, but demolishing her acting. There seemed to be some debate about her dancing skills as no one'd seen her do it yet.

"She's pretty enough, and her voice is solid, but she's no triple threat."

Alisha scooted down the stage, wincing a touch as a splinter tried to work through her jeans. She'd been swinging her feet, waiting for them to get rehearsals going so she could actually stand on the stage, for all that her part was fairly paltry. She was only 12 after all, and this was community theatre.

She thought they needed to do Annie until someone pointed out that she was a blonde and would never get cast in the role.

Her mother had taken the bottle of hair dye away firmly.

But now she was intrigued. "A triple threat?"

The director glanced up and gave her an affectionate smile. "It means someone who can act, dance and sing well."

Alisha chewed on her lower lip.

She could act. Everyone knew that. And she'd sung well enough to get a part in Babes in Arms last summer. There'd been some dancing involved, but.

When she got home that evening, she found her mother.

"I need singing lessons. And dancing."

Her mother was reading some fashion magazine or another and glanced up inquiringly. "You hated ballet. You begged me to quit."

Oh. Right. But this was different. This was her career they were talking about.

"I was just a kid then." It had been three months before. "Now I want to take them again." She still had the shoes and all her leotards fit. "And a voice teacher."

"You're in the choir." Her mother went back to her magazine.

Alisha gave a frustrated sigh.

Then she went to find her father.

Two weeks later she had private voice lessons twice a week, and dance classes four days a week, and rehearsals most nights. Her mother shook her head, and pointed out to her father that this was no way for her to go about finding a husband. She'd have no time to date. He shrugged and went back to reading the Wall Street Journal. "It's what she wants," he muttered before he disappeared into stock market reports and the secreted page he'd slipped in from the local paper that held the latest spreads on the upcoming Kentucky Derby.

They expected her to lose interest. She usually got bored quickly.

But the words hung in her dreams and her eyes danced at the thought of the reviews to come. The New York Times art section, lauding the debut of the newest rising star on the Broadway scene. "Alisha St. James: Triple Threat"

Fourteen years later, she was still clinging to that dream, and just knew it was about to happen. Then they'd all see.

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January 2010

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