This is the Fourth Story in the "Folk Lore" series.
It is rated "R," mainly for langauge.
Disclaimer: Not Real. Just for Fun. This is MY imagining of what MAY have happened.
Go to the"Folk Lore" main page.
The days between his audition and the beginning of filming were a total blur.
First, Gale had to give his notice at the repertory company and at his various part time jobs. Then he had to pack up his apartment and find a place to store his pick-up truck until he could find a way to bring it up to Canada.
Then the traveling -- he'd never flown First Class before because, frankly, he'd never had the money to do it. And it was a trip! Sitting up in the front of the plane, surrounded by all those business men, getting free booze, being pampered by the flight attendants. Like he was a real actor! A 'star'! Well, hardly a star. But things had definitely changed in his life. And changed so quickly.
Toronto was interesting. It seemed a really laid back city. Lots of ethnic neighborhoods, with little restaurants and funky shops. The area where they filmed most of the outdoor scenes, Church Street, was a real neighborhood with a comfortable feel to it. Locals referred to it as 'The Gay Village' -- which was what Liberty Avenue was supposed to be in Pittsburgh, with Rainbow Flag decorated bars, restaurants, and bookstores adding to the authenticity.
Gale was able to find a temporary sublet apartment right away, which was a good thing because it seemed like every minute of those first days was otherwise crammed with wardrobe fittings, the first read-through, and blocking out the scenes. Gale barely had time to think about his character or about the reality that he was about to begin filming a television series of which HE was the star. Yes, Hal was the nominal 'lead' and Sharon had the 'featured' role, but from what he could see in the first two scripts, his character, Brian, was the one around whom everything revolved. Brian -- and his young lover, Justin. Yes, he and Randy were the central pair. Randy had been right about THAT. You couldn't read the episodes any other way.
And as he approached that first day of filming -- which was going to happen any minute, it seemed! -- he began to realize just how extreme his character was going to be. And how extreme those first scenes were going to be! No one else in the cast, except Randy and himself, was going to be expected to 'bare it all' in a way that had never been seen on American television. As an actor, Gale was going to have to try to maintain the moment, define his character, and hope that his dick wasn't on total display all at the same time! An impossible situation.
But whenever he began to sweat at the thought of what he was going to have to do, he looked over at Randy. Who seemed completely at ease. Or pretended to be. And he looked so fucking young! He WAS so fucking young to be so secure. To know exactly what had to be done -- and then do it. That gave Gale a lot more confidence. With Randy as his scene partner he was certain that we wouldn't screw things up too badly! He hoped.
After the read-through and with shooting set to begin the next day, Gale loitered around in the hallway, waiting for Randy to leave the rehearsal space.
"Hey," said Gale, as Randy walked out. Randy was adjusting his glasses and shoving his script into his Land's End bag.
"Well, kid -- what do you think?" said Gale as they walked out. It was a warm day and Gale felt the sweat starting to trail down the back of his tee shirt. He stopped and lit a cigarette.
"About what?" said Randy, tilting his head and smirking.
"Day after tomorrow -- the Big Scene, that's what!"
"Big SCENES. Plural. THAT'S what!" laughed Randy.
"It all kind of merges in my mind, to tell you the truth," said Gale, blowing out a smoke ring. The two of them watched it lift and then dissipate in the air.
"Cool. You'll have to teach me how to do that," said Randy.
"It's a deal -- if you teach ME a... a few things," said Gale, a little nervously.
"Me teach YOU?" said Randy, amused. "Like what?"
"Like how to be a convincing queer on camera. Because I have to be honest -- I have NO fucking clue what I'm supposed to be doing. And Brian is THE most experienced fag on this show -- or on ANY show ever in the history of television. And if I look like I just fell off the heterosexual turnip truck into Queer World -- that's not very good, boys and girls!"
"I'm sure you'll do just fine. It's only sex after all. Pretend sex." Randy bummed a cigarette and Gale lit it for him. He didn't ordinarily smoke, but he was learning to do it to play Justin. Randy tried to blow a smoke ring, but it just sort of oozed out of his nose instead. He coughed.
"Pretend sex that has to look real. I've been searching my sense memory and haven't been able to come up with even a repressed memory to draw on. I mean, of any gay stuff. Just general curiosity, but nothing ever acted on."
"Nothing?" asked Randy, truly surprised. Gale seemed like a guy who had done it all -- and would have no problem in admitting that he had.
"Nope. I DID grow up in the South, after all," said Gale. "Rednecks and good ole boys who didn't cotton to long-hairs and queers."
"So did I," Randy reminded him. "Also in Atlanta."
"We must have been in different zip codes then!" replied Gale, smiling.
"Or different eras," added Randy. "I think the real answer is that we're actors and we just have to do what we have to do. We've both read the script. We both know what it's about...."
"We're committed," nodded Gale.
"About as much as two guys can be... without picking out a china pattern, of course," Randy dead-panned.
Gale almost spit out his cigarette. "You ARE a corrupting influence, you know that?"
"I thought it was supposed to be the other way around, Gale?" Randy replied. "Or should I say -- Brian?"
"Right. Brian. Well, one good thing -- there's no fucking time to be nervous! Because apparently, according to my call sheet, we just go in and do it. No rehearsal is scheduled."
"Is that a problem for you?" said Randy.
"Well," Gale admitted. "I guess I'm used to the theater where you rehearse the hell out of the thing until it's second nature. Then you do it -- and you don't really think about it."
Randy sniffed and tried to blow another smoke ring. This one came out sideways. "I think we'll both have to think about THIS one. I don't see how we can even TRY to fake it. There's no room for faking it with the camera... er... right THERE!" Now Randy laughed a little nervously. Gale felt better. Maybe Randy wasn't as self-possessed as he tried to seem. Maybe HE was also as anxious about the whole thing as Gale was!
"I know. But a little rehearsal might kind of... break the ice?"
"Would it? We already know each other... at least a little. That helps," Randy said. "But in some of YOUR scenes it's definitely going to be like -- 'Hi! I'm Gale! Are you ready to suck my dick?'"
"Shit! That's right!" said Gale. And then he laughed at the absurdity of the situation. "But, for instance, this rimming thing...." Gale stopped, feeling himself blushing.
"Looks like that's scheduled right away. Along with the rest of the Big Scene." Randy narrowed his startlingly blue eyes at his co-star.
"I know! I mean, I didn't even know what the fuck rimming WAS!" said Gale. "And now I'm supposed to 'teach' YOU -- I mean Justin -- how to do it? Without any rehearsal? Jesus!"
Randy leaned back against the wall and dropped the cigarette on the ground, smashing it under his sneaker. He'd have to work on the smoke ring thing later. Maybe Gale could show him the trick of it. "Rimming? It's just butt lick, that's all." Randy put his arm around the older actor and patted his shoulder. "And believe me, Gale -- there IS no rehearsal necessary for butt lick! You just have to do it!"
"Then... I guess we'll just do it!" said Gale. And he blew another smoke ring high over their heads.
© Gaedhal, March 2003.
Send Gaedhal any comments, critiques, suggestions. I welcome all of your feedback!
Posted March 19, 2003.