A Movie Starlet

"What're we going to do?"
Milton Warrington, movie director extroardinaire clutched at his thinning hair, his expression one of shock and horror. "Injured? But how? Why? When did this happen?"
"This morning, so I heard." Judith, the director's assistant told her, a frown on her own face as she surveyed the letter. "She came off her horse, cracked a leg and three ribs."
"But who's going to be my star? Who can I get at such short notice? We start filming in a week!" Milton was getting more and more agitated by the moment and Judith rolled her eyes, despairing of her superior's artistic temperament. "What are we going to do?"
"There must be someone else, surely?" The assistant moved over to the computer, bringing up the list of actresses with a frown. "Wasn't there anyone in audition who could play the part?"
"None who were right." Milton fretted. "It's hopeless, we'll have to cancel the whole project!"
"Mr Warrington, a lot of money has been put into this project." Judith said patiently, her mouse cursor hovering over a name on the list. "What about Louisa?"
"Louisa Fitzgerald? Too tall."
"Too tall?" Judith echoed. "Well...how about Sarita Barnaby...she has a nice voice."
"Her look is all wrong." The director gestured impatiently.
"Sheryl Blackwood?"
"Hasn't the voice to cope with the singing."
"Well, she has everything else. Couldn't you cast her and dub someone else's voice in later?"
"Judith, I do not dub fake voices in my films!" Milton exclaimed, evidently insulted. "If it's not real it's not worth having! The girl doesn't make the grade!"
"Okay. Fine..." Judith swallowed her impatience, returning her gaze to the list. "Heather McDonald?"
"Girl can't act." Milton dismissed the name with a wave of his hand. "I told you. There is noone else...and none with a voice to begin to match Emelynne's. Dammit, this had to happen now!"
He dropped down in his chair, reaching idly for the television handset and flicking it on, skipping idly through the channels. "I suppose you'd better get in touch with the backers, let them know the film is off. It's a damn shame, too. I know it'd be a box office smash."
"Fine." Judith sighed, reaching for the phone. "If that's how you feel."
"It is." Milton nodded. "I...Wait! Hold everything! Hold the phone! Who is she?"
Judith's brow creased in confusion, coming to join him in front of the television set. She had never approved of her boss's habit of turning on the set whenever an argument or a situation went against him. He'd pretend he was looking for new talent, or proofing his latest production, but it irked her anyway. For a man of his ability, she mused, he watched a lot of cartoons.
"Who do you mean?" She asked him now, squinting at the screen through her red-rimmed glasses.
"Her! Are you blind, woman? The singer! She's perfect!"
"Mr Harrington, she's a singer...not an actress." Judith said patiently. "I know you're desperate, but..."
"I can see talent when it stares me in the face!" Milton interrupted her excitedly. "I've been in this business a long time, don't forget! And don't you see how perfect this is? It's fate, Judith! Fate, that's what it is! My brilliant masterpiece about the highs and lows of music in Los Angeles - and suddenly there she is, like an angel out of the very world I'm trying to portray! I must have her! Who is she?"
Judith sighed.
"The group is Jewel." She said, resigned. "But I couldn't tell you the name of the singer in particular."
"Well, find it out, damn you! Get in touch with her recording company! Get her here! I must hear her sing live in my office!" Milton's mood had lifted as quickly as it had dropped. "She might just be my salvation! She has everything - the right appearance, build, height, smile...and that voice...dare I say better than Emelynne's?"
"You really want to bring a rock singer into your film?" Judith evidently did not approve.
"Don't question me." Milton ordered. "I know a prospect when I see it - just find out everything you can about this girl. I must have her!"


Chapter One: A Surprise For Topaz
Chapter Two: Make or Break
Chapter Three: Audition
Chapter Four: First Day
Chapter Five: Travis' Plot
Chapter Six: Making Choices
Chapter Seven: Jewel...and Jack
Chapter Eight: Topaz Shines
Chapter Nine: Trouble
Chapter Ten: Crisis
Chapter Eleven: Morgan Explains

Chapter Twelve: Topaz's Future