This party isn’t as fun as the producers made it out to be. The end of filming party they said. C’mon Lex, let go, enjoy your life for once they said. I never really understood the concept of parties. Getting completely ‘gazeboed’ was how Geoff the director understood them. Becoming the macho alpha-male he would never be was how Ted the pimply resident caterer understood them. And then there’s me. Supposedly, the star of the show. Expected to strut down the red-carpet bejeweled in the latest Chanel, Dior, Versace and McQueen. Laughing, flicking my hair, and giving that unforgettable artificial smile. And yet, that’s not who I really am. I’ve been distorted by fame. I look in the mirror of the grotty Soho club toilet and see how others see me. Long blonde hair, permed to perfection. Bright red lips, a trick of the light, many hours of intense lip lining spent in the make-up cabin to make my lips looker fuller, sexier, more appealing. Petite neck and shoulders, feminine and delicate, contoured with the flick of a bronzer brush. My breasts, two artificial spheres of silicone. Pumped to perfection. Not too big, not too small the tabloids say. I stand 5”9, tall, elegant, but not freakish, and yet I’m constantly instructed to wear heels. My dress, shimmering silver catches the light as it barely manages to cover any of me. Low cut at the top drawing attention to my cleavage. High cut at the bottom drawing attention to my legs. Who would know where to look? I lean forward, looking myself straight in the eye. “I am Lex Redford. I am 21 years old and I am a star.” I recite these words to myself again and again until I begin to believe myself. A mantra of lies and delusion. Straightening my dress and flattening a loose strand of hair, I right myself, turn on my heel, push open the toilet door, and make my way into the muggy heat of the club. As soon as I step out of the toilet, I am hit with the smell of stale booze, camera flashes and shouting. I can just imagine the headlines now: ‘Starlet leaving the bathroom on her own, who has she left in there?!’ I push my way through the throng of paparazzi and make me way over the bar. The barman turns to me, and I nod. He turns back to his shelf of poisons and pours me a glass of vodka and whiskey. The Redford they call it. I turn and place myself in the corner on an old leather barstool. Looking around me I see fellow cast members, enjoying themselves, getting drunk. Happy drunks. There’s a few others like me, that people have learned to not approach when there’s a drink in their hand. The angry drunks. The sad ones. The fame-stricken ones. It’s hardly Hollywood on the dance floor. Not what you’d think a Hollywood party would be like. If you’d walked in now, you’d have thought a lot less of us. The stars. From the scene around me now, we’re merely the C-team. The almost famous old friends of the stars. Unsuspecting and tacky we stand, in our glitz and glam. Fame hits you bad. It’s hit me. And it’s hit them.
© Copyright 2016 Anna Townley. All rights reserved.
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