Status: Hiatus

The Balcony Scene


Casting is easier than Vic thought it would be. When it comes right down to it, certain people are meant for certain roles. And sure, Vic might have to tweak the script a little to make it work, but if that’s what it takes then so be it. That isn’t selling out, is it? Anyway, they can work all that out in rehearsal. Once Vic really gets a feel for the characters as portrayed by actual people, it will probably be easy to change a line or a lyric or a gender here or there. After all, the wise old bartender who has known Carter/Drapes since birth doesn’t have to be a man, does he?

Jaime really is quite impressed with Vic’s open-mindedness. “Since when do you compromise yourself to make others happy?” he asks as Vic runs all this by him. “I’ve never known you to change a single punctuation mark before, dude.”

They’re sitting in the dining room at Vic’s house; the open atmosphere and big table and natural light streaming in through the windows make it a good creative environment. Piles of paper are stacked in columns all down the surface of the table, growing steadily taller as Vic and Jaime move through the audition papers and sort them. There’s a Casted Pile, for those who are destined to play specific roles in the show, like Sierra Kusterbeck as the little girl Anna. There’s the Uncertain Pile, full of talented people that would fit well into the musical but have not been designated for particular parts yet. Then there’s the Cut Pile—no explanation needed.

There are also specific piles for the five characters with the most lines—Carter, Drapes, Darla, the bartender Lou (or Luanne, as it turns out) and private detective Smith, who’s portrayer will need to be able to fake a pretty legit British accent. Drapes’s and Darla’s piles have been narrowed down to one piece of paper each—Craig Owens as Drapes and Hayley Williams as Darla. The other three are still out in the open, which worries Vic; after all, Carter is the most important character in the show. Whoever they cast him as needs to be perfect.

“What about Jesse Lawson?” suggests Jaime, fishing the paper from the Carter Pile. “He was really good, man. Great singer. Fantastic actor.”

“I don’t know . . .”

“Oh, come on, dude! The hair can’t bother you that much. You’re willing to change Lou’s gender, for god’s sake!” As always, Jaime seems to know exactly what Vic is thinking.

Vic leans his brown face into his hand, wondering when this whole “directing a show” thing was going to start being fun. “Yeah, but . . . it’s just so red . . . and long . . . He’s like a lion.”

Vic knows he’s being a tad bit unreasonable. After all, he’s seen Jesse in shows before—hell, the ginger has been almost as involved in the theater as Vic. They’re actually pretty good friends, being in the same grade and both theater geeks and all. Vic knows he could trust him with the role, but that doesn’t mean he likes the idea. Carter is supposed to be a reserved, socially-awkward, intelligent character. Vic just isn’t sure if Jesse could pull it off.

Jaime is still laughing over the lion comment. Vic sighs and goes back to shuffling through the Carter Pile for the twelfth time, reading over the names, recognizing most from other shows but not all. Justin Hills, Brandon Bolmer, Tony Perry . . . Kellin Quinn.

It took a fair bit of convincing on Vic’s part to even get Kellin a spot in the almighty Pile, and looking back on it Jaime’s point—“You only want him as the lead so you can get closer to him,”—may have been justified. Perhaps casting Kellin as Carter would be a mistake, but looking past the obvious attractiveness of the freshman in question, Kellin did have a phenomenal voice. His acting was nothing to shake a stick at, either, at least as far as Vic had observed.

“What about Tony, eh? Good ol’ Tony Turtle?” says Jaime now, taking the papers from Vic’s hand and flipping through them quickly. “Surely you can’t have anything against his hair?”

“Not his hair, no.”

“What, then?” Jaime throws the papers down, exasperated. “Tony’s one of our best friends, dude. It would be, like, douchey of us not to give him a lead, if you think about it.”

Vic shook his head. “That’s exactly why I don’t think he should be Carter. People would think we were just picking favorites, you know? Tony has an unfair advantage. We can give him a good supporting role. Plus, I don’t think he quite has the voice for some of those high notes in ‘Bulletproof Love’.”

Jaime groans and throws his hands up in defeat. “That’s it. I’m going into the kitchen for some Kool-Aid while you sort your life out. Want anything?”

“No thanks. We’re out of Kool-Aid, by the way.”

“Ugh!” Jaime shakes his fists. “Why is this world so cruel?”

Still, he leaves the room in search of an appropriate casting beverage, leaving Vic alone with his thoughts. Putting the Carter papers down, he sorts through the Detective Smith Pile, removing two unfitting actors and putting their papers in the Uncertain Pile. Now there’s just a choice between Gabe Barham and Andy Biersack.

On one hand, Gabe is predictable—a good thing, when it comes to theater. He would always show up on time to rehearsal, put in extra time to master the solos if need be, and, all in all, give his best effort to play his role as well as possible.

Andy, on the other hand, is a bit of a wild card. Vic doesn’t know him very well at all, Andy only having gotten involved in the theater last year as a freshman, but he’s heard the rumors. The kid basically does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, which would surely come around to bite Vic in the ass if he does choose to give him a prominent role. Not to mention all the weird clothes and makeup that Andy is known to wear, which is a definite no-no in a serious show like this.

But Vic has to admit, Andy Biersack is hella talented. His acting is fantastic, which is to be expected since he transferred from a performing arts school. His voice is a little raw, maybe, but so deep and throaty you just want to take a bath in it. The way he sounded belting out Vic’s songs in the audition is a distinct memory in Vic’s mind, even after six days. It reminds him of drizzling rum sauce over ice cream.

Vic sighs and, with an air of finality, lays Gabe’s paper on top of the Uncertain Pile, leaving Andy alone next to the other stars.

Casting a sophomore in a role as big as this is a risk, Vic knows. Especially with a kid like Andy, who Vic just knows will show up to rehearsal in two days decked out in full-on victory war paint, just to be defiant.

He’ll just have to learn who’s in charge around here, thinks Vic, who despite the uncertainties still feels confident in his decision.

Jaime returns a moment later with a can of Diet Pepsi in hand. Popping the tab and taking a sip, he surveys the Piles and nods.

“So, you picked the little goth kid for Smith, huh?”

Vic shrugs. “It had to be done. You gotta admit, his audition was amazing. And I think he’ll be a blast to work with once he stifles his ego a little bit.”

Jaime shrugs and puts his hands in the air. “Hey. It’s your musical, man. I’m just here to give a helping hand. An obnoxious, annoying helping hand.”

“You’re doing your job right, then,” grunts Vic in response, sitting back, knowing he’ll have to return to the problem at hand sooner or later.

Carter. Carter, Carter, Carter. When Vic wrote his character, the thought hadn’t even entered his mind that the lead role would be a difficult one to cast. If anything, he assumed they would have too many people to choose from—after all, Carter isn’t the most extraordinary human being. He has a fair knowledge of general dangers of the world from articles on the internet, but really he’s a pretty average guy. Shy and not good with people, Vic knows he’ll be a character that people can actually relate to. He’s a realistic hero.

And now he’s proving to be the most troublesome of all.

Vic knows he can’t put the decision off any longer. The cast list is supposed to go up tomorrow, for Pete’s sake! Vic doesn’t believe in callbacks, but he thinks he could make an exception for this show, this character . . . He shakes his head. No. Another tryout won’t do any good; he’s known three of the four candidates for years now. He has a fair measure of their talent and perseverance in the theater.

It would be stupid to cast someone he’d never met before the auditions as the freaking lead role.

With a loud groan, Vic covers his face with his hands and, for the first time, feels the true turmoil of being fully in charge of a show.

What is he going to do?
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Merry Christmas! Here's the next chapter! I hope you liked it! :)

Please please leave comments, I'll start replying to all of them like I used to! Especially since this story isn't finished yet and I haven't written it and to be completely honest I haven't really thought so far ahead haha, so I am absolutely open to suggestions! :)

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