Home > Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1)(4)

Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1)(4)
Author: Tammara Webber

My father was there when I did my first commercial—nineteen takes to get the precise sip of juice that wouldn’t inhibit my two lines about how delicious and wholesome it was. I still can’t look at grape juice without gagging. He was there when the maniacal director of a low-budget made-for-tv movie screamed in my face because I dropped a prop phone. He watched as I sweltered through Arizona desert heat with a parka zipped to my chin, portraying the daughter of an intergalactic explorer who’d been exiled to a dry, frozen planet.

I thought he was clear on how hard I work, at least.

Don’t misunderstand—I love what I do. And I’m good at it. Some people assume acting is just putting on someone else’s clothes or accent, but that’s not enough. You have to unzip the character’s skin, step into her completely, allow yourself to meld with her. You have to become the character. Even if the character is a kid who really likes juice.

I should be grateful, I should feel lucky, and I am, I do. But even if you have what everyone else wants—if it isn’t what you want, it isn’t what you want. A high school film version of one of the greatest novels of all time? Really? Unless Jane Austen is a Reid Alexander fan, she’s probably spinning in her grave.

Chapter 3


These auditions are killing me. They did screen tests on I don’t even know how many girls, and narrowed it down to twenty. Richter wants her to be attractive, but not exceptionally hot, which blows, but he’s right. Lizbeth Bennet is someone Will Darcy falls for against his normal inclinations.

I’d like to think I’m capable of having onscreen chemistry with anyone, but sadly, that isn’t the case. Before each girl comes in, we go over her headshots, clips of past film work, and her screen test. I’ve done auditions with eleven of them so far, and I’m thinking these are the ones we narrowed down to? We’ve spent varying amounts of time on each one, and I’m trying to figure out how Richter operates, because we’re spending longer with the ones I want to cut. Not that I’m complaining to Adam Richter about whatever method he uses or who he chooses.

“Daria,” Richter calls to his assistant, his finger on the clipboard of information in his hand. “We’re ready for the next girl. Belinda, is it?”

“Yes, sir,” Daria says. “I’ll bring her right in.”

“I’m going to kiss this one, aren’t I?” I say.

Richter barks a laugh and his bright blue eyes regard me over his glasses. “What makes you say that?”

Oops. “Um. It just seems the less jazzed I am about one, the more likely we are to do the kiss.”

His eyebrows—equal parts black and silver—rise slightly. “Good observation. I don’t want to miss out on possible physical chemistry, so the ones who aren’t passing the test on script audition get one final chance before we reject them.”

“That makes sense.”

“Thanks, I appreciate your support.” His mouth twists, and he laughs again when I color slightly, which I never do.

“Adam, this is Belinda Jarvis.” Daria leaves the girl standing in the center of the camera equipment.

I can tell right away that Belinda isn’t the one. Her face is too sensual, her expression too calculating. She could, perhaps, be Caroline Bingley. Reciting lines I know so well that I could deliver them while juggling, I read her body language and the way her half-lidded eyes gaze at me and decide that Belinda would be fun to have on set. We get to the kiss, and not two seconds into it, her tongue is in my mouth. Entertaining, yeah. Lizbeth Bennet, no. When she’s dismissed, I mention what I think to Richter, about using her for Caroline.

“We’ve already chosen Caroline and Charlie,” he says. “We ran their auditions concurrently, since their sibling chemistry and appearances must be convincing.”

“Can you tell me who?”

“I hope to be able to let you know Charlie by tomorrow. I’m calling him tonight. As for Caroline, she’ll be played by Brooke Cameron.”

Brooke Cameron. I try not to react, but Richter’s eyes miss nothing and I’m too knocked off center to hide my reaction. “You two worked on something together before, I think?”

“Yeah.” I do not want to go into detail. “A few years ago.” Almost four years ago, in fact.

He looks as though he has a follow-up question, but Daria pushes the door open and leans in. “Emma Pierce is here, Adam.”

*** *** ***


I’m as intimidated auditioning for Adam Richter as I am auditioning with Reid Alexander. Dan warned me that Richter wouldn’t waste time on small talk, so I have to swallow my anxiety and convince him that I’m his ideal Lizbeth Bennet. (I called Emily for moral support but wasn’t helped by, “Oh. My. God. The thought of being that close to him. I can’t breathe.”)

“All right Reid, Emma, begin with ‘There you are,’” Richter says. “And… action.”

INT. School hallway – Day

WILL walks up to LIZBETH at her locker, touches her shoulder.


There you are.

LIZBETH pushes books into locker, turns to WILL, scowling.



(Scowling at Reid Alexander for any reason seems all wrong, but it’s in the script.)


I can’t take this. Obviously we’re on different levels socially and you’re a complete one-eighty from my usual type, but I can’t get you out of my head. Go to Charlie’s party with me on Saturday. I’ll pick you up at eight.

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