Thursday afternoon after the audition.
After her successful audition, Mariel got dropped off at her lot. It had been a few days since she had actually come here, and everything was the same. Yep, a big empty lot. She checked to see what she needed to do before her gig tomorrow. Hmm…invite over the director and cast. Well, she was here, so maybe they’d like to come over and see her tree. It was really the best feature of her lot.
“Hey, I was wondering if you’d like to come over and see my tree?” Well, the good news was that it wasn’t raining. Mariel wondered how many sims would be coming and wished she had some food to offer them.
Mariel didn’t have to worry about the hordes invading her lot because the only sim who showed up was Vivaan Venkataraman.
“This your lot, kid? Nice tree.” enthused Vivaan. He then went on to talk about trees in general and Mariel figured he was just being nice. He started talking about a hike to see a legendary tree, right here in Del Sol. The Wisdom Tree Hike, he called it.
“…You have to head up to the mountain, and on a dirt road, there’s a hike. Pretty spectacular. Did it once in my college years…” Vivaan said, “I’d love to do it again, but I am not in the best of shape myself. But you should go, kid, you’re young.” he explained.
Mariel thanked him for telling her. She couldn’t believe what a nice sim Vivaan was. She decided to confide in him a bit. She told him that she had inherited this lot (but of course, didn’t tell him from whom), and came here expecting to find a trailer or something on it. She then told him she was currently homeless and kind of sleeping at Pectoral Fitness.
Vivaan shook his head and looked at her closely, “Pectoral Fitness, huh? I heard they had some designer showers there. Are you the one posting all those simstagram pics?” Vivaan asked.
Wow! Someone had seen her simstagram pics? Mariel nodded her head yes and said that there were others taking simstagram pics, too, so it may not have been hers he saw. She described the last one she posted.
“Oh yeah! That’s the one I saw. Great shot of Holly Alto. Almost made me want to work out just to get a look at her. She’s a stunner that one.” Vivaan gave a wistful look as if remembering the pic.
“Hey, kid, you know they have some star trailers down at Plumbob Studios that are for sale. Ones no one wants to stay in anymore. Some are pretty well used and may need a bit of fixing up. Some banged up furniture, maybe green paint in the shower. If you’re interested, kid, I can make a call.” Vivaan said, “They even deliver it for you. Just hook it up and drop it off.”
Mariel couldn’t believe her luck. A used star trailer? Oh, but how much would they cost?
“No worries, there, kid, those things are dirt cheap, around $8K simoleons. You got that much?” Vivaan said matter-of-factly.
Mariel quickly thought about it and figured she could sell some things at the pawn shop. It would be close, but she would have her own place then. She nodded yes and Vivaan made a quick call.
While Vivaan was busy making the call, Mariel looked up and saw Thorne Bailey at the edge of her lot. He was just standing there looking at her. Oh my! He was dressed up in a suit like he was going to a business meeting. He looked so good in everything he wore. Mariel bet he even looked good in his skivvies. Oh my gosh, what was she thinking?
And then suddenly Thorne started walking up the driveway towards Mariel. Oh my gosh! Thorne Bailey was coming to talk to her. Her, Mariel! She had to act cool, although her heart was pounding so loud she thought for sure he could hear it. Her palms felt sweaty, and her face felt hot. Oh my gosh. What witty remark could she say?
When he got to where she was standing, Thorne turned to Vivaan and started talking about staging the next music video and how the dancers from the last production were just clumsy….and on and on. He didn’t even say hi to Mariel at all. Of course, Thorne didn’t want to talk to her, it was really Vivaan he wanted to talk to. Mariel’s hopes were dashed again. She felt so embarrassed, and she went over to check on her suitcase under the tree and grabbed a few more clothes. Maybe she could hide here until he was gone.
She heard Vivaan call her name and she looked out from behind the tree and Thorne had left. Vivaan also had to leave, but before he did, they took a quick selfie together. He had become her friend.
After Vivaan had left, she got a call from her neighbor, Vanessa Jeong, who asked her if she wanted to get together at Orchid A-Go-Go. Since Mariel had to practice her guitar skill for her acting gig and thought that sounded great. Plus, it would be a great chance to catch up with Vanessa.
When they arrived at the club, Mariel saw Vivaan just leaving. On the way over, Vanessa had told her how she was stuck in a rut in her career and never seemed to get audition offers. Mariel decided to introduce Vanessa to Vivaan. Maybe with Vivaan’s help, Vanessa could get some better gigs. Vanessa and Vivaan seemed to hit it off and he told Vanessa that she had striking good looks, especially her hair. Vivaan gave Vanessa the name of another talent agency and told her to give them a call.
Vanessa was so excited and thanked Mariel for her help. Vanessa wanted to call the agency right away and sat at the bar to make the call. The bar wasn’t busy, so Mariel headed over to the stage and picked up the guitar and started to play. It wasn’t long after that she got a $2 simoleon tip.
And then a paparazzi took her pic. Whoa! It was the same guy from the gym! The one who had taken her photo earlier. What did this mean? Was she becoming a star? Oh and he was kind of cute, too. After a few more photos, he left. She had actually felt a bit nervous while he was snapping all those shots of her.
Mariel didn’t know where Vanessa had gone, but Mariel decided to head to the bar for a bit of a break. It was a different bartender tonight, and his name was Wolfgang Munch. He commented on her playing and said that she needed to come back for the Talent Showcase tomorrow.
“Hey, you’re pretty good. You seem to have an ear for music. Have you ever played the keyboard?” he queried. Mariel shook her head no. “Well, you should. Here are some beginner lessons if you want to give it a go,” said Wolfgang as he handed her some sheet music.
In preparation for the Talent Showcase tomorrow night, the bar had put out some other instruments on the stage, which included a keyboard and violin. It still wasn’t too busy, so Mariel thought she’d try her hand at the keyboard. And who should take the mike while she was playing? None other than Holly Alto herself. It seemed that Holly now had the fans surrounding her. Mariel looked up quickly from the keyboard and thought she saw…oh yeah…it was. Thorne Bailey. And was he looking at her? No, couldn’t be. He must be looking at Holly Alto. Why would he be looking at Mariel?
And then with Mariel playing keyboard and Holly singing, Thorne came over and picked up the violin and joined them. Oh my gosh, Mariel didn’t know he could play the violin, too. Was this real? No, this must be a dream again. But no, it was real. She was really playing alongside Thorne Bailey and Holly Alto! Mariel’s nerves were frazzled. Here she was practicing the scales on the keyboard with two fingers while Thorne had picked up on that tempo and was playing a jazzy number which Holly crooned the lyrics to. Mariel recognized the song, Cheek to Cheek. It was like Mariel was part of his band. She couldn’t believe it, they sounded pretty good. And they had a crowd forming around them, actually clapping. Once they were done, Mariel excused herself and was about to head to the restroom, when she heard a voice behind her.
“Hey gorgeous, how ’bout I buy you a drink?”
She turned around and it was the paparazzi guy staring at her with a questioning look in his eye. Hmm…well, he was kind of cute…so, maybe she would. It was only a drink. And then she could find out more about him and why he was taking photos of her. She nodded her head in agreement. Mariel found out his name was Kengo Maeda and he was a paparazzi at The Clickbait Chronicle. He told her he could tell she was star material and wanted to ensure he got those first photos of her.
“A lot of celebrities shun the paparazzi and don’t want their photos taken. Or, if they do, they only want you to take their best side. You’re a natural, Mariel. I’ve been lucky to take a few photos of you, and you look great in every one of them.” Kengo stated.
Even though she was a bit embarrassed by what Kengo had said, she felt he meant it as a genuine compliment and she thanked him for it. She really liked him. And, after finishing a drink together, he asked her if it was ok if he took some more photos of her playing.
“Maybe a few of you playing the guitar? You really do sound the best on that,” Mariel agreed and even though Thorne was now playing keyboard and Holly was struggling to play the violin, Mariel confidently picked up the guitar and strummed along to the song that Thorne was playing.
She heard Kengo telling her to move this way, that way, move your hip forward, look over here, and strike a pose. As Kengo clicked photos of her and Thorne and Holly, she didn’t seem to be nervous anymore. She was in the limelight and she was loving it. With the last click of his camera, Kengo looked over the photos and seemed pleased with the results.
And Mariel got more tips as Kengo snapped yet another picture of her. Of course, everyone was going ga-ga over Holly, who was now playing the keyboard, but Mariel still managed to get some tips.
Mariel was getting tired and thought she would call it a night. She put down the guitar and thanked Kengo for the drink, and told him she had to go. But she had a favor to ask Kengo. Perhaps Kengo could take a selfie with her. She wanted a picture keepsake of her new friend. And with that, Kengo smiled and gladly agreed.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
While trying to figure out what type of house Mariel should live in, I came across an article on celebrity trailers. This is a real-life story of Lyle Waggoner, of Carol Burnett fame, opening a line of custom-designed “star” trailers. His company is called Star Waggons. In the article, is a section about how trailers are sometimes returned: “He recalls that Lou Ferrigno’s trailer from “The Incredible Hulk” came back with green body paint all over the shower,” and I thought I would use that little bit of “green” in my story. Read more about Star Waggons here.
So, Mariel had to invite the producer and cast over to her lot as part of the pre-requirements for her acting gig. And I thought, what does Mariel’s lot have going for it? And all I saw was a tree. So I googled “famous tree in Hollywood” and up popped an article on the “wisdom tree.” And the conversation went from there. Read more about the “wisdom tree” here.
At the Orchid A-Go-Go Club, I had added a keyboard and violin to the stage. I figured that Mariel could then practice more instruments. I also created a club for her which consisted of Mariel, Vanessa Jeong, Holly Alto, and Kayla Flemming and called it Actor’s Guild. The symbol for their club is the Comedy and Tragedy Masks. So, for some reason, Vanessa left and it was just Mariel there playing for awhile, and then Holly Alto showed up and started doing comedy routines. Kalya Flemming never showed up. But what was funny about this was that Thorne Bailey, who is not part of this club, just kind of joined in with them. I think he wants an invitation. Don’t you think?
The song “Cheek to Cheek”, (1935) by Irving Berlin was written for the movie Top Hat and performed by Fred Astaire. It was just a random song that came up when I googled jazz songs. And I just found it kind of funny considering that Thorne was almost “cheek to cheek” with Mariel and I am sure that Mariel was “in heaven” playing alongside him. Listen to the Frank Sinatra version here.
7 thoughts on “Down & Out in Del Sol – Ch 6: Band Mates”
Another great part! I like the idea of the used trailers for a home. Looking forward to seeing that! I am actually familiar with ‘Cheek to Cheek’. I used to watch old musicals with my mom when I was a kid!
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Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, that song “Cheek to Cheek” is in a few movies. Another one is a Walter Mathau and Jack Lemmon movie called “Out To Sea” where they are dance hosts on a cruise ship. Hilarious. The star trailer idea came about because there is a star trailer at Plumbob Studios and I was thinking, I wonder if you can buy used star trailers. And that is how I came upon the Star Waggons website. Especially in a rags to riches story, I am always trying to figure out how things could be done if it was real life, like having a “fake” pawn shop to sell things. Anyway, I try lol
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❤ look forward to more band escapades .. I toured with and managed a band for 10 years .. it is a crazy life
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I saw that on your About Me page, Pretty cool.
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OH you are the one who read it (*wink) lol I try to keep that one a tiny bit updated but ti does not get a lots of reads ❤
Well, and then there’s me who reads everything lol
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And a dear treasure to me ❤