Smile for the camera. You are a star. These thoughts swim in a young performer’s head. What if I didn’t. I’ll just make due. See the strife of a singer who puts on a smile for every mood. Please enjoy.
The Colorful Mask by Raine Leggett
I watch as they cheer. The applause ringing throughout the room defended my ears. I smile at them as sincerely as I can. I watch them blow kisses I don’t desire to blow back. A void in my heart makes me wish I could leave. Where did it go the love for this stage? Why have I fallen victim to this sea of lust? Give me my name instead of this blind fame.
She walked off the stage. Her manager headed her a bottle of water.
“Good job out there again today.”
She looked up as she took the bottle and put on a brave face.
“Yeah, I rocked it!”
“You sure did. Now we have to make sure you are ready for what is next. You have two more gigs coming up.”
“Don’t worry if you keep up this level of performance you are sure to keep shining.”
“Oh yeah. I understand. I’m just a bit tired.”
“Alright well how about we celebrate with barbeque, then.”
“Alright, thanks mom.”
As they drove her mom yakked on her phone about gigs. Every time she hung up; she dialed another number. It was vexing. “Talk to me.” Kay thought. She sped through a light so distracted by the phone. Kay felt it would serve them right if they crashed.
Shortly after her mom hung up again.
“We’re here! Now let’s celebrate!”
“This place looks expensive…”
“Don’t worry your gig paid well.”
As they got to their seats people stopped them a lot and asked for pictures. Her mom eagerly let them take a few. She placed the most colorful smile on as she stood with them one by one.
“Sorry guys but can you take this outside?” A waiter said as he approached them.
“Sorry guys! This will have to do it!” She beamed.
After the commotion ended, she and her mom took their seats. She was waited on immediately by the same waiter. Her mom eagerly piled up her order. She asked many questions about all the expensive food. By the time she finished Kay who had zoned out noticed the waiter leaving.
“Wait my order- “
“Don’t worry, Hun. I ordered for you too.”
“Ma’am, is that okay?”
She put on a colorful smile.
The food arrived after some time. It smelled delicious. Her mom immediately began to divvy it out. She immediately noticed the portions were off.
I knew it… She thought. She not only got her favorites; she’s eating the most.
She formed up as much energy as she could and put on a face of fun.
“Well let’s dig in!”
They ate in silence. She felt the food was what she needed. It was long after the meal started her mom’s phone began to ring. But to Kay’s surprise, she didn’t pick it up. Her stomach lurched at this.
As her face fell, her mom looked up. She put on a smile before eating into a rib.
“Is everything okay here?” The waiter said as he returned.
“Yes. However, I would like a to-go plate.”
Kay’s heart panged.
Her mom asked for a check as well. Kay didn’t like that she had to tip with her on cash as well as the cash her mom was using. Every bit of those funds were hers and she knew it. Her mom always talked about responsibility but never let her practice beyond her selfish reasons. When does a 16-year-old get her freedom?
They drove down the road to shortly after leaving. It didn’t look like they were going home.
“Where are we going?” Kay asked.
“To talk to about another gig.”
“That’s not a problem.”
“You’re right it’s not.” She said as she forced a smile.
It took hours for the meeting to end but as she left her mom signed a deal for some gigs at parties. She couldn’t stand it.
The next few days were hectic. She wanted to rest so bad, but her mom made her prepare so much, it was hell.
The day of the next gig hit so fast she thought she would die.
As she waited backstage, she nearly cried at her exhaustion. At least her mom could try to understand. She was jolted from her thoughts as she heard her introduction. She ran on to the stage but as she did a photographer flashed a light directly into her eyes. She got so disoriented by this and before she knew it, she had stumbled over a chord on stage. She landed with such a thud as the mic hit her on the head. A screech filled the room so viscously as the mic blared.
Her mom rushed on stage as Kay clenched her leg.
“What on earth!?” Mom said angrily.
“My leg!” She cried.
She cringed in pain but what scared more than the pain in her leg was the crowd. Their stares crushed her. She fell back as she wanted to disappear. In her despair, she listened as the crowd was told the show is over. The words echoed in her mind mercilessly. Her mask fell and she began to cry.