2010-01-08: Fade To Black



Date: January 8, 2010


What happens when an actor can't get his mind off the person he's acting with? A blooper, that's what.

"Fade To Black"

Afterlife Sound-stage

The creature stands half in shadow, yellow eyes looking out at the man following her. She doesn't seem scared - or even hostile. There's a frown spread across an inhuman face, though, hinting that she's not exactly happy with being cornered. She's bristling - literally - with about a million sharp quills down her back. Seems as if she'd be dangerous to meet in a dark alley at night.

The thing is, though, there have been reports of this same creature actually helping people. Strange, considering how frighteningly evil she looks. Most would-be crime victims are baffled when Llanview's newest superhero shows up to help them instead of hurt them.

She could run. The creature is an expert climber; amber eyes actually look toward the wall she's been backed up against, but then she sighs, stepping forward and out of the shadows.

The persuer isn't a superhero, even if he's been subjected to every kind of monstrocity that's ever showed up in Llanview. Short of this beast. One would think that the good doctor would stay away from it, but the script will not allow that! This is surely the time when he will get stung, or bit, and turn into a spined creature. Wavy blond hair catches what light there is in the alley, illuminating his face. Blue eyes look out with noted concern, and understanding.

Of all the people in this city, no one understands what it's like to look through the eyes of a monster quite as much as Dr. Kenneth Pryce.

The rumors of it helping people might be part of why he's come out to find it. He attacked people, even when he didn't want to. What was done to him could rarely be seen as good. This time, it's not him who became the monster.

It's been hinted at. But never has it been outright said. The cliffhanger of all cliffhangers.



Hands go up to his face. "Sorry. That's one for the blooper reel, I guess."

Normally, when someone botches a take, Erin gets pissy. This time, she spits out sharp teeth (onto the floor, mind - someone will have to clean them before she touches them again, 'cuz the floor is dirty) and exclaims "Thank GOD." It's pretty hard to be upset about a bad take when you're already upset about the makeup you have to wear. Which one is the greater evil?

Erin sighs again, rubbing her arm. Her 'injury' has become part of the show's canon, which means it's emphasised quite clearly - a long, jagged scar. Sure, it looks slightly worse under makeup with fur glued all around it. It's itchy, it's annoying, and she can't help respecting what Taine went through.

Also, she knows she has it coming for all the teasing she put him through. So as soon as the cut is called, she's shouldering past him.

The yelling doesn't happen, so Taine lowers the hands from his face to look at porcupine woman. Now she knows how he felt all those years of bad make up, and horrible mouth pieces. And contact lenses. But he doesn't go 'told ya so.' Even when he's tempted to. "The camera is supposed to be on me for that line anyway, so why don't we just redo my take and let Erin have a break? She's been in that make up for hours." And he knows how it feels. Don't ever say Taine hasn't tried to do this!

There's a moment where he smiles at her, before he looks back at the director, who mulls over that. "Fine! Porcupine Monster is done for today. We'll add 'Morgan' in post as a voice over and use the footage we got on her."

It's good to have a director that actually thinks about things like that, instead of wanting take after take after take…

"I'll walk with you to the make up room, if you want?"

Thick, yellow contact lenses, which oddly seem to glow from time to time - just a little. Just enough so that no one imagines it's anymore than a trick of the stage lighting. The makeup artist pats herself on the back for that, but the real truth is so much simpler. Erin's just an angry person.

She feels a lot better just hearing that she's done for the day. Thank you, Taine.

She slows down long enough so that she can catch up. Out of the shadows, the multitude of rubber quills look ridiculous… And they're heavy, too, on her small frame. There's been a slight rise in colds on the set lately, mostly for the costume designers and the script writers… Accidental, of course. But Erin's made no attempt to cure them, either.

She looks back at Taine, not saying yes or no to his question, but instead launching into a conversation that seems to suggest that she's given her permission. "This is stupid. They had to have a reason for this— " She holds up her mangled arm, " — Then they could have come up with something else."

"This is Afterlife," Taine says patiently, used to her anger. He has to deal with it more often than anyone on set does. Not that they're supposed to know that! Their relationship being secret, as it is. "If it doesn't involve a lot of make up, a crazy experiment gone array, or some supernatural beast, it doesn't really belong. A car accident would have been easy on everyone, I know, but— this is what the show is about." As stupid as it is.

He HATED it when it was him. He whined and bitched and moaned. And now when the postions are reversed, he probably wants to go 'now you know how I felt'… but he doesn't.

Luckily the script let's him say something very similar next time they film. When he takes Morgan home, and cleans her up. He understands how she feels. He's been there before.

It won't even be acting.

"Yeah," is her answer. Erin raises one hand to scrub at her eyes, then thinks better of it. Last time she tried that, she moved one of the contacts, and that was painful. Helplessly, she holds her hands out in a shrug-like gesture, then drops them back to her side. Just a couple more hours in the make-up chair, and she'll be fine.

Last time they filmed the porcupine, Erin had to learn the hard way that she isn't allowed to tear off all the prosthetics in anger when her scenes are finished. Because that means ever so much more time in the chair as they re-make everything.

She does pull the fake claws off, though. Those are easy enough to reattach, so long as she doesn't throw them away, like she did last time. One would think that her job as a set designer would make her slightly more sympathetic to the makeup artists, but that isn't the case at all. "I'm surprised you aren't enjoying the hell out of this," she says bitterly. Stopping in the hall, she braces her hands against a wall and twists her back until it cracks, loudly. "I would have quit— " She looks around to make sure no one's listening in. "But I have a feeling that if I do, they'd really come after me."

Would she have really quit? No.

"Believe me, I considered it a few times," Taine says, leaning against the counter and watching her, willing to say a warning if it looks like she's about to rip off quills and other such things. That make up looks even more uncomfortable than most of his. At least he could lounge in some of his. Those quills must make sitting back difficult. And potentially painful.

"But my contract wouldn't just let me quit. I tried to weasel around the fine print a few times." It would have gotten him thrown out of the Guild that they belong to, and no one wants that. So hard to work without it.

"And there were things worth staying for, too," he admits, with a smile. A perfect smile. For once, he's the one who gets to look awesome all the time.

He glances around, to check and make sure they're alone. The make up lady is likely on her way, but not there yet. "They haven't come after you again, have they?"

"Yeah, well… Now I see why." It's the closest she'll come to an apology at the moment. At least, she hopes, she won't have to get used to it. In true soap opera fashion, she'll either be cured… Or they'll completely stop noting it in the script. Erin will be free! Except for the fact that, knowing her luck, she'll have to endure the makeup chair every day for the rest of her life. It used to mean an hour becoming glamorous. Now it just means her own personal hell.

"I knew they'd get me eventually. Seriously… Contracts? There are ways out of those, if I really wanted to."

At least Taine knows how to soothe the savage beast, so to speak. Erin smiles, though it's not entirely apparent under the makeup. "Yeah, you'd miss me," she says, voice much less harsh than it was a few seconds ago.

Pushing away from the wall, she turns her currently-yellow eyes toward Taine. "No. Can't say I don't expect them all the time now, though. I barely sleep." Nightmares are powerful things. Sometimes, she's not sure if the dream she's just had was all in her head, or if it's something that happened on the night she was attacked.

There's a spreading of his hands in a gesture of complete innocence, but it gets cut off rather quickly by the sudden comment of the make up artist. "Well bloody…" Taine says, watching the empty door for a few moments, before looking back at the woman in horrible make up. Horrible because all make up is horrible.

"For the record, I was meaning I could snuggle with you— but sex wouldn't have been out of the question. It might make you sleepy!" As he says these words, though, he's moving toward the door. Fleeing. Getting out of range of flying objects. There are a few within reach.

He's going for the hall, and the make up artist, and planning to try and stop the inevitable gossip. But it probably won't work.

"I don't snuggle," Erin says dryly. Taine may have found that out the hard way by now.

Fortunately, there are no flying objects. There would be, except for the fact that she's gotten tired of waiting for the makeup artist to remove her makeup, so she's just going to go ahead and do it herself again. In all seriousness, impatience really should have been among the seven deadly sins. Erin has plenty of that to go around.

Pulling the fake face off, she sets it aside. Mostly in pieces, because Latex doesn't just pull off in one piece. "Better," she mutters. It's not all off, but it's a start. "Maybe she'll think twice about — Hey, Taine."

Sliding off the counter, she starts meandering her way out of the heavy back-packlike quills. "Just let her go. Someone would have found out sooner or later. Might as well be Jill. At least then everyone will know in the next five seconds and we can get it the hell out of the way. Guess I'll have to call Tracy and break up with her."

The quills fall to the floor with a heavy thump, and Erin - looking considerably more human now - rolls her shoulders. "Much better."

With the lack of flying objects at the back of his (perfect) head, Taine slows to a walk, but it's her words that make him turn around and come back in the door rather than hurry off after. At first, he wants to ask what changed her mind about going after her, but then he shrugs his shoulders. "Tracy can still be your girlfriend. I always wondered what it would be like to date a lesbian." Though for that to really work, it would need to be a bisexual female. Of which he doesn't think Erin is. Nor does he think she's a lesbian. He's joking.

But hey, since everyone knows now…

"Do you need help getting out of that make up? I know I'm not the make up lady, but it's her own fault she left and ran off… leaving us alone in the make up room." With a pretty descent sized counter top!

Why is his mind suddenly on…


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