Jamie takes a sip of water from his water bottle as Grace flips through a book of songs. LED lights flicker around the dark room with only the light of the TV screen making things visible to them. Jamie picks up one of the microphones from the table and walks toward Grace.
Jamie: Did you pick a song yet?
Grace: I’m trying to pick a good one…
Jamie: *sighs* Grace, it’s not that hard to pick a song.
Grace: It is when you’re picking the song for another person!
Jamie laughs and rubs the nap of his neck; nervous.
Jamie: I feel like I’m auditioning or something.
Grace: You are; for me!
Jamie shakes his head and looks at the screen light up. He reads the song on the TV and his widen instantly widen.
Jamie: Grace, this is a song made for a woman to sing!
Grace: Just sing it!
The song starts to play and Jamie instantly starts to sing the song. Grace claps her hands along to the beat. Jamie tries his hardest to hit the high notes in the same octave as the original artist. He cracks here and there, which makes Grace laugh. Jamie doesn’t mind; he laughs with her.
Shawn: Did you pick a day yet?
Jamie closes the fridge and walks toward the island. He looks at Shawn.
Jamie: A day for what?
Shawn: A double date? Skylar wants to do something with the four of us.
Jamie tilts his head; unsure.
Jamie: It can’t be a double date if two of the people aren’t dating. Besides, you and Skylar should spend more time together; just you two.
Shawn rolls his eyes as Kevin walks into the kitchen. He looks distraught, which Jamie notices right away.
Jamie: You’re okay, Kevin?
He doesn’t answer right away.
Kevin: Huh? Yeah, I’m fine.
Kevin grabs a water bottle from the fridge and walks out of the kitchen. Nothing is said between Jamie and Shawn.
Shawn: Come on, Jamie; you know you want to see Grace again.
Jamie doesn’t answer, he simply scrolls through his phone. His eyebrows scrunch together when he sees what’s on his phone. He shows his phone to Shawn.
Jamie: Did you see this?
Shawn looks at the screen, and then back at Jamie.
Grace wipes the sweat from her forehead with her arm; it’s particularly hot this afternoon. She stops what she’s doing to tie up her hair. The other dancers in the studio take a break during their practice. Grace sits in front of the mirror and looks at herself; little strands of curly hair stick out from her ponytail. Grace attempts to tie it up once again.
Morgan, the dance instructor, walks toward Grace.
Morgan: Hey, can I speak to you for a moment?
Grace looks at the instructor through the mirror and nods her head. The instructor walks away towards another room outside of the dance studio room. Grace sighs before she gets up from the floor.
Grace walks into the common room of the studio where her instructor is talking to one of the other choreographers. Once Morgan notices grace, she excuses herself to speak to Grace. They both walk into Morgan’s office.
Grace: Everything alright?
Morgan doesn’t say anything until she sits at her desk.
Morgan: How are you holding up? Everything’s okay?
Grace: *confused* Uhm, yeah; everything’s okay…
Morgan: That’s good!
Morgan shuffles through some of the papers on her desk until she finds the folder she was looking for. She takes it and then looks at Grace.
Morgan: So, you know the showcase is coming up, and typically a showcase here is more for our dancers potentially getting scouted for job opportunities.
Grace: I know.
Morgan: Are you looking forward to it?
Grace: *laughs* I’m simply here to dance, Morgan. With all due respect, there are other dancers in that studio who want it more than me–
Morgan: But none of them dance like you.
Grace doesn’t say anything. Morgan leans forward on her desk.
Morgan: I know this industry looks for younger dancers, but you are definitely the type of exception many people make in the business. You simply can’t dance the way you do just “to dance”.
Morgan flips through some papers and hands Grace a flyer.
Morgan: They are looking for dancers for their overseas competition. They are currently scouting dancers around the country to put together their US team. The competition is held in Ulsan, believe that’s in–
Grace: *shocked* South Korea?
Morgan: Yeah. Have you been there?
Grace shakes her head and shuts her eyes before speaking.
Grace: Why are you telling me this?
Morgan: Because I think you’d be the perfect fit for their team. Candice, the woman that scouts the team together… we studied in the same academy for years. We keep in touch and she had asked me if I had anyone in the academy that ticked off these tiny little boxes in what she was looking for in a dancer and, well, you came to mind. I don’t have to tell you this– I think a part of you already believes this– but, you’re no doubt one of the best dancers in the academy.
Grace takes in what Morgan is telling her. She doesn’t say anything back. Morgan sighs and looks at Grace.
Morgan: The audition is in New York, and–
Grace’s eyes widen and immediately shakes her head.
Grace: No. No! I-I can’t go to New York, I–
Morgan: Grace. If I didn’t think you could do this, I wouldn’t have brought it up.
Grace: Morgan, you’re asking me to go back to New York for some dumb audition that I might not even get? My life is here in California–
Morgan: Is it really?
Grace doesn’t say anything.
Morgan: I’ve known you for about six months now. I remember the day you walked through that front door with literally nothing but a tiny gym bag and some ballet shoes. You spend hours at the studio, even after practice is over and everyone has gone home for the night. I don’t know much about your personal life, but something tells me you came to Cali as an escape.
Grace gets annoyed by Morgan’s comment.
Grace: You’re right.
Grace gets up from the chair.
Grace: You don’t know me.
Grace begins to walk out of the office and heads for the door.
Morgan: Think about what I said, Grace.
The door closes behind Grace.
A cell phone rings on a coffee table. Someone is heard walking toward the table and picks up the phone from the table.
Grace: Hey, Jamie.
Jamie’s eyes widen and looks at the phone. He puts it back toward his ear.
Jamie: Hey, Grace. Everything alright?
Grace: Yeah, everything’s great! Uhm…
Jamie doesn’t say anything, but he senses something is wrong.
Jamie: I’ve been meaning to ask you when are you available for karaoke.
There is a moment of silence.
Grace: Oh! I was just about to ask you the same thing… Is tonight okay with you?
Jamie: Yeah. Tonight works.