Agency

Fiction

Lookers was a legit talent agency. Cheryl told everyone-Cheryl felt like she had to tell everyone- and she wasn’t lying.

The image of the agency was tarnished by Bob Looker’s use of his legal last name and by his occasional forays into novelty gigs like sending girls and buff guys out on charity dunk tanks and dispensary ribbon cuttings.

Bob was obese and sweated a lot, and even Cheryl had to admit that the sweat made him look like he was constantly under duress from wrongdoing.

But the agency had helped her get a Jeep commercial, a “What can I get ya” waitress role in a Clooney movie and the voice of a lilypad in an online-only feminine hygiene campaign.

When Bob called, she was excited.

Bob always texted or emailed.

“Can you meet me at Poplar Park in an hour?”

“Sure,” Cheryl said, and immediately wondered why they were meeting in a park by the train tracks.

Bob was sitting on the stone turtle when she arrived.

She thought that the turtle wasn’t really for sitting, but there Bob sat, sweating.

When Cheryl approached and said “Hi, Bob,” Bob stood and hugged her awkwardly, then whipped out a clipboard like it was a gun and he was in a gangster movie.

Cheryl recoiled, just a reflex, then relaxed and took the clipboard from Bob’s hand.

“NDA,” he said, which she could have guessed.“You have to sign it before I tell you anything.”

Cheryl briefly skimmed the three forms. They were more detailed than average, but nothing too out of the ordinary. She could send them to her attorney, Lex, later. Whatever it was, it was shooting tonight.

“This gig shoots tonight,” Bob said.

“That’s weird,” Cheryl said.”Minimal to no dialogue, I take it?”

“Improv dialogue, minimal to no clothes, Bob said, wiping sweat with a fast food napkin. “You can say no, I’ll understand, but it’s lucrative.”

“You could have given me the “nudity required” heads up before I agreed to the meeting, Bob.”

“I wasn’t allowed to say one thing on the phone. Not one.”

Cheryl curled her lips in so all you could see on her face was normal, slightly freckled skin.

“Nonunion then, but lucrative.”

“That’s right,” Bob said. “Lucrative.”

 Cheryl noticed a look that suggested that if she declined he was gonna pitch her to take it. He looked kind of like her father when he was mapping out shots on a pool table.

“How minimal of clothing are we talking?”

Bob looked at Cheryl, looked around. One mom in the parking lot was pulling a child from a car seat.

“Heels, and a horse’s head mask. Live performance, and on tape. You have three tattoos, correct? That’s what I have on your file. Pro MUA will cover them. Complete anonymity.”

“This sounds bizarre, Bob. Is this some weird art party at the Fenkell Lofts?”

“Yeah, Cher, think of it like an art party, that’s a good way to approach it.”

“I haven’t said yes yet,” Cheryl said.

“It’s ten k plus agency fee for two hours,” Bob said. 

“No penetration” Cheryl stated more than asked.

“I’d never take those kinds of gigs. Lookers is a legit agency,” Bob said.

Cheryl smiled.

“Yes.”

***

Photo by Aleks Marinkovic on Unsplash