NOTE: This chapter has been slightly re-re-edited (updated 6/19/10) to fit the storyline better as it progresses.
It has been a long time since I have typed this many words. It feels kind of good, actually. Anyways, trying something different with this story. If you noticed, I deleted the last story I was working on because I knew I was going nowhere with it... Sorry about that. However, I hope people will find some enjoyment in this one!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own anything, but unless there is someone out there typing the same words that I am, I'm pretty sure I own this storyline.
Have you ever been in a place where, at pretty much every hour of every day, there are people constantly rushing back and forth between buildings and trailers trying to get everything done on time? Or having groups of people always staying by your side, whether they are your bodyguards or the ones that tell you what to say or do when people come asking questions? How about when you are sitting down in a chair and there are about four or five make-up artists circling around your head with their magical crayons at the ready?
Well, that was how my life was on a daily basis. A bit wild and hectic, but there were a few other ways that made it seem quite effervescent.
Unlike a majority of people in the world, I was born into stardom since both my mother and father were big in the entertainment business. My father is a famous actor and my mother is a renowned singer. They met on an airplane when they were both flying to Disney Castle for an awards ceremony, and I suppose they kicked off from there. When my mother gave birth to me, there were apparently hundreds of photographers around that were taking pictures of me outside of the birthing room. I was creatively given the name "The Star of Two Stars" in magazines and newspapers. And that, people, was how I was literally born into stardom.
As I grew up, my father placed me in acting and improvisation classes. I was a bit rocky at first, but after a few days and some pointers from my father, I excelled in both. My father began to see that I had a natural talent for acting, so he got me into the entertainment business. I started off in small children's commercials, but I worked my way into television shows, some B movies, and eventually, movies on the main screen.
When I was out recording a movie, the people that I worked with basically became my friends and for some, my extended family. I was around them almost all the time, and we had to work together as a team to finish the movie in a well-suited manner. After the movie was all said and done with, I usually kept in touch with most of them since there always seemed to be opportunities to collaborate with them once again. It may sound a bit weird, but that was how I made my friends in this world of celebrities and brand name clothes on almost every person you see.
Although acting had become a big part of my life, I always enjoyed the downtime I got with my mother whenever I was not busy (that included whenever my parents weren't busy as well). She and I would go down to the little studio in our basement and have a singing session with all the instruments we have down there. We would mainly play with acoustic guitars, the piano, and the drum set, but there were times when we just sang a capella. I actually have a pretty decent voice, but I will never be able to equal the beautiful powerhouse my mother has been blessed with. However, I have helped her a bit by being the co-writer of a small number of her songs!
The celebrity life might sound all fine and dandy, but there were actually two things that I eventually came to dislike about it. The fame, for one, was probably the most annoying for me. I may have enjoyed it at first, with the paparazzi following me around like lost puppies and photographers snapping pictures of me with every step I took, but I became tired of it. Whenever I just wanted to relax and take some time off from acting (which was quite rare, might I add), I couldn't because there was always a reporter or someone with a video camera trying to capture the footage of me outside of my work. These people were like annoying bunches of flies on the wall that I just couldn't seem to get rid of. The runner-up for things I didn't like would have to be the media. Now, there was nothing much that I really could do about the media, but it had come to the point where us celebrities had to be extremely careful with what we said because there would always be something that the media would interpret as controversial. I mean, we're all human beings. If we, the people of a certain social status, couldn't say it, why could everyone else?
I loved my job, but there were times when I wondered what it would be like to live the life of an average teenager. I would always see them around, hanging out with a bunch of their friends, going to school, telling jokes to each other… All the silly stuff that people say typical teenagers do. I was always curious with what they did, but I could never find out because I had allowed my career to practically consume my life.
Living the life of an average teenager… Back when I was fifteen years-old, I kept thinking: was it completely different than the way I lived mine?
"Kairi!" yelled a high-pitched voice behind me. I could hear the flipping and flopping of her slippers as she made her way towards me.
I turned to the voice, and with a smile, I replied, "Hey, Selphie. What's up?"
Selphie Tilmitt, my best friend since I was a six-year-old and considered to be part of my extended family. We were both the same age, though she was born four months before I was. We met in an audition room when we were both trying out for a spot in a children's commercial for hair products. We both got a spot in the commercial, and since all the other kids were too busy drooling or getting their pants dirty, we ended up talking to each other which eventually led to play dates and ultimately us becoming best friends. She was more fond of playing the minor roles whereas I was one of the lead characters. Whenever I was in a movie that she was not part of, she ends up tagging along and becoming one of my 'agents.'
As she reached me, she stopped to bend down and catch her breath. "Where have you been?" she asked between pants.
"Oh, nowhere special," I told her. "Just finished eating up some breakfast at the table."
"You just finished eating?"
"What, is that not normal or something? I mean, it's only ten."
"But they're going to start filming the scene in thirty minutes!" she replied frantically, smoothing out her yellow dress. Her impractical brown hair began to bounce as she said, "The director is going to have a hissy fit if you're late!"
I laughed. "Don't worry, Selphie. I'm not going to be late. Besides, what's the worst the director will do if I happen to be late just this one time?"
"He'll probably burn off your red hair with that cigarette of his! Now come on, I have to get you to the trailer. That's why I came to get you in the first place."
"Aww. You didn't want to come see me on your own free will?"
"I see you all the time, Kairi. Right now, I'm in business-lady mode."
Selphie grabbed my wrist and together we headed off to my trailer. As we were walking, I looked around and noticed that there were many people working today. To my right, several groups of men were rolling in a variety of props into the buildings and a few golf carts drove by with agents and some members of the cast. To my left, my fellow actors and actresses were coming out of their trailers fully dressed in their outfits and walking into the buildings. There were some stragglers, like me, that were still readying their clothes and having make-up applied as they were doing so. How make-up artists are able to apply their paints onto constantly moving people like that, I have no idea, but I sure give them credit for it.
After walking for what seemed like a mile, we reached my trailer and found that my make-up artists, hair stylists, and bodyguards were pacing back and forth nervously. My absence didn't seem to be a big deal to me, so I casually strolled to my trailer while my best friend tried to drag me over.
As Selphie announced my arrival, one of my make-up artists looked up and shrieked, "Kairi Strife! There you are! Oh my gosh, we didn't even think you would come!"
"Rikku, relax!" I said in a calm manner. "It's not like you guys don't get me prepped up in fifteen minutes, anyway."
"Do you know how much we have to do?" asked Yuna, another make-up artist. "For this specific scene, we have to apply eyeliner, lip gloss, mascara…"
"Blush," the last make-up artist, Paine, added in.
"Yeah, and do you know what we have to do with your hair?" filled in my hair stylist, Yuffie, pointing between her and my second hair stylist, Xion. "Since this scene is the royal ball scene, we have to make sure your hair looks fit for a princess!"
"And we have to make sure that your dress fits properly so that you don't trip or mess it up," said Xion.
"Imagine the director's face if you tear that sucker up," said Paine.
"Your jewelry, too!" Rikku chimed back in.
"Oh man, I forgot we even had to do the jewelry!" gasped Yuna.
"Okay, okay, I'm sorry," I apologized quickly to cease further commenting. "I should have came earlier. Let's get this started shall we?"
"Alright, ladies, let's get this girl prettied up!" ordered Selphie as my group and I headed into my trailer. "Leon, Barret, you know the drill." And with that, the doors were shut and the transformation began.
Rikku Gantly, Paine Lennon, and Yuna Simmons, my make-up artists since I hit the big screen at age eleven. It was my mother who found them when she went to a beauty salon at my home on Destiny Islands. She praised their skills and offered them the job as my team of make-up artists, and I would never have asked for a replacement. They were only a few years older than I was, with Rikku being the youngest at seventeen, Paine in the middle at eighteen, and Yuna being the oldest at nineteen. When I first met them, I used to call them by the color of their hair: Riku was Blondie, Paine was Blackie, and Yuna was Brownie (kind of sounds a bit too immature for someone of eleven years of age, no?). Like Selphie, I considered them to be part of my extended family. I've come to learn that all three of them have been best friends since they were five, and they plan to stay that way for the rest of their lives.
Yuffie and Xion Kisaragi, my hair stylists who were hired around the same time as Rikku, Paine, and Yuna and also considered part of my extended family. Their parents passed away due to a strange illness when they were both young, so they depended on each other as sisters and tried to make a living as street vendors in a place called Traverse Town before moving their business to Destiny Islands. Once again, it was my mother who discovered them as she watched them style their customers' hair. Yuffie was the elder sister, being at age eighteen, and Xion was the same age as Selphie and I, though she was born a month after I was. I enjoyed having my group of make-up artists and hair stylists being around the age I was, for they understood any issues I had and it made my job more enjoyable as an actress.
Squall Leonhart and Barret Wallace, my two bodyguards since age seven and my father's best friends since way back then. Before they became my bodyguards, I've known them as Uncle Leon and Uncle Barret and I continue to call them that to this day. I don't know why Uncle Leon prefers to be called Leon instead of Squall, but I find that the name Uncle Leon rolls off the tongue better than Uncle Squall does. Before my dad became a famous actor, he, Uncle Leon, and Uncle Barret enlisted in the Destiny Islands Army right out of high school for about four years, and all three of them were considered as the best combat fighters around. Unfortunately, in one of the battles against a terrorist threat, Uncle Barret lost his right hand in an explosion, but the doctors were able to suit him up with a mechanical hand that works "just like any regular ol' hand," he would say. Uncle Leon and Uncle Barret may give off the impression that they are some tough-looking dudes, but they are both kind-hearted and are willing to help anyone in times of trouble.
After about twenty minutes of chaotic multi-tasking, my wonderful team of six was able to transform me into a proper princess. Slipping on the heels, I rushed out the door ready to sprint to the set but, lo and behold, Uncle Barret had a golf cart ready for me. Hopping in along with Selphie, Uncle Barrett put the pedal to the metal and drove off at an astounding speed of ten miles per hour.
"Don't mess up!" cheered Yuffie as we drove farther away from my beloved trailer.
"Yeah, don't want ol' director Cid on ya ass again, huh?" chuckled Uncle Barret.
"That wasn't my fault, though!" I argued. "I couldn't help but get jumbled a bit when Roxas forgot a whole line. How did Cid not even notice that?"
"He was probably too preoccupied with his cig at the time," commented Selphie as Uncle Barret pulled into the building where the recording was to take place. "Don't worry about that now, though. We're already here. Do you remember your lines?"
"Breath minty fresh?"
I breathed out. "Got that right."
"Your acting will be so good that you'll win the Island Oscar for Best Female Performance?"
"Don't get your hopes up too much. Just playing my part."
"Same response as usual." She helped me off the golf cart, linked her arm through mine, and said, "Let's just try to make this scene as awesome as possible!"
"Easier said than done."
We scurried our teenage legs into the building to find that everything in and around the set was filled with activity. The mechanics and technicians were busy readying machines; the stage designers were rearranging and adding the final touches to the props; the cast members involved in the scene were talking and practicing amongst themselves; and the director and his crew were discussing business amongst themselves.
Amid the director's crew was a moderately tall blonde man with spiky hair. He turned his head towards me and created eye contact, and, after noticing who I was, he excused himself and made his way over.
"You're late," he said as he reached me.
I smiled and replied, "Oh, come on, dad. I'm not that late. It's only been a few minutes."
"A few, huh? Didn't I tell you that being late makes you look bad in the big business?"
"Actually, weren't you the one that said, 'Arriving late is the same as being cool on time'?"
I got him with that one. I could tell because he was scowling. "First off, I'm a professional, you're a rookie. Second, don't listen to the stories your mother tells you."
"Why not? Do they reveal too much of your embarrassing days?"
"Cloud!" yelled a gruffly voice.
"Yeah, Cid?" my dad replied as we all turn our attention to the buff old man walking towards us.
Cid Highwind was the director for the movie, though this wasn't the first time I had him as the guiding man. For two of my past films, he had been my director, and for both of those films, he had his usual cigarette. All people have at least one idiosyncrasy that makes them different than others, and for Cid, it would be his cigarette. At times, when he didn't have one on him, he would use a piece of straw instead. Why he did that, I have no clue, but that's what made him Cid.
"Ah, so she is here," Cid said as he looked at me. "Ya know, Cloud, I always wonder how you and Aerith gave birth to a redhead. You both don't even have any red hair in ya!"
"Mutated baby, I guess."
"Dad!" I whined.
"What? I don't get how you have red hair, either. Anyways, you have to get ready."
"Get ready? I've been ready. I know all of my lines already, dad."
"You messed up last time, though," Selphie said with a smirk.
"Oh, that's right, you did mess up last time!" he said.
"I told you that Roxas skipped a whole line!" I argued like I did with Uncle Barret.
"Great actors always improvise."
"Yeah, but it's not like I actually expected to use improvisation in a scripted film!"
"Alright, Kairi, let's get this show on the road," Cid said, playfully shoving me in the back and leading me over to the set. As I made my way over to settle in with the other cast members, Cid walked up to the center of the set, grabbed the trusty megaphone, and bellowed, "Let's get going, kiddies! We've got lots of things to film!"
And that, my friends, was a typical day in the life of the famous child star, Kairi Strife.
-Hmm, not too bad for a start. Hope everything was okay for you guys. I'm writing a majority of the story in first-person narrative (with future Kairi doing the narrating) with some third-person narrative so that you can see what else is happening in the story other than from Kairi's perspective. The story was orginally written in the present tense form, but since I found it difficult to keep that going, I decided to switch back to past tense. Everytime I typed something out, I had to reread it about two or three times to make sure it sounded gramatically correct.
-I'll try my best to improve my updates. I haven't been doing well with that lately, considering the fact that I actually haven't written anything in what seems like three months. Eek. I believe that's called writer's block?
Okay, I had enough babbling. Have a wonderful day and enjoy the snow if you got any in your area!