“What exactly did she say?” Simon asked Lydia as she shut the bathroom door.
“Ugh, hon! I already told you on the phone!” she yelled as she turned on the shower and began removing her clothes.
He opened the door. “I don’t want you to have to yell,” he said.
Lydia sighed as she stripped off her shirt, “She said it’s a ‘process’ and I should come back to audition in six months. She said pretty much nobody gets passed her on their first try- same thing you and everybody else told me. She said they already have a couple of blond girl comics with big tits working there but they’re more established than me…” Lydia rolled her eyes, fighting with the hooks on her bra, “…so they don’t need me right now, even on late night.” Lydia sighed again while peeling off her jeans and panties. She sneered at Simon as she tossed them on the floor.
“That’s what she said, Simon. They don’t need me, even on late night,” she told him, climbing into the water and sliding the shower door closed.
“But you got a decent response, right?” he asked taking a seat on the toilet. “You did okay, right?”
“Yeah. No. Not really. It was a shaky set. I was nervous. But it was okay.”
“Was it a B or a C?”
“I’d give myself a C minus.”
“No wonder you didn’t pass.”
“Well, it is a ‘process’…”
“You could’ve passed if you brought your A-game.”
Lydia slid the shower door open, “Simon, she told us pretty much nobody gets passed her the first time before the show even began! You even told me nobody gets passed to the booker the first time they audition, unless they have an agent who asks for a favor, or they’re good friends with one of his clients. That’s what you told me. Now you’re trying to make me feel like this is my fault?”
“You should have killed. You should have made a good impression.”
“There was a guy who totally killed tonight. She didn’t pass him, either! And it was his third time auditioning.”
“Close the door, Babe, you’re getting water everywhere.”
“Oh, sorry,” she said, sliding the door shut again. “Just…just don’t try to make me feel like I could have fixed it, Simon, I couldn’t. She told us before we even auditioned that it’s pretty much impossible to get passed the first time she sees you and that she’d give us notes after our sets so we could come back in the future and ‘maybe’ do better. It’s an abysmal, defeating process. I don’t need you to ride me over not killing, okay? I feel bad enough on my own.”
Simon rose from the toilet and opened the medicine cabinet. Searching for his bottle of Oxy he said, “Babe, you let yourself get too psyched out by negativity.”
“Simon,” Lydia laughed as she lathered. “The whole night was complete negativity! She didn’t want any of us to do well. Frist she pretty much tells us we’re fucked before the show starts because ‘nobody gets passed’ yada yada. So yay, stay happy after that. Then, I watched that guy kill it. He was from Jersey, by the way, really funny, and she didn’t laugh once. In fact, she kept making frown faces at him, and she was even whispering about him to the one of the passed comics, who stopped laughing at the guy after she whispered whatever she whispered to him. Then when she brought me up, she read my name off the card and frowned, so the audience knew I wasn’t a regular act and she didn’t know who I was. I got into my head. Still, I did okay.”
“Okay, minus,” Simon interjected before swallowing a couple of pills.
“Then, when it comes time for her to give me notes on my act, she asks if I’m your girlfriend, ‘cause that’s what she’s heard. Apparently, she’s put her avails into your club since it opened, and you haven’t booked her. And she’s looking down her nose at me like that is my fault, and it’s my responsibility to change the situation by the next time I come back. Like, what am I supposed to say?”
“Have an Oxy, Babe.”
“No, thanks, all I want is a shower and a glass of wine. Tonight sucked.”
“Take this,” he slid the door open far enough to hand her a pill. “Wait, your hands are wet, open your mouth. Tilt your head down and swallow, you don’t need liquid that way.”
She did as Simon Said. “Thanks. I’ll go back in six months. But it doesn’t matter. You’re never going to play her, so she’s probably never going to pass me.”
“Yeah her act sucks and I don’t like her, Babe. I’ll never book her,” Simon said as he slid the shower door closed. “I’ll give you another Oxy when you get out. Listen, Babe, fuck that club. I don’t like their vibe. I almost hired one of their former managers. What a weirdo, the shit he told me about that place.”
Lydia was surprised. Why wouldn’t Simon hire a guy with knowledge about a competitor? He typically believed the enemy of his enemy was his friend.
“What did he say?” she asked.
“A bunch of foul shit about his bosses, the club, smeared the entire staff. Made himself seem like the prevailing hero in an army of idiots. All I could think is, he’ll do this to me when he leaves. He’ll put all my shit in the street, stab me in the back, make shit up to make himself look good. He seemed like a real snake.”
“Wow,” joked Lydia, “a guy too wicked to be your minion, Simon? With some of the company you keep?” They laughed. She turned off the water and said, “That guy must be vile.”
Simon chuckled, sliding open the shower door and handing Lydia a towel. “If there’s one thing I know, Babe, it’s how to recognize a con artist.” He popped a second Oxy in her mouth and smiled. “Are you ready for some sangria?”