Posted on 2022.03.12
When I was little, I had dreams of being a pop star. When I realized that I couldn’t sing, I changed it to being an actress and for a short while, I was an actress.
A struggling one.
After a year of booking non-speaking parts in shows I never actually saw, I thought about my other options. I knew a friend of a friend left acting to become a Companion and had earned more in three months than she did over the last year. I looked at my bank account and sent her a text message. She arranged for an introduction and after a few interviews, I earned my Cupid’s wings. The first six months were pretty standard – and by standard I mean crazy fun! – and then one day the call came.
He was going to be in town for the film festival and was only going to be here for one night. Red carpet. Screening. Q&A. After party. Airport. I was surprised he wanted a Companion for what seemed like a very limited amount of time, but who was I to say no to a red carpet? Plus, I had the perfect dress and finally had a reason to pop the tags off. My first film festival movie and it was going to be a gala screening. I was hitting the red carpet and I had stopped paying for acting lessons!
Then I saw the NDA. It was 10 pages long. It covered the usual but when I did the math, I realized I would hardly get to speak to him, and it basically said that I couldn’t even tell anyone I had even met him. Which at first I thought was weird because I was going to be photographed with him, right? No. I was going to the screening with him, but I wouldn’t walk the red carpet with him. No press. No photos. No proof that I had been there.
He was known the world over as one of the most eligible bachelors, but I have to admit: he didn’t do it for me. Like everyone else,I had seen the movies he had been the big hero of, but he just wasn’t my cup of tea. My Hollywood crushes tended to have a little more edge to them and he’s more the sweet boy who lived on your street and came home from college a little hotter, but still sweet.
When I arrived at the hotel I was greeted by his team. Yes. A whole team. Publicist. Point person. Assistant. Other assistant. Manager. Best friend on the payroll, documenting the whole thing on his phone to post online later. Stylist (who loved my dress!) That night was a big night for everyone, and everything had to go without a hitch. I got the speech on the importance of the night from the other assistant who handled all the logistics, and who then passed me off to the assistant who stopped the best friend from taking my picture because I was…not to be disclosed.
The assistant walked me over to the suite’s bedroom and knocked twice on the door. I heard the voice famous for that catchphrase say, “yeah!”. When the door opened, the frat boy I usually saw getting groceries and coffee on gossip sites was standing before me in a gorgeous charcoal Gucci tux that could only be worn by him. The assistant said, “this is your Companion for the evening’s festivities. I’ll leave you two to get acquainted. Wheels up in ten.”
She left the door open and I turned to say hello and when I looked up into his gorgeous blue/green eyes, I realized why half the world was in love with him. Up that close, they really looked like the clearest parts of the ocean. He looked at me quietly for a moment and before I could fully catch my breath, he smiled that perfect smile of his and softly said, “hey. I’m so happy it’s you. Thanks for coming tonight. I really appreciate it.”
I took a step forward to shake his hand and he laughed nervously while taking my one hand in both of his large ones. I finally found my voice and said, “so, what would you like this evening?”
His smile faded a bit and he said, “to be anywhere but here?” He wanted to have someone with him because all the “stuff” made him nervous. The red carpets. The cameras flashing. The thousands of people yelling his name. He hated all of it. That night, I was to be his anchor. I was the person he would turn to and feel relaxed with. I asked him why he wanted me instead of a friend and he explained that a Companion understood that the flashing lights last for just one night and don’t expect more. I knew exactly what he meant.
Sure enough, ten minutes later, we were on our way to the gala. In the car, the assistants repeated all the instructions making sure I understood that I could not be seen. While they droned on, he took my hand in his and gave it a squeeze. I wasn’t sure if that was for him or for me, but it helped. When we pulled up to the theatre, I got out on the opposite side of the limo and felt the force of thousands of people screaming his name. I was ushered into the theatre and only caught a glimpse of him talking to a reporter. The man who had been nervously chewing his nails a few minutes ago was gone and the confident superstar was on the carpet. We had both stepped into our roles.
I saw him again hours later at the after party. After the standing ovations. After the autographs. After the reception line at the party. I was standing at a bar by myself when I heard him whisper in my ear, “bored yet?”
I turned to look at those electric blue eyes and immediately felt like the only person in the room. We sipped our drinks and he shared gossip about some of the people staring at him. After a few minutes he smiled at me and asked if I wanted to ditch the party with him before he had to head to the airport.
To go where? To do what?
I would tell you. But I did sign an NDA…
Photo by Pexels