Failure and Success, or Sarah and Tracey: a Tale of Actors & Models

There are few professions where the difference between failure and success is as obvious as in the acting profession. It's a struggle either way. And when the endeavor results in failure, that makes the struggle all the more difficult.

And yet, every day there are new actors joining in that struggle.

Listen (or read along) as author Neal A. Yeager reads a few humorous chapters on the sujbect of failure and success from his novel non-Hollywood. Let's check out "Sarah and Tracey: a tale of actors and models."

Watch above, or click to view on Youtube

Career Success… Of Others

Chapter 53: Career Success… Of Others

Sarah clicked.

The restaurant was dead this afternoon. So with no real work to do she leaned against the counter, phone in hand. She opened an email update from the makers of a small film — actually, the first film that she had auditioned for when she had first moved to L.A. a few years ago — 42 auditions ago. Obviously she hadn’t gotten the part but she did sign up for the filmmakers’ updates. It was interesting to her to follow along with the film’s progress as they had sent periodic updates on the production’s status. The movie had been finished a while back and had been making the rounds at the film festivals, but since none of those festivals were in L.A. she hadn’t yet seen the film. But with the click of this email, she had been informed that the film had made its way to Netflix.

The first person she thought of upon reading this email was her middle-aged model friend Larry. She glanced across the empty restaurant then dialed his number. Unlike with her ex-boyfriend Mitchell, she was not immediately shuttled into a voicemail. Instead Larry answered.


“Hey Larry, it’s Sarah. Do you have Netflix?”

“Netflix? No. Sorry.”

“You don’t have Netflix?”


“What? How can you not have Netflix?”

“Um…. by not having Netflix, I guess… I have HBO.”

“You have HBO but no Netflix? You’re showing your age Larry.”

“I’m sorry,” he replied, “I didn’t know that I was supposed to be concealing my age. And why exactly is Netflix important?”

“There’s something that I want you to see. Or actually, it’s something that I want to see but I need emotional support. So I want you to see it with me.”

“Oh, I see.”

“I’m off work soon and I’ll be home in a couple of hours. Can you come over tonight?”

Larry hesitated, then said, “Sure, I guess. Do you want me to invite some of the other folks from class? Maybe make it a group viewing?”

“You’ve seen my apartment. It’s just a studio. I don’t think that I can fit a group in there. Two’s about the max. But how about you come over and check out this film with me?”

“Are you going to tell me what it is?” he asked.

“Oh yeah. It’s a movie that I auditioned for but didn’t get. It sounded good, so I want to see how it turned out. That’s why I need the emotional support. If the film is good then this might be rough.”

“Oh, I see. That’s fine then. I’ll see you in a couple of hours.”

“Sounds good.”

Sarah hung up with Larry then glanced back at her email. She noted something odd here: ordinarily an email such as this one would have sent her into a bit of a depression. Ordinarily, she would be spending time looking up the actors on the internet, where she would no doubt find that at least one of those actors had gotten more roles since then. And ordinarily she would find herself thinking about how her career was going nowhere while all around her others were making a go of it. Ordinarily, she would be hearing her mother’s voice in her head urging her to come home where she belonged. Ordinarily.

But she didn’t feel those things. Not this time.

Sarah looked at the email once more and the re-reading still had no more effect on her than if it were announcing something that she had never heard of.


Here she was hearing news of the progress of others and she was not reacting negatively to it? What was going on? What had changed?

Was she finally learning how to cope?

Was it emotional growth?

Was it Larry?

And just as she thought this thought, the door to the restaurant swung open and in walked Mr. Grilled Cheese.

Sarah hadn’t seen him in a while. He hadn’t been coming into the restaurant and she was now embarrassed as she suddenly realized that she really hadn’t missed him. Actually, she hadn’t really noticed. They had gone on a few dates, during which nothing had happened, and then he had sort of drifted off.

“Hi Sarah,” he said in an oddly flat tone of voice.

“Hello William, how are you?”

“I’m… Well, I’m not sure how I am. Not great I guess. But I thought that I should come down here instead of leaving another message.”

Sarah thought for a moment. They had a few dates and then… oh wait, he had left her messages hadn’t he? Now she remembered. She had just figured that she would call him back at some point, and then it had slipped her mind. How many times had it slipped her mind? How many times had he called? And, come to think of it, he had been into the restaurant a few times since their last date and he had asked when they could do it again and she had said something noncommittally vague.

And then she had completely forgotten about him.


That surely should serve as a sign.

Mr. Grilled Cheese continued, “I wanted to come by and see… Well, it seems like you’re not really interested in me.”

“Oh it’s not that,” Sarah began. But of course it was exactly that. He was a nice enough guy, but there was no ‘spark.’

“It’s not?” he asked cynically.

“Well, not… you know… you shouldn’t think of it like that.”

He simply looked at her, puzzled.

And how should he think of it? He had stated it very succinctly and exactly correctly. She had nothing against him. He seemed nice enough. He would probably make someone an excellent boyfriend. But she was not really interested in him.

“Well, William,” she began, trying to find the words. She was suddenly feeling quite guilty. She didn’t want to hurt him, but again: he was right. So in a quiet, calm tone of voice, she simply said, “I like you. I think you’re a great guy. But I don’t see us as a couple.”

“Okay,” he said without emotion. Then he turned and walked out of the restaurant. Though he regularly had been coming into this restaurant for his grilled cheese for as long as Sarah had worked here, she had the feeling that this would be the last she saw of Mr. Grilled Cheese.


Later in her apartment Sarah answered her door to see Larry standing on her steps with a pizza box in one hand and a large bottle of soda in the other. He said in a chipper tone, “Movie Nights require pizza. I’m pretty sure that’s in the Constitution somewhere.”

Sarah took a deep, satisfying whiff of the pizza, but then mock-scowled. “Really? You’re doing this to an actress?”

“Doing what?”

“Are you trying to make me fat? Don’t you know that most actors can’t eat like this?“

“Oh,” he said, reddening, “I forgot about that. Oh man, I’m sorry. I just thought…”

“Just giving you a hard time,” she said with a smile. “Now, I can’t make a habit of pigging out on pizza… but a slice or two here and there isn’t going to kill my spectacular career.”

“Still, I feel bad,” said Larry. “I forget about these things. I’m lucky enough that a few pounds don’t mean anything to my career.”

Sarah laughed, “Might even help your career, if I understood your agent correctly. Get your picture in more tractor ads.”

“Actually, when I’m heavier I tend to book more ads for tools. Not sure why.”

“Good for you. Then you can eat most of this pizza and still keep your modeling career. Meanwhile I will have exactly one and a half slices.”

“Living on the edge Sarah.”

“That’s me: risk taker.”

As she led him into the apartment she continued, “I will skip the soda though. I’ve got some diet in here.”

Larry said, “I would have brought some wine, but…”

“But what?”

“Well, to be honest, I’m still not sure how old you are.”

That one gave Sarah a really good laugh. “Seriously Larry?” she said, “Do I look not old enough to drink?”

“Sarah, I’m pushing 50. Everyone under 30 looks like a high school kid to me.”

“Well, okay. Thanks for the pizza at least. Wine next time,” she said. As he set the pizza on the table, he scooted her phone out of the way. The sight of the phone reminded her of something. “Oh hey,” she said, “You know Jeremy from class, right?”

“Yes. The creepy guy.”

“Yeah, that’s him.”

“Talks funny too.”

“Again, that’s him. He left me a message today. Have a listen.” She put the phone on speaker and played the message from Jeremy. In that strange, clipped accent of his:

“Sarah, this is Jeremy from Coach Bobbie’s class. I am terribly excited. Terribly. I have not slept in three days. In short, I have pushed through and finished my script. And you have been my muse. I tried very hard to divorce myself from this notion of you in this part, but I could not. Envisioning you in this role has allowed me to finish this project. So I must have you… Must have you in this film. I concede to your terms. Although I still believe that an actor should not be afraid of nudity, but, as I say, I accept your terms. You have been my muse, now be my star. Please, please, you must say yes.”

When the message ended, Sarah asked Larry, “Well, what do you think?”

“Well…. aside from the fact that I still think that Jeremy is really, really weird, I think that what he’s offering is certainly flattering… Still kind of creepy, but you should feel flattered.”

“Hey, he’s gonna let me keep my clothes on.”

“That’s a plus.”

Sarah thought for a moment, then continued, “the scenes that he’s done in class are actually pretty good. Well what I should say is that the scenes are well-written. His performances are terrible. But remember: he’s not an actor.”

“No, he certainly isn’t.”

“So, do you think that I should do it?”

Larry didn’t miss a beat. “Yes I do. Like you said, he seems to be a good writer. And what is it that Coach Bobbie always says? Never say ‘no’ to anything…”

“… except porn!” she finished for him. “Yeah, I think so too. I haven’t read it yet, obviously, but I’d be willing to risk it. As long as I can keep my clothes on.”

“I agree. Shall we watch the movie then?”

“We shall.”

Then the two of them settled back on her futon, which was folded into couch mode, and started the film.


They ate the pizza as they watched the movie. The pizza was good and the movie was decent. The drama of it played well and both Sarah and Larry had found that it held their interest. Sarah did notice that during the sex scene, Larry had seemed noticeably uncomfortable.

She thought that was cute.

As the closing credits rolled, Larry said, “Well, that was pretty good.”


“Too bad you didn’t land that one. The role that you were up for was probably the best in the film. Would’ve been a nice addition to your reel.”

“And,” she replied, “they did the love scene without showing anything. So I could have told Jeremy that it is possible.”

Larry simply laughed and looked at the floor. Was he blushing? She thought that maybe he was.

“Well,” she said, “should we look for something else to watch?”As she leaned forward to pick up the remote from the coffee table Sarah placed her hand on Larry’s knee to stabilize herself. But after she had the remote and had leaned back on the futon, she left her hand right where it was.

Larry glanced down at the hand on his knee. “Actually,” he said, “I kind of need to go.” He stood up abruptly and walked to grab his jacket, which had been slung over the arm of her only chair.

“Sure you won’t stick around? There’s like a million movies we could watch. Could probably find some of those ‘old Hollywood’ movies that you like.”

Larry cleared his throat and said, “I appreciate it, but I’ve got an appointment in the morning. So I should be taking off. You know we old people need to get our sleep.”

Sarah sighed. “Okay. But maybe we can do it some other time then? Maybe after next class?”

“Sure. Yeah, that would be fine.”

“It’s a date then,” she said.

Larry nodded noncommittally and headed for the door.


*The printed version of non-Hollywood follows a different character in its next chapter. You can read the book in that orderif you prefer, or scroll down to see the next chapters starring Sarah.

[ or just skip ahead to Chapter 56 ]

Failure and Success in the Hollywood Game

We all long for success in our chosen careers. It is a completely normal human thing to feel.

But what is it natural to feel when witnessing other people's success? Especially when we personally believe that the success is unwarranted.

This is the situation that our actress, Sarah, finds herself. Sarah has good reason to be confident of her talent as an actor. She is repeatedly told that she has this talent. She enjoys acting and has dedicated her life to acting. Doing as much as she feels that she possibly can for her career. And yet, her career is going nowhere. Just one failure after another.

Meanwhile she witnesses first-hand the career success of someone she feels doesn't deserve it. A model in her acting class, a person who clearly has no acting talent, is getting work in Hollywood while the talented Sarah is not. And Sarah suspects that this difference in failure and success has to do simply with looks.

As she checks out a finished project for which she auditioned but wasn't cast, she struggles with the feelings of just how to deal with the career success of others. And how to just stick with it.

Watch above, or click to view on Youtube

Beautiful and Young

Chapter 56: Beautiful and Young

Sarah stood.

Acting class was about to begin, and as was the tradition Coach Bobbie asked anyone who had any career news to share that news. Tracey, the model, spoke up, “I had my callback for the TV series today.”

“Which series was this?” Coach Bobbie asked.

“The one that takes place in a modeling agency. The other one didn’t go anywhere, but this one looks pretty good. My agent thinks that this was my last callback. He says tomorrow I’ll either have it or I won’t.”

“And this is for what type of role?”

“I play one of the models.”

Coach Bobbie smiled and nodded. “Well of course you would sweetheart, you’re beautiful and young. But is it a featured role or a recurring role, or….?”

“Oh, I’d be one of the stars,” Tracey said, “My agent says that I’d have my name right up front with the main star.”

“Who is?”

“He’s…. oh, what is his name? He’s actually a movie star but he’s doing this TV series. He’s the owner of the modeling agency on the show. I don’t know why I can’t remember his name… Not Bruce Willis, but somebody like that.”

“Somebody like Bruce Willis?”

“Yeah, I don’t know why I can’t remember his name. He’s been in like a million movies.”

Sarah cleared her throat and spoke up, “If you don’t mind Tracey, how much are they going to pay you to star as a model in a TV show with not-Bruce Willis?”

“I don’t know the exact number. But my agent used the word ‘shitload’ — excuse me. Anyway, that would be fun.”

Coach Bobbie nodded and said, “Yes it would.”

Sarah echoed, “yes it would.”

Coach Bobbie clapped his hands together to call everyone to attention, “Okay, let’s get started with our warmups,” he called out as the class filtered out onto the main floor.

Sarah took a deep breath and headed toward the floor as well. And as she walked a thought occurred to her. The thought was to wonder why she hadn’t ever tried to be closer to Tracey — to be actual friends with her?

There were those who would say that one of the purposes of taking acting classes — if not the main purpose of taking acting classes — was not to learn about acting, but rather to network with other actors. It has been demonstrated time and again that your professional network has a lot to do with your chances for professional success. Yet after all this time the only person she had thus far networked with was Larry (well, okay, Jeremy. But really, he had networked with her and in truth he still gave her the creeps).

But why not Tracey? True, Tracey was a God-awful terrible actress, but what did that have to do with friendship? It was obvious that Tracey liked Sarah. She sought Sarah out at each class. And Tracey was a very nice girl. And always positive, which would be a good balance for Sarah’s occasional depression. Yet Sarah hadn’t tried to befriend her. Had, in fact, shied away from her. It was puzzling.

As Sarah was making a mental note to try to get to know Tracey better, she noticed out of the corner of her eye that Tracey had grabbed her phone and was answering it as the others began their warmups. Sarah turned back toward Coach Bobbie just in time to hear Tracey shriek, “OH MY GOD!”

The entire class turned to Tracey, “Oh my God Oh my God Oh my God!” she shouted into the phone, “Yes! Thank you! Thank you! Yes! I don’t know that to say, but yes! Thank you!”

A strange quiet engulfed the class. It would be safe to say that the subject of Tracey’s phone call was obvious to every person in the class: Tracey — a nice girl, a ridiculously beautiful girl who nonetheless had next to no acting skill — had won the role starring with somebody like Bruce Willis. Sarah noticed the silence in the room, even as she noticed the dual emotions within herself: she felt great happiness at Tracey’s success while simultaneously feeling a crushing amount of despair at her own failure.

Sarah doubted she was the only one in the room feeling these particular emotions.

“Yes! Thank you! I look forward to talking to you tomorrow,” said Tracey. She then hung up the phone, jumped into the air and shouted out, “I GOT IT!”

Coach Bobbie rushed over to Tracey and he wrapped her in a big hug. He said, “Congratulations Sweetie.”

She hugged him back and tears came to her eyes, “Thank you Coach Bobbie,” she said. “Thank you, and I… I’ve gotta go. I’ve gotta tell my friends and… Thank you Coach Bobbie. Thank you.”

Everyone in the class started adding their congratulations and Tracey murmured her ‘thank yous’ all around through her tears of joy.

Tracey was picking up her things and heading for the door. As Sarah watched Tracey’s exit, she realized that she had missed her chance to be one of the friends with whom Tracey was so anxious to share her news. Sarah also realized that she would likely never see Tracey in person again.


*The printed version of non-Hollywood follows a different character in its next chapter. You can read the book in that orderif you prefer, or scroll down to see the next chapters starring Sarah.

[ or just skip ahead to Chapter 57 ]

When the Beautiful People have more career success than you

Again, Tracey gets the success while Sarah enjoys only failure.

The luck of the beautiful people seems to be holding, as the model gets a high-dollar TV series (despite being a terrible actor) while the talented actor gets nowhere.

The struggle continues.

Success and failure seem even further apart.

But Sarah keeps pushing forward. She tells herself that she simply has to stick with it.

Watch above, or click to view on Youtube

The Acting Coach Gives Up

Chapter 57: The Acting Coach Gives Up

Sarah understood.

As she looked around the room at the students in her acting class she noticed that Tracey the model was not present. Of course that was what she had expected — probably what every person who had been present the week before and had heard Tracey’s announcement that she would be on a TV series had expected. But still, the reality of it sinking in was a bit depressing. Sarah noticed that the room was noticeably somber. So it stood to reason that the other students had thoughts similar to her own.

Sure, she knew — and presumably everyone else in the class knew — that she should be happy for Tracey’s success. And she was. But she was also dwelling on her own failure. She couldn’t help it.

As Sarah quietly stashed her bag in one of the room’s cubbyholes, she noticed something else as well: for as long as she had been attending his acting class Coach Bobbie was always the first person to arrive. Today he was not yet present. Sarah idly wondered if perhaps Coach Bobbie was as down as everyone else in the room.

As she was wondering this, a man she had never seen before entered the room. Though Sarah knew that she had not seen this man before, she realized that he did look familiar — he looked quite a bit like Coach Bobbie. And at that realization Sarah suddenly felt quite uneasy. She looked over at Larry, who stood beside her, and saw that Larry had apparently noticed the same thing. Instinctively, she reached out and grabbed Larry’s hand.

The stranger cleared his throat and called out, “Could I have everybody’s attention please?” and the room fell silent.

The stranger continued, “My name is Adam. I’m not sure how to say this, so I guess that I’ll just say it: your teacher, my brother Robert… he’s gone… he took his own life last night… I’m sorry.”

Sarah looked down at the floor. “Oh Jesus,” she murmured.

Adam continued, “Obviously there’s no more class. I don’t know about the money you’ve paid and all that. Robert’s boyfriend Brad would know, but he’s obviously too upset at the moment. But I’m sure he’ll figure that out and let you know… Um…. You know, Robert laughed a lot. But he had a lot of problems with depression. He never felt like he had achieved any of his goals… But… I don’t know what I’m saying here… Just that he’s gone and I’m sorry.”


As Sarah and Larry walked through the front door of Sarah’s apartment Larry said, “I guess it happens sometimes. Sometimes people who seem really positive and full of life are really just using that to hide what’s really going on. I guess.”

“It just seems so unreal to me,” said Sarah, “Just so unreal.”

Larry had been carrying a few containers of Thai food which he set down on her counter. He pulled a few plates out of her cabinet and asked, “You’ve never known anyone who died before?”

“Well, yeah, but not like this. My grandpa died a few years ago, but he was old and had been sick. Coach Bobbie was…. I don’t know, he just seemed fine.”

“Yeah. It happens.”

“What about you Larry? You’ve been through this before?”

“I’m almost 50. So, yeah, I’ve seen my share. But why don’t we get off of this topic? Didn’t you say that you had a million movies?”

“Well, I don’t personally have a million movies. I meant that we could find a million of them on Netflix. And I don’t know if there are literally a million movies on there. Though I wouldn’t be surprised. But that’s what I meant.”

“Well how about we watch something fun?”

Sarah thought for a moment, “You mean something old? Maybe something with Molly Ringwald in it?”

“I would love to watch something with Molly Ringwald — I did have a crush on her when I first saw Sixteen Candles in the theater — but I object to the ‘something old’ comment. When I think of ‘something old’ I think of something with Spencer Tracy in it. Or Humphrey Bogart.”


Larry turned and looked at her, Thai food dangling from a fork. She just laughed, “Just kidding. I know who those people are… But you had a Molly Ringwald crush when you were a kid?”

“Yes, and I doubt that I was the only male in my age group who had one.”

“Well then Molly Ringwald it is,” she said. As she reached for the TV remote, her phone began ringing. She looked at the display and said, “Oh, look, it’s Jeremy. Joy.”

“You’re not going to answer it?”

“No I am not,” she said as she picked up the remote and began to search Netflix for Molly Ringwald movies.

Larry carried over two plates full of Thai food and set them down on the coffee table by her futon. Sarah looked down at her phone, “Oh, Jeremy left a message. Should we have a listen?”


Sarah put the phone on speaker and played back Jeremy’s message.

“Hello Sarah. This is Jeremy from Coach… from class. I am quite sure that you were as devastated as I at this evening’s ghastly news. I have to say that it has given me pause. Made me look deeply into my soul as to the meaning of what I am doing. I came home and read through my script and I have decided that it is not nearly good enough. I have thrown it in the trash and I shall search out all extant backup copies and make sure that they are trashed as well. Then I shall start anew. I am sorry that I raised your expectations, but I need to start again. I need to not compromise. I need to reach for greatness. I realize now that life should not be wasted, it should be spent reaching for greatness. It is my fondest wish that when I arrive at my journey’s end, you will still be available to help realize my vision. Thank you. Good night.”

Sarah and Larry looked at each other in puzzlement.

“Um,” said Sarah, “What the hell was that?”

“That was a really weird guy doing a really weird thing. I think that’s what that was.”

“He worked on that script for almost two years and now he’s going to throw it away and start again? What the hell’s wrong with that guy?”

“And that is a very good question.”

“Well…. Shit!” said Sarah.


“There goes my lead role in a well-written script. All because Jeremy has a… I don’t even know what you would call that. ‘Change of heart’ doesn’t sound quite right because it is such a ridiculous decision. Jesus…”


As it turned out they skipped Molly Ringwald and instead ended up watching some foreign comedy whose title they had both remembered someone from class recommending. Of course, Sarah’s attention was not on the film, rather her thoughts drifted between the sorrow of losing Coach Bobbie to the annoyance of the loss of stupid Jeremy’s film.

As they sat side by side on the futon, Sarah reached over and wrapped both hands around Larry’s arm, then leaned over and placed her head on his shoulder.

Instead of relaxing into this gesture, Larry stiffened. “Don’t you want some Thai food?” he asked.

“No. Not really hungry,” she replied.

So that was how they sat: Sarah on Larry’s stiff shoulder and Larry awkwardly attempting to eat his Thai food with basically one hand.

Sarah didn’t laugh much at the comedy and after a while she noticed that Larry wasn’t laughing much either. It turned out that the movie, which was subtitled from French, was a broad comedy about a man around Larry’s age chasing after a young woman about Sarah’s age. During this, Larry did not seem to relax even one muscle.

But Sarah wasn’t really watching the movie. She certainly wasn’t paying enough attention to it to be reading the subtitles. Instead her mind was off and wandering, wondering about the way that things were going. Coach Bobbie… there were just no words, not even inside of her head. Just a strange feeling of sadness and… what? Something unfulfilled.

It had never occurred to her that Coach Bobbie may have wanted something more from his life and his acting career. He was an acting coach. He seemed so happy doing it that honestly the thought had never even crossed Sarah’s mind that perhaps there had been a time when Coach Bobbie had dreams like hers. A time when Coach Bobbie had schlepped from audition to audition. His had been a class on performance and as far as she could remember he had never mentioned any of the rest of it: the auditions, the marketing, the agent search. But from his actions and the comments of his brother it would seem obvious that he had wanted more. He had indeed had dreams and aspirations and they had gone unfulfilled. So there must have been a time when Coach Bobbie was just like Sarah. Perhaps right up to the end he may have been just like her.

Did that mean that she would one day be just like him?

Sarah took one hand from Larry’s arm and began rubbing the back of his shoulders. Here was something real. Here was someone she knew that she wanted to spend lots of time with — she had realized that the first time that they had gone out for coffee. Here was that person. Here was a way to forget all of those thoughts of Coach Bobbie and the Ghost of Sarah Yet-To-Be. Here was a way to forget about the fairly unwarranted success of her classmate Tracey. Here was a way to forget the success of her ex-boyfriend Mitchell who was probably off gallivanting with starlets (and gee, wouldn’t that be funny if Mitchell and Tracey hooked up?). Here was a way to forget the phone calls from her mother telling her that she should come home and join the family insurance firm. Here was a way to forget Jeremy and his fickle project. Here was a way to forget her failures, her one after another failures. Here was…

Sarah leaned over and kissed Larry on the neck.

He jumped.

“Um, Sarah,” he murmured as she kissed him again, “I… this is not a good idea.”

“And why not?” she asked.

“Well…. for starters, this is a weird day. And it’s never… you know… a good idea to do things like this on days like this.”

“It doesn’t matter that it’s a weird day, I’ve been thinking about this since the day we met,” she said and kissed him again.

Larry quickly stood up from the futon and out of her grasp. He took a step backward and said,“And that’s flattering. But this isn’t… I’m not….”


“This is….” he trailed off, then took a breath, obviously gathering his thoughts. He let out a deep breath then continued, “You do realize that I’m quite a bit older than you?”

Sarah chuckled, “I had noticed that. Yes.”

“I’m probably your father’s age.”

“Actually, Larry, you’re two years older than my father.”

“See?” he said, trailing off.

Sarah laughed again. “See what? I must be missing something here. I was under the impression that men your age were crazy about women my age…”

“… a lot of them are, yes”

“So, we agree that guys your age like going after girls my age,” she said, then she pointed to the TV screen, “They make movies about it. It’s a cliche.”

“Yes, but not a good cliche.”

Sarah simply looked at him. The smile slowly faded from her lips and she spoke in a quiet, serious tone, “Let’s take the age out of it for a second. I’m telling you that I like you. I really feel like we are compatible. It feels right being with you. And to be completely honest with you, before class and before we found out about Coach Bobbie and all, I was hoping that we could come back here and that maybe… something more would happen.”


“You like me, right?”

“Of course I do…”

“And I like you,” she said, “Obviously. And I am an adult. Okay, so I first saw The Breakfast Club on dvd not in a movie theater. So what? It’s not like there’s something illegal going on. And we have these feelings for one another. Let’s forget about the whole ‘age’ thing.”

Larry looked down at the floor and shook his head. “I can’t,” he said.

Sarah was stunned.

Larry stood there.

She sat there.

It was an awkward several moments.

Finally, Larry said, “Look, I think that I should go. I’m sorry that…” and at this point words failed him, “I’ll just go,” he said. And at that, Larry picked up his jacket, headed for the door, then exited.

Sarah stared at the closed door. There, alone in the empty apartment, she wasn’t quite sure what had just happened. In a somber tone of disbelief, she simply whispered to the quiet room:



*The printed version of non-Hollywood follows a different character in its next chapter. You can read the book in that orderif you prefer, or scroll down to see the next chapters starring Sarah.

[ or just skip ahead to The End ]

Stick with it (or not)

Even the older model has more success in life than Sarah does.

And for some reason the older model seems not to be interested in her in any way other than professionally.

So once again, Sarah feels like she is failing. And this time, the failure seems completely inexplicable.

But perhaps success will come next time.

Just have to stick with it.

Or not.

Failure and success