nice to meet you... i'm estella grace.

from sydney and austin, but currently living in singapore.
you built me palaces out of paragraphs

if sunny v. is the official older sister, i'm the cool aunt.

black lives matter

Message to Readers

New story idea I had. Hopefully you like. Most of the actors are made up, due to the fact that I want to create a bunch of fake movies and needed actors in them. Enjoy so far - part four coming. This (and part one and two) reads like a TV pilot.

ambition's alluring chalice (everybody wants to be famous, part three)

June 6, 2020



december 31st, 1999
new year's eve
7:38 pm
park hyatt
potts point
sydney, australia

a luxury, penthouse-level hotel suite, multi-storied, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors, all of which are open. the terrace has a harbour-front view of the sydney harbour bridge, as well as the opera house. both the terrace and suite are filled with party guests; most of which are mingling, some of which are dancing. champagne flutes are in hands, and the new year’s decorations are very, very extravagant. the b-52s are playing from the state-of-the-art sound system. some very familiar faces are visible through the crowd of celebrities. there’s elenore, clarisse and maria, looking at the party with the wonder of spectators.

elenore: This is…

clarisse (impressed): A bigger deal than I thought.

maria: Amazing! (she sighs in awe) I think I see David Tennant! Oh my god, I’m shaking. Pinch me.

elenore: I shouldn’t have come. I told you both I wasn’t in the mood for a party tonight.

clarisse: Even if you just stay until the nine o’clock fireworks? They do that here.

elenore, sighing: Fine. But just until then. (pause) And I’m not drinking anything tonight, either. I want to be able to drive home.

clarisse: That’s okay. (slight breath) Now, if we can just- (she cuts herself off abruptly, a little annoyed) oh, where’s Maria?

(elenore points to a spot on the terrace, where maria is talking loudly and animatedly to a small group of people, gesturing extensively with her hands.)

clarisse: Ah. Figures. (tentative pause; before speaking to elenore) Is it all right if I hit the tap? It’s open bar here, and these usually overpriced drinks are all free tonight.

elenore (sighing): Go right ahead.

when clarisse leaves, elenore is alone at the party. seeing as she does not know anyone else there, she goes to the bar and orders a sparkling water, which she clutches as she makes her way over to the terrace, looking out over the harbour. she engages in small conversations with the various people who pass her, sticking to broad topics. the hours go by quite slowly, and nine pm rolls around slower than elenore would’ve preferred. looking around the party, she spots clarisse a small distance away, talking to the woman who elenore knew to be stephen mcaster’s second assistant. michelle, she thought. elenore scans the room again, looking for maria, who she finds locking lips with a man elenore doesn’t recognize. shaking her head, elenore turns away and faces the harbour again. she’s thinking about multiple different things, but the thing that preoccupies her mind the most - even more so than the truly appalling television nightmare that is “trenton” - is thinking about her ex-fiancé, thomas bristol, who proposed to her on new year’s eve in 1997, before their relationship fell apart that same year. she remembers that thomas is an actor, and newly engaged to giselle carmine, a gorgeous supermodel and the daughter of one of the most famous men in hollywood - robert carmineand elenore hadn’t dated since thomas; she’d lost herself in her work for the past two years.

elenore turns to face the party scene again, hoping that it is somewhere near nine pm… and suddenly bumps into someone accidentally, which knocks her to the ground, causing her to exclaim suddenly in a mixture of shock and pain, a hand to her head.

man: Oh, my god. Oh no. Shit. I’m so sorry. Are you okay?

elenore (still holding her head, looking up, and coming face-to-face with leo stone): (under her breath) Ack, what the hell? (she gets up) I’m fine. I’m fine.

leo: Are you sure?

elenore: Of course. I’m fine.

leo: Is your head okay? Really, I’m so sorry.

elenore: My head’s fine. (she sighs deeply, frustrated) God, this party. I’m just gonna go.

(elenore leaves, and leo faces diego, very annoyed.)

leo (to diego): What the hell was that, man?!

diego: You needed a push. Someone had to do it.

leo: Yeah, but- but not a literal push! Thanks a lot, Rocky.

diego (eyes still on elenore, who is weaving her way through the crowd): Whatever, amico. Now’s your chance! Go talk to her! Before she leaves!

leo: No! I can’t just… ack, you made it so awkward. She probably thinks I’m a total klutz. Really, Rock: thanks a lot.

diego (defensive): You said you thought she was pretty.

leo: And I do think that, but… ugh, this was not the way things were supposed to go. Stay out of it, Rocco. Please?

diego: Fine, Stone. (sing-song) But she’s leaving! Hurry up!

(after very careful consideration, leo sighs and follows elenore into the crowd.)

leo (calling to diego): Wish me luck.

diego: You don’t need it, brother.

(once leo catches up to elenore, he calls out to her over the loud music inside the suite.)

leo: Uh, miss? (she turns around to face him, and he finds himself suddenly nervous) Um… hi. Again, I just wanted to a-apologize for what happened earlier… it was an accident. And I’m really sorry about it. Yeah.

elenore (shaking her head): That’s okay. I was just leaving, actually… so you don’t have to worry about it. It’s fine. You’re forgiven.

leo (confused): Why are you leavin’? It’s New Year’s. You even don’t wanna stay for the fireworks?

elenore: No, not really. (she sighs) And besides, I’ve got work to do.

leo (appalled): On New Year’s? The Y2K? (pause) Man, your boss must be a whackjob.

elenore: You have no idea.

(elenore moves into the entrance hall, which is distinctly quieter and the music isn’t as loud. leo follows her, still trying to keep their conversation going.)

leo: What do you do? You’re a… model? Actress?

elenore (skeptical): I’m a writer.

leo: A writer! Would I have… read or watched anything you’ve written?

elenore (laughs slightly at the situation, shaking her head slowly): Why are you talking to me?

leo: What do you mean?

elenore (shouldering her purse): I just said I was leaving. And I’m assuming you’re staying for the rest of the party?

leo (considering it): Well, I don’t really want to...

elenore: There you go. (she looks back at the party) Me either. (she sighs) Just a bunch of famous people sucking up to each other. I know they say that this is the way into the industry; to get these connections… but I don’t think I like it all that much.

leo, looking back at the party as if seeing it for the first time, clarity in his eyes: I know.

elenore, taking a deep breath: Looking back at this… it’s clearer, you know? Everybody in this room wants to get somewhere, everybody has a goal in mind. Ambition is… without a doubt, the most poisonous and most wonderful thing a person can encounter. It consumes you and it fuels you… almost simultaneously. (pause) But we never even stop to consider it.

leo (a little in awe): Wow. I, uh… I never thought about it like that.

elenore: Exactly. (she opens the door, and turns to go before facing leo one last time) In that way… “I don’t know why people expect art to make sense. They accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense.”

leo, nodding, enthralled by this: That’s David Lynch. I-influential American screenwriter. He… he said that in 1989, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. That was around the time he was writin’ Wild at Heart.

elenore: Yeah. (pause, smiling slightly) Yeah, it was. (another pause) I’m surprised you’ve... (her voice trails off)

leo: Blue Velvet is my favorite movie. That’s… one of his earlier works.

elenore: I know.

(there’s a pause. neither person really knows what to say to each other next. then leo speaks, introducing himself.)

leo: I’m Leo, by the way.

elenore: Elenore. Elenore Grace.

leo: That’s a really… a really pretty name. It suits you.

elenore: Thanks. (pause) So what do you do, Leo?

(leo pauses again, realizing the truth: she doesn’t recognize him. maybe she hadn’t seen “curaçao”. but whatever the case… she didn’t recognize him. she only saw him as another face in the crowd… just like she saw everyone else.)

leo: Oh. Uh… I’m… I’m an actor.

elenore: Ah. Of course. (pause) So… what would I have seen you in?

(leo now faces a dilemma: whether to tell elenore about “curaçao” and about his newfound fame and career. he grapples with this for about three and a half seconds before answering her.)

leo: No. No, I don’t think so. I’m just… I just do a lot of background stuff. Extras and the like.

elenore: Huh. It’s funny. It’s just that you look… so familiar. Like I’ve seen you before, but I can’t remember where.

leo: I guess I just have one of those faces, or so I’ve been told.

elenore: Maybe. (pause) I’m not really good at matching names with faces, so I sincerely apologize if we’ve met before and I don’t remember you.

leo: No, no… we haven’t met. (he pauses) I know I’d remember you if we had.

elenore: Well, that’s sweet. (she smiles) It was nice talking to you, Leo. Have fun at the rest of the party.

(as elenore turns to go, leo hesitates for half a second before he calls out to her again.)

leo: Elenore!

elenore, turning to face him again: Yes?

leo (suddenly nervous): Do you… do you think you can stay for one drink? Least I could do… t-to apologize for earlier. So… c-can I buy you a drink?

elenore (shrugging): Sure. You can buy me a drink. (she pauses, smiling) Tell you what. I’ll do you one better. I know a great little place downtown; right on the harbour. It’s some view, and it’s not too far of a drive. The head chef and I go way back. (she laughs lightly) I get the sense that you wanna get out of here before the nine pm fireworks hit. You’re like me. (she hesitates a little) Unless… your girlfriend’s waiting for you inside?

leo: No. No girlfriend. (pause) What about you… your boyfriend doesn’t mind bein’ left alone?

elenore: I don’t have a boyfriend.

leo: No kidding? (he pauses) You were right before. I definitely wanna get out of here. This party…

elenore, finishing it: ...flat-out blows. I know. (she laughs) Now come on, Blue Velvet. My car’s up here. (hesitant) It’s a rental, but I’ve been living here for the past month that… it feels like mine. It’s the red one. 1969 Chevy Camaro. I’ll never get to drive a car this nice again, so… I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

(as leo and elenore start toward elenore’s car, the nine pm fireworks go off. leo turns to watch them, but elenore doesn’t give them a second glance.)


See History
  • June 6, 2020 - 11:44pm (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • .amelia.

    I love this too! reminds me so much of La La Land!

    over 1 year ago
  • sunny.v

    love this!!

    over 1 year ago
  • star_girl

    Oh, wow. I'll be keeping up for part four!

    over 1 year ago