p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="e80bce38595d1447833babca62b64f39" The line of clowns stretched for nearly ten blocks just outside of a cement brick building on an otherwise dreary day. /p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="2504e6d5fdcc6de8049c147b9e2b59a3"Normally, nobody would bat an eyelash. After all, this was just outside of New York City, and wacky characters walked around all the time. In fact, the girl in question had been chased down by a knockoff Elmo with a purse last time she went to visit her grandparents. But today, she couldn't help feeling like the odd one out./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="f7a1f01d3e0255ff014469cfdb3b8dc5"She looked down at her overalls and makeup-free face./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="3eaaadeada586ff51f8685a2e04978da" "If they wanted you to wear makeup, they'd tell you," her mother said that morning, clutching a sheet in her hands, reading aloud from it. "See this? No makeup is to be worn by any principal character. You look great no matter what." Her mother patted her cheek like she was five years old?/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="6046487836a127fa5261e356da925c26"The girl's mind drifted to Angie Foster. Angie who, at eleven years old, was not only the oldest in her class but also the most developed. She wore lipstick and a bra like a pro. Was it wrong to look good? Maybe if she won today, she would finally show Angie up. /p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="234928cc61d7c5b6f03936dfbc28b31e"It seemed like nobody else in line had paid any mind to the rules. Many young clowns dotted the sidewalk. Tall ones, short ones, clowns with orange afros, clowns with floppy clown shoes. The girl looked down at her own Keds-clad feet. Even clown shoes would be more interesting than that. Her sister might laugh, but it was always important to look the part./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="ab05b9acf8d983b02f93d645679e4b90"The drizzle began to start up again as a man's booming voice called, "Next!" The girl's head shot up and almost hit someone else's. /p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="5bb097939694051c63c6ae99ce9a60fb""Yo! Who are you?"/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="0b1f284b830f266f22849d1034c63860"The girl looked up to see a rowdy boy in her face. From the sides of her eyes, she could see her mother giving her a stern look./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="c8f950a37aa93893922e0796adc75e9a""I don't talk to strangers," she said. "If I get the part, you'll know me."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="533fb41fe3bbede1a96b811e87e568ac""Ooh," the boy said. "Diva, diva." He flipped his bangs out of his face, like he was in a boy band or something./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="04a178912f26fca66440f3a81c44977d"Her face turned red. Did she say something funny? Her parents were always laughing at her that way and she was never quite sure why./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="5a3e458142c830b3b0f3848a1975d467"She turned to look around at all the other kids. One girl wore a pink jumpsuit and had lots of freckles. Was it a clown costume she was supposed to be wearing? That girl wasn't wearing a lot of makeup, either. She seemed nice, and seemed to be looking at puppy photos on her phone with another girl in line. Another girl behind them, possibly a friend, was peering over at the phone as well. She was dressed in dark black. A sharp contrast from what Jumpsuit Girl and her posse were wearing. She stretched her neck out to see the puppy photo./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="52de61fa9958fe45024fcdd684fce64b"But she felt a yank on the back of her T-shirt. "Don't be snooping," her mother said./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="55818f686391e9e5ea675650613294e3"Two hours passed. The clowns and their parents slowly moved up the sidewalk, inch by inch. The girl in the pink jumpsuit would wish everyone good luck as they got closer to the entrance. While they waited, they would chat. Sometimes Jumpsuit Girl would twirl a strand of hair around her finger as she jabbered away, she noticed. The black girl behind her would do the same, as if they were twins. /p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="727db03df96a72c0c6eae70e1a82ff4d"There wasn't much else to say for the dull day other than the very young clown whose mother carried him out screaming and crying. And lots of waiting. /p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="764982809cf7a43a90015c63cb4d53b6""You'll be professional, right?" her mother asked. "You don't want to let them see you behaving like a child." Acting like an adult was certainly something she could do. She could act like...well, anything./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="fdb2d0ad8c2be5f9daa4cd1ed05214f7""Next!" called the voice. Her head perked up to see the man with the big voice calling her in next. A neon banner on the ceiling greeted her: LET'S CLOWN AROUND!/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="8e66a1ff7b820cf40687714de9cdb02e"She stood in front of three judges on a stage in a large, dark auditorium. There were some props laying around her feet. Dolls, balls, even some cardboard trees. Was this where she would be acting, if she got the role of the show's host?/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="04835baedc6af4690941bb23c8880987""No costume or makeup. Excellent." The girl smiled./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="36cb5fbe3fd26688353e80961ec66b62""Seema a bit young," another panelist muttered./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="1c176683561d74d21a2e862b8b504ead"A blonde woman's head perked up, ignoring this remark. "Welcome. We'll ask you to please recite the monologue you prepared?"/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="058e71c00792d6ed7d1021bc3aa064ab"How did you answer a statement that sounded like a question?/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="2be62552e4ee0ff4aae2ff21a3955c1d"She decided to start the monologue from the top. She knew it cold. Her mother had drilled her, day after day. At breakfast. At the bus stop. At dinner. At bedtime. She also ran it through her head in the bathtub and at school, even though her school and acting teachers had yelled at her for not paying attention. Now, for the next thirty seconds, she was a kid in her bedroom, hosting a pretend show with stuffed animals. Was that a smile she saw from one of the judges? She grinned back./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="4080e8c3fd6743bf332e9b1e820a28b3""Keep going," mouthed the judge./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="2dff6c2e873bb50ef61073bdf6a01460"Oh. Right. em style="box-sizing: border-box;"Can't lose focus/em, she thought. She finished the monologue and took a bow. When she had tried this at home, her mother had gotten upset./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="01a6048803f48a501619681b7f00b3a4""You don't bow for the audition panel!" she said./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="4aa9e00e0b8b785a81ce3baf126e291b"But she had thought otherwise. Bowing made you look professional. And fancy. She always liked fancy. So she went ahead and did it anyway./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="8404fcc3d8c80b1848d65d8e89c50873"The judges didn't so much as clap. Instead, a gentleman got up./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="4c7354579f1494baed1266076b5e985d""Behind you are some props," he said. "I'd like you to take either the balls or the scarves and do some simple juggling for me."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="8bd318fc08a2d2e926c576373e8332f3"Juggling?/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="b6b14f1adf43afe3dca4fefb7c8c9185"He nodded. "Yes."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="00ae088944a2e64596d033bde77c1dd8"Oops. She must have said that part out loud./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="2fd337124a3ac3237734c2209dec2829"She tried to think back to The Sheet. It hung on the fridge for weeks and was a long list of guidelines for the audition. Her mother had been clutching it since this morning. She probably still was. Where on there did it say you had to know how to juggle? Maybe she missed that one./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="968ac94a6a8a00c7f4fbc708d1662ebd"Well, maybe she could act through this, too. She grabbedem style="box-sizing: border-box;" /emthe bright pink balls. Two in one hand, one in the other. Now what?/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="b25e67bf4c173532346df54a5236351d"She threw everything up in the air, giving it her best guess. She caught one ball, but the others fell on the ground. One rolled off the stage and landed at the judges' desk./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="eec9deb0efac96f50039c6befc160ee9"She smiled and took a bow. Again. Why not pretend she was doing it on purpose? After all, she was trying to be a clown./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="dc7baeb273988dee42b8eea8c4910681""Here, let me help you," chuckled the male panelist. "You should have said something." Her climbed up on stage and showed her the technique. After a few tries, she had gotten the hang of it. Sort of./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="3d5368e7efaae6dd443d6ed2811a3b0c"After she had juggled, read dialogue with another clown (he smelled a little funny, like macaroni and cheese, and she wondered if he wanted to be there at all), and improvised a scene with some dolls, she was finally dismissed from the room. She couldn't help thinking of how most of the clowns left the building earlier than she did. Maybe she made it farther in the process. Well, her music teachers always said that she had a gift. She stepped out and enjoyed the cool air. Over at last. /p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="0ea7cd685ff43beb159918230c16d034""So. Are you a clown yet?" There was that boy again, waiting against the side of the building./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="bf18927cd70832ab0d18e25caf1627a7""You get away from me right now!" she said. She didn't even care that the female panelist was looking in their direction. But her mother certainly noticed./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="f0d3e3c5c94208e091965dc40317af3d"He snorted. "What a clown you are. You should be cast."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="808680ca479d795a00c7ef7f5777865c"She decided to take the high road. "Leave me alone, please."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="690752347096564bb2912ec047119cba"Huh. She liked that phrase. She would have to practice that. If she was going to become a famous actress walking the red carpet someday, she might have to tell off some pesky fans. She barely even heard the boy laughing./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="816c1bc880cc528d1dc15d19fd70978b""Okay. Clown girl."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="914b6aba68d2bcf826f1643e3edce661"At first, she thought he was going to turn around. She saw him change his mind in the corner of her eye, but she noticed him turn around too late. She felt something warm and slimy on her neck. She reached up to touch it. Was that spit?/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="0abbc220b35b9ea9e78e904913e33e7c""Ew! You're gross! Get away!"/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="4dca0f92b6a7ab5a832f0bff51342081"She turned around and unfortunately saw her mother right behind her. Her face was on the verge of purple. That was never good./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="347f0a7e47f9bdba2bde64661548f5f0""What on earth were you yelling at that boy for?"/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="51e2a3a62d8578ccc7dc4a4d0a17d3e3""He was annoying me. He spit on me, Mom!"/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="0cdeda82b953b712474e52338ad5f160"Her mother snorted. "Don't be childish. It seemed to me like he was asking how you were doing. Go and apologize right now."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="2016cf5e12b7bc3b54ab75c72d9fa4f9"She loved her mother very much, but sometimes she didn't know how carried away she could get when it came to going on auditions. Last year, they had gone on a weekend outing to the mountains only for her mom to discover an impromptu audition they were holding for a big theater production. A day that was supposed to be spent by the lake ended up being spent in another line, only to be told that she was too short for the part. /p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="052176ba333515b73cb89e4fb3c8ac5d"But she should feel lucky. Her mother was supportive. Some people's parents were not./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="6ed8d971cee63400d1aed1285c340ed7"To her horror, the boy was standing right behind her again, as if waiting for her to get told off. She thought she caught a smirk on his round face./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="9951cb474a5127be96efb38f3fc4d8c2""I'm sorry. Good luck," she said. She watched her feet the whole time. All she wanted was to leave as quickly as possible. "Jerk,'" she mouthed./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="b93fa742bf3d775f8e7d48122a287d0d""No big deal," her mother said, walking briskly, practically dragging her daughter behind her. "There will be others. There will be."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="d4ed771f332f57df7ea56affe154d991""I know, Mom," her daughter said./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="17fbc0f3875f37b64b6c7a001c199eb6""You did follow the rules, right?" her mother asked./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="0131fb10d281ae841511e7e468e096d2"But she wasn't listening to her mother just then. She nodded, but nobody noticed./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="ef90cb5f360f2697b07eeecfe45a76bc"They forgot about it that very day. Clearly, her mother wanted to push it from both their minds. However, in the weeks to come, she would see her mother frantically checking her computer for more opportunities. Some days, it seemed like she wasn't even stopping to rest./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="9ceb0feb42d642f3edcbda9cbbf870c4"She sighed and left the room. What was she doing to her family, besides being a giant disappointment?/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="31d3a52d8302bcb2e2ae7512ed8e2193"***/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="f183da0be0de397e99915149d6a462dc"Six weeks later, the family was sitting down to breakfast./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="6c444c139f6286c5b2aa84d9d2a152b2"It was going to be a great day. It was her best friend Marie's birthday, and she was going to bring cupcakes for the whole class. It was also going to be a half day because of teacher conferences, and their class would also have what was called a publishing party. She would read her short story to everyone, and she was good at writing. It wasn't her favorite subject, but she always enjoyed making her teacher proud. She obviously couldn't say the same for her parents./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="9b5ade0038501726465dc2433fa6b363""Hey! Check this out!" her dad said. He was clutching the newspaper. "Someone from our hometown got a big role..."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="3f4961d4cc1fbd35739d0e51e9a8059d"The girl jumped up, upending her bowl of Cheerios. Why didn't they reach out to her right away? Ignoring the squeal of surprise from her sister, Avery, she reached for the paper./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="b665ed9dfeed8491fb5009279eb23bae"Her face fell./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="9048b47223367d9a12a4c7b8be6ef341"In the center of the page was a photo, featuring a group of clowns. They looked like they could make up the cast of a show. She saw the clown in the center and gasped./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="47c1d566bc8beccfabdf1444b2638296"It was the girl with the jumpsuit./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="f08a416e153b8c5b5c1dd77982512a7a""She's from here! Our town! Look, Mom, she's in our newspaper. She stood in front of us. She seemed really ni..." Her voice trailed off. She couldn't seem to find the last word./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="aeb38865079a3b780948ddde37254eea"The headline read: LOCAL FIND TIERNEY MILLER TAKES COVETED SPOT AS "CLOWNING AROUND" HOST./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="2c6c13bd6e673390f3c62a55bb2f6ef4""I'm sorry, Mom," she said, looking away from the paper./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="8ce63f407af8a41a14d859e792abb531""It's disappointing. But you'll keep trying, right?" her mother said, reaching down to hug her daughter. She let go quickly./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="e925f9441c8b70fe17a369ee7a0fa9ef""Hey! You spilled milk on me!" Avery cried. "Careful, sis!"/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="a22c18b4f234d92529fdbbe54fb1d655"Sighing, her sister passed her a paper towel./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="000cadbaca343c40af46263f6fc0c3f3"***/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="277d4885e8658e52fc5ab7d53e5fc428""So did you get it?" Carly asked that day. The girls were on the playground, sitting on the hill that overlooked the swings and slides. /p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="aa25ca42e81521e97d0c81d9421141f9""The role? No," she said. "Some other girl from here got it, though."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="d5ec6b2c1144f89d4ae9f2d25ed720e8""It's okay, right?" she said, popping her bubble gum. "Did you really want everyone at school to think of you as the Clown Girl or something?"/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="751fbaf65e7afc3ab52547807c1cd30a"She thought about this. Maybe not. People already laughed at her sometimes. Perhaps being known as a clown wouldn't make that any better./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="ccdad0d93f38a0cd4cc4b5e07056f81b""Who got the part that's from here? That's cool."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="8aeba8a4b6914b173881b4215fddb2c7""A girl named Tierney. I actually stood near her in line and she was talking to some other girls. She was showing off a picture of a puppy. She seemed really nice, but I won't get to act with her now." She sighed./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="272d4a384c096aea1bf2eac1e6dca610""That's cool. Let's look her up after school!" Carly said. "I mean, she probably lives close by."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="a7de1a16fb4fc69e207b64cb7e3908a8"But now that Carly mentioned it...someone else did look familiar in that photograph, too. It nagged her all throughout lunchtime. She ran all the way home that afternoon, down the sidewalk, into the kitchen, and picked up the newspaper. She was dying to know if anyone else was there./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="0a99d2cb65b1c54d6cfde726c20809ce"And there he was. Spit Boy./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="33f3a21f6ecea0fa0e246adb0572b199"Spit Boy had won a part. She did not. Where was the justice in the world? She sunk down to the floor as she showed her mother the photo./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="51bb6c83d706d6f8c1f7e8acbf456c65""Yelling at people does you no good," her mother said when she had brought up the issue. "It's bad luck in the theater. Your turn will come. I promise."/p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="a410dfb5f2e95875892d0a39499e6ffe"Kissing her daughter on the cheek, she walked away./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="9c290f07f748404e91c879776a909e5d"But her face kept turning toward Tierney's. The smile on her face and on Spit Boy's. Their arms were around each other. The girl was so friendly that she probably had no problem with Spit Boy. They would probably even become best friends./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="87ac56b883c14108f210e2b551cfeb64"Why couldn't it have been her in the picture, instead? Maybe if she could somehow find Tierney, track her down...they could become friends. And friendship could lead to a guest role, which could lead to fame.../p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="228d83f62d456d1a15dc0b87f42cfea8"That evening, lying on her bed, she looked at the carving on the wall that her grandpa had given her for Christmas. "Never, never, never give up," it read. And so she wouldn't./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="f84994ecfb345ef763c3302dd482edcb"She wasn't done with these people yet./p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" data-p-id="08f3503731b064a5613792544a057cc7"Putting the paper down, she ran to her computer. She was so curious to hear more about these people who were kind of almost her friends. /p
p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-size: 18px; font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; padding: 0px;" /p