S-Boys: Episode 14 – Fan Transfer

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I’ve got from 1.3 to 3.2 million viewers on my various SNS sites–I mean on my own verified sites for Sierra Summer. Yes, there still are fans of old folk singers out there, especially when we get a little politically active and outspoken on social media.

I figure a portion of my fanbase will slide over to support the S-Boys. The hard-core fans will, for sure, those that call themselves MountainHeads.

The curious will at least check out the boys’ teasers and first releases.

And then the fans-who-love-to-hate. Of course, they’ll find something wrong with everything. Selling out. Capitalizing on creatives. Ripping off young talent. Copycats. They’ll come up with something to hate. But that’s part of the plan, too. Fan wars provide the best promotion any producer could hope for.

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I’ve been posting teasers since before I started recruiting.

“Something big coming up!”

Everybody started guessing. Most guessed I’d stage a comeback. Nobody guessed boy-band.

On Instagram, I posted a pic of me painting.

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“Guess what this is?”

A few guessed right: an album cover.

But they’re all still thinking it’s a cover for my own release.

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We haven’t yet decided which painting we’ll use. I kinda like the trees, since the album will be called Rainbow Apollo, but Vee-Jay and Akira like the absurd wit of the hat cat and the apple-nose dog.

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Who knows? Maybe one of the guys will paint the cover we end up using. I posted this teaser of Joey with the caption, “More than one painter in the house.”

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I didn’t share the actual painting.

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Akira’s had his V-Live, letting his fans know that something big is coming up. And I’ve been planning the release of teasers of each of the others.

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I posted a selfie I took at the computer. I made sure to show Rylan in the background.

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“No. That’s not a nephew,” I wrote in the caption. #SomethingBigComingUp.

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I posted a pic on Instragram of Tony working out.

“Apollo loves the gym!” I wrote.

I’d let them guess whether Apollo was the godlike man or the sunburst dog.

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On Soundcloud, I posted 15 seconds of “You make me feel.”

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It got 2.2 million likes!

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All the comments guessed that this was my backup band.

“If we fail,” Akira said, “maybe we really can be your backup band?”

“That’s not a bad worst-case scenario,” mused Joey.

“I always wanted to sing backup,” Akira said.

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“Akira!” I called him into the other room. “You can’t talk like that,” I said. “Even in joking. At this stage, you’ve got have maximum confidence. None of these guys have experience, like you do. They all look up to you! If you start doubting yourself, they’ll doubt themselves. Look. Your fans. My fans. You guys are gonna make it! You’re good!”

“You really think so?”

“I do,” I replied. Truth be told, I actually wasn’t sure they were good. But I knew they had something different, something unique. Something no one else could deliver. And right then, when we were gearing up for their debut, doubt would ruin it. “You’ve got be confidence. That’s what the boys need.”

He marched back into the kitchen.

“Heck. We aren’t no backup band, boys. We’re idols. Close your eyes and see it. Dream it, boys!”

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Later that day, Vee-Jay was still dreaming.

“Here’s how it’ll be,” Akira said, narrating the dream. “For thousands of people, our songs will make a difference. Our songs will give them a reason to smile when they wake up. We’ll make them happy on their road trips! We’ll be their soundtrack when they’re doing their math homework! When they’ve got heartache, they’ll listen to us!”

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‘Millions of people happy‘,” said Vee-Jay, “just like Kermie said!”

“Well, I don’t know about millions,” replied Akira. “We’re not Sierra yet!”

But I had hopes, even then.

Tony’s voice was coming along.

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He was even working on his moves.

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And Rylan? Quiet, thoughtful, sensitive Rylan… he could break a heart with that tenor of his… and then, he’d mend it, on the spot.

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Yeah, I was thinking we were just about ready for the fan transfer. And then, we could think about attracting new fans, too. Pretty soon, we were gonna need a name for our fandom. Geekers? Nerdsquad? How about Daydreams!

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Author’s note: Hi, everyone! I’m back! I wasn’t really gone… I was just taking a break from Sims and writing. I wrote over 1,200 posts over the past four years! I was due for a short break… I’ve been having fun with ElderScrolls Online, busy with work, and enjoying my garden. Now, I’m happy to be back writing Sims stories. I might be writing an ESO fanfic, too. Not sure how often I’ll be posting, but it’s the enjoyment, not the frequency, right? Happy thoughts to you, and I hope you’re all well and enjoying much-deserved breaks when you need and want them!

 

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S-Boys: Episode 13 – Dating Ban

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The boys started developing real chemistry–not like ammonium nitrate and powdered aluminum, kaboom! More like crushed rose petals and water, sweet! A grooving solution.

They started sounding good together, too.

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Wouldn’t be long, and I’d start giving them some 72 hour missions: quick covers we’d video and release on YouTube as teasers. We’d record their preparation, too, so our early fans could get a taste of how they worked together.

Akira clearly was the leader–everybody followed him. He led them into riff on one of my old tunes, Fiddle Up a Creek.

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Tony called me over when they finished.

“Miss Sierra,” he said. He’d taken to calling me that, like a schoolboy. It caught on with the other guys, too. More as a joke, than anything, but underneath the joking was a liner of respect, so I didn’t object. “I like your song,” he continued. “I just can’t get the base line right. Sing it with me?”

I took the melody. He beatboxed along, and then launched into a low harmony.

Like a fiddle up a creek

Mama, make my knees go weak.

When the devil’s got the bow

Got some trouble we could sow.

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“That was great, Tony,” I said when we finished. “That beatboxing is really helping your rhythm, and your base line is just fine.”

“Thank you, Miss.”

It was autumn. We’d been training for six weeks. So far, it started looking like each of the guys would make it through the three-month clause.

I headed out to rake leaves. We coulda hired a gardener–we coulda hired twelve. The boys could chip in, and they sometimes did. But I found that the garden work kept me relaxed, and there’s nothing like repetitive physical labor, i.e. raking leaves, to develop focus.

I was planning the covers for our 72-hour challenges. We’d do unit groups, I’d decided.

“Sierra?”

I turned to see Akira walking towards me.

“Akira! You sounded great in there. What’s up?”

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“Been doing a lot of thinking,” he said. “It’s pretty obvious what we gotta do.”

“And what’s that?”

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“We need a dating ban!” he said.

A what?

“Akira, we’re not JYP,” I replied. A three-to-four year dating ban was customary with most K-Pop companies for groups in the years leading up to and after debut. But I wasn’t sure how it’d translate over here. I knew our schedules were tight, and we demanded discipline, but a dating ban?

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“It’s the only thing,” he said. “Keep our focus. Keep us on track. Channel all that energy into our music. We just don’t have time for messing around with people outside the group. Friends, maybe. For mental health. But more? No way. Not for five years. A five year dating ban.”

“I don’t know, Akira. It sounds so Draconian.”

“I already talked to the guys,” he said. “They’re all for it. We’ve pledged.”

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I couldn’t stop them from adopting a dating ban, if they chose it. But I wanted them to be clear it was their choice, their decision. This was not something that Summer Production Company was forcing on anybody.

We had a chance to test their commitment at an upcoming photo shoot.

We went to the city for its annual Romance Festival to get photos for album liners, posters, teasers, calendars, and fan give-aways.

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On the ferry, I overheard the boys talking about the dating ban.

“Anything for the band, I’m up for,” said Vee-Jay. “For art! I’d give up breathing for music because music is breath!”

“But you gotta breathe to sing, man,” said Joey.

“It’s a metaphor,” said Vee-Jay.

“Yeah, we have met afore,” said Joey. “How could you forget this face?”

But at the festival, the gravity of their pledge sunk in.

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Five years. No dating. Not even inside the group. No romantic complications. No distractions. All music. All dance. All the time. Focus. Concentration. Dedication.

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It was too much for some of these romantic souls.

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But I noticed Joey didn’t seem too phased. I don’t think it was that he didn’t care about dating. I think it was that he didn’t care about rules. More power to him, within reason, of course.

We got through the festival, and I got some good shots. I ended up liking the love-worn expressions the boys gave. We could package it for the fans, like “Missing you.”

“No love without you.”

Slogans like that.

“We don’t need to date when we’ve got a cat,” Akira said the next morning.

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I wasn’t so sure Joey and Rylan agreed. I had the distinct feeling they were redefining the word “date.” And maybe even the word “ban.” Is it a date if you don’t leave the house? And does “ban” mean, like, for not at all?

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S-Boys: Episode 11 – Akira’s V-Live

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OK. I’m just waiting for viewers to show. Anybody here?

I’m just waiting.

So, what do I do if no one shows? I guess I just close out the broadcast. It takes a while, right?

Um. OK. So it takes a while. OK.

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OK. Here’s someone.

Hi.

Hi, viewer.

You can write comments, and I’ll read them, OK?

Hi.

Yeah. I’m here alone. I’m Akira.

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I don’t know if anyone else is going to show.

Should I just stop if no one does? Or I could just talk to you.

What?

Oh. Ten viewers! OK. We’ve got ten viewers.

Hi. Hi, everyone.

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Yeah, I’m good. I’m Akira.

Oh. Wow. OK. We’ve got 1,000 viewers now. OK. Hi! Hi, everyone.

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What’s up?

So, hi. Yeah. It’s me. Akira. You probably know me from before, when I had my solo act.

I’m Akira from the S-Boys now.

“Why did you quit your solo act?”

Well, I didn’t so much quit from it as add to it. I can still do solo stuff, if I want. But I’m with the S-Boys now. I’m the leader. I guess I felt that it was a good opportunity. I like our manager. You know her? Sierra? Sierra Summer. Yeah. She’s our manager.

So, I see a lot of comments now, so I’ll read them.

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“Who else is in the band?”

Oh. We’ve got um… four other guys. Yeah. Lotta talent. I won’t give you names because, spoilers.

“When is your album coming out?”

Well, we’re in training now. We’re working really hard so we can create the good songs and share them with you. We’re working really hard. We’ll keep working.

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Will you wait for us?

“Wait forever!”

“With you always!”

Ha! Someone wrote that in the comments.

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“Akira handsome!”

“Akira aegyo!”

I don’t really do cute. But you’re all so nice.

OK. How’s this. I’m your fan! *click*

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Yeah. I’m not really an aegyo kind of guy.

“Akira wink.”

No.

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“Akira marry me.”

Um. No.

Ask me some real questions.

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OK, so I can’t really tell you about our songs in detail. For one, spoilers. But also, we’re still in development, you know? We’re in training. We’re writing.

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But I can tell you what I can tell you.

So, OK. One of our members, he’s a real talented songwriter.

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You’re really going to like what I writes, I think so. I feel that.

No, I can’t tell you his name yet. We’re going to have a reveal, so you’ll have to wait.

But let me try… OK. How about this? I will describe how I feel when I hear his song, how’s that?

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So, let’s see. Do you know summer? Like I mean, not Sierra Summer, but the season?

Like a summer day? So, do you ever go outside, with maybe your two best friends, like you know, the guys you love to hang with? Or the girls? You know, the people you like the most?

So, OK. Imagine that.

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So, you’re with your two best people. You’re feeling close, you know?

And you go outside. And the sun is shining. It’s a beautiful sky. Maybe there’s a breeze coming up from the beach.

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And you don’t have to go anywhere. You’ve got all afternoon, with the two people you love the most.

Like, that’s freedom, right? Freedom and love.

That’s how this song makes you feel when you listen to it. At least, I hope so. So you can look forward to that.

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OK. I have time for a few more questions. Then I have to go train.

“Where do we live?”

I can’t tell you.

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We live together in a big house in a really nice place.

“What do you do all day?”

We train. That’s about it. We train, we eat, we sleep. Some of us write songs. Then we train some more.

“Did you eat?”

Yeah. I ate before I came here.

“What did you have?”

Oh, I had kimchi. We eat that all the time. Kimchi rice bowls with egg. Sierra is a good cook.

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“Akira you’re cute.”

“Akira boyfriend.”

Thank you.

“Akira wink.”

No. Never. But thank you for asking.

OK, everyone. So, I gotta go now. I gotta get back to training. And I bet you got to do things, too, like work, sleep, study. So. Thanks for watching. Wait for us. We will be ready for debut soon.

Well, not really soon because we’re training.

But soon enough.

So, next time, I’ll come back with another member, OK? And then you can get to meet all of us.

“Akira love you!”

Thank you. I will work hard to be deserving of that.

OK, people. I’m going to go now.

This is Akira of the S-Boys. S-Boys Out!

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S-Boys: Episode 5 – HamCam

Remember how I mentioned that cameras had been set up in every room, except the bathrooms? Even the hamster habitat has one.

Here’s the first footage we caught on the HamCam.

***

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Akira: Maybe you’ve heard of me? Akira Kibo? Rapper? Karaoke star? No? OK. Doesn’t matter.

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Akira: I’ve heard of you! Hammy the Hamster. Jokestar Extraordinaire. Dude, you’re legendary!

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Akira: So you might be wondering: If I’m somebody that somebody might have heard of–not that you heard of me, but that’s understandable–if I’ve got name-recognition, what could possibly tempt me to sign up for this thing, a boy band?

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Akira: I’m all about the dream, baby! And the more impossible the dream, the more I’m about it. You’ve seen these guys, right? They’ve all got heart. Not so much talent. Not experience, not yet anyway. But they got heart. And that’s what it takes to make a dream a reality, amiright?

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***

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Joey: Oh, hey there. You awake? I just woke up myself. Feeling kinda peckish, also. How’s the chow?

Never mind! You don’t have to share! They’ve got ice cream downstairs. Want me to bring you a bowl?

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Joey: I can’t believe I’m actually here. Just yesterday, I was a bartender, hoping to get discovered. And now. Here. I. Am. Even got my own Instagram account!

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Joey: Trying to figure out my image. Joey Crook! S-Boy Rapper! How’s it sound?

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Joey: Only problem, I don’t know how to rap.

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Joey: But I could learn, right?

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Joey: How hard could it be?

Gimme the grime
Gimme the move.

Got the crime
Got the groove.

Got the… uh. What rhymes with crime? Time? Rhyme? Chime?

Err, this is a lot harder than it seems.

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Joey: Maybe I should stick to singing. Joey Crook! Lead Singer for the S-Boys!

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Joey: Follow that star!

No matter how far!

No matter how paaaaainfuuulll

Sounds my gee-taaaaar!

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Joey: Bravo, bravo! Again! Encore!

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Joey: That’s it! My destiny. In lights!

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Joey: No, seriously. You’ve been a big help.

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***

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Rylan: I could hear your little wheel contraption squeaking all the way in the kitchen. You want me to oil that thing for you, little guy?

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Rylan: I’m always happy to help!

Unlike some of the folks here.

You know what that creep of a bartender said to me?

“The Village People left town yesterday, dude! Looks like you forgot to shove off with them.”

Jerk.

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Rylan: But you think maybe he had a point?

Guess I’m feeling kinda out of place. Maybe I should have stayed in the city. You think I’ve got what it takes?

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Rylan: What’s it take to be part of a hit band, anyway?

Can you tell me?

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Rylan: Ha. You sure look happy in there, little fella!

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Rylan: Kind of enjoying life, are you?

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Rylan: And that’s the secret? That’s what you’re trying to tell me?

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Rylan: Well. I am here. Guess you’re right. Might as well enjoy it. Thanks, little fella!

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S-Boys: Episode 3 – Honeypop

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The boys were lining up to audition at Planet Honeypop. I passed on the first two, but the third guy stopped me in my tracks. Akira Kibo.

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Of course I knew who he was. You can’t follow the YouTube pop scene and not know Akira Kibo. He traveled with his own fanbase, namely Miko Ojo, his roomie at the time.

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His voice slides smoother than the cream on top whole-fat yogurt. His style goes easy.

I was a little surprised, frankly, that he’d try out for our group. But this was a real chance, with real contracts, and a real producer–me. And the exposure couldn’t hurt the numbers of subscribers for his regular Youtube channel. We didn’t have an exclusive clause, so he could do both.

I started to get excited, daydreaming about him being the center of the group. I mean, the other potentials had personality and quirky charm, but Akira, he had talent and skill and experience. He was the real bomb.

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He winked at me when he finished.

“Your turn,” he said.

No one else was waiting to sing at the moment, so I indulged him. He’d punched in one of my numbers on the karaoke machine–never mind how old it made me feel to have a hit song listed in the Golden Oldies section. I rocked it, and that made me feel like a teenager.

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When I finished, I heard somebody calling out, “Hey! Hey! That was really awesome!”

It was Vaneer! I was tickled that he showed up. His spot was waiting for him, and all he had to do was agree to the terms, but here he was, at the evening auditions, lending support.

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“The guy down there was asking about you,” he said.

I looked down the bar to see a bronzed god of a man. Oh, that facial structure! It looked familiar, somehow, but I couldn’t place him.

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He approached me when he noticed I was looking his way.

“Well, you left your card,” he said. “Here I am.”

“Statue guy?”

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“None other!” he replied. “Tony McCarthy, at your service!”

He had a great speaking voice. A little high, but rich. I bet he had a killer falsetto.

“Tell me about yourself!” I suggested.

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“I’ve always wanted to perform,” he said. “That’s why the statue thing. I can hold one pose for an hour. Maybe more. It’s OK. Takes discipline, which I got in abundance. But I’d kinda like to move. I wanna dance!”

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“And sing?”

“I’m more the quiet type,” he said. “Statues aren’t a speaking role.”

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Meh. We’d work on it. And even if he, primarily, danced, that could work out, too. We could always use handsome.

Akira sauntered past.

“Am I in?” he asked.

“Of course,” I replied. I gave him the info. He sauntered off.

“Later, then.”

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We had a few more auditions. Nobody really reached me. They were mostly too typical, too timid, cookie-cutter knock-offs. I’d had my heart set on a quintet. There’s just something balanced about five–lead in the center, flanked by two duos. But I guess we could settle for a quartet. Four wasn’t the loneliest number.

My throat was parched. Maybe I could get a cup of tea and ask the bartender to spike it for me.

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Or maybe I didn’t need it spiked.

You make me feel…
Like I’m already tipsy.

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Oh, he was something else. Sweet on the eyes! Very good with his hands. Every boy band needs somebody who can do tricks, right?

“How’re the auditions going?” he asked.

“OK, then not-so-OK, until now.”

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We talked a bit. He was interested. The bartender was interested.

I sat down, humming the new song.

You make me feel…

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And then Vaneer finished the verse for me:

Like a unicorn, baby.”

“Vaneer! That’s it!”

“Vivaan.”

“What?”

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