RUMOUR IN THE TRUTH
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Current Disaster, Blindly & Aimlessly Wandering Through Life. Twenty-five years old, living in London, working a ridiculous job in waitressing, and without a clue what she's supposed to be doing with herself - anymore.
She’d once had a burning passion and drive that she lived for, but then one day, it was simply gone, and she had nothing left inside of her after that. Her soul… Wilted. She became numbed and lost, wandering without a clue through her life – existence – without any clue what to do with it, now her life's passion was no longer an option for her. There was nothing else that she wanted to do, and so now... She simply drifted.
Music. Singing. Performing. They were the very air she breathed. She was a literal Nothing and Nobody without them, without a single clue what else she could do without them driving and buoying her life-force, in the way they’d always done pretty much since birth. But she’s had to give them up; for her own sanity. She had become far too overwhelmed by so many people telling her outrightly her dreams were pointless, stupid, pie-in-the-sky waste of her time. They mocked her. Bullied her. Belittled her. Everyone did so. Because when you're from the small village in the middle of nowhere that she’d lived in, and the college that she went to, bespectacled, freckled, and ginger “Disney-Singing Nerd” didn’t get to be “pop stars” – or sing on West End Stages. Apparently they “keep to themselves and not bring too much bother to everyone”. And eventually, they just wore her down - her confidence, her self-worth, her passion ended up being ridiculed out of her until it was all gone.
So, after she graduated Performing Arts at college at the highest level, she quit. She quit it all and walked away. Even outrightly rejected a scholarship to a major Musical Theatre training school in London she'd won outright… and told literally no one she had done so. Not even her very best friend, Kirk.
She ended up in London anyway, following Kirk there, who had his sights firmly set on the West End after graduating Performing Arts alongside her. Whilst there, she had made some small attempts to gain back her confidence and passion, but it fell flat - even a performance on the stage of the London Palladium didn't being it back. Instead, she just concentrated on just... Drifting. It was just easier that way.
She got a job at a back-alley bar in Soho, where she met Stevie. She hated her job, but refused to try anything else - and downright glared at Kirk for even suggesting Backstage or Front of House Theatre Work. Working the bar with Stevie wasn't the worst way to make a pittance of minimum wage, and managed for a few years there -- despite the Witch of a manager making everybody's life hell there, being a whiny, micro-managing, scowling, demanding bossy... Witch.
Rachel worked the bar late at night, and went and bothered Kirk at whatever theatre he happened to be performing in, with Kirk always ("illegally"; VERY against policy!) sneaking her into his dressing room for company and pep-talks before the show started, and she was swiftly kicked out when the calls started coming in for the show to go on.
Unfortunately, two things happened simultaneously to upsend her new, stable and boring existence -- Stevie quit and got a much better job, and the people she rented her miniscule studio apartment from decided to raise the rent, and she had to find a new job. So, she implemented the only other thing she was good at -- speaking French -- and somehow wrangled herself a new job in a new, mega-posh Five Star Restaurant of a new Five-Star Hotel, in Mayfair, of all places.
She was a great, confidently fluent French-speaker, but was absolutely rubbish at the uber-posh Silver-Service stuff they made her do there. She wasn't exactly too fond of the Penguin getup they had her wear, either -- who has a shirt with a dicky-bow, of all things?
Mega-Superstar, Iconic Musician & Former Member Of American Boy-Band Supergroup Phenomenon, All-In. Working Blindly & Madly, trying to keep up with everything Expected Of Him, Demanded Of Him. He's Not Quite A Cynic (...Yet), but he's certainly wondering if this is all there is for him now: Living Up To OTHER People's Expectations, Aggrieved & Worked To The Bone without much Return for himself, bar the rather ludicrous payments that keep coming his way.
Luke is getting… tired... of his life. His lifestyle. It’s LONELY. He’s always off doing thing in other places. His new(ish) London Mini-Mansion in Hampstead is too big and lonely with just him, and even he is there only occasionally. Hasn’t even properly unpacked it yet, and he bought it over two years ago.
He’s 28 years old, has his dream job and dream life, and more money than he’ll ever be able to spend. He’s been one-fifth of a MEGA BoyBand Phenomenon for nearly a Decade, and ended up being a music Icon as a soloist, after they Disbanded. He works hard to maintain his physique and looks — dark brown eyes, black hair, olive skin that tanned too easily, and the ultimate swimmer’s body, mixed in with partial-body-builder. He’d trained in kickboxing and worked out at his fully-decked home gym as well. It sells; it helps his music get noticed and heard. The physicality makes him feel good, so he’s OK with it, generally and overall. Plus… It’s ALL he’s ever known — since he was 17 years old.
But he’s still… Lonely. For years he lived and breathed and existed with four other people, doing Everything with the other members of his [boy] band, All-In. The name had come from discussions of unanimously vowing that’s what they were; right at the start of everything — they agreed they were All In … So, that’s what they named themselves.
His other friends in the band, his brothers, all of them did EVERYTHING Together. They kept each other sane, level-headed, gave comfort and joy, through the turbulence of being one of the biggest bands of the decade — worldwide. Scott Ryan, Kevin Anderson, James Stroud, Jarrod Garrett — they had been his family, for Eight Years. Now, he really didn’t have anybody.
The Disbandonment of the Band was unanimous and they were still his brothers…. but they no longer do everything together. Two already had young families of their own before they disbanded, now all four others had families. He had a relentless, ludicrous career instead.
It’s been a few years, but Luke can’t ever seem to get used to the Loneliness of being Alone.
To hide the softness inside him, Luke plays the Cocky-nearly-Arrogant Sweet Charmer facade of his public persona as much as he possibly can, for his own protection. Even his choice of “girlfriends” are generally strategic — always also in the public eye, attractive and have their own Independence. He’ll bed them and entertain them, and eventually that shallowness will wear off and they will part ways. Usually Amicably. Not so with the latest one.. and he should have seen that coming recently. Tara Smith-Williams was a spoiled bitch who was shallower than a drop of water.
He’s never cared for any of them… or anyone — except his fans, whom he loves. He gives them back as much as he can, and he’s happy to be called “The Heart Man” because of it. Uses it, even. This moniker that they gave him was about as close to whom he truly was as he’ll allow anyone to get, and he’s only ever comfortable around and with them.
However, he is getting tired of the attention the Mass Media keeps giving to his “relationship” and breakup with Tara, and for what happened... Which was basically nothing.
Then he feels like he has the answer — in a pair of striking eyes and an intriguingly beautiful face one night. He creates a Ruse — one to try and see if he can get someone to go out with him who is “normal” and to get the Tara story off his back. But the lovely face ends up tearing him a new one, and boy is he gone on her even more…
He is elated when Rachel agrees to go with him to Paris, but at the same time, she hates him, and he’s besotted with her. Utterly smitten. So, he maintains distance to a certain amount and does his best to hide it - -the Arrogant Charm seems to do the trick here, so he generally maintains it.
Until he can’t anymore.
Christian Lee has Been-There-Done-That with… Well, just about everything, probably. He was a Worldwide Sensation from around twenty-one years old, has made millions, sold millions of songs and albums, has enough awards to require a new house just for them, and paid a lot for bad mistakes, too. It's been a whirlwind ride that's lasted over Two Decades, and somehow it is still going. Somehow, he'd managed to get himself made into a Music Legend, of all things, and that's always been incredible for him. But he was quite happy to live with it now -- instead of rail against it, as he tended to do when he was a younger. He finally got himself into in a good place, and he's chilled, happy, calm & relaxed and takes just about everything in his stride, these days.
He's also come to a point in his career where he’s getting too old for the Constant Tour Circuit, so he’s decided he's mainly done with Performance and Tours in general. Well, special ones he’ll get behind, and one-off shows are great, but otherwise, he’s got better ways of spending his energy, these days. He prefers being a Producer, rather than a performer, now.
Indeed, his greatest achievement, in his own eyes, is mentoring a very lost young singer by the name of Luke Heartlett. Newly released from his Band All-In, the kid didn’t know what to do with himself. Only 22 years old, he'd only known young adult life as part of All-In, having been in the band since he was 17 years old, and they lasted a good Eight Years after that, before mutually Disbanding. He wanted to keep working, but didn’t know how — his entire life was music, from living in the world of the Music Industry for the past near-decade. But suddenly he was all alone and in need of guidance. Given the kid was skilled, experienced and gifted as hell, changing gears from performer to producer seemed like a no-brainer to get this kid's show on the road.
So, Christian Lee decided to take on the former Boy-Band "Heartthrob Sensation" Luke Heartlett, as both a Producer and a mentor, and together manage the Explosive start of Luke’s Incredible Solo Career. He develops a brotherhood-level of kinship with the young Padawan, with Luke’s level head helping him out, too, more than a few times, too.
Fast Forward six years and Luke is back floundering again. Badly, this time. He'd tried to solve one very questionable romantic entanglement with another - except this one was only for show and the poor girl was nothing more than a decoy, thrust into the Entertainment News spotlight for literally no real reason whatsoever; just Luke's kneejerk response to Annoying Press Coverage.
He is more than sympathetic to the young girl that Luke embroiled into his life, then intrigued when she divulged her past and destroyed music aspirations. He probably shouldn’t have asked Luke to invade her personal space, but he was well aware young Rachel wasn’t going to offer him her old personal demos voluntarily. He had a good feeling about her, somehow.
Kirk Branston & Stevie Hale
Kirk Branson & Stevie Hale (well, Stephanie - but don't Ever call her that! to her face!) are Rachel's Best & Closest Friends.
Kirk is a West End performer, and has been almost since the moment he arrived. Currently, he's in his third show - a new and very up-and-coming Glam-Rock based musical, which the critics were loving, and they were getting quite glowing reviews across the board. He is well aware of his immensely stunning good looks and is quite happy to use them to his advantage - but not in any malicious way. He's got a beautifully handsome face, big deep brown eyes and dark blond hair, a well-toned physique without being completely ripped, and a cheeky-charmer grin that he knows gets him his own way with just about anyone who isn't Rachel and Stevie.
He's a womaniser and isn't interested in anything but one or two nights of a good time - it's just easier that way.
He's known Rachel since they were in high school, but they became Best Friends while studying Performing Art together. It's never been romantic, and never will be, which makes it a lot easier to have a completely honest and openly affectionate relationship.
Stevie is a Londoner, and worked at the back-alley bar Rachel got her first job in. They quickly became good friends, and Stevie even let Rachel crash on her couch until she managed to find a little place of her own. She's so relieved to get a better job that means she can eat properly and pay her rent with bills. She has no particular ambitions - all she mainly wants from life is "to be OK, with no stress". Both Kirk and Rachel tend to fall outside that remit by a long-shot, but she made a grand exception just for them. Well, mainly Rachel, but right from the beginning it was clear that she and Kirk basically came as a package deal.
Stevie has thick & straight long blonde hair and blue eyes, is relatively athletic, but that mainly revolves around running several kilometers on most days and practicing yoga.
Luke & Ben Lord
Luke & Ben Lord star with Kirk in the new GlamRock Musical in the West End.
Ben Lord is a "West End Star" and a Big Name in the industry... And he knows it. His "pretty boy" looks, strong physique, and talented skill has catapulted his career into what dreams are made of. And his name was what catapulted their little GlamRock thing into a Big Show To Be Seen.
When Rachel ends up "illegally" crashing their dressing room before a show, Ben ends up taking to the cute, airy redhead that was his fellow cast member's friend. He shows very clearly that he's more than interested, although he keeps it slightly on the more subtle side of it. However, when he sees Kirk kiss Rachel at a party, he is incensed (despite not even asking her out, let alone being any kind of Significant Other to Rachel) and shuts down all communication between him and the two of them.
In the strong grasp of his prideful sulk, he gives Kirk an ultimatum -- his job or his best friend. He has contacts and clout in the industry, and Kirk knows it.
Lee is the third person sharing a dressing room with Kirk and Ben in the Theatre. Theirs has been an easy camaraderie from the start of rehearsals, making them and easy match for sharing. What he neither wanted nor predicted was for that to blow up in his face and make things more than impossible for him to live with, for several months.
Lee ends up being somewhat of a silent piggy-in-the-middle between Kirk and Ben, but also makes little qualms in making it clear he thinks Ben has, frankly, lost his mind and becomes a good friend to Kirk, as he mourns the loss of his best friend and no longer having Rachel in his life.