Fall Again: Beginnings
By Donna Figueroa
What if you were to meet the perfect person – your best friend, soul mate and the great love of your life – but at the wrong time? That question is at the heart of Fall Again, a contemporary romantic series about two working actors set against the backdrop of New York, Los Angeles and points in-between.
In Beginnings you’ll meet Marc & Lauren in the optimistic New York City of the late 1980’s. Marc and Lauren meet when they are very young and building careers as professional actors in New York. Despite an obvious attraction, decorum dictates that their relationship remain platonic.
Over time Marc and Lauren find themselves struggling to maintain the façade of being just friends to those around them, as well as to each other. Regardless of their best efforts to remain friends Marc and Lauren fall in love.
He heard her quick light footsteps coming up the three flights of stairs before she finally came into view on the landing at the bottom of last flight of stairs.
As Lauren Phillips turned the corner she looked up at Marc and stopped, seeming surprised. “Marc?”
Marc responded as he took notice of the striking woman at the bottom of the stairs. “Yeah.”
An expression of pleasant recognition crossed her face. “Oh my God… Marc Guiro! I didn’t realize that Mel’s friend Marc… was you!” She confidently bounded up the last flight of stairs seeming very happy to see him.
But Marc was confused. This girl appeared to know him, but as far as he knew he had never laid eyes on her.
Lauren quickly realized this. “I’m Lauren Phillips. I went to NYU and we lived in Weisman Hall at the same time the last two years you were in school. We were in different towers but I saw you in the cafeteria and in the laundry room from time to time. You were two years ahead of me… but we were in a dance class together one semester.”
Marc looked at her closely. “I only took two dance classes while I was at NYU.” He continued to look at her blankly.
Lauren tried not to take this personally and attempted to play off the situation with humor. “Well whichever class you’re thinking of now… I was probably in the other one.”
Lauren flashed a cool controlled smile at Marc as Mel came into the hallway.
“Lauren…you made it!”
Lauren ran to her roommate giving her a big hug. “Thank you for today! It was wonderful!”
Mel didn’t want to take credit for booking Lauren on her show. Casting liked her look and personality. All she had done was to deliver Lauren’s photograph and resume to the Clayton’s Crossing’s casting department. “No, Lauren that was all you. I just gave casting your photograph. Once they called you in for your interview I was out of it.”
Lauren was suddenly aware that she was ignoring Marc and looked back towards him.
“Mel got me a day of background work on Clayton’s Crossing today!” Her excitement was getting the best of her.
“So I’ve heard. That’s great! Why don’t you both come inside?”
Marc ushered them both into the apartment while still questioning himself. Had he ever met this girl? He would have remembered.
Lauren was attractive. She had deep set dark brown eyes and dark hair which she was wearing pulled back into a perfect lose ponytail. He could see that she was wearing a lot of makeup, but she would be after a day on set. The makeup only enhanced her high cheekbones and smooth skin. She was dressed nicely in a gauzy long Indian skirt and blouse that she wore belted which showed off a tiny waist. She was slender. Over her shoulder she carried a large tobacco colored leather satchel.
But Marc found himself looking beyond her physical appearance. She had what some might call a sparkling personality, not to mention a bright and wonderful smile. Lauren’s energy was contagious. When she came up the last flight of steps toward him, it was as if someone had turned on an incredibly bright light.
Motivations and Inspirations for the Fall Again Series
I’m an actor, writer and an avid reader of romance, so naturally when I began to write my first novel, Fall Again: Beginnings, I set it against the backdrop of working actors in New York, Los Angeles and points in between.
The Fall Again Series is the story of Marc & Lauren; two talented actors who are perfect for each other, but meet when they are young career focused, and frankly too immature to handle a serious adult relationship.
Secondly, I wanted to write a realistic portrayal of the lives of working actors-not movie or television stars or personalities, but rather hard working, trained and talented artists.
Too many times I’ve read fictional accounts of actor’s lives where they’re desperate, damaged and delusional. In the FA Series, my actors are hard working professionals and grounded in reality.
While Marc and Lauren’s relationship is complicated, both are talented. In the first book Beginnings both are laying foundations for successful careers.
Another important element in the FA Series are the friendships. Marc and Lauren have a strong support system in their closest friends that will remain with them for years and recur throughout the series. I looked to people in my own life who provided inspiration for my supporting characters.
Gary Connelly, Marc’s coworker and friend is an actor whose passion is Shakespeare and happily married. Gary’s inspiration is an LA actor who has an impressive list of credits, happily married and like the fictional Gary, once worked in an erotic bakery.
Mel Holden and Marc are convinced that they were siblings in another life. Their connection is just that close. Mel is a writer on a network soap. Her inspiration is a woman who also came from the world of daytime television and now works for C-Span.
When I decided Lauren needed a friend who also worked in the industry, I happened to be having lunch with a friend-a successful actor/comedian who immediately inspired Hannah Moore. Hannah is extremely grounded and over time will make major strides in her career.
David Diaz is able to take Lauren’s attention away from Marc. David is a 21st century man with old world charm. He’ll open doors, fight for your honor, and make love to you like no man ever has…or simply hold you until you fall asleep. He’s classically handsome. David is the perfect man…which means he doesn’t exist! David’s inspiration came from three incredible men in my life; men who I was never involved with romantically. I’ll confess that as I wrote David, I visualized actor Gilles Marini… to stay focused!
Many situations in Fall Again have come from my own experiences as an actor, as well as the professional experiences of other actors, though remember this is a work of fiction.
Fall Again is the story of star crossed lovers and their closest friends in an industry that is often cloaked in misconceptions and misrepresentations. I hope I’ve shed a realistic light on my profession through the romantic journey of Marc and Lauren as they…Fall Again.
Donna Figueroa is an actor and writer living and working in Los Angeles CA. She has worked on stage and on the big and small screens. Her credits include appearances on several daytime dramas, voiceovers for animation, commercials and industrial projects, and several television commercials.
She is a producer and storyteller at The Story Salon, Los Angeles’s longest running storytelling venue where she has written, performed and developed 3 one person shows.
Donna considers herself an athletic shopper always in search of the ultimate bargain.
She lives in Hollywood with her husband writer/comedian Tony Figueroa, and their three neurotic cats.
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