As Jan looked up the address of the hotel nearest LAX, LA's airport. A casting call looking for young female leads had caught her attention from the back of a literary magazine. She was going out on a limb, and it hit her now more than ever how much she was putting on the line to come out LA on the last of her savings as the plane touched down with the sound of squealing tires. When the landing lurched her forward she knew it wasn't just the excitement of a bumpy ride that was making her chest thump. Deep breathes and focused thoughts were something Jan used a lot of the time when she got anxious, it was something that she'd learned back many years ago.
Cheerleading had taught Jane a lot, and often times her minds drifted back to the life lessons. Teamwork was something that few people in high school seemed to understand, besides maybe a few of the all star athletes. Jane learned it took others to really excel. She still believed that the individual was important, but she saw them as cogs in a larger framework of other cogs. A person together with other people could construct all kinds of designs and ideas, something that cheerleading manifested with the tight triangle pyramids and graceful kicks that sent their flies flashing.
Jan still liked the attention but now acting was the foremost activity on her mind. To her acting represented the perfect fusion of business and pleasure; the ability hold someone's attention and manipulating them into feeling a certain way. Jan was good at it, and she knew it. Agents knew it as well, and her career thus far had been like a rocket—or so it seemed. But something had been bugging her; in the back of the mind she had a reoccurring thought that maybe people kept giving her roles simply because of her looks. Did that mean that they secretly wanted to sleep with her? She would never know, or so she thought. But it didn't take long to find out.
Not too far into her career as an up and coming model she made the switch to extra in rap videos while trying to land more roles as a supporting actress. She was in graduate school at the time and really needed the money, so it didn't take much for her to be able to rationalize her decision. The rap video gigs made her so much money that she didn't have to keep pulling long shifts at the local coffee place. She kept telling herself that she wasn't being viewed as just a sexual object, but then one night she was confronted by three close friends of a celebrity rapper with demands for sex. Jan had walked that night, on that job, but the years of struggling while watching some of the same girls who hadn't refused to spread their legs take off career wise had made her bitter.
Jan was determined to be something respectable in life, even though life had been complicated the last few years. She'd split with Hal amidst not being able to help pay the bills when he'd been laid off from the local plant. It had been hard, and she'd had to briefly move back in with her mother. It seemed like so long ago now, when she thought back on it. Almost like it had been grade school stuff. But unlike grade school the crushes she made had never heart her like they did now. The relationships would sometimes turn unstable when a partner turned out to be volatile; except now she couldn't just cut and run because there was a child in the mix.
Hal had always told her to get it taken care of, she'd remember as she picked her luggage from the conveyer belt that ran in the loop outside of her terminal. Hal had always thought of her pregnancy as some kind of luggage that she needed to ditch at the nearest possible moment. There was no way they were going to raise a child together, he had insisted. It hadn't just been because of their youth, he had also insisted this point but with even more veracity than the before.