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Stepping Out

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144 pages
Laughter is fifteen-year-old Paige Larsson’s currency in life. It takes the sting out of life’s tough stuff. It eases the pain of nasty comments, agonizing moments in gym class and awkward pauses at parties. She likes it even more when others laugh with her, so she’s become a YouTube comedy vlogger.
   Now Paige is about to step out of her comfort zone and compete, live and onstage, in the prestigious International Teens in Comedy festival. Winning will give her the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in comedy. It’ll also mean $10,000 for her school’s performing-arts department. But Paige has always used her humor to mask the pain of a disability, and in the world of stand-up comedy, that won’t cut it anymore.
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Laura Langston
Stepping Out
Stepping Out Laura Langston
Copyright ©2016Laura Langston
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Langston, Laura,1958, author Stepping out / Laura Langston. (Orca limelights)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459808959 (paperback).—isbn 9781459808966 (pdf).— isbn 9781459808973(epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca limelights ps8573.a5832s74 2016jc813'.54 c20159044847  c20159044855
First published in the United States,2016 Library of Congress Control Number:2015946396
Summary:Paige Larsson, YouTube comedy vlogger, has always used humor to cope with her disability—but an opportunity to compete in standup comedy is a big step out of her comfort zone in this novel for teens. Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design by Rachel Page Cover photography by Getty Images
orca book publishers www.orcabook.com 191817164321
For Zacary, because e always makes me laug
One
ast Paige Friday: I am so over musrooms. L Hello, people? Musrooms are a fungus! hey breed in warm, wet, smelly places and tey spread. How do I know tis? My sister started growing musrooms in er warm, wet, smelly room last week, and tis morning wen I was in te batroom I saw er newest eye sadow. It’s called Porobeo Pewer.Well, I ave some suggestions for my sister. How aboutSîîake Spîcelipstick?OrOyser Bombblus? Se could even make er own conditioner—Cremînî Crème Uîmae Conro. I did, and look ow well it turned out for me.
“ï’s noPortobello Pewter, î’sPassionate Pewter,and you ad no rîg o e peope wa’s în my
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makeup bag!” my sîser says wen ï wak îno e scoo baroom Frîday a unc. My somac sînks. Even oug my aes vîdeo as aready goTen weny ousand vîews— twenty tousand!—ï don’ need îs. No now. ï’m în a urry, and my sîser, Brooke, îs e as person ï wan o see. Se’s a e couner by e wîndow, sapîng er naîs wî a ucsîa Ie and ookîng bored as aways. Even er aîr (bond, ong, perec) ooks bored. Her wo bes rîends are wî er. wîn One îs înspecîng er eyebrows în e baroom mîrror. wîn wo îs surIng on er pone. Brooke poîns er naî Ie a me. Sunîg gîns of e îp. ï ooks îke a magîc wîc wand. “You’ve crossed a îne îs îme, Paîge.” As ar as my sîser îs concerned, ï’ve crossed a îne wî every sînge Youube vîdeo ï’ve upoaded în e as nîne mons. “ï dîdn’ ook în your makeup bag,” ï say. ï dîdn’ ave o. Brooke spreads er makeup a over e baroom couner. ï’s împossîbe o mîss. “Wa ï do în my room îs my busîness,” se says. ha’s wy ï dîdn’ Im e pîece în er room. ï Imed î în e baroom, baancîng my new camera on e vanîy se. Okay, so ï dîd use
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er bus and îpsîck o îusrae a poîn. Wî a musroom or wo. Hey, props maTer. “You soudn’ ave od peope ï’m growîng musrooms.” Se gares a me. “You know wa Mom says. Home suf says a ome. ï’s prîvae.” e ony par o prîvae ï’m îneresed în rîg now îs prîvacy o use e oîe. ï don’ ave îme or ye anoer argumen wî my sîser.ï don’ need any asses rom wîn One or wîn wo eîer. No wî Cary waîîng or me în e caeerîa. ï can’ waî o e er my news. ïn wo ours, ï’ve goTen e mos vîews ï’ve ever ad on a sînge vîdeo. And as nîg ï reaced Ive ou-sand subscrîbers! ï’m on a ro. “O, excuse me. ï dîdn’ know e musroom-growîng operaîon oryour science classwas cover.” he wîns snîcker. Brooke soos em a ook. wîn One smoers er gîgge wî a coug. wîn wo îdes beînd er ce pone. ï wak wî as muc grace as ï can o e sa. Soud ï eave wîou wasîng my ands wen ï’m done? he as îng ï need îs more grîe rom my sîser. ï’m sî consîderîng my opîons wen ï Inîs and exî e sa. Brooke sares a me. “ha was serîousy e ames pîece o ïnerne ï’ve seen
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în mons,” se says. My însîdes urn o waer. “oaylame-o-rama,” se repeas. My brea caces în my roa, bu ï don’ lînc. ï don’ even bînk. ï gaze back a er, my ace careuy bank. here îs a caenge în er aze eyes, and ï’ve never been one o back down rom a caenge. Especîay no one rom my sîser. A eas, a’s wa ï e myse as ï make my way o e sînk. he ru îs sîgy more compîcaed. One, ï’m a bî o a germopobe.ï mean, come on. We are akîng scoo ba-room. wo, ï ony preend o be brave. Fake î î you make î and a a. “hanks or wacîng.” ï squîr pînk soap îno my pam. “ï can use a e vîews ï can ge.” ï’m deermîned o be e younges comedy sar în e îsory o Youube. As bîg as Jenna Marbes or Grace Hebîg. Wy go o coege wen you can make peope aug or a îvîng? “Wo saîd ï waced î?” Brooke says. “Obvîousy you waced î.” ï aer up. “Oerwîse, ow woud you know î was ame?” Se ros er eyes. wîn One and wîn wo sake eîr eads. Ceary ey don’ ave my sîser’s eye-roîng skîs.
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Brooke as been serîousy pîssed a me sînce îs sared as a. ï dîd a sand-up rouîne în drama cass and was so soked wî e way î urned ou a ï creaed a Youube canne— PrecîsePaîge—and recorded and upoaded e rouîne. Beîng on Youube was suc a rus,ï kep goîng. ï dîd a ew more, ocusîng on comedy over specîa efecs and usîng e webcam on my apop. ey were basîc bu roug, especîay în e Irs ew mons. Ater a wîe, oug,ï earned abou îgîng and props and edîîng, and ï decîded my apop woudn’ cu î or sooîng ousîde e ouse. So ï upgraded my od camera, boug some sotware and began creaîng and upoadîng unny vogs ree îmes a week. ï caed emFirst Paige Monday,Paige Notes WednesdayandLast Paige Friday. And now, nîne mons aer, ï’m sarîng o ge a Youube oowîng. “Peope ak,” my sîser says as ï rînse my ands. Se’s rîg. And ank God or a. Fîrs î was e kîds a scoo. hen, wen ï dîd one abou my parens beîng îno porceaîn (mom îs a denîs and dad îs a pumber), my grandpa sared wacîng. Grandpa was orrîIed, because ï dîd î sîTîng on îs od pînk oîe Dad sores în e basemen.
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ï don’ know wy e reaked. ï kep my coes on. ï even ound some pînk dena mods o use as props. Anyway, e od îs rîends a îs reîre-men vîa, wo od eîr rîends, and, we, e vîews sared cîmbîng and e commens kep comîng. Now ï acuay ave ans. Me, Paîge Larsson o Beevue, Wasîngon. And as mon, one o e ree SeaTe eneraînmen papers even wroe me up or îsTeens to Watccoumn. Brooke aes a ï’m geTîng a îs aTen-îon. Se never mîsses a cance o e me ow errîbe ï am. ïn ac, se someîmes exs me rîg ater ï upoad, oug oday se as spared me a ae. ïnsead, se as used e wordlameo descrîbe my aes oferîng. ha word as been of-îmîs sînce grade our, and se knows î. Se snîfs. “ï don’ ave o wac î o know.” Brooke wî aways be aead o me. Se îs en mons oder an ï am and a woe o preTîer. Bu îke e res o e uman race, se îs lawed. And one o er laws îs a ack o common sense. “rue.” ï reac or a paper owe. “he prase ‘e ames pîece o ïnerne ï’veseen in montscoud be înerpreed în so many ways.” A burs o coor lares on er ceeks.
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