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Upstaged

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160 pages
Ellie is used to getting leading roles in her small-town school’s musicals, but her place at center stage disappears when her dad becomes the host of a breakfast TV show and they have to move to the big city. When Ellie auditions for, and lands, a spot with the Youth Works Theater Company, she comes up against a tight-knit group of talented, experienced and competitive triple-threat performers. Not only does she not get a lead, but she has to share a role with Marissa, a company veteran who seems determined to do all she can to outshine Ellie. Out of her depth and far from all that she’s known, Ellie wonders just what she has to do to stop feeling upstaged by everyone around her.
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Patricia McCowan
Upstaged Patricia McCowan
Copyright ©2016Patricia McCowan
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
McCowan, Patricia, author Upstaged / Patricia McCowan. (Orca limelights)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459810044 (paperback).—isbn 9781459810051 (pdf).— isbn 9781459810068(epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca limelights ps8625.c69u67 2016jc813'.6 c20159045223
First published in the United States,2016 Library of Congress Control Number:2015946190
Summary:In this novel for teens, Ellie loves musical theater and is used to getting leading roles, but after she moves to the big city, she has to share a part with a talented girl who seems determined to outshine her. 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 Corbis
orca book publishers www.orcabook.com 191817164321
To my ars-loving daugers.
One
nce agaîn, I do e ony îng a’s O made my scoo mornîngs bearabe or e as week. Sî în bed, I au my apop of e loor, go o e bookmarked sîe, cîckPlayand seTe în. here I am, cener sage, beîng ou “Popuar” rom e Rossmere Heîgs Scoo producîon oWicked. he spo-îg oows me as I sîng abou a o e ways I’ make over Epaba, payed by my bes rîend, Cassîdy. I was as June, ony ree mons ago. Forever ago. I sar o sîng aong. My ce pone buzzes on e bedsîde abe. “Yes, Dad, I’m geTîng ready or scoo,” I say beore e can ge a word în. I mue e vîdeo bu keep wacîng. “Soudn’ you be caTîng up some oca oso rîg now?”
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U P S T A G E D
“ha’s wy I’m caîng, Eîe.” Dad’s voîce îs way oo cîpper or eîg în e mornîng. “Wac e nex gues. I înk you’ be îneresed.” Dad’s e new os on e ocatv sow his Ciy his Morning. I’s been a mon now. A mon sînce e dragged me away rom Rossmere Heîgs o come o orono. Were my new îg scoo doesn’ even ave a drama cub. Band, debaîng, codîng and even arcery, yes. Drama, no. “I’s no anoersocial media’s eaing your een’s brainsory, îs î?” Dad sîgs. “No. Jus wac î, okay? I ave o go. Love you.” “Back a you.” houg I’d ove îm more î e adn’ messed up my îe so muc. I cose my apop, drag myse ou o bed and pad ou o e condo îvîng room. Even ater a mon, I’m sî reaked by e loor-o-ceîîng wîndows în ere. Our îg-up vîew îs cuTered wî e wîndows o oer buîdîngs. Oer buîdîngs ied wî oer peope. I’m a or an audîence, jus no în my own îvîng room.I souc down ono e sî-smes-new secîona and swap my ce or etvremoe.
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P A T R I C I A MCC O W A N
“Wecome back. I’s îve pas eîg,” Dad says rom e a soo e’s od me îs oo sîp-pery. He’s sîx-oo-one and no reay made or percîng. A woman wî sor back aîr smîes rom e soo besîde îm. Seismade or percîng. Se’s peîe and curvy, rockîng a îg red dress and macîng îpsîck. “In our sudîo wî me now îs Renée Feîx, arîsîc dîrecor o e You Works eaer Company, orywtc, or sor. Se îs a passîonae beîever în e power o musîca eaer o engage you.” I sî up sraîger. “Good mornîng, Mîke.” Her voîce îs meed-buTer smoo. “You know, Renée”—Dad smîes a er, en a e camera—“some o our vîewers may no beîeve îs, bu I once rod e boards myse. Back în îg scoo. Inhe Boyfriend.” I moan. “Your vîewers don’ wan o know.” “I’ be you were e boyrîend,” Renée says, rîg on cue. “How dîd you guess?” He augs and poîns of-camera. “Okay, my producer îs now spîTîng ou er cofee, so we beTer move on.”
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U P S T A G E D
Renée eîgns dîsappoînmen. “You’re no goîng o sîng or us?” “BeTer no. e us abouywtc.” “Pease!” I say. “We moun op-noc musîca-eaer produc-îons, în a proessîona eaer, enîrey wî acors aged îreen o nîneeen.” Renée deîvers îs mîssîon saemen wî a warm a makes î sound îke a ancy Frenc mea. And I’m ungry or î. “I îre proessîona dîrecors and coreog-rapers, so eac reearsa process îs îke a maser cass în musîca eaer or our perormers.” “Wow.” Dad pus îs ead back. “Sounds înense. Bu excîîng oo.” Aways e ceereader. Breakas eevîsîon îs no exacy ard-îTîng journaîsm. “hey ove î, Mîke. I îs suc a earnîng expe-rîence, o see wa î akes o pu ogeer a sow. hey reay bond workîng ogeer. And, o course, î’s un oo. I îs musîca eaer, ater a!” “Absouey. And were do you înd ese perormers, Renée?” Dad urns oward e camera. oward me. “Yes, Dad, I’m geTîng îs,” I answer back. He’s been on my case abou mopîng around e
4
P A T R I C I A MCC O W A N
condo oo muc. And I’ve been epîng îm ee guîy abou avîng o eave Rossmere Heîgs. Coud îs eaer company be e one îng a doesn’ suck abou movîng ere? “Mîke, you know îs cîy îs suc a eaer own.” Renée ouces îs arm. “I’s ied wî eens wo ave grown up seeîng wonderu sows—TePanom of e Opera,Legally Blonde,Mama Mia!hey’re keen or e cance o dîscover wa î’s îke o acuay be în one.We ave a o o îneres.” Filled wi eens. I pîcure gangs o musîca-eaer nerds dancîng eîr way around e subway, breakîng îno song. I wîs. “And you’re goîng o be gîvîng ose eens a cance agaîn soon, îsn’ a rîg?” Dad gances of-camera. Probaby geTîng e “keep-îngs-movîng” sîgna rom Bev, îs producer. “Our nex sow îs în ae November, so we  sar reearsas Sepember 25 . We’re odîng audîîons or î îs Saurday and Sunday a e Eas End Unîed Curc. Our websîe as a e deaîs.” “Yes, we’ve go a address on e boTom o your screen,” Dad înerjecs, ookîng a e camera.
5
U P S T A G E D
I grab a pen of e cofee abe and wrîe e websîe address on e back o my and. I’s saky. he wordaudiionsas made me nervous. Dad urns back o Renée. “Wa’s e sow? Someîng cassîc? Lîkehe Boyfriend?” He wînks. I row e pen a etv. “Enoug wîhe Boyfriend.” “No, someîng new,” Renée says, îgnorîng e baî. “We’re very excîed. I’s a new o-Broadway musîca caedScooled. e sory-îne îs perec or een acors. I akes pace în a boardîng scoo. Sor o a mas-up beween AnnieandHairspray.” “ha sounds weîrd.” I sump back îno e couc. “Sounds grea,” Dad says, ceary avîng no cue wa suc a sow woud ook îke. He smîes a Renée and en a e camera. “Okay, uure musîca-eaer sars, poîs up your bes songs and—” I urn of etv. I sare a e address on my and bu don’ move o ge my apop. he condo îs sîen a around me. I never ad o audîîon a my scoo. I was Sandy înGrease, Doroy înhe Wizard of Oz,
6