Chapter One Jennifer Jennifer Crane. That's it. That's my name. Ever heard of me? I'm guessing not, which, frankly, sums up my entire problem with my life as it currently stands: I'm not famous. And, as far as I can tell, the fame fairy isn't going to be anointing me any time soon. Sucks, doesn't it? And what really reeks is that I'm good. I've got a voice on me that rivals Julie Andrew's (and that's before she had throat surgery). Actually, you know what? I take that back. I'm pretty sure it's a grievous sin to compare yourself to Julie Andrews, who is, in my opinion, a goddess of stage and screen. The woman has some serious pipes. But, honestly, I could give Patti LuPone, Joanna Gleason, or Betty Buckley a run for their money any old day. Which begs the question of why I was currently earning a living (such that it was) as a singing waitress instead of opening on Broadway. Obviously, the right part hasn't come along. Or agent. Or director. Or producer. I don't think it's me. Really I don't. The thing is, I could be wrong. I try not to think about that, though. Someone once said that success is ninety-eight percent attitude, and I'm definitely staying optimistic. (And never mind that the someone who said that was me. It's perfectly sound wisdom and, frankly, I trust myself more than I trust anyone else.) All of which is little more than a backdrop to the reason why I ended up singing Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" despite the fact that I am not a gay male and hadn't even rehearsed the thing. It was all Brian's fault. He's a self-proclaimed screaming tenor, has slept with more producers than I've auditioned for, and is one of my absolute best friends. We worked together at Ellen's Stardust Diner for almost two years, until last week when he was hired to replace an actor who'd tripped down the subway stairs and busted his femur all to hell. No kidding. It was like something out of All About Eve, except that Brian hadn't even been an understudy. Apparently he'd auditioned for the show early on, did reasonably well, and the producer remembered him. The other actor's broken leg was, literally, Brian's big break. And he landed himself a minor, but important, role, the bastard. Not that I'm bitter or anything, but talk about luck. At any rate, the show is called Puck's Dream, it's a new musical loosely based on A Midsummer Night's Dream. Lots of production numbers, lots of effects. Brian's even featured in two scenes, and in one he actually gets to fly across the stage. From what he tells me, it's pretty cool, and I'm trying very hard, albeit somewhat unsuccessfully, not to be jealous. The production was scheduled to premiere at the Belasco Theater in about a week, and Brian's cousin Felix -- aka Fifi for reasons I'm not even going to bother going into -- had come in from Los Angeles to help Bri celebrate. Naturally, Brian brought Fifi to the diner. And, just as naturally, he was giving me a hard time. (Brian, that is. Not his cousin.) "Sweetie," Brian said, squeezing in beside the condiments, "you're positively maudlin. You need some serious cheer. After work. Drinks. And I won't take no for an answer." "Are you concerned about me? Or are you just trying to make sure you're not alone with Fifi?" "Well, he is a little high maintenance, but you know I love him. And don't change the subject, anyway." I made a faceKenner, Julie is the author of 'Manolo Matrix ', published 2006 under ISBN 9780743496148 and ISBN 0743496140.