Alison meets with Gavin, the actor Carey wants to cast as Dream for his next movie in her office.
"The thing is, I'm not an actor," Gavin explains.
Most of them aren't, Alison thinks, but try telling them that. This one, however, doesn't even have a SAG card. And the fact that Carey picked him up at one of Lady LaLa's parties doesn't bode well.
"Carey was very insistent that we sign you," Alison explains. She doesn't always get her bosses' choices, but he's never made a bad movie, "He must have seem something, some spark of talent. I'm sure you'll be fine."
"I don't even know that this is what I want..." Gavin wavers. He's only here because Tori insisted, suddenly in love with the idea of being a movie star's girlfriend since Carey approached them at LaLa's party.
"This is serious business," Alison warns, "I got you set up with a union membership. You sign up for this, you become a professional actor. And this movie will be your life for as long as it's in production."
She had hoped to warn him off with her advice, but instead it seemed to firm his resolve. "All right, I'm going to trust that this is my dharma. This has to be happening for a reason, right?" Gavin says, "I'm in. I'm fully committed."
Great, Alison thinks, for the starring role, Carey has cast not just an unknown actor, but an untrained one with no clue how the business works. He's going to need a lot of hand holding, and guess whose job that will be.
Alison joins Carey later in his house. Watching movies with him is always illuminating.
"This Gavin is an artist, you know, not an actor," Alison says, hating to interrupt the screening. But work is work. "Are you sure you want to cast him in the starring role? That's a really big risk you're taking."
"Alison, the most important thing you'll learn from me is that if you don't take risks, you die as a director," Carey says "Any project, any actor, any script that's absolutely safe is an absolute piece of crap. There is no real success without the very real chance of failure at every moment."
Alison absorbs every word. He's totally batshit crazy, but he's also the most brilliant director in Hollywood. He drives her like a mule, but what she gets in return, what she learns from working for him, it will all be worth it when she's sitting in the director's chair.
"There are times when your deepest instincts will tell you what is right, Alison," Carey continues his lesson for the day, "Your reason will fight it, logic will demand you are wrong; you have to learn to turn that off, let go of rationality and go with your gut. It will never fail you."
Maybe he's let go of a little too much of his rationality, Alison thinks, but his movies are undeniably genius. Even the ones that aren't box office success become cult classics; there's just something about a Carey Burden film that speaks directly to your soul. Alison wonders if she'll have to be as crazy as he is to ever be as brilliant a director.
"One more thing," Carey says as she prepares to head back into the office, "I had a vision, and I need to go to Nepal for a month. I'll need someone to take care of Grok."
Grok being his dog. Alison had asked him once what the story was behind the name, and he just laughed and said 'You may not grok Grok, but Grok groks you.' Probably fucking with her; Carey likes messing with people's minds.
"When are you leaving?" Alison asks.
Seriously? They're in the middle of casting and pre-production for his next movie, and he's swanning off to some Asian country for--what? A vision? Batshit crazy. "So, by 'somebody' to take care of Grok, you mean me? I don't know who else I can get on such short notice."
"Could you, Alison? I'd feel so much better knowing you were staying here."
Alison rolls her eyes. Manipulative bastard. Like she has time to babysit his damn dog. "My girlfriend is really good with animals. And with my schedule, I'd need the help," she suggests.
"Sure, bring your girlfriend to stay here with you," Carey says with a smile, "I'll be leaving tomorrow afternoon."
Alison spends the rest of the day in the office, making sure she gets everything taken care of that will need Carey's signature or approval before he's out of town for a month. It isn't until well after sunset that she's free to meet Kelly at the Grind.
"I was beginning to think you wouldn't show," Kelly says, not looking up from her drink when Alison approaches.
"I'm sorry, Kel, but..."
"But work, I know. It's always work with you. Pre-production, production, post-production, you never get like an hour to yourself."
"That's not true," Alison protests, "Sometimes I even get two hours of sleep a night."
"Well, you're here now," Kelly says, and grabs her for a long kiss.
"So, Carey's going out of town for a month. We have to stay at his house. You have to take care of his dog."
"Oh, great," Kelly says, "My lifelong dream is to be a celebrity dog's personal assistant."
Alison suggests they stop talking about work and dance.
Kelly may not be the best dancer, but she's always interesting.
As the bartender calls out the last call, Kelly drags Alison out behind the club.
"We have a bed at home, you know," Alison quips as Kelly presses her up against the wall.
"It's more fun when there's a chance of getting caught."