o Rina’s delight, Penny was true to her word. By the end of the next week, Rina had received a file with her very own 120-page screenplay.

“It’s a rough draft,” Penny had warned on the phone, her voice sounding haggard and just slightly bitter. “I told you, I had to do research into writing screenplays, and, well, you didn’t give me much time. To say the least.”

Okay, more than slightly bitter.

But Rina didn’t care. It was there, on her computer screen, her ticket to fulfilling her dreams, and she felt so giddy she was ready to offer the writer double, triple payment to get that resentful edge out of her voice. Didn’t Penny understand that this was so much bigger than a few sleepless nights?

But she tried to keep the dizzying ebullience out of her voice as she said, “That’s fine. I’ll take a look at this draft and send you my corrections. Thanks for the quick work. Send me your bank details for payment, you really deserve it!”

And then, she was left alone with a silent home and 120 pages of gold sitting in front of her, ready to be read and mined.


Rina mouthed those first words on the page and smiled. She had no idea what they meant, but boy did they sound professional. Yes, she’d made the right decision, going with Penny.


A typical Catskills sleepaway camp. Girls running across the lawn and laughing.


Girls sitting on bunk beds, talking, playing games. SHEVY walks inside, looking upset.

SHEVY: Have you heard the news?

Girls continue playing.

SHEVY: About Tzippy, have you heard?

One girl looks up.

SHEVY (frustrated): Guys, this is important! Listen up!

Rina frowned. Why was Penny making her main character into some sort of nebby lightweight, the kind of girl people ignored? She shook her head, began typing corrections into the screenplay. Make her STRONG. The type who walks into a room with a commanding presence and everyone stops automatically to listen!

She tapped a finger on the edge of the keyboard. She should start making a list of characters to cast. Auditions needed to be held soon, really soon, if she wanted to get things moving according to the schedule she’d mapped out.

And she had to go through the entire screenplay, pronto. With such a glaring error on the very first page, what would be with the rest?

And a place to hold auditions. First an ad — that needed to go in all the local publications, ASAP. She should really write that up right now.

But the screenplay — that needed to be reviewed first, didn’t it?

And what about the crew? The cameramen, lighting, equipment…

Rina put a hand to her swimming forehead. She couldn’t do this all alone. There was no way.

Her hand reached for her phone of its own accord, and then she stopped. Who did she want to call? One of her troupe members? They were loyal and responsible, and they knew exactly how she liked things done.

But that laughing still rankled. Besides, while they’d do a good job helping her with auditions, they knew nothing about the technical aspects of filming.

Neither did she, for that matter. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 601)