When my interviews are over I wait until the interviewers are gone before I lightly hug Jasmine good bye and wish her well on her flight to New York where she’ll do more promos for the movie.  She promises to call me while she’s gone and let me know how everything is going and I tell her to remember to mention my name in interviews.  We’ve been hounded about this from both sides. The record label wants us to remember the song and the studio thinks that if we mention the song then everyone will think more about the movie.  Either way all we seem to talk about these days is the movie or the song.

Meanwhile I’m done for the day promoting the movie so Jake, Sonia and I pile into Jake’s SUV to drive to our meeting with John Daubery, the director, Martin Britain, the Executive Producer and Gil Denver the Associate producer of Quincy’s Promise.

Switching gears like that is tough.  Now I have to focus on my music career.  It’s not that hard to be consider about what brings home he bacon, but today I’ve got so many things going on and to have Tammy be in the city and not be able to see her is a bit distracting.  When we used to tour for the albums I’d come home at the end of a trip and people would ask me how I was and I’d give them this half assed canned answer that included at least one or two references to the album.  These days I’ve gotten a little more relaxed about things.  I can have at least somewhat of a conversation with a person before it all starting to head back towards mentioning the movie.  Hmm…the PR people would be proud.

“Supposedly they have another offer for a soundtrack song for you.”

My eyebrows rise at this and I turn in my seat a little so that I can half see her while we talk.  Jake doesn’t look pleased with anything that is going on today.  He didn’t say much during the interviews and when I asked him to remind me to call Tammy today in between interviews he totally cut me off and told me about something stupid that had happened in the elevator to him--something dumb about seeing a slice of pepperoni on the carpeting or something.

“They’re in pre-production for a movie called Stolen Summer.”  Sonia rattles off information in such a way that I swear a lot of the time I think she knows what I’m thinking.  “Don’t worry, nothing formal is on the table, but they’d like to have an initial meeting with you, especially since the Quincey’s theme song won an award last night.”

I sit in the front seat and am glad for the warmer weather.  Driving around in Los Angeles, despite the smog, is a must.  The air conditioning inside the hotel is now replaced with Los Angeles heat.  “Has the phone been ringing more?” I don’t usually check up on stuff like that, but I was thinking I’d head home to Mississippi to celebrate with everyone since no one was out in Los Angeles with me last night.

“A bit."  Why does Sonia suddenly sound bored with me?  The movie promos are over and I would have thought she'd kick into gear because we were going back over to the music career stuff, but her normal excitement isn't present.  "Jive is thinking of offering you up for more soundtracks and since Johnny is expanding into film he’s approached the label about doing collaboration for MTV Films.

"What am I?" Why does it sound like I'm being thrown to the wolves?  "Am I a sacrifice now?"  I take a deep breath, put a hand over my face and rub my eyes then look at Jake for a moment who is seriously trying not to listen to the conversation.  His sunglasses are down on his face and I swear if taffic wasn't so bad he'd pull out a cigarette and suck it down quickly.  Hell, he'd probably have a JD and Coke in his hand if drinking and driving were legal.  He looked pissed.  Before he looked uncomfortable, maybe upset or disappointed, but now he looks pissed.


I slip down in my seat and lean my head back against the headrest.  “As much as I don’t want to say this, I’m not sure that I want to work with MTV—  I hold up my hand blindly to shush her protests that I know are coming.  “The movies that they’ve been putting out lately, while totally are aimed at NSYNC’s target audience, really aren’t my style.  I liked doing the movie with a more established studio.”

"I totally understand.”  Sonia would say that though even if she didn’t understand.  In other matters she’d ask more questions, but when it’s something like this and the tone in my voice is this way she’ll just agree.

I don’t mean to be so unsure about myself, but all of a sudden I’m wondering what the guys would say if they knew I was going to stay in Los Angeles for longer than I thought.  It’s not just the movie stuff either.  I want to be in town with Tammy.  I told myself I wasn’t going to go and get all mushy and compromise anything for my relationship, but after the last few days, I feel like my place is in Hollywood, near her, even if it’s a tortuous place for us to exist for the moment.  “Do you think Johnny will?”

Damn Tammy for bringing up the group last night.  I finally had gotten to the point of not worrying about all that anymore and now this afternoon I’m back at the worrying again.  My stomach starts to ache from it and I feel as if I’m going to pass out.  I don’t like meetings with Johnny when I know the answer that I want to give him isn’t what he wants to hear.

Sonia is in the back seat doing whatever she does back there.  Most days when I turn to look back there she’s on the phone scribbling away at her day runner or palm pilot like she can’t get the information down fast enough.  Tammy does that all the time.  I swear she can talk on the phone, flip though a palm pilot, drive a car and put on lipstick all at the same time.  Thankfully, Sonia is a little more laid back about things.  Today she is only just now opening her book when I turn around.  She speaks though without looking up at me.  “Understand your decision not to work with him?”

Insecurities suck.  I should be confident enough in my career by now to just make a decision and stick with it, but it seems that the opposite is happening lately.  Partly it’s because I like the more laid back approach to my career, not so much traveling anymore and picking projects that I want to work on rather than what is set in front of me.  There still is that influence coming up on high from JIVE, but I have the chance to ignore that “advice” these days and work on projects that seem interesting to me instead of interesting to some focus group that the label has put together.

The other influence is Tammy.  She’s the one that inspired me to work in the movies, not directly of course and after last night I think she resents the fact that I’m in her work space now, but she really was the one that gave me the idea in the first place.  I would have never ventured outside of the POP arena if it weren’t for meeting her.  Meeting her also encouraged me to stay in Los Angeles.  I was thinking of moving to the area and had even spent two months living out of a room at Justin’s for awhile during the summer that he spent in Virginia Beach.  I met Tammy at that time, at some random party that someone was throwing.  When I found out what she did for a living I was smitten.  She knew the industry, but wasn’t in it.  No modeling, no acting, no dancing, no producing, no singing.  None of it, but she knew the life and job.  Since I moved in with her here in Los Angeles I’ve treated our relationship like a marriage.  I’ve tried to keep her up to date with my schedule and I seem to be flying back to LA more and more when I’m away instead of flying home to Orlando or Mississippi.

I nod.  “Yeah.” 

My brain clicks back into focus just as Sonia is starting in on a speech of sorts.  “If you explain it to him in business terms.  He might be a little hurt that you don’t want to work with his production team, but if you tell him that the kind of movies that MTV does aren’t the direction that you want your new career to be heading into then he has to understand.  Personally I think it might sting a bit, but he knows you’ve got a good head on your shoulders and that you’re just looking out for your career.”

Looking out for my career.  What am I looking out for again?

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