The director was talking and Justin was looking down at him and nodding earnestly. He looked nervous, JC thought, although probably no one else would have been able to tell, but Justin was standing a little too close and nodding a little too eagerly.

Then the director stepped back and Justin stepped forward and somebody said, "Action," and JC caught his breath. It started slow, Justin stumbled on a word and laughed and flushed, and the girl standing opposite reached out and touched his sleeve. But Justin didn't stumble again, and he didn't stop. As JC stood there watching he saw how Justin moved into the part, or let it move into him, slowly and surely, like a glass filling with warm amber tea. Then somebody yelled, "Cut," and Justin stepped away with a smile as wide and certain as any he'd worn as he stepped offstage.

JC knew right then that Justin was going to be good at it. He knew right then that Justin loved it.