Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part 33

It took about 2 years for the movie Bruce & Juliette to be completed and ready for release.  During that time, despite Bertha’s busy filming schedule, and despite their geographical distance, she and Thorson managed to continue cultivating their friendship.

Like most friendships, their relationship experienced numerous ups and downs, but on the whole, each passing month saw them closer and closer.  Two years previous, when Thord had asked Bertha to be his girlfriend, she had basically told him, “not yet,” but with their strengthening friendship, it was only a few weeks before Thorson asked the question again.  This time, she said “Yes!”

They might have been hundreds of miles apart, but that didn’t prevent Thord from figuring out how to get flowers into her dressing-room on a random, but regular basis.  Thorson also received packages from Bertha – sometimes just a hand-made card, sometimes movie memorabilia or other gifts.

As Thorson thought back  on the past two years, in some ways, it seemed like a lifetime ago that he had sent a fan letter to a girl named Bertha Gertrude VonEngle.  In other ways, the time had simply flown by…and now, here he was, sitting in a movie theater in the city of Saskatoon, desperately missing his girlfriend – and reflecting on the fact that he was dating…and missing…a girl that he had never actually met in person.  His pain was made more acute due to the fact that he was sitting within a roped-off “VIP” viewing area for the Canadian premier of Bruce & Juliette.  Bertha had told him that she was unable to attend the premier in Canada due to a scheduling conflict, but had arranged for him to get a spot in with the directors, the actors who had been able to come up, and close family and friends.  A few seats over, Bertha’s co-star Raphael was cracking jokes with one of the directors.  Raphael had spent some time talking to Thorson as well, and Thord thought he was a nice enough guy, but he was rather jealous that Raph had spent so much time with the girl who he loved, but seemed unable to meet.

Before watching The Disaster and seeing Bertha for the first time, he didn’t mind going to movies by himself.  Every time that he had an empty seat beside him, he had secretly hoped that a cute girl would sit beside him, and that they would somehow “connect”.  More often than not, if the seat was taken, it was occupied by some guy that smelled of cheap cologne and looked vaguely like “Comic Book Guy” from the Simpsons.  On the extremely rare cases where a cute girl did sit beside him, she was always too busy “connecting” with the guy on her other side to even notice Thorson.

Tonight, he rather hoped that the empty spot beside him would remain empty, and as it was just about show-time, he figured he would get his wish.  However, just as the curtain was about to rise, and moments after he had set his extra-large popcorn bag in the vacant seat, an usher came up to him and said, “Excuse me sir, can you please move your popcorn?  We have a late arrival from the film company that we need to seat here.”

He didn’t bother to look up as the late-comer sat down, but nearly yelped when the stranger grabbed his hand.  He instinctively jerked his hand away and turned to tell the stranger to back off, but his anger quickly gave way to a huge smile…almost as big as the one on Bertha’s face.  Apparently, she had been lying about the scheduling conflict, but somehow Thorson didn’t mind.  When she took his hand again, he didn’t pull away.

~~to be continued~~

Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part 27

(if you are new to the Thorson story, click here to go to part one)

When her day on set finally came to an end, Bertha didn’t linger, as she usually did, chatting with the other actors and crew members, but headed for the nearest exit.  She nearly made it to the door when she felt a hand on her shoulder.  She turned to see Raphael standing there and smiling.  He was so good looking, but with Bertha’s mixed emotions, Raph was the last person she wanted to see at the moment…but also the only person she wanted to see right then.

“I’m really looking forward to Friday!” he said in his rich accent.  Her heart skipped a beat as she looked into his deep brown eyes.  She could feel the heat of the color creeping into her face.

“Yeah, me too.  It’ll be a nice break from the studio.  I’m sorry, Raph, I can’t talk right now.  I actually have to run…I’m meeting a friend.”

“OK.  Not a boy I hope?”

Bertha giggled…a bit nervously, as she said, “don’t worry, just one of my girlfriends.”

As they parted ways, Bertha silently berated herself.  Although it was the truth that she was not meeting with a boy at the moment, it had been clear that Raph’s question had been more about if she had a guy in her life.  By the way she had answered, she felt like she had told Raph that Thord didn’t exist.

Her brief chat encounter with Raph made her just late enough that she made it to the bus stop just in time to see the bus she wanted pull away from the curb.  She sat back with her thoughts and waited a very long half hour for the next bus to come.  It seemed to take forever, but she finally walked up the steps to the house where her friend lived.  She rang the doorbell and took a step back to wait for the door to open.

When Samantha opened the door, she smiled warmly at her friend and said, “Bertha!  How are you?”

That’s when Bertha burst into tears.

~~to be continued~~ (part 28 is here)

Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part 26

(if you are new to this story and would like to start at part 1, click here)

Even though Raphael had spoken with a rather strong Hispanic accent when he introduced himself, Bertha quickly discovered that Raphael (or “Raph”, as he asked people to call him) seemed to be able to speak with practically any accent he wished.  She had wondered how well he could possibly do in a movie set in Rome when he spoke with a Latino accent, but now she knew that this would not be an issue for him.  As they were working so closely together, it was impossible for her not to learn lots about him, and to reveal a lot about herself to him.  He seemed to have a great sense of humor, and he was incredibly good looking too!  Bertha had decided that she didn’t want to get too close to him, as she felt like she was betraying Thord, but sometimes, she discovered, plans and reality don’t mesh.  The more time she spent with Raph on set, the more she felt herself falling for him.

At first, this concerned her, but on a Tuesday, after two weeks of on-set time with him, Raph came up to her and said, “Bertha, can I take you out for dinner and a movie this coming Friday?”  Bertha said “Yes” before she realized what she was saying.  The thrill of spending time, one-on-one with Raph…the ability to be with a boy that she liked…in the same room…maybe to actually hold hands…  these thoughts conflicted with  …should I tell Thord about Raph…am I betraying Thord…would Thord be hurt if he knew that I was going on a date…

After getting back to her own room after getting home from the set, she called her friend Samantha and asked “can we get together tomorrow after I’m done on set?”  Sam said, “Of course!  Come on over!”

Bertha had a rather restless night, alternating between excitement and guilt over her Friday plans.  The next day was equally difficult.  She had a challenging time focusing on her lines when Raph was always so close to her, smiling at her at the oddest moments, even winking at her from time to time.  Normally, Bertha loved practically everything about acting and movie production, but today, she could hardly wait for the day to end so that she could go talk to her best friend.

~~to be continued~~ (click here for part 27)

Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part 25

(click here to start from the beginning of the story)

Although Thorson was very disappointed not to hear from Bertha after her meeting, he made the assumption that her meeting had gone overtime, and that it had been too late for her to call him.  It never even crossed his mind that she had simply forgotten about him because of another guy.


For her part, Bertha went to sleep, dreaming of Raphael…until she woke suddenly and completely at 3:17 a.m., and sat bolt upright in her bed with one thought on her mind:  “Thord!”  After that, she managed to drift off from time to time, but what little sleep she did get was restless and filled with disturbing dreams.


The following evening, Bertha did Skype with Thord, but it was painfully obvious to Thorson that Bertha was distracted.  Their conversation, which normally flowed so freely, was stilted…mostly carried by Thord.  Any time that he asked Bertha a question, she would answer with a word or two, and then there would be an awkward silence until Thorson would finally say something else.  They talked for only a few minutes before Thorson finally suggested that they should talk again soon.  It was a relief to both of them when they disconnected.  Thorson could not have known that Bertha was distracted by her own guilt.  While they had never formally committed to any sort of a relationship, both of them felt, instinctually, that they were more than mere friends.  Bertha could not bear to admit to Thorson that she had been thinking so much about Raphael.  In fact, she had not been able to tell Thorson anything about the meeting other than answer the questions that he had asked her directly.  Thorson was relieved to end the Skype call, but was also rather confused as to why the conversation had been so weird.  That something was bothering Bertha was obvious…he just wished that he knew what.  He knew that it might be  a while before he could find out, as Bertha had told him that she was going to be quite busy over the next while with pre-filming rehearsals.  He just hoped that nothing was too seriously wrong.  They had disconnected only a couple of minutes ago, and already he missed Bertha as if he hadn’t spoken to her in months.

~to be continued~ (part 26 is here)


Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part 24

Before I get into the story again, I just want to apologize to my readers for some of the long breaks between chapters.  The last half of April was rather hectic, and then the longer I was away from writing, the harder it was to get back.  Thanks to my friend Cynthia Zuidervaart for providing just the right amount of nagging to get back to writing.  (and no, I did not make that name up.  Her ancestors came from a land where last names were made by drawing letters out of a hat until the drawer came up with a blank piece of paper.  OK, I made that part up)

Part 24

(if you want to start from the beginning, click here)

Two weeks after receiving the call that she had gotten the part, Bertha found herself sitting in a meeting called by Abraham Larkin.  Mr. Larkin was THE Director.  He was the guy who would be calling all the shots.  Sure, there were numerous directors, overseeing the various aspects of a movie…a lighting director, a set director, a costume director, etc., etc., but they all answered, ultimately, to Mr. Larkin.

Mr. Larkin was going over the planned schedule for those acting in the film, from the rehearsing of parts all the way to the filming process.  There were numerous other people in the room – these would be the other actors and actresses.  Bertha recognized one other girl who had also acted in The Disaster, but the rest were strangers to her.  So far, she had no idea what actors would have what roles.  Finally, Mr. Larkin said, “OK, you are all going to be spending a lot of time with each other.  It’s time that you start to get to know each other.  You have all read the script…hopefully numerous times, so when I say the name of the character, you should all know who I am referring to.  So when I call your character name, please stand up and introduce yourself with your real name and say a bit about yourself.  I’ll start by introducing those who will have the least screen time and work my way up to the two principal actors.”

Bertha was getting rather tired from sitting through the meeting, but she perked up at this point, as she was really curious as to whom she would be acting alongside…especially who would be playing the part of Bruce.  There were many parts in this movie, so the introductions took well over an hour, but as the roles were announced, and as the actors in the room recognized the increasing importance of the roles, the excitement in the room increased accordingly.  Finally, Mr. Larkin said, “The first of our two lead roles:  Juliette Caesar.” Bertha stood up and said, “Bertha Gertrude VonEngle.  I enjoy playing most sports, and love country music.  I’m honored to have the opportunity to work alongside all of you, and I feel especially honored to work for Mr. Larkin.”

There were a few snickers when she said her name, but that hardly phased her…she was quite used to that by now.  Fortunately, however, most of the other cast members were either too professional or too polite to laugh at her name.

When Mr. Larkin said, “Our other lead role is Bruce Montague.”  Bertha looked up to see a boy, who looked about 17 years of age or so, stand up.  She barely heard anything he said…she just caught his name as he said “Raphael Juan Gonzales”.  He rolled the R in Raphael as he said his name, giving an exotic richness to the name that sent shivers down her spine.  To call him handsome would be like saying the Great Wall of China is “pretty big”.  He wasn’t just handsome…he was a perfect physical specimen.

Her heart felt like it skipped a beat…she was going to get to work with the most perfect boy she had ever laid eyes on??

That evening, when she got home, she couldn’t stop thinking about Raphael.  She completely forgot that she had promised to Skype with Thorson.

~~to be continued~~ (part 25 is here)

Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part 23

the beginning of the story can be found here

“Hello?”  As she uttered the word, Bertha briefly pondered why people always began telephone conversations with that particular  noun, but quickly gave up that line of thought as she heard the voice on the other end of the line say, “Hi Bertha, this is Laura Daniels calling on behalf of Gordon MacAdams, the casting director for Bruce and Juliette.  After your call-back audition, the director and his colleagues spent quite a bit of time going over your audition, and that of Katherine Kohl.  Ariana did not have what they were looking for, but the panel had quite a difficult time deciding between you and Ms. Kohl.”

Bertha’s heart seemed to jump into her throat.  As anxious as she was to find out the results of the call-back, now that the moment had finally arrived, she wasn’t entirely sure that she was ready to hear the answer.

Laura continued, “You must be one incredibly lucky girl, Bertha!”  The panel voted, but had an even split of 10 votes each for you and for Ms. Kohl.  Of course, in a case like this, the director of the film, Mr. Larkin would have the final say, but he deferred the decision to the lady who wrote the original story, Janine Evans.  Ms. Evans agreed that both of you were fine actresses, but said that there was something about you that she really liked.”

It took Bertha a moment to process what she had just been told, but then she screamed into the phone.  “Sorry!!  I just got excited.  Hope I didn’t hurt your ears.”  As soon as she said that, she was even more embarrassed than she had been for screaming.  Laura just laughed and said, “I’m glad you’re excited!  And don’t worry about screaming…I’ll just switch my head-set over to the other ear for the rest of the day.”


After telling his dad that he loved him, something that Thorson hadn’t actually done for ages, he went back to his room.  He figured he’d spend a bit of time reading, but then decided to spend a few minutes and check facebook and twitter.  He was glad that he did.  Bertha had tweeted, “Been a good day. Had a good talk with a good friend, then got some really good news.”  There was also a private message to him from her.  It simply said, “I got the part!!”  He tweeted back, “Congratulations!!  Can’t wait to see it!”  Of course, he knew that it was going to be quite some time before it was ready to hit the big screen, but he was still immensely proud of her.

~~to be continued~~ (part 24 can be found here)

Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part 20 – The Call Back Audition

If you want to start at the beginning of the story, click here

Bertha worked hard to prepare herself for the call-back.  She was told to come with pages 207-280 of the script memorized.  Of course, there were other actors that had lines in those pages memorized, but you never knew when the director would ask, “What is Bruce’s line here?  Or what does Cassius say there?”, so Bertha memorized everyone lines in the assigned section.  She had never studied this hard for anything…not even for her auditions for The Disaster.  Bruce and Juliette had much more potential than The Disaster ever had, and Bertha wanted this part with every fiber of her being.

When the day for the call-back finally came, Bertha drew the second audition spot.  Ariana Jörgunsen would go first, and Katherine Kohl would go last.  Bertha was a bit jealous of both the other girls, because their names would look a lot better in the credits than Bertha Gertrude VonEngle ever would.  Unfair as it was, it was sometimes little things like that that determined who got the part and who got cut.  Who could compete with a name like Ariana Jörgunsen?  Some directors went wild for little dots over an “o”.

As Ariana did her bit before the panel, it became obvious to Bertha that Ariana had not prepared enough.  She knew her lines almost perfectly, but when quizzed on the other parts, she didn’t seem to know any of the other actors’ lines except for those lines that would cue her in for her next line.  Bertha could only hope that Katherine would do as poorly.

When Ariana was done, Bertha took her place.  She had the typical butterflies in her stomach, but she had long since learned how to use her nervous energy to give life to her acting.  She acted her parts with ease.  Every question that the panel asked her, she answered with confidence, and without hesitation.  In short, she nailed her call-back audition.  The director, and the other members of the audition panel complimented her and called up Katherine.  Bertha sat down to watch Katherine.  She knew that she shouldn’t feel smug, but she did.  She had this part in the bag!…and then Katherine went and aced her audition too.  Katherine had a poise and grace about her that few girls that age possessed.  Bertha’s confidence was slowly eroded until she was pretty certain that she had not gotten the part.

The call-back finally came to an end.  The director thanked the girls for their time and said, “We’ll let you know by the end of the week.”

She figured that she could handle hearing the results if they could come right away…even if she was told that she didn’t get the part, but waiting a whole week to find out if she was “in” or not…Bertha thought that the not knowing might drive her crazy!

~~to be continued~~ (part 21 is here)

I’d love to hear your feedback.  Click on “Leave a Comment” below to tell me what you think…or if you have any suggestions for my story.  A big THANK YOU!!  to those of you who have been reading the adventures of Thorson and Bertha.

Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part 19 – Thorson Goes Golfing…Sort of…

to start at the beginning, click here

Thorson sat back and smiled.  He had just read an email from Bertha, and he couldn’t help but feel proud of his friend.

He had seen her performance in The Disaster, and so he knew that she could act, but he was still immensely proud of her for getting so close to having another lead roll.  Sure, she still had to beat out two other girls for the part, but that hardly mattered.  Even if she didn’t get the part, he still had a very talented friend!

The only part of the email that worried him was that she had said she was going to be very busy for the next while in preparing for the call-back audition…and if she landed the part, she could remain busy for months!  Bertha assured him that she’d still email and Skype with him, but probably not nearly as often.  That was somewhat troubling, but he figured that if he was going to fall for an actress, he better get used to her schedule.


“Knock Knock!”

Thorson looked up from his computer screen to see his dad standing in his doorway, “I’m thinking of going to play a round of racket-golf.  Want to join me?”  Racket-golf was his dad’s favourite sport…also his dad’s invention.  It was basically like golf, but instead of using golf clubs to hit the ball around the course, the player was armed with a tennis, badminton, and ping-pong racket.  The tennis racket was for “drives”, the badminton for mid-range, and the ping-pong for “putting”.  His dad had already been banned from 4 different golf-courses, and had destroyed numerous pieces of sporting equipment, but he still persisted in playing.  He insisted to anyone that would listen that it was only a matter of time before Racket-Golf became an Olympic sport.

“Sure!…but can I use a baseball bat instead?”

“Weeeellllll,” his dad said, “that sounds rather unorthodox, but I guess it might be OK…”  They both laughed and headed to the closest golf-course that hadn’t already kicked them out.

Thorson wanted to tell his dad all about Bertha’s exciting news, and a round of Racket…and BAT golf sounded like the ideal way to go.


Father and son had a good talk, and a lot of fun…although they still had three holes to go when security caught up with them and told that they shouldn’t bother coming back to that particular course.

When they got home, Thorson’s mom asked how the game had gone, and his dad said, “We were fairly evenly matched.  I got two birdies, but Thorson managed to score a duck!”  Mrs. The Third just raised one eyebrow and went back to preparing supper.  She wasn’t even going to ask about her husband’s scoring system.

–to be continued~~ click here for part 20

Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part 18 – The Call Back

for part 1, click here

After closing the Skype connection with Thord, Bertha sat back and smiled.  The fact that Thorson had been dreaming about her seemed to indicate that he wanted more than a mere friendship with her, and that was just fine with Bertha!  Just like Thorson had done, Bertha practically floated out of her room.

Her mom already knew about Thorson…it would have been pretty difficult for Bertha to hide the contents of the one and only fan-letter she had ever received…if anything, that would have made her mom more suspicious than just showing her the letter, so Bertha was quite willing to share the details of her conversation with Thord.

Her mom smiled, and then said, “I have a surprise for you!”  Then she pulled an envelope out from behind her back and handed it to Bertha.  Based on the fact that she had done nothing but moon over Thorson for the last month or so, she just assumed that it would be from him, so she was quite disappointed when she saw that it wasn’t.  However, as she scanned the contents of the letter, her jaw dropped…and then her smile returned.

The letter was a call-back audition for a film with the working title of “Bruce and Juliette”.  When she had first auditioned for the part of Juliette Caesar, she had been one of over a hundred girls trying out for the same part.  This letter explained to her that she was one of the top 3 candidates, so she now had a one in three chance of being in another movie.

She was amused by the basic premise of this movie…Juliette Caesar was the daughter of Julius Caesar, and madly in love with a boy named Bruce…son of Brutus.  This film was to be a comedic re-working of the Julius Caesar play, with a bit of Romeo and Juliette thrown in…but in this film, the young lovers would find a way of stopping the murder of Caesar, and was to have a happy ending.  Bertha wasn’t a huge fan of tragedies.  She figured that this film had a pretty good chance of appealing to more than just the indi crowd.  All she had to do now was to do better in the call-back than her two competitors!

~~~to be continued~~~ (part 19 is here)

Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part 10 – Bertha’s eMail to Thorson

part one can be found here.

Once she finally had Thorson’s email address, Bertha wasted no time in sitting down and writing a response to the letter that she had received from Thorson

Hi Thorson…or Thord (by the way, which do you prefer?)

Sorry that I haven’t told you more about myself yet.  Besides those few Twitter messages, I guess I’ve been a lousy writer.  By the way, thank you so much for your letter!  It meant a lot to me.  Believe it or not, yours is the only piece of mail that I’ve received from a fan so far!  I’m not actually sure if fan is the right word…somehow, I think that we’re going to be more friends than actress and fan…at least I hope so!

You asked how many movies I’ve been in.  Actually, The Disaster was the first!  I’m really hoping it’s not the last, but I’m not exactly an established actress yet.  I’ve done a fair bit of acting in plays and musicals in the Washington State area, and I’ve auditioned for tons of movies, but nobody seemed interested in me…mostly because of the hideous name that my parents saddled me with (by the way, I hope that you don’t mind being friends with a Bertha.  I’m really not sure what my parents were thinking when they named me.  They claim that they really like the name, but I sometimes wonder if they were smoking something while watching some movie set in East Germany or something when they came up with the name…sorry, I’ll stop complaining about my name now…or you’ll probably think I”m a nutcase.

When I’m not acting, I enjoy getting together with my friends for sodas, playing games, and watching movies.  My friends and I get a kick out of low budget films…especially if they’re a bit cheesy…which is a bit ironic, considering The Disaster wasn’t supposed to be cheesy, but my friends all tell me it was a bit…hope you didn’t mind that too much!  I like some “good” movies too…like The Princess Bride and So I Married an Axe Murderer.  Yeah, romantic comedies are probably my favorites,

I’m not planning any trips to Canada any time soon…unless maybe into British Columbia…it’s pretty close to Washington…but maybe sometime.  I’ve heard that there are some movies and shows made in your state…um, I guess you call them provinces up there, don’t you?  I’ve even watched the show Corner Gas a few times…it’s hilarious!

Anyway…hope you like this letter, and feel free to write any time!  Let me know if you are ever coming to the Washington area!

Your friend (?)

Bertha Gertrude

Bertha hit send, logged off, and whispered a silent prayer that Thorson wouldn’t find her letter stupid.

~~to be continued~~ (PART 11)