- Question 1. Read the passage. Then answer the question. (30 points)
The Show Must Go On
Tessa received the letter in an oversized lavender envelope with a silver star across the addressee space. She knew what it was before she opened it due to a system error earlier that week that had sent out emails to the accepted students. She still opened it slowly to build anticipation, just like she had planned to do back when she first applied. Congratulations on your acceptance to the Hollywood Summer Stars teenage film program. Please see script submission deadlines below, and report to Studio 14 on the appropriate date. It was everything she had hoped for since six months prior when she had turned over her carefully crafted application.
On June 24, Tessa stood outside Studio 14 clutching two binders to her chest. One contained her shooting script, which was several development stages ahead of where the program expected it to be. The second binder contained a summer-long schedule she had composed for herself, detailing the upcoming weeks and the progress she planned to make on the film. Tessaâ€s mother had poked fun at her elaborate preparations, encouraging her to use some of her free time for actual fun before the camp took over her summer vacation. Her mother didnâ€t understand that for Tessa, this was fun.
The camp arranged students in pairs to provide feedback to and support for one another. Tessaâ€s fondest aspiration was to be matched with someone similar to her or related to someone famous who could maybe provide an exotic outside perspective on her work. Instead, they paired her with a Midwestern boy named Varick who had never left his home state of Ohio before his acceptance letter arrived. Tessa managed her disappointment and asked about his project, hoping it wouldnâ€t be too tedious. He told her his script was open-ended by design, and that he intended to develop the content further as he filmed. Tessa thought that approach amounted to wasting a golden opportunity to make a masterpiece under professional supervision.
The first week of filming went smoothly, and Tessa managed to accomplish every single task on her extensive to-do list. The second week was less productive. The obstacles began Tuesday morning, when storms appeared on the horizon. Tessa wasnâ€t an amateur planner, so she had penciled in the possibility of poor weather. However she had not imagined the possibility of three consecutive overcast days taking place in a single week in Los Angeles. By Thursday, her mood soured, and she berated the clouds overhead for their interference. Through it all, Varick urged her to â€œchange it upâ€ and capture some of the fascinating skyscapes provided by the uncooperative weather. Tessa grew frustrated with his intrusion, and reminded him for the umpteenth time that her film had nothing to do with storms.The fourth week marked the halfway point for the camp. Tessa reviewed her footage methodically, and she was chagrined to find it underwhelming. Her special-effects work was clearly rushed due to a double-booking that had derailed her the previous week. Some of her shots lacked continuity, which she supposed was the result of lighting woes from the storms. There were even blatant mistakes in the editing, probably owing to the all-nighters she pulled to keep on schedule. Tessa was both jealous and regretful when she saw Varickâ€s footage. He had captured the storm, which had derailed her own film, in a unique and beautiful way. He had even cut back on special effects rather than burning the midnight oil to make up for the double-booked studio. When she complimented him, he thanked her and said nonchalantly, â€œI just go with the flow.â€ It wasnâ€t the exotic outside perspective she had hoped her partner would give her, but she had to admit that where results were concerned, his methods had so far outstripped her own.Tessaâ€s planned finale involved a scene at the La Brea Tar Pits Museum on Wilshire. Sheâ€d been there a handful of times when her father had brought her to LA for business, and she was so certain the museum would accommodate her that she had not planned an alternative. The rejection for her request came on Friday. She planned to start the shoot that Sunday. It was a very polite letter, explaining that it would be impossible to accommodate her equipment due to a charity 5k that would shut down the road and bring an unusually high level of foot traffic into the museum. Varick watched her pace the room with concern in his eyes. Unlike his helpful encouragement during the first six weeks of camp, he did not seem to have any words of advice to offer now. â€œI have an idea,â€ Tessa said at last. She stopped pacing and put her planning binder back up on the shelf. â€œI think I can make it work, but I want to be there when the runners are passing the museum.â€On the final day of class, Tessa watched her film play as the instructors scribbled notes. Nerves twisted in the pit of her stomach as she thought about the perfect film she had planned and worried about what she had made instead. In the dim light of the theater, she watched the instructorsâ€ faces. They had read her initial script, so they knew what was supposed to happen. She watched them murmur to one another in low tones as the final scene played out on screen, and when they clapped, looking genuinely impressed, Tessa met Varickâ€s eye and shared her relief with him in a glance. Maybe he hadnâ€t been the partner sheâ€d envisioned, but he had certainly turned out to be the one she needed. His penchant for turning obstacles into opportunities had provided the necessary influence to saveâ€”perhaps even improveâ€”her film.
What is the theme of â€œThe Show Must Go Onâ€? How do specific details shape the theme and affect Tessaâ€s attitude as the story progresses? Use evidence from the text to support your response. Your response should be at least three complete paragraphs.
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