Meggie: I thought it was already decided. Arts at Sydney University, isn’t that right?
Justine: Oh, that was just a red herring to lull you into a false sense of security while I made my plans. But now it’s all set, so I can tell you.
Meggie: Go on, I’m all agog.
Justine: I’m going to be an actress.
Meggie: A what?
Justine: An actress.
Meggie: Good Lord! Look, Justine, I hate to be a spoilsport and truly I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but do you think you’re—well, quite physically equipped to be an actress?
Justine: Oh, Mum! Not a film star; an actress! I don’t want to wiggle my hips and stick out my breasts and pout my wet lips! I want to act.
Meggie: Are you quite sure, Jussy?
Justine: Quite sure. I’ve known for a long time.
Meggie: I still don’t understand. An actress!
Justine: Well, where else can I scream and yell and howl but on a stage? I’m not allowed to do any of those here, or at school, or anywhere! I like screaming and yelling and howling, dammit!
Meggie: But you’re so good at art, Jussy! Why not be an artist?
Justine: You’re so impractical, Mum, really. I thought it was supposed to be the children who didn’t stop to consider a career’s practical aspects. Let me tell you, I don’t want to starve to death in a garret and be famous after I’m dead. I want to enjoy a bit of fame while I’m still alive, and be very comfortable financially. So I’ll paint as a hobby and act for a living. How’s that?
Meggie: You’ve got an income from Drogheda, Jussy. It would never come to starving in a garret. If you’d rather paint, it’s all right. You can.
Justine: How much have I got, Mum?
Meggie: Enough that if you preferred, you need never work at anything.
Justine: What a bore! I’d end up talking on the telephone and playing bridge; at least that’s what the mothers of most of my school friends do. Because I’d be living in Sydney, not on Drogheda. I like Sydney much better than Drogheda. Do I have enough to pay to have my freckles removed with this new electrical treatment?
Meggie: I should think so. But why?
Justine: Because then someone might see my face, that’s why.
Meggie: I thought looks didn’t matter to an actress?
Justine: Enough’s enough, Mum. My freckles are a pain.
Meggie: Are you sure you wouldn’t rather be an artist?
Justine: Quite sure, thank you. I’m going to tread the boards, Mrs. Worthington!
Meggie: How did you get yourself into the Culloden?
Justine: I auditioned.
Meggie: And they took you?
Justine: Your faith in your daughter is touching, Mum. Of course they took me! I’m superb, you know. One day I shall be very famous.
Meggie: Is it important to you, Justine? Fame?
Justine: I should say so. I’m absolutely iron-bound determined to be famous.
Fee: Have you been on about fame and glory, Justine?
Justine: They enter the picture.
Fee: Justine, why do you persist in putting things to your mother so badly? You know it isn’t a question of fame and fortune. It’s a question of self, isn’t it?