The closest Paige’d come to doing theatre at NZAM was when she’n’Mira had gone to check out the Kapa Haka club. But her roomie had been a little spooked by the older guys, and haka was cool but not really the same as other singing or dancing stuff she was keen to learn, so they’d decided to stick to watching for starters. (They wanted to try joinin’ up together properly in Year Three, but that wasn’t gonna work out now, obvs. Hopefully Mira could find someone else to join with... even if the thought of her BFF making new friends was weird as.)
Her new roomie Nylah was in the Drama Club. Paige wasn’t sure if she wanted to do performance stuff but Nylah’d been super nice in offering her to tag on to club meets sometimes, so she was a little familiar with the school theatre now, at least enough to know that when it wasn’t officially booked it was an ace spot for just kicking back a coupla min. Sometimes she got to watch other students practicing, and sometimes she went right up onstage and poked the piano keys a bit - but only when she was there solo. Not that she was shy or anything; Paige considered herself the opposite of shy. She was just very confident in knowing no one else needed to hear her garbage shots at music.
Today she’d gone in solo, but hadn’t made it to the piano before getting derailed by a big ole white hat. Paige didn’t think she’d ever seen a chef’s hat in Real Life and as she’d approached the stage, she felt really pulled to just give it a burl, so snatched it up and stuck it on her head. It was a tad big and sunk down to her eyebrows, but at the same time it felt, like, kind of perfect. This feeling was confirmed when she ducked backstage to check her reflection. The tall white hat paired with her flowery romper was a weird combo, but somehow, it worked.
The black-haired girl twirled back around to the stage, periodically reaching up to pat the sides of the hat. Everyone knew you had to look the part to land the role, and with a chef’s hat like this, she could go to the kitchens and make soup. Soup wasn’t just a winter food; it was a common starter, which made it super (soup-er) versatile. Add undercooked pufferfish to a fish stock base, or uncooked lima beans and other cyanide-heavy legumes to a chili base, and hey bye! Also, belladonna leaves looked a lot like bay leaves after being cooked down, which was sort of dangerous but not enough for her to be worried about it.
Paige didn’t realize she’d been rambling out loud until someone interrupted her. “Hey bye!” she chirped back at the older boy - Drew, right? Joey’d mentioned him, he ran the school paper, and was holding a lot of paper right now too. “Nothing cooking yet, but didja know there’s, like, at least fifteen ways to poison soup with common grocery ingredients? And you get even more when you add magic. It’s soup-er!” She’d already used that joke once to herself, but it was worth giggled at again.