The last post about my boy, well, I was concerned about raising a quitter. An individual who would be afraid to try anything new; be paralyzed by fear of the unknown.
I may have overreacted to my own internal neuroses.
Turns out the boy wants to be FAMOUS.
In the last few months of school, he'd been asking me the occasional question about acting. And about being on TV. This past year he has made a few in-class presentations, and really enjoyed working on the class "skit" for both the spring concert, and his French class. It has always been very casual, this questioning, just general curiosity.
A couple of weeks ago I spotted a tiny ad in the paper, to announce an open casting call for a boy who was of a visible ethnicity, between the age of 8 - 11, under 4 ft 11, who was athletic and outgoing. Hmm, sounded like some kid that I know.
The production company was looking for a boy to play a friend of this precocious carrot top, for an upcoming new TV series.
My boy used to LOVE "This is Daniel Cook" when he was about 5. Daniel got too old to continue the role, and the series continued with another cutie who reminds me a lot of the little G. To be honest, other than how cute Daniel looked, I found him to be a little bit wooden, especially after comparing him to Emily Yeung. She's a little firecracker, personality just shines from her ... a total natural. In any case, I wouldn't think Daniel is suffering much after moving on, as they are now producing TV shows specifically for him.
Shortly after finding this ad, I asked L if he was interested in trying out for a TV series starring Daniel Cook.
To my astonishment, he said "Yes, will I be famous?"
To which I replied: "Well, I suppose if you got the part, people might recognize you."
And then he said: "Sure, why not. That would be cool! Will it be like American Idol or So You think you Can Dance,? With nasty judges with English accents?"
Well, I didn't know about that. But I sent an e:mail, and after they replied, sent a photo of the boy looking athletic, cute, and hopefully about 10 years old. The assistant got back to me and we booked a appointment. She sent us a few lines for him to memorize.
I practiced with him about a dozen times. Not too many times, because he said he didn't want to jinx it by over-practicing. I was impressed by his enthusiasm. He really wanted the part, but at the same time was quite nervous. It was tough; I tried to be as encouraging as possible, but also wanted him to know that if he didn't get the role, it wouldn't be the end of the world. He was, at least on the surface, fairly casual about it. He told me he would do his best, but if he didn't get the part, he could always for something different. HE said that to ME.
On the day of the audition, we went through his lines a couple of more times (with his little sister chiming in every so often, echoing her favourite lines, much to his annoyance). We had a light lunch (he wasn't hungry) and then we headed downtown.
It was about a 40 minute drive, down the congested highway into the city. I hadn't been to that part of town in a long while, this area that many production companies call home. It was fun to be doing something so foreign, going into a world that I knew little about.
[Well, I do know a teeny bit about it. My brother actually had done some modelling and filmed a commercial when he was about 10 years old. And I accompanied him on the Kellogg's cereal commercial shoot, as I was in university at the time and only had one class that day. I'd forgotten that one of my life's goals at that time, was to be a stage mom. Don't know if it's still like that, but the massive spread of food they had for the parents/ agents and the kids themselves was certainly impressive to my impressionable student mind. I think one of the moms at that shoot was mother to "Lucy" in the original Degrassi TV series... but I digress...]
We found the building, and I parked my so-city minivan; then plunked the girlie in the stroller and off we went...
Into the dark hall where another dozen kids were waiting for their turn. Some of these children had resumes and professional photos with them. More importantly, many of the boys had their Nintendo DS's with them, something that my boy, in his nervousness, left at home.
"Noooooooo" he whispered with a smile on his face (it was one of his lines, and he could hear muffled cries from the other room as the kids auditioning were sympathetic to his plight).
Turned out that the wait wouldn't be too long, they were only about 30 minutes behind. Thirty minutes for me to get nervous, but my boy, with the smile on his face, just chatted it up with his "competition", laughing, joking, asking everyone how old they were. There were also girls trying out for the part, something he found quite hilarious, for whatever reason.
When his name was called, he bounded down the hall, quickly passed me his gum (yuck!) and walked into the room closing the door behind him, not even missing a step. I could see him through the frosted glass, and heard him answering the casting director's questions.
"Are you big for your age?" the redheaded woman asked.
"Yup, people think I'm a fifth grader all the time!" smartypants replied.
And then he did his lines, right on cue, enthusiastically and with a smile in his voice. They said thanks for coming and good-bye. On our way out, I asked if they would call. And the assistant said "no, that's it."
So that was it. As we walked back to the car, my boy asked whether I thought he would get the role. Suspecting the answer was "no", I said maybe not, but the important thing was that he tried something new, and he discovered that he liked something new. His mom and dad were so very proud of him. He shrugged his shoulders and said that maybe there'd be a next time.
"By the way, can I take guitar lessons? And when I'm famous, can I drive by the school in a limo?
Sure, rock star, sure thing.