I did something yesterday that I swore I'd never do. I told myself that it would be a one-time thing, that nobody would have to know about it. I justified my actions to myself and to those around me, but I knew when I was doing it that it was wrong and now I can't go back and I feel like a terrible person.
I took my son to an audition.
While it feels good to confess, I can't shake the feeling that you are all judging me as harshly as I'm judging myself right now. Go ahead. You aren't wrong.
In my defense, I feel like I was kind of tricked into doing it. I know how that sounds, but hear me out.
I submitted myself for a commercial job on Castingnetworks.com that was asking for "real moms". Like with most casting notices, I just clicked "submit", picked a photo, and completely forgot about it. Then on Wednesday, I got an email saying that they'd like to see me for an audition and that if I have a child aged 3-12, I should bring him or her with me if at all possible.
The email didn't say anything about auditioning the child, you see, just that they wanted me to bring my child with me. I thought it was weird, but then I reasoned that maybe they just wanted to see how we interact with our kids, or--you know what? I did assume that they were probably casting the kids too, but I just didn't want to admit it to myself.
As luck would have it, in order for me to make it to this audition, I would have had to bring The Kid with me anyway. Husband is out of town right now and I wouldn't have been able to get to NYC and back in time to pick The Kid up from school. Since I thought I might regret missing out on the opportunity, I decided to go ahead and take him out of school at noon and bring him with me. So, that's what I did.
When we showed up at the casting, we were the only ones there. I signed in, then the casting director took us back to a little white room with a camera and a mark and asked us to stand there. She asked The Kid his name and his age and he was adorable and perfect (probably because I'd bribed him with the promise of ice cream later on). She asked me to say my name, smile, turn both directions, show her my hands, and then look at my phone and pretend to text. I just hopped on Twitter for a few seconds instead. And that was that. Easy. Painless. That's how they get ya.
Callbacks are on Monday, and I have mixed feelings about whether I'm hoping to receive one or not. On one hand, I could use the money. On the other hand, I don't want to take The Kid out of school again. And I don't want him to become a child actor. Because a lot of child actors turn into terrible adults. Is this a slippery slope?
I had to write a note for him today that said, "Please excuse my child from school on the afternoon of 5/29. He had an audition." I almost didn't send the note, I was so embarrassed. I never in my life thought I'd have to write that note. Oh, the shame!
The bright side to all this is that we shared a delightful day of mother-son bonding in the city. New York is so beautiful this time of year, and it was the perfect spring day to take it in. We rode the train to the audition but walked back to the ferry, logging almost four miles on the soles of our shoes. The Kid's legs got tired often, so we had to stop many times--sometimes for cupcakes or chocolate dipped macaroons or iced tea or pizza. Walking takes a lot of energy.
What ever happens with this job, at least we made a memory. I hope he looks back at that day and remembers fondly the time we spent together. And not the potential exploitation of his childhood. Oh, God, what have I done?