Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The BabySuperModel Chronicles - Vol. 1

The Casting:
A casting is a fancy word for audition in the modeling world. G-Man went on his first casting today. I approached this experience for him as I do for my own auditions - be as prepared as possible (My mom drilled this mantra into my brain where auditions were concerned.) and remember that it's all subjective and you may not be what they are looking for. So, I printed extra pictures of him to take with us, made sure I had his model agency paperwork with us, and continually reminded myself that if they didn't instantly fall in love with him and book him for every job they had that it was okay. (Kidding - kind of.) :)

The casting was from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the studio of a photographer in Boston. Because G-Man usually naps at around 10:00 or 11:00, I figured we should try to be there at 9:00 so we could be finished and on our way home at nap time. I also thought we would be better off going at the beginning of the casting before everyone was tired and sick of seeing kids. G-Man usually wakes up at 5:00 for a bottle and then goes back to bed. Since I didn't know what traffic would be like and I wanted to leave a cushion to find the studio and I planned to have him wear his pajamas in the car and change his clothes when we got to the studio, we left at 7:00 a.m.

It was a good plan.

G-Man didn't wake up at 5:00. In fact, I woke up at 6:20 quite by accident and realized he wasn't awake and that I needed to hurry and shower. I showered and got ready and started packing his diaper bag with toys and extra food. I printed the directions to the studio and made his bottle. He still wasn't awake. It was 6:55. I went into his room and he popped up, ready for a bottle. We grabbed his clothes, changed his diaper and went downstairs. Bottle gone, coat on, car loaded - off we go. So far, so good.

The good pretty much ended there. But, I learned some valuable lessons today.

Lesson #1: When driving somewhere unfamiliar, you should not only print out directions, but you should also double check the directions on a map. Now, I have been presented with this lesson before. I have horrible stories of losing my way in Boston with printed directions in hand. I have an excellent sense of direction and can read a map. However, in Boston, road signs are often missing (I've decided the theory behind this is: The road has been here for more than 200 years - you don't need a sign to know the name of the road you are on.) and many of the roads are narrow and wind crazily through tall buildings. Then you have road closures because of Big Dig construction. It's fun.

In my defense, I did look at the close up version of the map on Yahoo last night when I printed out the directions. It looked pretty straight forward. But I didn't look at our big map we keep in the car.

I got off the turnpike and "bore right" as the directions said. Because there was no street sign, I wasn't sure if I was on the right road, so I kept going straight. After about a block, I could tell I was wrong - especially as I passed a sign that said "Commercial Vehicles Only." 10 seconds after reading this sign, I got waved over by Boston Police. He helped get me on track, but he also gave me a warning ticket for disregarding a sign. I made several more wrong turns, pulled over with my hazards and looked at the map and finally got on the right track.

Lesson #2: Bringing an extra change of clothes to a casting is a good idea.
We finally found the studio and parked. I gave G-Man some dried apples that he usually eats for breakfast. He started to cough a little bit. He'd been a bit quiet and not really himself on the car ride up to that point. He coughed more, and then projectile vomited all over himself, his car seat and the back of the passenger seat. Awesome. I was about to just take him home, and he started laughing and playing with his toys. So, I cleaned off his coat and changed his clothes and kept watching him. He seemed fine, so we went ahead and walked over to the studio. All the while, I was thinking that maybe I was a horrible mother for going to the casting anyway when he threw up 5 minutes ago. But I knew that I really would have taken him directly home if he had been crying or upset or still seemed sick. As my internal struggle raged on, we found the studio and started walking up the many flights of stairs.

Lesson #3: Asking questions is good, but they should be smart questions.
We walked in the studio, filled out a clipboard with information and waited in line behind a couple of other babies that were ahead of us. (We did manage to walk in the door at 8:59 - even with all the previous drama.) While waiting, I overheard this question being asked of one of the assistant casting directors: "Now, this is an audition right? So, not all the kids are going to get it?"(I assume by "it" she meant "the job"). The assistant was very polite and explained that this casting was held every 6 months by the photographer to put together a contact sheet for one of her clients - a major toy manufacturer. The contact sheets were used to cast for product boxes, print advertising, and any other pictures the client needed. The photographer holds this casting every 6 months because the kids change so much and she likes to have current pictures and see how the kids interact with her. I was grateful this woman asked the stupid question, because I got some good information. But it probably would have been better to say something like, "May I ask what this casting is for?" or "Is there a time frame that we can plan to hear from our agencies on this casting?" I'm sure the assistant is used to dealing with modeling parents and was very nice, but did roll his eyes as the mom walked away and he thought no one could see.

Lesson #4: Take some time to play with G-Man and wake him up before we really get into the casting.
Because of the drama in the car, I just cleaned the boy up and went straight into the casting. He was playing with toys, but I hadn't really been interacting with him. He has a tendency to be quiet and look around when we go to a new place. I filled out the paper and jumped in line. When I put him down in front of the photographer and went to stand behind her, he looked a little bewildered and uncomfortable. Though he didn't cry or get upset, it was really tough to get him to smile. And he's a pretty smiley kid. We finally got a half smile from him and they were finished. Four pictures. I couldn't see the monitor, so I'm not sure how they turned out and I'll probably never see the pictures she took. It was the best possible outcome given the circumstances, and I wouldn't change what I did and it isn't his fault he wasn't really smiley. But if we have the chance to go again, I think I'll find a chair for him to stand next to or find a safe place he can crawl or just sit and talk with him for a minute to get him more comfortable. I could have done this while filling out the paper or while we were waiting in line. Of course, now that we are home, he's laughing and talking and crawling around while he plays with his toys because he is comfortable here.

It was a good learning experience. We'll probably try this a couple more times as the opportunities come up. And, hey - I was able to get a blog entry out of it. :)


Yvonne said...

Sweet picture.

Love the last comment--at least you got a blog entry ; ) Aren't we always thinking about that?!?

Sorry about the projectile vomiting experience.

Matt, Nicki, Maizy and Hazel said...

Wow...that was quite the adventure...I took notes of all the lessons learned. :) Well yesterday I wanted you to know we made a Family night out of reading your blog, there was something for everyone. Matt and I laughed and agreed with a lot of your American Idol reviews...he got a kick out of comments. He enjoyed it even more when I told him you were a choir teacher. Then we watched the video of the G-man laughing. It was hilarious, and Hazel stood in front of the TV laughing right along with him. She just loves little kids. Sometimes I get looks from other parents because we will pass kids screaming or crying in the store, and she will just laugh at them and think it's funny. Whooops...she takes after her parents.

Michal said...

looks like you are more than ready for the next audition. at least you got all those lessons out of the way on the first one!:)

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