The Actor's Mom

The craziest job ever.

Short Memory

The good thing about disposable Hollywood is its short memory.
I’ve pulled the kid from an agent some time ago. I did it as politely and business-like as I could. In response, the agent got mad and said we would never get anything better out there.

Of course we did.

Roll to present time. Kid is looking into changing part of his representation again. It’s been two or three days since we removed one agent from the kid’s online profile, and who finds us? Yes, the old agent happens to be looking for new clients. That agent has to have forgotten us, right? and I attribute this to a failure in appropriate data tools (computers come in handy nowadays). Otherwise, how can this agent approach us so happily and excitedly to offer us representation?

Curiouser and curiouser.

Tough Cookies

Dear reader, so it is: this town is cold and careless. Rejection is served every day.
But do not fear, it is all an illusion. What matters is the creative fire inside: THAT is what you got.
And be nice to others, and be caring, even as others aren’t, and do not let greed get to you… Even when you are the one that needs to say “no”, try to carry no baggage with you because the journey is long!

Am I being too esoteric? I just want to say to you – and to me – that rejection will happen to you, and then sometimes you’re the one rejecting, but you need to keep your heart light. Whatever it is, it is not that important. There’s a chain of bitterness that accompanies rejection, and it’s up to you not to perpetuate the bitterness. For your own sake, if nothing else.
And if you’re a parent, that’s even more crucial: because your attitude will steer your child’s own attitude.

Stay light and sweet, dear reader.
=)

To pilot infinity… and beyond

OK, so he booked a recurring role in a pilot for a major studio. He’s super happy. Wardrobe fitting a week later, and shooting one more week later. He shoots and, yes, he scores, as producers and crew showed how happy they were with his performance.

Now what?

See, we walked into this thing called “pilot season” without much expectation. We were just here for the ride. Then, “BAM!”, it’s real business. Now I’m afraid the bar is set higher for next year.

Am I glad? Am I sad? Am I hoping it’s just a fad?
Only time will tell.

Hold On Loosely

It is so very important for a child actor to have supporting parents that do not fret about their successes! No extra pressure needed! And I do believe that the kid’s attitude towards the uncertainty of the acting profession is very much related to the parents’ attitude. They do copy mom and dad, a lot, even when they pretend that they don’t. And you know how this acting/auditioning thing goes:

It is the funniest thing. Stuff happens when you’re not looking for it, when your mind is somewhere else – and it draws you in when you were going other direction, it gets you interested when you didn’t care… only to leave you looking for more (and then it’s back to uneventful). It’s a petty girlfriend. It’s a manipulative mother-in-law. (Yes, I’m sad to say I’ve seen more of this behavior among women, though some men are experts in it as well.)

So you need to play cool – or she’ll drive you crazy.

It requires a certain skill. You welcome its surprises, you enjoy its presence, you let it go. Don’t give up on her, but do let go. Neediness stinks hard. Hold on loosely and enjoy yourself at all times. (I’m a big fan of enjoying every moment of your life and live in the present – not dwelling in the past, not anxious about the future.)

Notes, notes…

So we’re doing a student film, the kid plays the lead but there are other kids in supporting roles. At some point, the director asks us moms if we could do background in a scene. We are all sitting there, facing the kids, with the camera behind us. The camera rolls, cut. One of the moms starts telling her kid “don’t do this, don’t do that, do it like this, more like that…” I was mute, mortified. I was looking at the ground, probably looking for a hole to crawl into. The director didn’t say a thing, didn’t do a thing, just being the nicest guy.

It didn’t end there. In the next scene she was giving notes to the director. I kid you not. I just prayed for it to be over.

What would you do?

Mercury Retrograde – I’m better now

Phew! So that’s what it was! I’m glad there’s a perfectly logical explanation.

You know, I’m reading that working actress blog from the first posts and going forward, and just at the point when I’m thinking “what a senseless hustle that is” – Boom! She hits and she scores! That’s when she had a pilot picked up and her life changes. Wow, that’s what all these actors are working hard for (my son included, whether he has this clear in his head or not). It sounds incredible. I can see that.

And it coincides with having a “minor crisis” at my own work and career, and today (just this morning) finally realizing it’s not that bad – maybe just a bit readjusting will make me feel “on purpose” again.

In both cases, evaluating the perspective of an acting career for my son and evaluating my current job and my own career: yes, there are adjustments that can be made, and it’s not a matter of just freaking out and abandoning the ship.

And whatever is happening to Mercury is mere coincidence.

 

 

You can’t please everyone… but pissing off every single soul is a piece of cake!

I’m an equal opportunity pisser and I’m proud of it. I don’t fit in with either conservatives or liberals. I piss off them all. I should remember that when, like last night, after the kid was annoying everyone (mostly me) by pointing out that the people crossing the street were jaywalking, I told him how annoying that was, and that no one needs to hear it even if it was true. That people are not interested in the truth (it just came out of my mouth like that). And he said matter-of-fact-ly: “that’s too bad.”

It’s funny how people in this industry have to build a thick skin, and yet are overly touchy. How on the business side nothing is personal, and people love you one day and don’t give a stick the next (and vice-versa), while on the peer-to-peer side people hold crazy grudges (and I mean illogical crazy). Like the kid said… that’s too bad.

I’ve always been “different” than most people, even inside a diverse section of society (which is itself “different” than the rest of society). I can’t affirm if it is “thinking ahead of one’s time” as I don’t know what lies ahead, but I surely have a critical view of present time. I really think people need to get over this “oh don’t be negative, oh you have to be all-inclusive” as much as people need to get over the opposing selfishness and negative doom-ish-ness.

And all of a sudden I can empathize with Bill Hicks. And he was such a master, he was able to gross out even me (of all persons).

How deep is your love

I like reading true-to-heart blogs that give me an insight into someone else’s life. Those are blogs that led me to start this one. There is one particular blog by an anonymous actress that I find really interesting, which made me want to read a blog that would share the things I go through, and since I could not find such blog, I created it myself. It helps me looking at it from outside (even if I wrote it), helps me having another perspective, new other perspectives. It helps me seeing the forest instead of the trees.

And I am looking at someone else’s forest. A working actress. Very interesting trees, but I’m now looking at the forest. Is that what I’d encourage my son to be? Suddenly this whole hustling for work seems very shallow. I remember my actor friends when I was young, and this is a far cry from what they lived through (and still do). They don’t live in LA. They don’t do TV or film. They’re broke, but I can genuinely say they’re artists. A few successful ones do comedy and have a loyal fan base, working on stage. They do hustle but it seems so different than this one LA working actress. Suddenly I look at this fragmented, “dance, monkey, dance” lifestyle and it looks… shallow.

Yet, the boy loves being on set. I can see the drive in him, I can see he’ll do whatever it takes to be there. Dang, I can never think of anything else that can get him working that hard (and without complaint). And he is definitely better on camera than on stage. I’m always amazed at his efforts, I can’t help but encourage.

But what are the highest ideals he can hold on this path? I’m  not talking about material returns, but what kind of inner realization can he expect? I would think that an actor wants to impress souls, bring inspiration, feelings, motivation, change thoughts, change ideas, change lives.

Oh well, we’ll keep going for now. As Scarlett once said: I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Watch out for the studio teacher

So we wrapped this one. Four full days of shooting, Mom here was exhausted. Because I have to do both the mom job and my regular job (I have the flexibility to work from home during those odd hours of the night when no one else needs my driving or mommying skills). Which again makes me wonder why… anyway. Yes, I’m busy, and as I told someone on the set, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Better busy than bored, that’s my BBB motto.

I’m resolved to relax while on the set and have a good time (otherwise, wtf am I doing this). First two days were great, weekend days with the first studio teacher. Third day: enters Mrs. Mighty Mama Studio Teacher.

Not to have it misunderstood here: I loved her like one loves an old aunt. I looked after her needs when possible (and when no one else did). I was thankful for her attention and mental stimulation provided to my son (who genuinely enjoyed their conversations about astrophysics and world history).  But this was no ordinary teacher. She was determined to shut down the place if the kid worked one minute beyond what’s dictated by law. And she actually walked up and took the kid from under the AD’s hands. And threatened reporting production to the authorities.

I had two long days to meditate upon the role of the studio teacher, how it is commonly played and how people deal with it, and what I would like it to be. For one thing, that was very, very nice to have someone else in charge of being a bitch in order to protect my son’s best interest. But it shouldn’t have to bring stress to everybody’s experience. Seriously, this teacher was monitoring every minute of the child’s activity, and had zero tolerance with time stretches.

I can say it was an interesting experience… once it was thankfully over. Phew.

Sweet bookings

So he booked a sweet gig. You can tell it’s a sweet one because the agent called and she savored it for a bit before delivering the news, instead of firing it right away. It’s not the greatest gig ever; it’s just a pretty sweet one, especially at his stage.

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