I had an Audition. It was for an Ace Hardware Commercial. The premise was a man painting his Deck and talking about how he wants to get the job done quickly and spend time with his family. The Boy was with me and wanted in on the action so I held him while I “acted”. As the words “spend time with my family” were flying out of my mouth the boy rested his head on my shoulder. The guy running the camera laughed his head off. When did The Boy learn to act? Who’s fooling whom here?
I told this story to another actor. He told me acting was the family business. It’s only natural that after almost two years of going to Daddy’s Auditions that he would pick up on the craft himself. If I were a plumber, The Boy would, of course, learn how to plumb. It doesn’t mean he will grow up to be a plumber. I love that idea.
Later that night at the dinner table Beautiful Bride told The Boy that she was going to make chocolate chip cookies. I took that as a cue to play out a big miming routine. I put pretend cookie dough on an imaginary baking sheet. The Boy seemed puzzled by this. I opened up the fake oven door and placed the imaginary baking sheet carefully into the preheated fake oven. This put a troubled expression on The Boy. I set my fictitious timer for ten minutes and it immediately sounded a make believe buzzer. The Boy tried not to giggle at my concocted alarm and remained stern. I then scraped the pretend cookies off of the imaginary baking sheet onto a make believe plate. I blew on the mythically hot pretend cookies and cautioned The Boy to wait until they mythically cooled. He waited about five seconds with a real blank expression. He then picked up the make believe plate of pretend cookies and threw it across the actual room.
At bath time we played motorboat. I submerged my lips in the water and blew to create the sound and wake of an actual motorboat. The Boy laughed and filled up a cup with bath water and poured it over my head. I made sinking noises as if it were a direct hit and the motorboat would be lost. I filled my mouth up with the bath water and sprayed it along the tiled wall as I let my head sink further down. Mercifully, the giggling Boy grabbed my head from the abyss and saved the motorboat from pending doom. We played this out about ten times before I gave him to his Mother BB to prepare for bed. As BB was about to put on his pajama bottoms she asked The Boy to go pee pee. “I already did go pee pee in the bathtub, Mommy.” He said.
At the callback for Ace Hardware, some days later, The Boy did not want to have any of it. The Director asked me to bring Boy with me so I did. As I tried to say my lines this time, the Boy screamed “No Talking Daddy!” over and over again. I flubbed my lines and started to feel a panic come over me. I picked him up for the next take and he proceeded to flail his arms and legs pleading, “No touch my body!” Another blown take. Finally I occupied him with one of his racecars. He drove the car along the wall in the back of the room while I at last started to get through a good performance. Suddenly all the lights went out in the room. The Boy shut the lights off. Everyone laughed. On the long walk home I felt shell-shocked. How could something go so wrong? The Boy was oblivious to all my internal drama and we played the rest of the day away. I quietly mourned the lost opportunity and income.
The next day I booked the Ace Hardware Commercial. The day after that my agent called and asked if I’d be willing to allow The Boy to be in the Commercial with me, because they want to book him too. I said, “YES!” We will be filming it this week.