“What does Daddy do at Auditions?” I asked Ryan last night.
Without skipping a beat he said “Hello!” I recognized myself immediately in the way he said it. He didn’t make me sound phony but there was an elevated tone of sincerity that I know is my “on” voice. I was amazed at his insight. I was amazed at how much he is absorbing and learning when we are together. How strange it must be for him to watch his Daddy anxiously get ready to go into these rooms and play pretend with strangers. He obviously sees how much I love what I do and at the same time registers my anxiety over wanting to get hired and make money.
How strange it is for me as well.
I had a Voice Over Audition the other day to be the voice of Bud Light. Ryan was restless that day and, where he is usually content to sit in his chair and watch The Wiggles on our portable DVD player, this day he needed to go in to the recording booth with me. There must have been something in the way I said “Bud Light” as I read the script because it triggered a turrets like response in Ryan. So as I would say the words “Bud Light” he started to say it too. He screamed it, actually, over and over again. I had one of those “I can’t believe this is my life” moments as I looked down at him tearing through a box of tissues that were placed neatly there for other actors singing “Bud Light, Bud Light Bud Light Bud Light”. I tried to coax and cajole him to be quiet but to no avail. I then would stop and repeat a sentence if he screamed over it. By the end it was up to the person recording me to try to edit the toddler that sounded like he was drunk from Bud Light out of the Bud Light Audition.
Then there was the callback for “Walgreens”. Ryan sat quietly out of camera shot, smiled and charmed the room full of Producers, Director and Product People. When I was finished he said goodbye to the room and they all fell in love with him. I booked that one so look for me in a “Walgreens” commercial on a TV screen near you.
There was also the Home Depot Audition. On that one he sat with me and rested his head on my shoulder just as I was supposed to say “family”. “Who’s fooling who?” I thought. He did better acting than I did. I’ll find out later today if I got that one or not.
Of course there was the time he peed on me too! (See “Ryan peed on Daddy” blog 10/ 07/09)
It’s certainly not an ideal situation to bring your two year old with you to auditions. I imagine Ryan could tell you it’s not ideal to have to follow Daddy around to these odd places and watch him nervously play with other adults. The truth of the matter is that I am really lucky to be spending this kind of time with my son. He is learning things that I can’t even begin to scratch the surface of. He keeps me present. I’ve worked more since bringing him than before him. Plus, I have someone at my level of maturity to hang out with at these things.
Check out the video and see first hand what it's like.