Saturday, June 23, 2012

Big Dreams

It's been a big week, each day jammed with one thing after another, and each night the same.  So big that, late in the evening, when I finally would sit down to blog, I found that I couldn't manage to get a good enough handle on the day's events, or couldn't possibly focus on a single moment, or philosophy, to manage a post.  The Art pics? They were from last week. Sorry. Cheated, I guess.

Anyway, that was part of the problem. But, if I'm honest, there is a second reason that I didn't share this week's events--which included Hollywood's first lacrosse stick; a lovely day at the pool; huge confidence issues all around (mine included); bold confrontations with fear; a day of haircuts; and I still haven't written about Sunshine's beautiful Father's Day performance in Giselle.  Anyway, all coming soon, I assure you.  But first I need to dig a little into Hollywood's child acting thing, which sits at the foundation of all my missing posts, and which took center stage this week.

Here's how it happened: Since he was a boy of five, Hollywood's want of fame and fortune had him asking to be on television.  I continually dissuaded him.  What kind of a life is that? What kind of a mother would encourage her children to get into that business? And all the while Brittany Spears was trainwrecking, just like everyone anticipated she would, and Miley Cyrus was coming up fast behind her to join the multicar pile up that is childhood Hollywood (the city.)

Then, when he was in the fifth grade, Hollywood (the boy) heard a radio commercial soliciting one of those talent scout conventions.  "Bud, they're all scams," I said.

"Please, Mom," he said. We went. He paid the $30 it cost for them to tell him he was cute enough to move to the $600 or $800 round. Like I didn't know that. (That he was cute enough, I mean.)

"Please, Mom," he said, again, with enough passion to cause me to look into it all. It seemed legit, as far as I could tell, then we packed our weekend bags, and drove the 4 hours to the Proscout Convention, where Hollywood landed himself a bigtime agent with Coast To Coast LA, the company which represents half the kids on Disney, and that cute little Haley Steinfeld who was up for the Academy Award, a year or two ago.

Yeah! I know! It happened that fast, and I'd put about that much thought into it, as if he'd merely asked for ice cream. 

Hollywood began acting lessons in Hollywood. He found a second agent for local work. He went on auditions in both Vegas and LA. He landed a little local commercial, and still he toils, rejection after rejection, honing his craft, pulling his shoulders' back and heading out, again--ever the consummate professional. 

And I'm proud of him, I really am, for dreaming so big and having the courage and conviction to go tackle these mighty dreams with his small hands, but..., but.

But, c'mon, who does this? And what kind of a mother lets her kid get into this industry that we've all seen chew and spit kids, for years. Remember Danny from the Partridge family? Oh, and Wilis from Different Strokes?  And even the success stories, slapped across the tabloids' headlines, are frightening. So, yes, every time, I need to admit what it is that Hollywood's doing while Sunshine's dancing ballet (a whole other nightmare, just not so overt) and The Storm is kicking balls, I do so with more than a small amount of embarrassment.

But, we've learned a lot about the business, he and I, and it isn't all bad.  There are good people and bad people within it, and we've met both, and the good people are really good, and the bad folks we steer clear of.  What I find most inspiring, from what I've seen, is the everyday people both behind and in the scenes, who are working day in and day out, just like everyone else--to put food on the table and because it is what they love to do.  The people that someone living in Des Moines, watching television in the evenings and going to the movies on weekends, will never know exist--but regular people as crucial to the overall machinery that is the entertainment industry as any bolt on any machine.

So, what does all this have to do with this week's minimal blogging?

Well, you know what happens when one kid has ice cream, right? Everone wants one!

There's another convention, a local, much smaller one, run out of Hollywood's Vegas agent's office, and since Hollywood is in the market for a new agent--the Coast To Coast thing was good until his agent moved on, and then it wasn't anymore. And the girls want in!  All week, they've been brushing up on their monologues, Sunshine's polished a dance, and everyone's singing. It's crazy! Happy crazy. Frightening crazy.  Crazy crazy.

I suspect they'll do their thing, maybe land themselves agents, maybe not--but, I suspect that, inevitably, the girls will pass on it all; it's a business requiring a dedication and perseverance, that only the truly passionate have.  

Hollywood is truly passionate about acting. He still dreams of fame and fortune. And I know one day he'll find it. For better. Or for worse. But for himself, nevertheless. 

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