I’ve recently been acting objectionably as a parent. So what else is new? Actually I’m sure there are some parents who would consider my actions perfectly reasonable. Others would feel that I might be pushing my own broken dreams and tattered ambitions on my child. I’m not arguing that point, and I can certainly see the potential for a dysfunctional disaster. I’d like to think that knowing that is a possibility will help me avoid it from becoming an eventuality.
A few weekends ago in a San Francisco mall my family and I stumbled across a recruiting event for two upcoming kid’s television shows on the CW network. This same production group helps with casting upcoming Disney productions. So I asked my four and six year old daughters (Sabrina and Skylee) if they’d like to try out. Both are shy and predictably resisted. The recruiters enticed the girls with lollypops and the older one, Skylee, relented. Always the sucker for suckers, she let them take her picture and I filled out a little form. Sabrina, on the other hand, literally ran away from the camera and hid behind my wife’s leg. I can be fairly obtuse, however I did recognize the signs that Sabrina wasn’t ready for this type of opportunity.
Two weeks later I got a call from one of the recruiters asking Skylee to attend a screen test in Emeryville. I offered Skylee ice cream if she would do it, and she agreed. No, she doesn’t carry a ‘Will Work for Sweets’ sign around. Like most kids I know, she doesn’t have to. Furthermore, without such bribes, at times I fear I would be entirely impotent as a parent. I’ll choose bribery over raised voices and threats every day.
We got the screen test call on a Friday and were scheduled to come in on Sunday. Skylee had two days to practice her two lines. “Mommy, what’s for dinner? Oh, that smells yummy!” We had a lot of fun with it around the house. Skylee ended up doing the lines while tap dancing. She could do them imitating Bibel from Barbie’s Mermaidia. She did them happy and she did them sad. After a while the whole thing started to sound like a bad Saturday Night Live skit from last century.
When the big moment arrived Skylee got up in front of the camera and read the lines the one way she hadn’t practiced: shy. The words came out in barely audible whispers. I watched in agony, but when it was over I told Skylee she was awesome. She was an absolute vision on camera and took an impromptu headshot that was arguably one of her best ever.
After it was done we got ice cream. We watched High School Musical 2. Sklyee reaped the rewards of her efforts. Even if we didn’t get a call back I was really glad we went for it. If nothing else it turned out to be a pretty fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Then out of the blue, 48 hours later we got a call back. Skylee’s going to be on television! Or so it would seem. You really never know. I’ll see when we go back to the studio this coming weekend. Can you guess what I’ll be writing about next month?
Image By: Vivek Chugh
Andy Falk is a father of two incredible daughters ages born in 2001 & 2003, Skylee
and Sabrina. Andy is very active in the lives of his daughters, from coaching soccer to supporting them during swimming season to just plain doing homework or hanging out. Andy also surfs regularly, bicycle commutes and is a successful Realtor in Marin County, CA. Andy earned his MBA from San Francisco State University with an Internet Marketing concentration, and holds a BA from the University of California at San Diego where he studied and surfed in the 80’s.