Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What Do You Do?

When it is nearly 11 pm and all three children (for various reasons including theater and waking up from a sound sleep earlier) area awake?

And tomorrow you need to be at a work conference at (GOOD GOD PEOPLE) 7:45 am?

This conference would also last until A) Time Ends or B) Long enough to mean the next step involves alcohol.

And -- you get an email message requesting that your 11 year old daughter spend six weeks in L.A. doing 'pilot week,' wherein, precocious people try to be on television shows.

So, weigh in. No kidding. Scarlett has an agent in L.A. (trust her, this happened without one lift of the Matronly finger which is why she is so gosh -darn home-down apologetic-- they called her) who would like Scarlett to spend about seven weeks in Los Angeles touring the rounds of television.

This would be expensive. Sorta like a trip to Disney Land (as it is, fantasy and all that).

Here's the Matron's take: soon, we die. Don't you love her? Cut right to the chase. Soon, even an 11 year old dies. Honest to God-Buddha-Oprah-Allah-Heather Armstrong-Universe, the Matron does not believe her child will win the celebrity juvenile lottery and get into television.

But what about the journey? What amazing dinner party conversation, light years ahead, when Scarlett can talk about this singular experience? What about abandoning normal as the dream?

Still. Time. Money (really a factor but, thanks to friends in L.A., do-able) Drama. Wardrobe.

What should she--they?--do?

Is Stage Mother heading toward Hollywood. Oh yes, there's narrative potential. But that exists in grocery shopping. She needs real advice.


Anonymous said...

No "advice" per se, but a question: is your daughter in love with Theatre or acting? To my tired mind, the latter has strong connections with television but the former does not. Perhaps such a question has relevancy here? (I do not envy your position.)

Hay said...

If you! I can't see that there is much to lose, and what an adventure :)

Mama Ava said...

Here's the real question...would you be willing to move out there, possibly give up your job, possibly live apart from the rest of your family, if your daughter did win the jr. celebrity TV lottery? Because if you're going out for 7 weeks, there is the chance. And if you would not be willing to sacrifice it all for your daughter's potential future career, then don't go.

If you can be lighthearted about it, and know that you would commit to the time and the moving and supporting your daughter in the event it pans out, then go.

It might be a lark, but when offers come, as you already know, the child is not a child--he or she is a paid performer/professional, and much is expected of them--to the extent that it can disrupt family significantly.

Viktor said...

I don't know what you should do. But I know what I would think about:
What decision would I regret later?

This is not a vote towards going, it is possible to do that and regret it too. I just find it easier to get my answers if I think of my actions in terms of regret instead of in terms of what actually happens. (Yeah, I should see a therapist.)

Professor J said...

That's a hard one. I'd probably ask my blog friends for advice.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Yeah, perhaps the bigger question is how will you both feel if you DON'T go?
And then the biggie: what Would you do if she got something?
Exciting stuff. I'd have to go.

She She said...

Some things you never get a second chance to do.

FlourGirl said...

You miss 100% of the shots you never take. (wayne gretsky--fitting, no?)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I think Mama Ava gives the best advice.

JFS in IL said...

Soon the child will be a teenage...who will forever hold it over your head that you ruined her chances by not going on this L.A. trip.

Think of it a a fun bonding time - could other adults spell you, so no one person is out there with Scarlett for more than a week? And - Calvert is a good homeschooling program used by many kids in the business. So kidlet need not miss any school (which would not be legally allowed anyway.)

I am from S. California - GO!

Jamie said...

Childless 20something here - so take my advice as that.

You can teach Scarlett one of 2 very important life lessons here.

1 - reach for the stars, to try and fail is a success on its own.
2 - You are not the center of the world, and while your wants and needs are important, so are everyone elses.

I say if it's doable without moving heaven and earth then go for it, but if it would turn your world upside down then tell Scarlett it just isn't feasible right now.

Heather said...

I think I would, if at all possible, give her this chance. What do you have to lose? and think of all she will gain even if it results in no jobs.

Casey said...

I agree with what many have said. If you can manage it without compromising life of you or the other family members.
My sister is a dancer. Asked to come to the LA as a teen. About 15years ago now. She left with a suitcase expectinig to be there a month. An aunt went with as my mom could not. She now travels the world dancing...teaching. She was born a dancer.
I vote take the chance unless your fam will melt because of it. If you say no, be prepared for your actress's reaction.

Minnesota Matron said...

You guys are amazing. Excellent comments and very helpful. I guess my fear is what Mama Ava said - making that commitment. Once we go down there, we would be prepared to say yes to work. It would be unprofessional to do otherwise. But how can I say no to my daughter's dream? Leaning toward not saying no . . .

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My input is that this is a family decision--where everybody's opinion counts. Yours and your husband's opinion may count a little more, but I would definitely not discount what Merrick and Stryker have to say.

I also agree with what Mama Ava said. I think the theatre is wonderful, but is there any young Hollywood actress whose life you want for your daughter?

Miss Grace said...

What if she goes and she gets cast? Are you going to move to L.A.?

If you're not willing to seriously see the adventure out through all possible outcomes, I'd say know. Otherwise go for it.

jenn said...

Do it. Go for it. Just don't do it because she might be the one to win that lottery. Do it for the life experience, for the chance to give her a tiny taste of this life she thinks she wants. Do it so that someday she can remember that you helped her to chase that dream, no matter what the ending. And while you're there, try to fit it some sights, some culture, and some really cool restaurants.

Common Household Mom said...

Ask how it will affect the entire family, including yourself, and your spouse. At about age 6 my daughter wanted to join a local theater school. It was a really good one that put on great performances (achieved by having intense practice schedules). But it would have meant dragging around her 2 younger siblings at all kinds of odd hours, and I wasn't willing to put myself or the other kids through it. That decision also saved me a bundle of money (although I have paid it to music teachers instead). For me it was about maintaining my own sanity, and providing some balance in the amount of attention and activities that each child (and my husband!) got.

blognut said...

I'm so not weighing in on this one. This decision is all your's to make, but I wish you the very best of luck with whatever you decide.

JCK said...

I loved what Jenn said. A family decision.

If you do come this way, we must meet! Maybe Jenn could drive up, and we could all get together.

Good luck in your decision!

Buckarooandco said...

Wow! What an opportunity for Scarlett!

Lots to think about, though.

What I would be doing is going through the scenario of "what if"?

What if she gets cast?

What if it's a starring role in a Disney sitcom?

What if it's a supporting role?

Short term for the auditions would be a great experience.

But the long term what if's-with a child whose talent and drive keeps surprising you-are where I would be tearing my hair out when there are 2 other children to consider.

I really wish you luck with this one!

And will be waiting with bated breath for the next Scarlett installment!

Karen ~ said...

I just read an article yesterday called (I think) Don't Turn Decision Making Into Problem Solving. Or maybe it was the other way 'round. Regardless - the advice it offered was when presented with a dilemma, too often people let the "how-tos" make the decision for them. The question to ask yourself is, "if all roadblocks were removed, what do I WANT?" and then once you know the answer to that, figure out the roadblocks. Don't let the roadblocks make the decision for you. (I am pretty sure what your decision would be if you follow that author's advice.)

Know that we are with you either way! (and I will try to find a link to the author of the article ... though I actually read it ON PAPER, not online.)

Erin said...

I vote for the journey.

Jennifer said...

Hmm...I rarely comment, but your question brought up something that we are currently struggling with, and I thought I would throw it into the mix of things to think about.

We've found, in our parenting of two kids, that they have very different needs. One of them tends to be much more high-maintenance. One of the pressures we face often is how to balance the needs AND the wants. While I think each kid is entitled to have all of their needs met to the extent possible, sometimes I feel like my low-maintenance, in-the-background kid gets left out of the decision making, i.e. "Am I present when I should be for him, and are there times I drop everything for him, like I do for his big brother?"

I guess I'm suggesting that you consider the entire family in this discussion. Are you willing to leave Merrick and Stryker behind at home while you follow Scarlett? I have no idea what the answer should be; I just know it would be something I would struggle with if we were talking about my family. (Then again, my family might jump at the chance as long as everybody could go....)

MJ said...

I read a book a while ago about" Five Secrets of Life", one of which was to live without regret. I wonder whether you, your famly and/or Scarlett would regret not taking this journey to see how she faired?

It seems necessary to take one step at a time. Auditions first, then decide if a role presents itself whether it is worth the effort (including compensation issues).

I know it is common for young teenage boys to be billeted out to families to play hockey or for both genders for immersion in another country. I can't see why Scarlett can't similarly be billeted out. I know it isn't optimal, but she could pursue her dreams and you yours, if that is what your family decides is best to do.

MJ said...

It is obvious I can't live with "what ifs" well. For example, what if my cast is removed on Tues: will my spelling/typing accuracy improve?

Minnesota Matron said...

MJ -- You capture my biggest concern perfectly. What is!

Zan said...

I know I'm a few days late to the game but I figured I'd just add a little perspective: My uncle is a fancy-pants Hollywood person and folks are always coming to stay at his house to see if they can "make it" in LA. I would say that even for those who end up going home to Iowa, New Hampshire, etc, I've never seen anyone regret having tried. I know it is a more complicated decision when it is a child but I say go for it.

Also, if it was my mansion in LA I'd definitely offer you two a place to stay. Alas I can't invite people to stay at my uncle's house on his behalf!