Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pilot Season: The Decision

Drum roll . . .. .

First, the Matron must thank each dear reader for her (and sometimes his) wisdom. She read every-single-word.

There is a decision.

After reading all the comments here and at The Women's Colony, talking with friends and stumbling across this sobering web site, the Matron and her husband settled on “not yet” instead of ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Why? The odds seem so firmly stacked against a child actually landing a role that one must view the pilot season as an eight week holiday in California with the occasional audition tossed in. And then you go home. Indeed, Scarlett’s agent said as much. This agent is reputable (you’d recognize her roster of stars), successful, and honest. She pretty much told the Matron that a parent should view this primarily as a cultural excursion with the very slim chance of employment at the end. Now, the Matron is all about culture and excursion, but it seems that she can get that juju for about ten bucks at the Minnesota Institute of Art instead of for 10 grand and complete family upheaval. Speaking of family, the two children left behind also entered the equation, as did the parental long term goals for the children. Those long term goals? To produce good citizens, adults who will make the world a better place for their presence. Perhaps Scarlett will do that through art and acting – who knows. But being a kid on a pilot show just didn’t seem a direct route to stellar citizen.


Even so.

The parental unit came to , ‘not yet’ with a tiny little caveat. They needed to discuss the matter with Scarlett. Of course, it was tempting to simply not mention the LA invitation at all. But untenable. Three of the diva’s colleagues from previous shows were going to LA and everyone knew who had been invited. It’s a small community that way and the Matron didn’t want Scarlett to hear third-hand that she had been invited to LA and that her parents declined on her behalf without consultation. Plus - -and here’s the caveat – if Scarlett was DYING to go, had her crusty thespian heart staked on trying for television fame, the parents would revisit the issue, considering the daughter’s heartfelt, deepest desire. And if ever fiber in Scarlett’s being screamed that LA was the path for her?

That would suck. Because then they might actually do it because they really do believe in following the dream (within reason and that’s why it’s so darn complicated).

John and the Matron fretted and planned about how to best consult Scarlett. They worried. Wrinkled brow, wringing hands and furtive whispers. They conversed about how and when to broach the topic and how to handle all the various forks in the path. In short, they worried. Until two days ago at breakfast when Scarlett slurped through a second bowl of Fruit Loops and said, “Have you guys thought about the LA thing?”

Matron (instantly aware that Scarlett knew EVERYTHING somehow): “What LA thing?”

Scarlett: “Going to pilot season. Don’t you know that my agent sent me that email message too?”

No, Scarlett, your parents had no idea. Said disorientation is emblematic of why pilot season and an eleven year old might not be a good idea.

But the Matron is quick on her feet.

Matron: “Actually, I didn’t know that. What do you think? Do you want to go?”

Scarlett: “Not really. I want to stay here and audition for the next SteppingStone show because they’re traveling to New York. So I think this isn’t a good year for pilot season. Plus, there’s school and other shows to audition for. I don’t think I’m really that interested in television. If it was a movie, that would be good but TV isn’t really for me right now.”

Decision, done.

Friends? The Matron cannot tell you the extent of her relief—and great gratitude at the wisdom of this child.

And the Matron kept these few facts to herself. The SteppingStone show that Scarlett wants to audition for is set in China. People who live there are Chinese. Scarlett is not. And word is that over 300 children are planning to audition for 7 spots.

New Stage Mother episode ahead, that's for sure.


Anonymous said...

I suspect that, given her talent, Scarlett can be Chinese if she wants to. Whatta kid!

Karen Jensen said...


Anonymous said...

You're raising her right and there's the proof!
But I'm a teensy bit worried about the agent sending her the same e-mail and you not knowing... was it a blind cc? That would bother me.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That website is sobering indeed.

I do wonder about the same thing kcinnova did--it would bother me to think the agent was communicating directly with my child. What if Scarlett had a completely different reaction than the one she did?

Anonymous said...

I'm with Jenn & KCinnova--the agent emails the child? Kind of weird.
But I'm glad this decision was easy in the end and no one left the table upset.

MidLifeMama said...

I am glad it resolved itself without a lot of gnashing of teeth etc. Is the next show The King and I? Technically that is Siam I guess.

Anonymous said...

I kind of get the concern of the agent sending her an email directly. BUT it is HER career, her agent so it makes sense to me that she would be included.
I just think it is odd that the Matron was unaware that would be the case. You would think the agent would fill ya in on something like that.

Suburban Correspondent said...

I knew she wouldn't be too into TV. She's a stage-and-(big)screen type.

jenn said...

A very wise decision all around. You're doing something (actually many things) right by that child for her to be so grounded at age 11.

JFS in IL said...

You have one smart, head-on-her-shoulders little actress there. She want to ACT, she is not into it for the potential of Hollywood fame and fortune. Kudos to Scarlett!!!

Mama Ava said...

Ms. Matron. WE live in China--we very white Minnesotans. Along with about 350,000 expats in Beijing alone. Many of whom are also white. And Minnesotan. So it logically follows that any show about China set in China can obviously have white Minnesotans in it! So Scarlett's in, I figure.

MJ said...

Hurrah! Tragedy averted! What an unexpected ending! I'm sure everyone feels relieved!

Dorrie said...

Scarlett is wise beyond her years. She must have an old soul. As a parent, you must find some comfort in that. I know I would. A lot of non-Chinese actors have played Chinese characters. Look at Mickey Rooney in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.