We live close to Hollywood. Right here in film land, where we often see T.V. shows and movies being filmed in our own town and street. When we moved here a year ago from up north I instantly recognized the pervasiveness of the entertainment industry. Walking into a local movie rental place, I couldn't even find Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Everything was organized by directors and actors and screen writers and by the caterers who fed those actors. It was all way out of my movie knowledge league. An attack of Junior High Inferiority hit me and I felt asking for the "comedy section" there would be akin to ordering Mac'n'Cheese at the Essex House, so I glanced around and mirrored the actions of those around me, deliberately picking up DVD cases and nodding with furrowed brows, then shuffling to another shelf to repeat, until I made it to the front and asked quietly for my movie choice, waiting for a smug rebuke. Turns out, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels isn't so passe.
Anyway, my point is, we're kinda out of it. But in another way, we are soooo in. In a place where so many are doing EVERYTHING they can to turn heads, we evoke head pivots constantly. If you ever crave attention and desire fish bowl living, move to LA and have 4 kids, ages 5 and under. We get stared at relentlessly. Granted, most of those stares are not the result of Pitt-Jolie type adoration. But we are, apparently, entertaining.
"Are all of those YOURS?"
Maybe it's just entertaining to watch me try and handle them all at the Target checkout, with a crying baby in one arm, and a 3 and 5 year old picking up each candy from the smartly marketed candy display and asking repeatedly if we can buy, while I pull out purchase items tucked under the sides of the baby's car seat in the cart (I was certain he would sleep the whole time). Meanwhile, I am interrupted every ten seconds to save my envious 2 year old who is watching the older kids at the candy and asking to get down while precariously climbing out of her shopping cart throne. (A quick aside--shopping cart "seat belts" are a joke. They've never held one of my kids in. I could spend some serious money shopping at any store featuring carts with at least 3 seats, each with 5-point harness straps and a helmet. Oh, and little DVD players.) I say in complete seriousness that I RARELY make it through a shopping trip without inquiries on the ages of the kids, and even their names. After a really good show, one wants to see the credits.
Maybe we SHOULD get paid for all the entertainment we are providing. A couple of weeks ago I got an offer from a talent seeker/manager lady in line behind me at Old Navy. She handed me her card and told me the kids should do commercials. "If you can handle shopping with all 4 of them, you would make a great stage mom," she said.
I laughed and told her that I had them on a 5 to 10 minute bribing schedule. They would receive a candy at each increment if they hadn't run away or hid in any clothing racks. I waited for her look of surprise and disapproval. But she just blinked and again urged me to have them audition. I guess my bribing techniques fit right in with the "stage parent" mentality. We'll do whatever it takes to get them to perform.
In the end, I deliberately let Lindsey play with the talent scout's business card, resulting in it's certain destruction. Not only did commercial auditions with 4 kids sound like complete torture, but she really didn't pitch it right. She failed to compliment my kids and speak of their unusual and breathtaking beauty. How could I trust HER to be a good manager and bring our family into it's justified and looming fame? Move over Spears family, here we come.