Sunday, 15 November 2015

Playing Mommy Dearest

I’m not what you would call “maternal”.  Please don’t ask me to hold your baby, because I don’t really know how. In fact, the last time a child was put in my hands (at church no less) I was so startled that I stood awkwardly holding the child at arm's length. It was immediately removed from me as a women proclaimed:

“You need to practice with a doll first”.

As a recently married women my husband and I often get asked when we’re planning on a starting a family.
Not any time soon.

Which made last week particularly interesting. Upon arriving at a casting I was told to “pair up” with a seven year old girl. The casting director spoke to the group at large:

“Ladies, talk to your new daughter. Let them get comfortable with you so that you both give a good performance”. 

The role was for the mother of the little girl. Fortunately the kid I got paired up with was extremely chatty. Upon introducing herself to me she looked me square in the eye and asked quite seriously, as if I knew him personally:

“Do you know what’s happening with Justin Bieber?”

I professed that although I didn’t know him personally I had heard some of his new music.

“No” She was insistent that he was up to no good and was definitely not making new music. This was not up for debate.

“I hear that he’s either taking drugs or he’s in Mexico”

I wasn’t exactly sure how to respond to all of this. Fortunately I didn't need to.

"Do you see that girl there" she asked pointing across the room.

"She's in my school. Last week she had a sugar rush and went sort of loopy. Then she drank a whole one of those" she changed from pointing to the girl to a five liter water bottle. The conversation then changed to another topic. My contribution to the conversation wasn't much more than iterations of "Really", "Is that so" or "Why is that?"

My first fully formed sentence when I got home to my husband?

“I have no idea how to talk to children.”

My words were barely out before I received another email from my agent. I had a casting the very next morning. To play a pregnant woman.

That evening we had friends over. As I unlocked the front door to our home a weird scream traveled through the air of our complex. Not being aware of any kids close to us I was rather confused about the source of the sound.

“Was that a cat?”

“No Chandré. That was a baby. You are CLEARLY ready for motherhood.”

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