Jun 25 2008

The Fitting

…Was fun! There were four other boys there of various sizes; Robin was the youngest. He loved being part of the group and interacting with the older boys. He didn’t even mind the clothes-changing aspect: it was only three pairs of shorts, and he was so happily distracted by the presence of other children that he didn’t seem to mind it when I put them on or took them off.

There were a panel of five Gymboree representatives there.  They would examine each boy in his shorts and make notes about the fit.  The older boys seemed a little embarrassed by the scrutiny but Robin lapped it up.

The closest kid to Robin’s age was a todder named Zel, who was kind of hilarious.  He zeroed in right away on Robin’s toys.  Robin watched in calm, slightly baffled interest as Zel grabbed all his toys away.  I think he was really quite happy to watch what an older boy did with these things: sometimes he would pick up a toy just to hand it back to Zel.  Zel, for his part, at the urging of his mommy, was pretty good about sharing his own toys, although then I had to watch and make sure they didn’t go into Robin’s mouth.  But the whole delicate situation fell apart when Zel tried to hand Robin his pacifier.  While praising this as a very nice gesture, I showed Zel that Robin had his own pacifier.  Well!  This proved UNacceptable to Zel who immediately tried to grab it away.  And when the mommies thwarted this maneuver he had a total meltdown and had to be temporarily carried from the room.

Afterwards one of the Gymboree people told me that Robin had been really well behaved.  “But Zel was a nightmare,” the other one remarked.

“Oh well,” I said, “showbusiness types, you know?”

Jun 23 2008

The Go-See

…was a quick and easy affair. We went to the Gymboree offices: they’re nice, with a little play area in the lobby that Robin got pretty excited about—Gymboree knows how to make babies happy I guess. We met with the client (Gloria) and she took some measurements (which Robin interpreted as a new and interesting kind of game, possibly one called “Eat the Measuring Tape”). The gig in question is not any kind of an ad campaign but just a fitting—Gymboree wants to hire four models to come in and try on a bunch of clothes from their new product line, just to see how they look. Gloria said that Robin was “really a close match” to the size of child they’re looking for, so we’ll see.

I actually won’t be at all sorry if he doesn’t get the job. He still doesn’t really like having his clothes changed, so doing it over and over might not be fun for him. On the other hand he loves other children and being the center of attention, so maybe those aspects would be enough to compensate for all the dressing and undressing. I really can’t predict; we’ll just have to see.

Anyway it was a fun morning. The best part of it from Robin’s perspective was the lobby, but he enjoyed the walk over and “playing” with Gloria as well.

UPDATE: The agency just called—Robin booked the job. The actual gig is Wednesday morning and he’ll be paid $82.50 per hour. I have no idea how long it’s supposed to go but he’s certainly not going to tolerate more than an hour of having his clothes constantly changed.

I’m going to have to talk to our credit union about opening a savings account for Robin!

Jun 9 2008

The Talent

So we signed Robin’s contract with the talent agency and sent it back to them this weekend. We were sort of delayed in returning the paperwork because I also had to run around town obtaining a “Permit to Work in the Entertainment Industry” for him, which basically allows us to not run afoul of child labor laws.

Anyway the contract is pretty funny. Robin (“hereinafter referred to as TALENT”) was instructed to note whether or not he was willing to work nude; whether he was willing to appear alongside tobacco or alchohol products; and whether he was okay with furs or lingerie. The TALENT was also instructed to rate, on a numbered scale, his level of skill in several dozen categories that included things like dancing, sports, horseback riding, sharpshooting, and fencing. Honesty compels me to report that the TALENT rates abysmally in every single category.

The TALENT’s actual, er, talents include the following:

* Producing a trilling noise by rolling his tongue

* Pulling himself up to a standing position with the aid of various pieces of furniture, chiefly the sofa

* Sticking his fingers into people’s mouths and, upon successful execution of this maneuver, chortling with delight

* Chewing and swallowing fairly large chunks of foods, such as bananas or soft breads

But none of these appeared on the contract.

The agency also wanted us to send in some pictures suitable for use as publicity photos, so I set up two impromptu photo shoots, one at the park and one in our bedroom. Here are the results:

I put larger versions of all these photos up on Flickr, so that should hold you people for a little while.

Oh and also I had a birthday this week; it was lovely, and I got many splendid gifts, so thank you all for your kind words and thoughtful presents.

May 23 2008

Professionally Cute

So we just got a call from the modeling agency saying they would like to offer Robin representation. He’s nine months old and he has an agent! Hilarity!

The way this works, apparently, is with very little notice. We’ll get a phone call for a booking the next day. So I have no idea when his first job might be, but I will be sure to give you all the details when it happens.

I’m pleased, of course, that the cuteness of my baby has been independently verified by a professional agency. But I didn’t really need the validation: I get plenty of it everywhere I go. Last Friday the boy and I were in a restaurant and a man came up to us to say “Excuse me, I just have to tell you—usually I don’t even like babies but that one—that one is really cute.” At which point the lady behind the counter chimed in: “That’s because most babies aren’t like that one! Most babies cry and scream!”

I did not tell her that Robin does those things too, because right at that moment he was giving his best starry-eyes-and-six-toothed-smile to the busboy, who had completely given up on bussing anybody’s table in favor of making silly faces at Robin and tickling his toes. So I held court over my little corner of the restaurant, feeling basically like the mother of the Dauphin.

Right now the Dauphin is crawling around under the table making little shrieking sounds, so I think it may be time to check His Highness’s stinky butt. After all good skin care is essential for a working model!

May 17 2008

No Biz Like Showbiz

The group casting call was packed with children and parents—SOME people chose to ignore the advisory that only one parent per child was invited. But everybody was really nice. I sat next to a mom from Berkeley with a boy only a few months older than Robin, who was, like me, doing the whole thing on a complete whim. Robin’s new favorite thing in the whole world is other children, so he was in heaven. He smiled at everybody while we waited, played in his own limited way with any other small person who came near (mostly by reaching for them and, if allowed, patting them gently), and grinned like a loon as soon as a camera was pointed in his direction. I think he charmed the socks off the talent scout. She interacted with him a little; asked me some questions about his development (whether he scootches, crawls, sits, etc.: the answers are respectively yes, no, and yes); snapped a couple pictures; then told me he was very cute and friendly and that we’d hear back by Friday.

I have no big expectations, but we had fun today, and I think Robin did as well as could be asked.

May 6 2008

You Outta Be in Pictures

So, after having I-don’t-know-how-many people come up to me off the street and say “Is that baby a model? He should be in catalogs!” I actually started to look into the weird world of baby modeling. As far as I can tell it’s not the sort of thing that would pay for a college education: it seems more common for babies to earn like fifty dollars a day, so it’s something done mostly for fun and the pride of seeing your kid’s face in a magazine.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I actually sent off some snapshots to a talent agency, and guess what? When I got home today there was a message asking me to bring Robin in for a casting call on the 17th. Now’s my chance to metamorphose into a horrifying stage mom!