Hollywood came a knockin’ on our door just the other day. Knocking…Literally…in the form of a beautiful TV star acquaintance we met in our neighborhood. Gorgeous starlet presented our handsome five-year-old son Jett with a seemingly golden ticket to stardom. The kind people hope for all their lives. She asked us if Jett could perform a stint as an actor for an upcoming prime time show’s pilot she was producing. Jett’s character is a lead. The task was relatively simple- our son was to pretend to wake up from a nightmare screaming “Mommy! Mommy”. Easy enough, especially since Jett delights in screaming for Mommy to startle me every time I walk in a door. Happy husband and I can hear the sound of college funds, and we are relieved. Our spawn is special! The lead! My son can go to Harvard and I can go to Aruba!
As I pop a bottle of Champagne in my brain, it occurs to me we left out one small detail. Does Jett want to do it? We ask. Quite clearly, he says “No”. “No?” “No, filming” he says, without missing a beat. “Don’t want to”, he declares. Is this the kid that howls with delight at my Flipcam? We ask him to just give it a try. “Please? Mommy wants a Hermes jacket.” Jett gives me a kiss and says “no filming, no thank you”.
Good parents that we are, we say yes and take Jett anyway. We tell him…“let’s see, let’s be curious like Curious George”. We arrive to quintessential Hollywood..many producers, camera’s and a craft service table (“look honey, licorice”). Our son plays with toys, eats pizza and Red Vines, but won’t change his mind…”no filming, no thank you.”
The stage was set, the lights were shining, people and expensive cameras all around…waiting for our beautiful son’s debut. I get in bed with him to show him what to do. He does it with me, but as soon as I go, he gets up to go too. Uh, oh.
We tried several times. Several takes. Several more times. I look around and start calculating their production budget. I can smell the money burning. More uh, oh. It’s starting to hit me, he’s really not going to do it.
Call us bad parents, but we begged him to complete the task just this one time, promising that he would never have to film again. No dice. We offer extra sessions of Angry Birds at home (yup, less than 2 hours in show-business and we’re sucking up to our own kid). Still no dice. Jett stuck to his guns, refusing our offer and furthermore his golden ticket into the entertainment industry. To Jett, all that glitters is not gold, and he clearly has no interest in the situation.
People always say to “follow your heart,” and for our son, this meant ending his Hollywood career before it even started. Show business? More like no business.
We left the set with our heads hung low. Bad news, no college fund. Good news, we’re pretty certain our kid will not wind up the subject of an E! True Hollywood Story. Well, except this one.