This was a crazy 3 weeks. Last November we submitted my 10-year old actor son Bruno for a role on a television show. It was originally to be called Fresh Off the Boat, based on the life of Eddie Huang. Ironically our agent usually tells us to “tone it down” because my boys have a reputation of behaving too gangster-rappish (probably because we come from D.C. and in our home, go-go and hip hop prevail). But in this instance, the role was perfect for Bruno because it was about a kid from D.C. who moves to Orlando and finds his way through hip-hop.
We didn’t hear anything about the role so we figured it was a no-go. Bruno and my other actor/model son, Wolfe (age 6) are used to being on hold and not getting the gig. Of course it’s especially nice to hear yes—but when it happens, they still know they have to take out the trash, go to school, do homework and have their mom yell at them for playing too much video games.
So it was a normal week until Wolfe had to be in New York for a modeling gig on Tuesday, Bruno was called in for a screen test in Los Angeles on Wednesday and Wolfe needed to be in Miami on Thursday—thus the chaos began in which I spent as much time being a bathroom chaperone as a stage mom.
In Los Angeles, Bruno auditioned and then hung out with some of the kids he met. To him, auditioning is no big deal; during the summer he performs in front of hundreds and he’s used to it. From there we took the red-eye to Miami because Wolfe had a job for a cruise line for 8 days. Thus I hopped on a big boat and on our return, we found out Bruno got a callback (second audition) in L.A. We literally had one hour in between flights when we arrived at Dulles Airport in Virginia to get back on a plane to the West Coast.
By this time, we thought the LA role had already been cast but once again, Bruno gave it his all and then we headed back home. One thing about my boys, they are professionals and when the camera is on and they always do their best.
Ultimately Bruno didn’t get the part but we were happy for the boy who was cast because he is a friend’s son. I only recently started reading his father’s blog—but was truly disappointed and found it amazingly rude when I read,
Huang says that he and the producers were looking for a kid who was ‘irreverent’ but also a normal, everyday kid. ‘Hudson had a natural kind of orneriness to him… He didn’t seem to care [about getting the role]. The other kids were way too excited to be there. Hudson is comfortable in his own skin, and he’s not overeager to please..
This observation came as a surprise, and it was especially strange because if anyone seemed “excited” it was the parents of the young man who got the role, as they were taking pictures of everything. Everyone else was sitting around, doing the normal thing as they probably do every day and in my opinion it was the reverse.
We didn’t really care that Bruno didn’t get the part because we all had lots of fun in Los Angeles, including when we were lost on the Fox Studio lot, and he was doing his thing making everyone he met laugh. He thought Kelsey Grammer was the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island, and with his crazy smile he got directions from “Schmidt” (from the show New Girl) and actor Leonardo Nam from The Perfect Score directed us back to our car.
Of course it would have been nice if Bruno had gotten the part, but I am proud of him for a hard week of planes (and more planes) and having to catch up with homework. Our family believes that when one of our children books a job it was meant to be, and when they don’t you move on. Particularly in a business where they deal with rejection every day, my kids have learned that this is part of the business and if they want to continue, they must be patient and consider acting in the same way they do their “real life” of soccer, friends, relatives, homework and school and their lovely job of taking out the trash and yelling at their sisters to do the laundry so they can have socks and underwear to wear.
There will be something that will come up which will be perfect for them–and life goes on.