I’m two days late but the sentiment is still strong, so thought of putting it down in ink — had the worst case of the Mondays in a long time!
My agent got in touch with me last Friday about a modeling gig with Wells Fargo and asked if my son and husband were available too. I should have said “no” to the latter two but thought it might just work because Virj and I did a Wells Fargo shoot last year. Soam was just not interested but he had to take us for the go-see on Monday anyway because I usually can’t manage Virj by myself especially when I have to look professional at the same time.
So on Monday morning we managed to get ready on time and headed to the Nancy Hayes casting office in San Francisco. The first hurdle was to find the place. We spent a lot of time wandering around the industrial area in Upper Mission looking for the building and realized that the address provided by my agent was (slightly) wrong — she misspelled the street name, so Google Maps gave us wrong directions. Once at the spot, Soam dropped us off and disappeared for half an hour to look for parking, a scant resource in most of SF but more so here. In the meantime, I tried to get Virj settled in the waiting area. The entrance opened into a small room that had two sign up sheets, one for SAG and union actors, and the second for non-union talent. There was a pile of blank forms/fact sheets the all talents were required to fill up and take with them to the casting. The adjoining door opened into the second waiting area, a loft surrounded by rooms/studios and a flight of stairs leading up to their office. There were 4 or 5 large conference tables with chairs where well-dressed men and women sat reading out of printed sheets, which I realized later were scripts. Apparently, there was a parallel casting going on for Amtrak. So, one of the studios were reserved for that and the other for Wells Fargo. There were computers against one of the walls, where actors were registering with their information.
Virj sat down for all of half a second and then he was off wandering around the place. First he assaulted each table picking up pens and papers, then pulling chairs, shutting off computers, opening doors and walking into the various studios, kitchen, bathroom. Finally he climbed up the stairs to the office. I ran after him but all I did was get into a struggle and screaming war while everybody stared at me. Everyone was very nice and friendly but I felt so out of place and absolutely unprofessional. There I was dressed up to the nines but running up and down in my heels trying to stop my kid from sliding down the stairs. I realized it was a bad decision to bring Virj. I decided to wait for Soam and not go in for the audition when called in. It would be impossible for me to handle Virj by myself. Meanwhile, a Chinese American couple zipped in and out of the audition with a sleeping kid in a stroller. Sigh.
Inside the studio, once again it was impossible to make Virj stand on the “T” and pose for the cameras. We had a couple of pictures taken together and then separately. On the way out, I had to fill our information into the computers while Soam waited in the car with Virj. Besides the usually height, weight and age information, the online form had a three-page section on special skills that included Horse riding, Dancing – Tap, Scuba diving and Dreadlocks. Had no idea that was considered a skill! Unfortunately, my skills were limited to Yoga and Aerobics but I thought of putting in dreadlocks for Virj, though eventually I missed that in a hurry 🙁 There was also a section on languages, which had options like British accent and Irish accent. I did not quite understand the section on Cars — a list of all the makes you owned, I suppose. Since I was in a rush, I left that blank.
It was a very exhausting affair and needless to say, we don’t expect a call back –- who would want to cast a rambunctious kid with a frazzled mom! I swore that I would never take Virj for a go-see again. Virj had modeled in the past and does well in candid shots. In all his previous gigs, he was cast based on his photos and never had to audition for it. The last project he did a month ago was in the outdoors where he got to play in the park for a while and warm up before the shoot. The photographer was also very experienced with kids especially having four boys of her own and she managed to make Virj follow instructions. The second lesson for me was never to work with him in a photo shoot till he grew older and could communicate with me.
To sweeten the memory, I’m including two pictures of Virj from his last photo shoot with Nohi Kids. A proof that he does great when he’s not up to mischief.