In fifth grade, I learned to love books. No, I mean seriously-- books were my daily dose of glorious imagination captivation--delving into the stories of people from someone's mind that were a lot like me--insecure, determined, youthful, and in pursuit of something amazing.
|My son R.|
My kids are a lot like me--minus asking their teachers for leftover book orders.
When the opportunity arose to actually go to the Scholastic building for a paid gig--I was over-the-moon ecstatic (as you can assess from my last post). I felt like Charlie Bucket going into the chocolate factory for the first time. I tried really hard to look at everything and just absorb the moment. The red flag waving a welcome, the kindly security doorman, the amazingly decorated tree and goodness underneath, the brightly colored rooms and the stunning auditorium. It was like my daughter once told me, "Dreams do come true!"
I walked into the auditorium with the golden floors and the red seats all folded up in a modern-looking way and then down to the stage with its signature red curtains and lights blaring onto the green screen. Did I mention that I've always wanted to do something on a green screen--because it can take you anywhere--digitally.
Director and Make-up Lady
The director, Rick, and the make-up lady, Caroline, were down at the front and they looked surprised when they saw me. Call me corny, but I imagined they were surprised because when I walked in I imagined a bright beam of light streaming from my face right into their minds--so they could immediately grasp my excitement. Mostly, they seemed momentarily stunned--I guess my excitement light was too bright.
The director came and gave the make-up person to "tame this"--pointing at my head and I had moment of attempted to cover-up terror-- and then he added, "all these fly-aways." Whew, that's a relief!
The director (Rick, I think) asked, "Did you bring any other clothes for your son? He's wearing green. He won't show up on the screen."
"Oh, I wasn't aware he was going to be filmed," I said.
Back story 2
In the mad dash to get everyone to school and I just got T (my 3-year-old) into some clothes he would actually wear. He's on a serious outerwear strike lately and his wardrobe of acceptable clothing to wear has dwindled to three shirts (two of which are identical) and two pairs of pants, which are about three inches too short. And summertime shoes--ugh. I choose to pick my battles carefully and my theory until this morning was that when he gets cold he'll be glad to wear different clothes. My theory is changing. Again.
Gratefully these women, Anna Hemphill; (the girl in the middle who's name temporarily escapes me with great photography tips; and Jenn; knew precisely what to do. They ran up to another department and borrowed some shirts. [Thank you very much for doing that!] They showed him these lovely shirts and he acted indifferent to all of them. Yeesh! Then they picked one and he literally ran to the other side of the room.
Silently praying in my head that I would know how to get him to wear the chosen shirt I began to do the pretend-the-shirt-has-a-personality-and-a-voice thing and he came close enough for me to remove the shirt he was wearing and put the new one one while playing hide and seek. Then we all complemented him on the shirt. This was all while I was getting make make-up and fly-aways fixed [mental pat on the back].
Then we zipped down to the green screen. The sound guy gave me a mic and I turned around to modestly install it. Modest is hottest, right?! Caroline, the make-up diva, came and gave me a touch-up (another check on my dream list--the pre-film touch-up).
Then they fed me lines to say "like you are talking to your son, with animation." Only thing is--it was all about thanking my mom. Something about thanking my 3-year-old son for being a good mom, just didn't set right in my head so I chose to think of the camera as my mom and I meant every word.
"Thank you mom for teaching me to love others." "Thank you for teaching me to cook."
They asked me to think of the things my mother taught me. . . I thought this thing was only supposed to last an hour--that question could take all day. I picked a few out of my mental hat and spouted thank you's to the camera.
In My Head Filming Back Story
Then they asked for a specific time that meant a lot to me and I thought of the hours my mom reading to us in the car and then having us read and hearing my dad's voice say, "Loud and fast, read loud and fast."
Or the time that we spent all morning cleaning and grumbling and afterward Mom took us out to the back yard and poured a pitcher of water on us starting the most momentous water fight I can remember--and there were a lot of water fights. I can still hear her laughter in my head from that day.
But I settled for the image in my head of all my family gathered around the piano singing and laughing together while my mother played the piano. . . good times.
They asked T to give me a kiss. He did. Then he gave me a good hug. Then he kissed both sides of my face several times.
M.E.M. (Most Embarrassing Moment)
Then they asked him, "What do you like about your mother?"
He buried his face in my shoulder.
"Tommy, I prodded. What do you like about me?"
He turned his face out to the audience and said loudly, "I don't like you!"
I accidentally rolled my eyes. Talk about pressure. My mind was hollering, "NOOOOOOooooooo! I did NOT teach him that. Regroup. Regroup!!!!"
I did not regroup enough to have him apologize--which I would have if I had the presence of mind, but at that moment I was just intent upon the dismissal of potential future insults. [So if you were there and reading this, please consider yourself apologized to by a three-year-old and his mother].
They said, "Can you tell your mom you love her?"
Again his face was buried in my shoulder. Then entered the bribery.
"T," I whispered, "If you can do this then you and I can go get something special, just the two of us, right after we're done."
That did it. "I love you, Mom," he muttered.
"Can you say it louder?" they asked.
"I love you MOM!"
"Do you want to see yourself on camera?" they asked T.
We walked down and looked at the screen. It was an eye-opening experience. I was not prepared for the immediate self fault-finding I found myself doing as I watched myself roll my eyes at the M.E.M. Note to self: When they offer to let you see yourself on film remember that sometimes ignorance is bliss--though I learned a lot about myself in that ten seconds.
Is that how it is for everyone when they first see themselves on screen in front of filming professionals? I could swear I had a lot more personality. I looked awkward, but I felt perfectly calm and composed for the majority of the time.
After that we gathered our stuff, returned the microphone and went to get our stuff from the lobby of the auditorium where another mom was getting ready.
The Scholastic Store
Then we got our gift certificate and went to the Scholastic store. That place is seriously kid heaven. . . toys and books every where--It is amazing! I got a few Christmas presents and we went home exhausted.
This may shock you but it will not be a major motion picture. In fact, it is likely you will not even get to see it. It's going to be an internal magazine sponsor viewed clip only--isn't that cool? It's like an exclusive club. If you'd like to see it you'll have to be an advertiser in Scholastic Parent & Child magazine.
Can you feel my mental excitement beam of light? It's shining right at you. :D [That emote is me smiling at you like I'd just told you this whole story in person].
Thank you Anna, Jenn, Photography Tipster, Danni, Caroline, Rick, Sound guy, and Camera Man. I really enjoyed the experience!
Thank you Emily and Whitney for telling me about it.