During courtroom dramas, we are familiar with expert witnesses. People who are called to give their expert opinion, most usually on something medical or technical. I know a chap who makes his living as an expert witness on road collisions.
I can’t imagine a court case where I would be called for my opinion. Indeed, I am not sure if I have any expert opinions on anything. My greatest experience in life is show business and on this subject I would say that I am - at best - hazy.
During this lockdown that no one could ever have envisaged, just getting through each day is becoming a feat of endurance. Our phones serve as a useful distraction but ultimately they are part of the problem as we waste our time in frivolous pursuits which are likely only to add to our sense of despair.
Like yours, my phone pings (or vibrates) all day – mostly with notifications of a new meme or video which might be a waste of time viewing but there is only way to find out and spirits often dampen even further.
Am I alone in allocating black marks next to contacts for sharing insufficiently funny stuff and wasting my precious time?
Yesterday, I got a flurry of notifications about my son and I was reminded perfectly of my limited expertise in show business.
At the time I had never heard of Lip Sync Battle and aside from the $10k fee that Tom was allocating to The Brothers Trust, I couldn’t really see an upside.
I have no musical bent at all and I tend to be highly cynical about our vaunted music industry and its impact on culture and in particular on our young people. Channel surfing a few days ago, I happened to catch a gruesome trailer for a TV show called something like, Teen Mums and my spirits plummeted. I venture that teenage pregnancy is not a problem very often encountered by the highly paid executives of MTV who make this show.
Furthermore, I am allergic to karaoke or anything that resembles it and this was a further reason against.
Tom was in LA and missing home.
I am vague on the timings here but I think he had appeared in Civil War and had made Homecoming but it had yet to be released.
And so, he doesn’t need to do anything as stressful as this Lip Sync Battle and this was before he told me that Rhianna was to be his target. I had heard of Rhianna but I needed to Google the song and you can imagine my reaction.
Tom was tired. The rehearsals were arduous and he was under some considerable pressure - as was I at the time, on the golf course and between a soft 7 or a hard 8.
I listened to my son and his very understandable concerns. I put my 7 iron back in my bag, figuring that is easier to hit something hard.
He had agreed to the show and he didn’t want to let anyone down.
His ‘people’ in LA were all agreed that it was a good thing to do – and the same goes for the producers of the show.
But I don’t give a stuff about his ‘people’ or these producers – and so I did something I have never done before in Tom’s short but already long career.
His people might know more than me about show business (and note my use of the word, might). But I know more than all of them about life. I am older than them and I have been round the block a few times and now it was time for them to reckon with me and…
….my executive decision.
“Don’t do it, Tom. Walk away man, seriously.”
‘But Dad, it’s all scheduled.’
“So what? Let em find someone else. You're in LA, right. The place is stuffed with wannabes, happy to pull on a bra and suspenders.”
I don’t know how long this sage advice was ever dwelt on or mulled over.
And of course, we all know the outcome.
Tom did not take the option bravely laid out for him by his dad.
He did the show and he duly won. To date, it is the highest viewed episode of all time – and people regularly tell me that it is their favourite thing that Tom has ever done – which must be galling for the producers at Marvel to read. (I am confident that they don't read this blog btw).
Unanimously, Tom’s appearance was a huge success. His dance training surprising everyone to create a resounding hit – and from time to time, even I have been known to add to the YT views of the clip and I smile broadly whenever I do.
And so, thank goodness he didn’t listen to me. I suppose I should be flattered that he still ever seeks out my advice – albeit rarely - and always with a waiver that he can ignore whatever pearl I have for him.
And very wise, he is, too.
Comments welcome of when with the best of intentions, you have profoundly called something wrong. Surely, no one can beat me?
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