If you’re going to write something that is worth reading – then you will need either a good imagination or be fortunate enough that things just happen to you that are worth chronicling.
Sometimes I need to create a blog post. I mean actively look for inspiration during the week and hope that something occurs.
And occasionally something happens to me and the post practically writes itself. Like the one you are about to read.
This is possibly a perfect post, since it has all the essential ingredients… a big reveal (giving you an inside track), it is funny (no pressure, then) and the laughs are on me (yet again). As such, it might even go viral (by my standards). We shall see…
Last week I received a phone call on my mobile. This in itself, is quite a rare thing since most incoming communications are digital nowadays.
It was a call from a number not in my phone’s address book – but Apple helpfully suggested who it might be and so I took the call.
And indeed, it was my agent calling.
You might be wondering now why my agents phone number is not in my phone – as indeed was I when I answered.
Cursory pleasantries over, it was down to business. She was calling me about a potential job. An acting job no less. Am I available for dates in Feb, March and possibly beyond…
I didn’t say this of course. I said that I would need to check my busy diary first. I left it for a reasonable amount of time and then yes, by remarkable chance, I am free on said dates. Surely, a good omen and finally my big break?
I had been requested to audition for a new TV series that will be used to launch a new TV service around the world. A drama that is set to be massive and who knows, possibly a big break for the actors lucky enough to be involved.
The role I am reading for is a school teacher.
The email downloads and I print off the two pages - which I need to record myself reading on my iphone (how appropriate).
I need to read the dialogue and get in to a zone. I need to become the character. But then I read the lines and something occurs to me and I need to speak with Nikki. She’ll know.
Nikki, you know that TV series, the one that Paddy has been cast in?
Yes. What about it?
Is Paddy playing a school boy?
And so it is. I am auditioning to play the school teacher of my very own son. We all agree that this is funny. But I am the only one thinking of omens again.
I do the lines – with Paddy reading his actual character – and if I say so myself, I absolutely own it. I crush the lines. I send in the clips and the wait begins.
Anyone who has read Eclipsed, will know the outcome of this already – and might wish to stop reading this post now.
For those still with me, this week Paddy began filming said TV show and I still hadn’t heard anything. I check my phone, to make sure that my clips have actually been sent. They have. So I just need to be patient.
Nikki accompanies Paddy in to London for a rehearsal day with all nerves jangling while I stay at home to look after Tess and wait for my phone to ring. It doesn’t. I check the signal. It’s fine.
On their return, Paddy was tired but happy. It had gone well and this is a relief.
‘Hey dad, the teacher was there.’
So this is how I find out? No point in informing Dominic Holland because Paddy will tell him, surely?
And as if this is not cruel enough – my wife then weighs in with…
‘I can see why you didn’t get it Dom. The guy playing the teacher is young, tall and cool looking…’
Oh, thanks a lot.
But no disappointment on my part. I am no actor and have no ambitions as such and would only embarrass Paddy on set – which I do enough already when we are at home together.
This is a perfect outcome in fact. A funny turn in my funny life. The sort of episode that I collated for my book, Eclipsed – which I loved writing but I have no intentions of writing again whatever happens to my other boys.
Because the story has been established already and the lives/careers of Tom, Dom and all or any of the other three boys can be viewed, consumed and compared by anyone interested to do so.
Last night, we had some close friends to our house for dinner. Including a professional writer of some eminence (journalist) and much more successful than me. He asked me in a kindly manner and not to make a point,
“So, Dom, what are you up to these days?”
A question I have become used to – and which I usually fudge and cobble an answer to. Which is not so easy to get the balance right: That I am busy but admittedly with some spare capacity and that any disappointments I have are tempered in a glass half full sort-of-way. Sanguine being the overall tone and feel.
But I have no complaints though. Not really.
I write this hurriedly now – after a long dog walk and with a fuzzy head from the night before – and I have to hurry because we have a big day ahead in London.
Because today is the London premiere of Onward, the new Pixar film. My family are a full contingent of 6 (which is rare these days) and we will be joined by my mum, Nikki’s folks and other nieces, nephews, various uncles and aunts…
So, what I am up to, these days…
Continuing to be Eclipsed by my kids and enjoying every moment of it.
But that said, I would just to say that I would have been an awesome teacher.
So more fool these people who can’t see talent when it’s in front of their bloody eyes…
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