This really happened…

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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…

“Am I?”

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?

Yes!

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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18 Comments

  1. Ellen L February 23, 2020
    Reply

    This is amazing ! At least from these moments of being eclipsed you get to tell some funny stories for us to read! I’m currently at a dance competition, my sister has been dancing, singing and acting all half term. I used to dance but found a passion in film. When I’d do ballet, tap etc exams as I’m older I was a couple grades ahead of her and I always got a Merit (middle mark) and every single time my sister would do it 2 years later, she would would get Distinction (highest mark)! So I know how you feel! But I’m really proud of her, she’s done so well this competition unlike me with my two left feet! I hope you have a good week! Love, Ellen ❤️Xxxx

    • MJ February 23, 2020
      Reply

      It is so heartwarming to know that you’re all together for the premiere of Onward. It must be hard to not have your kids come home every night. I miss them when they go for a sleepover!
      Anyway, I am positive you would’ve been a great Mr Edwards but there’s probably better parts on the horizon for you .
      Enjoy your family time!

  2. Pamela February 23, 2020
    Reply

    Another heartfelt blog! Best of luck to Paddy on his new show! How fun to have all of the family attending the premiere! Looking forward to Onward myself! I would give anything to bring back my dad for 24 hours! Sadly since I was so young when I lost him, I don’t remember anything about him! And yes, you would have been an amazing Mr. Edwards!!

  3. Regina February 23, 2020
    Reply

    This post could very easily have been the prologue to Eclipsed The Sequel. As such, I saw what was coming and enjoyed every minute of it. (Because of it’s perfect comedy obviously……I was routing for your casting as the school teacher) Congrats to Paddy! I didn’t know he’d followed in his brother’s footsteps. And of course congrats to Tom for another success.

  4. Jen MacDonald February 23, 2020
    Reply

    Hi Dom, yes I’m sure you would have made a great Mr Edwards. Shame! However, a huge congratulations to Paddy and can’t wait to see it when it airs.

  5. Pamela February 23, 2020
    Reply

    Heartfelt blog! Congratulations to Paddy on his new show! How exciting to have all of the family attending the premiere of Onward! I’m looking forward to Onward myself! I would give anything to spend 24 hours with my dad. Since I was so young when I lost him, I don’t remember anything about him! And yes, you would have made an amazing Mr. Edwards!!

  6. Paul February 23, 2020
    Reply

    Funny!!! So your diary may not be overflowing with appointments, and you may have missed out on being Mr. Edwards. Next time you’re asked what you’ve been up to, say your happy and content being the best son, husband, father, and dog walker in SW London. And besides, you didn’t want the role of “Monty”s teacher anyway. You’re holding out for a more Oscar/Emmy/BAFTA worthy role.

  7. Ceol February 23, 2020
    Reply

    Aww…and here I was looking forward to being able to see your acting chops on screen. Some of those boys’ talent must be genetic. Oh well, I guess I’ll wait for the day you tour your comedy in Canada. -_-

    • Esther He February 25, 2020
      Reply

      So glad to hear Paddy landed a job. I can’t wait to see it.

  8. Erin Hayward February 23, 2020
    Reply

    Aw Dom. Sorry to hear you didn’t get the part, but don’t lose hope! There’s always something else out there for you, and I hope Paddy is enjoying his role in it so far!
    Hope everyone enjoys/enjoyed the premiere today, I can’t wait until the film comes out! My brother and I have been looking forward to it for ages!

  9. Carolina February 23, 2020
    Reply

    So sorry you didn’t get the role, hope someone calls you for an acting job because now that’s something that I need to see.
    Congratulations to Paddy on his show. Can’t wait to see him as Monty!!
    Enjoy the movie and the family time ♡

  10. Elizabeth B February 23, 2020
    Reply

    Nikki looked at Dom and said, “I can see why you didn’t get it Dom. The guy playing Mr Edwards is young, tall and cool looking…”
    Dom walked over to his phone, changed his agent’s name in his phone. “I’ll show them young and cool looking.”
    A few hours later, the same number called. Dom stared hard at the phone’s headline: “AGENT. DO NOT ANSWER. YOU ARE MAD. MAKE THEM SUFFER.”
    Dom let it ring twice before answering on speaker phone. “Yes this is Dominic Holland the famous comedian. I’m unable to talk right now as I have a very busy schedule with high demands…”
    The agent spoke up. “Hey, bud. Sorry about the role for Mr. Edwards. I wanted to call you sooner but—“
    “Oh no need to explain yourself. As I said I am a VERY BUSY MAN and it turns out that I have something arranged for those days already. You see, that’s the third Wednesday of the month and I like to have my socks ironed those days. Not to mention it’s my neighbor George’s dog’s birthday and I intend to purchase a very fun and exciting gift.”
    “Okay, Dom. Well like I said I will let you know if any more opportunities come up—“
    “NO NEED. I have so much going on and I would hate to have my schedule interrupted for childish nonsense such as playing a silly professor. Anyway I’m on a train right now because I’m headed to a big event for my very busy life as I mentioned before, goodbye!”
    *closes his phone*
    Nikki stares at Dom’s phone. “Yeah, your sure showed him.”

  11. Lorraine February 23, 2020
    Reply

    Fantastic blog today Dom. I was rooting for you for a while, but when you referred to Eclipsed I knew the outcome!! Great news for Paddy though. Delighted that you were all together for Onward today. Its been a very busy week for Tom. Hope you have a good week ahead Dom. Your starring role is as a husband and dad to your wonderful family including gorgeous Tess.☺️

  12. Márcia Malaquias February 23, 2020
    Reply

    I loved the cover photo for the blogger ad on Instagram with my favorite couple of the moment and Congratulations Paddy but an actor in the family … Mr. Dom you are a great writer and comedian, this was not the time you got the part, no Give up !!! Nikki always bringing you back to earth. (sorry my writing in English, I’m from Brazil) ❤️

  13. Geri February 24, 2020
    Reply

    I don’t normally leave comments but I feel I must. I truly understand how you feel, Dom! I have 4 boys myself.. no twins but 2 girls after that. They range between 20 to 2 and a half years old haha. So yes.. family of 6 is RARE these days what more to say 8. My husband and I often get comments like “Don’t you have anything better to do?” But we will never change that if given a chance. Kids are blessings. And I enjoy reading your blogs. You and Nikki have brought your boys up well. My kids are big fans of Tom but I told them, his true success comes from his parents’ wisdom and guidance. Well done, Dom. Keep doing what you’re doing. I hope we can drop by and catch one of your shows one day. ❤️ Geri from Perth, Western Australia

  14. Faaiz February 24, 2020
    Reply

    That’s so cool that all of you got together for the Onward Pixar Premiere. I saw the pics, they were awesome! Really excited to watch Onward. Can’t wait!!

  15. Victoria Walter April 10, 2020
    Reply

    “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.” This caught my eye because I’m trying to be a teen author. This is probably the best advice I’ve heard. My life is pretty boring, but my imagination is wild. I’ll definitely be keeping this quote for future inspiration.

    Also . . . This is late, but congratulations to Paddy on his roll.

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