My five month old baby has an agent.
I like saying that. “Oh, yes, I know he’s cute. He even has an agent!”
It wasn’t my idea to get him agent. My fiancé had taken our son and his girls for a day of shopping at the mall. I didn’t go, because, well, I hate shopping in malls. When he came back, he gushed with pride.
“At least 20 people came up to him saying how cute he is.”
The cynic in me just waved if off thinking, “Of course they did. People just love babies!” But when it happened over and over again, it got me thinking.
When my daughter was his age, I don’t remember her getting any compliments about how “adorable” she was. I do remember me having to say, “She’s not a BOY!” a million times.
It’s hard for some people to be objective about what their babies look like. Not me. My daughter was not a great looking baby, but she has grown up into a very (VERY) pretty 9-year-old. She just skipped that whole cute chubby baby/toddler phase and woke up pretty one day. My son, however, well, people are just drawn to him in a different way. He IS a fucking cute baby. I can’t go anywhere without people commenting on his huge blue eyes, his dimples in his cheeks, and the Michael Douglas one in his chin.
A couple weeks later, my fiancé came back from a hardware store where he said he was practically attacked with people wanting to see our baby (at the hardware store?)
“He is pretty damn cute,” my fiancé said.
And that’s when I joking said, “Yeah, he should be in the commercials or something. He would be perfect as a Pampers baby.”
The next morning, my fiancé sent me an e-mail with the page of a nearby-ish casting agent for babies. Ah, why not, I thought. First, Holt’s schedule is pretty wide open since he is only five months old and he has no friends. Second, he should put his cuteness to use. It made me remember my high school boyfriend who was innately talented in singing and playing instruments. He could pick up any instrument and just know how to play it. It pissed me off a) because I was jealous and b) because he couldn’t get it together enough to make something happen with his talent. So, yes, my baby’s so-called talent at this age is being cute.
I was one of MANY parents who showed up for this open casting call at this agency. I learned a lot about working babies. First, they can’t work more than 20 minutes without getting a break (Oh, if only us adults were that lucky.) Stores like Toys R Us or diaper companies usually hire 12 babies for their set. Whichever baby is being good at that time will be used, but if you get booked, you get paid anyway. And, just because your baby is cute, it doesn’t guarantee your baby will get a job…ever. But your baby could be booked on a 12-hour shoot, at $50 an hour, only work two hours, and you (rather your baby – they write the checks out to them) will get paid for the nine hours.
I couldn’t help but look at all the other babies there, comparing their cuteness to Holt’s. And all I could think was, “Yup, most mothers think their babies are cute.” There was even a 6-week old-there (and don’t all babies kind of look alike at that age?). I hate to say it, but I got the awful feeling that many of these parents were there to bank in on their kids. This is what the world has become, I thought. (Even though I was there too and was wanting to bank off of my kid’s cuteness.)
Because I’m a sucker, I paid the $300 administration fee and got my baby’s face on some casting website. We have yet to get a call. Which is ASTONISHING since he’s so damn cute. Or is it just me? What the hell. We’ll try it for a year. What can I say? He has nothing else to do anyway. He may as well make mama some money with those damn big blue eyes and dimples!