Unattended

The boys were in NY yesterday for the second time this week. Callback. This time, I got to go along too. The Big Guy wanted to be in school and my awesome sister-in-law picked him up from the bus stop after. It was a crazy long day and tiring day. The boys thought their auditions went well, so now we wait and see if we hear anything else.

Something from yesterday has been bothering me. In the hallway outside the audition, was a boy who could not have been older than 8 if I had to guess. I noticed him filling out his own stat sheet (height, weight, etc) and remember thinking Wow I can’t believe he knows all that. Several minutes later I noticed a parent asking him where his mom was. He said she was downstairs and it was no big deal, they do it like this all the time.

Downstairs.

We were an elevator ride and 12 floors up. So many people coming and going. Chaos. And this kid was there by himself. At first he was doing his homework, but then he couldn’t sit still and he was all over the place. I looked around for a parent anyway, and wondered how he’d signed himself in. The boys were finished before he was called and we left.

Once we were back down on the street, a woman stopped us and questioned us as to whether or not we saw a boy alone up at the audition. Her son. My husband was much nicer to her than I was. It was difficult for me to bite my tongue. All I could say was Oh yeah, he’s up there. She wanted to know if it was busy up there and if he had been seen yet.

Why was she on the street level? Parked illegally and trying to hold her free space. It wasn’t for lack of parking in the area. We passed 3 parking garages in under a 2 block radius – one of which we parked in.

Driving home I tried to let it go. Yes, parking can get so expensive for this stuff. It wasn’t my business. It wasn’t my child. We shouldn’t judge other parents.

Maybe I’m overprotective. Maybe I need to mind my own business because whatever age that child was, maybe he was old enough to be up there alone. You know what though? No matter how I try to look at it, I just don’t feel like it’s OK. In this business, we can’t be with our children 100% of the time. They will usually go into a closed door audition without you while you wait in the hallway outside. Sometimes there isn’t enough room in the wardrobe trailer for yet another person and you have to stand outside while they get changed.

Yes, there are some parents who escort their child to an audition or set and basically disappear.

Listen to me though. Anything can happen. Anything. I’m telling you not to be that parent who just lets them go.

I think it’s so important to stay as close as you can at all times. I’m the mom that follows her kids everywhere on set. Are they taping? I’m a few feet away watching. Are they changing? I’m helping them or standing right outside in case they need me. Getting hair or makeup done? I’m there too. If they are auditioning, I am outside the door. Not only do you not know if someone is going to need to speak with you (which does happen sometimes) … but you need to think about all the other people coming and going.

Sending a child up an elevator by themselves (however many floors) into a busy building … what if they get lost. What if they fall. What if someone walks off with them. There are just too many what ifs. While I don’t know what the right age is to give your child more independence when it comes to something like this, I’m pretty sure we as parents need to be so much more careful when we put our children in these situations. No matter how street smart they may seem. Because in the end, they are still just kids. This is about keeping them safe.

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