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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Thursday, 31 March 2011
This past week we did something that is way beyond my comfort zone... or character as a parent.
We took our daughter to a television audition.
It seems bizarre to even write it!

Now, before you picture stage mom a la Toddlers in Tiaras, hear me out!
It was actually a fun and interesting trip for us all and I thought I would share for the curious (like us)!

My sister has a friend who is an agent in Toronto.  While they were talking, one thing lead to another and the agent was looking for 5-7 year olds, not shy, to try out for a one-off part for What's Your News (airs on CBC in Canada).  The show is a mix of live actors and animation geared to 3-5 year olds and celebrates children's news ~ like learning to hop on one foot, or getting a puppy. We connected and we headed to the Big Smoke for the audition (agreeing because of the one time nature of the 'job'~ given the distances to travel).

The one caveat the agent gave us repeatedly was that the kids can't be shy!

We asked Rowan about it, watching for signs of anxiety, but she was very interested. 
Through the week we worked very casually on manners~ things like eye contact, replying to polite queries such as 'how are you' and giving answers to questions in more that a yes/no.

We were told to dress 'nice casual' and to be prepared to meet with the casting director.
When we arrived, we signed in, filling out a form with our child's interests and talents.
We were a little nervous about this, because while Rowan *can* sing and dance, it is entirely 'self-taught' and dangerously random! Instead we prepared some lines from one of her favourite books (Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp) which she could recite with dinosaur actions.

While we waited the kids had the run of the production company's lunch room with coloring pages and crayons.  There was a great mix of ages, skin tones and personalities in the room~ all just normal, natural kids (which was a relief!). 

When our turn arrived, we were ushered to a sound room, dimly lit, with  guy and a big camera, along with the casting director. I was able to go in with Rowan (and brought Puppy) but had to remain quiet in the background (had for me to do!).  Ro was asked to stand on a mark on the carpet, hold up her number and be photographed.  The casting director, who was very kind and engaging/ fun began to ask Rowan about her interests.
At first Rowan was a little stiff (I was a nervous wreck and I am used to speaking in crowds etc!), but bless the director for being great with kids.  Soon Rowan gave her the sound she thinks a parasaurolophus would have made and began to loosen up.  What is your favourite dinosaur? Do you like games? Have you ever made a game (Rowan had done so just the night before)? When she asked Rowan what the checkerboard carpet reminded her of, and asked Rowan to show how she would play on it, Ro reached her comfort zone as she leapt from square to square with confidence. We didn't need our prepared bit, after all.

I think it lasted maybe 5 minutes, and we were sent on our way.  The director told us she did great and "was SO cute" and that was it.  It was fun for Rowan and very casual and positive~ not really what I expected when I thought of a tv audition for kids, but I was pleased with the staff at the company and their approach to the children and families.

That was Saturday, and we received a call yesterday afternoon to bring Rowan back for a final callback to meet the producer on Saturday. Eep!  I asked Rowan about it, and she wants to do it, so I guess we will hit the highway again and see this through.♥


Paula said...

Wow, Ella would have loved a chance like that. What's Your News is one of her absolute favourite shows! She likes to watch her 'news' and be like Daddy. Good luck to Rowan.

Dreaming Monet said...

that's really neat! i hope the final callback went / goes well (not sure if it was today or next saturday). it sounds fun and exciting!

Unknown said...

Not sure how it went LOL We'll find out, but we did it and saw it through :)

Suzie said...

How fun! Always nice to try something new. Break a leg, Rowan!

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