I have often wondered if Justin understands what I do for a living. Explaining that I represent actors should be very simple. But the truth is, no two days are alike. While there are a number of things that are consistent, each day is vastly different. I could spend one day on the phone with casting directors pitching my clients. I could be buried in negotiations and contracts the next day. Another day could be spent on set with a client or in pitch meetings at a studio. Due to the variety of tasks I need to accomplish in any given day, I’ve wondered if Justin is old enough to understand (and if he could possibly explain it to me!)
This morning, I got my answer.
While taking Justin into school, he pulled me over to the play structure so that he could climb the rock wall. As I watched him, a little girl approached me. She could not have been more than six or seven. Politely, she asked, “Are you Justin’s daddy?”
“I am.” I answered.
“Do you make movie stars?” she asked. “Justin says that you make movie stars.”
My jaw hit the floor. I was completely taken by surprise and I tried to answer this little girl as best as I could. “Um….well, I represent actors and actresses and it’s my job to get them into television shows and movies.” It became crystal clear that Justin had been understanding some of my phone conversations in the car and my discussions at home…so, he kinda understood what I did.
With complete confidence, she stood before me. “Well, my name is (blank). I am an actress and I can sing and dance and play the piano.” (Once again, she was either six or seven.)
The gods smiled upon me and saved me from having to explain to her that I don’t represent children. Before she was able to utter another word, the teachers announced that it was time for the children to get into their lines and get ready to go to their classrooms. I told this little girl that it was nice to meet her and then I grabbed Justin by the backpack and bolted over to his classroom’s line.
As I got back into my car to leave, there were several questions swirling around my head: How much did Justin know? How many of my work conversations had he shared with his friends? I’ve used some pretty “colorful” language while dealing with certain people. There is one person I commonly refer to as “Fuck-Nuts.” And recently, we were in the car and I told a business affairs exec that their offer was so low that my client would be better paid if he chose to blow donkey dicks in a sideshow act. (After that call, I turned to Justin and told him that I meant that the client was “blowing up balloon animals.”) Had he used any of those words with anyone at school?
Did he tell this little girl what I did because he liked her? Did he just use me as his wing-man? I once had a senior agent demand that I represent an “actress” he met at a strip club one night (in lieu of paying her for his lap dances) and I had no choice…because he was a senior agent. Is my son going to make the same request some day?
Maybe I should have followed my father into dentistry.