Tuesday, September 15, 2009

big kid

My son, the would-be actor/comedian/general goofball, was offered the chance to do a 2-minute opening gag at David Cross's Portland show next week. We first got an e-mail a few weeks ago saying they specifically wanted a 10-year old who was good at imitations and had stage presence, and they were paying $100 plus 4 tickets [for grown-ups] to the show. Mason was ecstatic about the opportunity. We watched some of David's kid-appropriate videos and made contact with the promoter who would be our liaison. P.S. We were told that even though the show would be Adults Only, Mason's bit would be "clean."

Fast forward to this past Sunday when we got an e-mail from the very nice promoter Dan at Square Peg Concerts that let us know "the kid part has some adult lines." Hey, I'm a forward-thinking, alternative-school teaching bad mom, no? I replied that some innuendo and/or mild language would be acceptable but could we please have a peek at a script? Very nice promoter Dan sent the bit back with the ominous heading "Here it is...".

I am not one for sheltering my children from life's realities. I do not hyperventilate over words. I do feel it is important to allow kids to make their own decisions in matters that directly affect them [not life or death, of course, but comedy - though hard - is not life or death; it's a job].

And so. Even though as we read through the lines and cringed a few times, particularly at the parts that included the f-bomb, bitch, and a**holes, Stu & I agreed to let Mason decide if this was an endeavor he felt worth taking. Since he got home from Scouts close to bedtime, we explained the situation and told him he could read the e-mail and make his decision in the morning. But our boy was conflicted without even reading it; he tossed and turned then started crying, unable to sleep. When I went in to calm him and asked what was on his mind, he wailed "I don't know what to do!" Our almost-11 year old "Don't kiss me in front of friends" middle schooler needed me to take this off his shoulders. I hugged him, said I could tell it wasn't in his heart, and assured him that was okay. In fact, better than okay - it takes a big person to walk away from fame and cash in exchange for peace of mind & dignity.

Though it makes me wonder if I should have been the bigger person and made the call for my kid in the first place.