April

3

2012

I Eff’d Up My 15 Seconds

Filed under: Daily Life, TV, Yeah Write Linkup

I had a surreal day last Tuesday. Fi takes music lessons at a concert hall just outside of D.C. so after I drove her there, I found a comfy spot on the couch in the waiting room where I could binge-read for two hours. The waiting room was filled with beautiful people milling about – mostly dancers, a few musicians.

And me. The invisible SAHM sherpa-chauffer settling in to read my unsexy novel about North Korea, and do some more waiting. Occasionally I would look up from my book to admire the dancers and remember when I used to be an aerobics instructor and actually move my body, too. Sigh.

But wait: A TV crew came in! Cameras, producers, good looking people speaking into walkie-talkies in their collars, the whole 9 yards!

I perked up and closed my book. Suddenly my mom-life had become sexy and exciting! My little perch on the couch had become *the* front row seat to all the action! Apparently they were filming a new TV show called A Chance to Dance! that will air this summer!

Note: Before I killed my television last year one of my favorite TV shows was So You Think You Can Dance. I had a mild crush on Nigel Lythgoe, the producer, because I have a thing for sparky Brits named Nigel.

momalog nigel lythgoe

Nigel Lythgoe

As they began setting up, I could barely contain myself. A friendly-looking crew member was standing near the couch so I said to her, “You’re from the television,” even though it made me sound like a paranoid-pschizophrenic. (“You’re from the television,” – who says that? A mom who’s been in solitary confinement in her minivan for the last 8,000 years being forced to hear Scooby Doo DVDs and who has bed sores from all the driving, that’s who!) Despite my over-eager SAHM vibe she sat beside me to chat! OMG! Turns out she was the lawyer from the show making sure everything was legal and that anyone they filmed signed a release form.

She told me all about the show – apparently these two ruggedly handsome British guys known as BalletBoyz were going to choreograph the show, and they had just come from auditions at the Kirov Ballet in D.C., and were doing more auditions the next day.

BalletBoyz -”If you like your dancers lippy, brash, unshaven… and on tour!”

 

And then! She asked me if I knew any dancers who are at least 18 years old and “amazing” who might want to show up for the audition in the morning!

My mind scrambled. I knew of no one. No one, except…my children.

Of course the stage-mother in me kicked into ridiculous.

I told her that my own little darlings were 7 and 10-year-old Irish dancers but that I could probably dress them up to make them look like they were on their way to some day being 18 and since they had done a Baby Ballet and Tap class a few year ago, we could probably throw in some jazzy-ballet moves and make them move their arms…would that work?

 

 

I think at this point she probably regretted sitting beside me, and realized that when you sit beside a harmless-looking stay-at-home-mom she might actually be so fed up with Zaboomafoo videos and playing chauffer that she will lurch at you and talk too much like I did, and Cheezits may even fall out of her bra. And she may offer you one. I launched into my spiel about how my 10-year-old is practically a prodigy on the violin, blah-blah-blah, brag-brag-brag, and wouldn’t it be something if they did a TV show about kid violinists featuring my kid? I noticed a British man – blonde – standing near the desk. Since I had killed my TV last year I couldn’t quite place him but I later found out it was Nigel only with his hair flat-ironed. What this means is, because of a flat-iron I missed my chance to pitch my “Fiona & Ella’s Family-Style Concerto Variety Show” idea to Mr. Lythgoe.

To my astonishment she then asked me if I wanted to be filmed sitting on the couch when the cameras came in through the door to show the waiting room on their way into the studio! I think she was probably trying to distract me from cornering Nigel with my violin-TV-pilot idea. She held out a release form.

My mind raced. Could I do this? Could I pull that kind of a reality-TV performance out of the bowels of my very soul, without even a single rehearsal?

Since I had just gotten a blow-dry at the salon, and was wearing my black cashmere turtle (very film noir!) and my lips were ready for their pouty cameo with my Burt’s Bees Watermelon lip balm, I said yes and signed the form! FAME was MINE.

Meryl Streep, watch your back!

She left me alone – probably she understood that I needed to get into character. I closed my eyes and pictured how I would not just sit on the couch, I would own it. I would work the couch using the Stanislavky method even though I had no idea what that was.

After several minutes of working the couch I began to get nervous. I kept getting interrupted by flashbacks of the stage fuck-ups I had as a child:

  • Age 5: I was the Cinderella who froze as soon as the curtains went up. I forgot all my lines, all of them. They had to stop the play (but I looked magnificent in that dress!)
  • At violin recitals I got so nervous that all the moms in the audience could see my knees visibly shaking over my knee socks.
  • Once at a piano recital – again for the yawning moms — I was playing a song on a grand piano and somehow that little pole that holds up the piano top came down and the piano slammed shut on itself. It scared the crap out of me and I ran out.
  • There was that terrible night at the Talent Show at Summer Camp when my “friends” convinced me that my Elvis impersonation of “Come On Baby Light My Fire” (which isn’t even an Elvis song, it’s a Doors song) would “bring the house down.” Well it did not. After I was done – after I had jumped off of a table hoping to land dramatically on my knees but landed instead on my face, you could only hear silence and crickets chirping. You could hear hundreds of kids wondering if I was alright upstairs. It was that bad.

Back on the couch, instead of using my time wisely and getting into character, I had allowed my past pathetic attempts at performing to distract me. It was clear though: this was my chance.

I had to pull it together.

The energy in the room was palpable. All the ballerinas went into the studio to start warming up – things were starting to happen. Meanwhile on the couch, I got dry mouth. I had a frog in my throat. I began to panic: suddenly I couldn’t remember that I had no lines. What was I going to do? Who the fuck was Stanislavsky and where was he when I needed him? I could hear crickets chirping all around me. My film noir turtle neck got unbearably hot and itchy: I was sweating.

They started filming – the whole group of them and the camera man went out the door to film coming back into the waiting room where I was sitting. My mind went blank! The camera was rolling! How could they expect me to work in these circumstances, to perform?! I jumped off the couch and told the lawyer that I had changed my mind – I couldn’t do it. I mumbled that I was sorry for interrupting the filming but that I had to get some water and I ran out. They had to stop filming for about 1.5 nannoseconds, and then start again.

I hadn’t even started my film career and already I was behaving like a petulant Diva.

I disappointed myself – I forfeited my 15 seconds of fame which would have ended up on the cutting room floor anyway. But it was WAY better than reading my book and being an invisible sherpa-mom!

Here is a link to the show: http://www.achancetodance.tv/

 

 Linking up with Yeah Write, as usual!

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Comments

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  1. Oh Mah Gah. I am dying. Snorting and laughing and crying all over the place. Too freaking funny. “You’re from the television.” Bahahahaha! I’m sorry you had such horrible stage fuckups but um, I’m kinda not, because they are HI-larious.
    Twitter: sarcasmgoddess

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  2. I rather live regardless of being famous or not, and let fame be a consequence of my actions if anything, rather than doing things seeking any kind of fame or recognition. A good teacher of mine once taught me, we are all famous in a greater or lesser degree, but life decisions should not be made based on the fact of how many are watching.

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  3. Oh what a start to my day. This is hilarious! Don’t beat yourself up. It all happened too fast, and they didn’t give you enough time to “get into character.” You funny woman!
    Twitter: IzaTrapani

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  4. My 15 seconds of fame! http://t.co/1agDossc

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  5. “You’re from the television” is the best line EVAH.

    It’s alright, your shot at fame is just not here yet. You just wait.
    Twitter: AlisonSWLee

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  6. I think I totally would have done the same thing! LOL. I had my 15 minutes of fame on the TODAY show and I nearly puked. On Kathie Lee Gifford.
    Twitter: librajenn

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  7. What a fun post! I totally would have done the same thing.
    Twitter: christineorgan

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  8. I don’t think I would have been even able to utter a single word. So for you to get a whole sentence out is pretty great!!! :) I nearly spit out my coffee reading this… a good way to start the morning, with a big, silly grin on my face. Thanks for the chuckles. :)
    Twitter: bocafrau

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  9. Ha ha! Thank goodness you didn’t recognize him, or imagine how much of a mess you would have been then!!
    Twitter: myhonestanswer

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    • Jesus what a thought. I would have lost control and quite possibly attempted to SPEAK to him, been snubbed or worse – USHERED OUT. And would have been too humiliated to write this blog post!

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  10. What a day!! I think I would have been the same way…I’d be so stressed as to if I was making a goofy face or something…But How cool to be in the middle of it all!! :)
    Twitter: _simplysara_

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    • I had a blast, to be honest. It was actually very exciting.

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  11. You are one funny lady! Everyone dreams of their 15 seconds. As others have said, that line, You’re from the television…right out of a sci-fi novel. Hilarious. (BTW, off the subject entirely, I may not have kid stories to share but you and I could talk books for many hours. We share the same taste. I read your previous post. White Tiger, etc. Have you read Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss? Beautiful.)
    Twitter: B4Steph

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    • I bet we have read a ton of the same books and yes I’ve read Inheritance of Loss too – gorgeous.

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  12. thanks for a much needed laugh! Also you know if you are talking about cheeze-its in bras I am all over it!
    Twitter: momma23monkeys

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  13. Did you read @AdoTheMomalog #yeahwrite51? She had me at cheeze its falling outta her bra..
    http://t.co/VVJEfmqU

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  14. oh Ado. :) you make me chuckle so. i love how you bring me into the moment right there with you on that couch. i woulda bailed too. i’m a big chickent sh!t like that. ;D
    Twitter: finallymom

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  15. Holy shit – I can’t stop laughing. You are amazing and I want to marry you. I would TOTALLY watch your violin show but only if you uncomfortably host it. In the film noir turtleneck.
    Twitter: TraceCam

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  16. OMG I cannot stop laughing, pretty much from the “You’re from the television” line all the way through the end. And the piano slammed shut on you during a recital???!? Having gone through my fair share, I cannot even imagine. Besides all that, I love love love So You Think You Can Dance and am beyond excited for this new show.
    Twitter: cyu888

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    • I wasn’t ever very good on stage to begin with but the on-stage “face-plants” definitely put the nail in my acting career coffin. I’m over it. I hope.

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  17. OMG I cannot stop laughing. How would you handle your 15 min of fame? http://t.co/mtS0W0R2 via @AdoTheMomalog

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  18. I just choked on my lunch. I should know better than to eat or drink while reading your blog. That’s hysterical, I was totally picturing the entire thing scene playing out in my head as I was reading. And I’m really glad to learn that I’m not the only one who humiliated herself at every opportunity as a child.
    Twitter: iamnotthemaid

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    • Oh not just as a child, no! As an adult I perfected the face-plant!
      PS: I’m sorry about your lunch. (-:

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  19. @sellabitmum Read this: http://t.co/mtS0W0R2 @AdoTheMomalog

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  20. Aaand now I cannot un-see the vision of Nigel flat-ironing his hair…. Thanks!
    Twitter: Toddlerismblog

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    • Hahaha! Actually…he looked pretty damn good!

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  21. ‘The Television’? I am still laughing at that. I am laughing at this entire post. This is one of the funniest pieces I’ve read EVER.
    Twitter: heidicave

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    • Thanks Heidi! I bet you wouldn’t have wanted to sit on that couch beside me though…

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  22. Hey, at least your hair looked good, which would put you one up on me on any given day. Wonderfully-funny post; I killed my television a decade ago so I have no idea who any of those famous people are, but I know I would react to the same situation with absolute uncoolness and need to flee!
    Twitter: louiseducote

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    • I can’t tell you how pleased I was that my hair looked good.
      So glad to know there’s someone out there who doesn’t know what’s going on “in the TV.” I’m not alone!

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  23. This is hilarious and BRILLIANT! I keep imagining you at the piano recital. There must be moms who till this day remember the scene and it probably still makes them chuckle. Sorry!!!
    Twitter: PurpleLeavesRed

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    • I am still close friends w. my best friend from childhood and her mom remembers that recital, and the knees visibly shaking.

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  24. Want a good laugh? Read this hilarious post by @AdoTheMomalog. I Eff’d Up My 15 Seconds #yeahwrite51 http://t.co/GyTuUQdq

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  25. This is FABULOUS & I am still laughing! You had me at, “your from the television!”
    Twitter: smiley_soleil

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  26. So funny I am still LOL: I Eff’d Up My 15 Seconds http://t.co/xwkmWWlb via @adothemomalog

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  27. My favorite part of this post? Cheez-Its falling out of your bra. That has so happened to me.
    Twitter: Mamarific

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  28. Hahhahahaha…it’s okay, I would have blown it too.
    Twitter: MayorGia

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  29. Suddenly I couldn’t remember that I had no lines – love this!! Too funny. You crack me up!!
    Twitter: michellelongo

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  30. so. first: hahahahahahahaha, and i mean that only in a you-are-the-funniest-and-i’m-totally-laughing-in-sympathy-would-have-done-the-same-thing-way. second: i just saw a re-enactment of the awesome wade robson rama-lama number from season way too long ago on sytycd, and it was pretty terrible and yet i was enthralled. because nigel lythgoe rocks. fab.
    Twitter: smushyfacebaby

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  31. Oh my God, your life is totally sexy and exciting! I don’t know how they could have expected you to work under those conditions either. I would have watched that show just to see you “work that couch” though! Seriously great post, I loved it and could not stop giggling. I have no idea what would come out of my mouth if someone from the television talked to me after being in stay-at-home-mom solitary for so long :)
    Twitter: mommy_padawan

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    • Thanks Anna – now that I’ve worked the couch my life has taken a turn for the sexy & exciting. (-:

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  32. THis post just made my morning. One laugh after another. My son just asked me what was so funny. Where to begin… BTW- I too love Nigel and can’t wait to see this latest dance competition show -they’re my favorite!!
    Twitter: mamzungu

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    • Do they have So You Think You Can Dance in Kenya? Wow. (-:

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  33. What would you do with your 15 min of fame? Ask @AdoTheMomalog I dare you. http://t.co/GSqZw1u9

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  34. I will agree with what many others have said…”you’re from the television” is an absolutely classic line. Don’t you just love how your mind goes blank when there’s excitement around?
    Twitter: mira_nic

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  35. Laughing so hard! I had visions of Toddlers and Tiaras when you were trying to pitch your kiddos to the lawyer by saying you could make them look like they were approaching 18. Love this!
    Twitter: kiddiepoolmommy

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    • OMG I better tone it down a bit, I abhore those T&T moms! (-:

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  36. Hahahahahaha! You are so funny!
    And the cheezits!! I’m sorry, you will get another chance..some day.
    Twitter: applesndroses

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  37. Nothing this exciting ever happens while I’m sitting in my car at lacrosse practice. Except for the Cheezits falling out the bra.
    Twitter: lishafink

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  38. Hilarious post by @AdoTheMomalog on how she eff’d up her 15 seconds of fame. http://t.co/CJELImCB yeahwrite51

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  39. Read this hilarious post by @adothemomalog I am dying. : I Eff’d Up My 15 Seconds http://t.co/ikn4ozMM

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  40. Tee hee. You’re from the television. Sounds like something that would roll out of my mouth too. More so than your fifteen minutes of fame, know what I’m jealous of? That you get to sit by yourself for two hours or however long and READ. Your OWN BOOK. Not a kid’s book. And people watch. You lucky thing.

    Your posts are always so entertaining. This one is no different!
    Twitter: sundayspill

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  41. So. Funny. What I love about this is that I was cracking up (actually my old man laugh, thank you respiratory virus!) at various points — little ones — here and there. So many moments so well crafted together.
    Twitter: latorres

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  42. Awesome, just plain awesome.
    I do believe this wasn’t your 15 seconds. Instead I think fame will most likely come via your writing….or your kids’ dancing or violin playing… or your writing about your kids’ dancing & violin playing.
    Twitter: notwifezilla

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  43. Bwahahahahaha! Good think you don’t live in LA. That kind of stuff goes on all the time. You get to where you just ignore it all together!

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  44. “You’re from the television” is just the best. I laughed hard througout this. Thanks.
    Twitter: TLanceB

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  45. So funny! So true to life! The life of a SAHM, that is! I think if I were in that same position, that same building, that same couch, maybe even wearing the same clothes (minus the cheesy bra, wink, wink) I’d have acted the same way!

    Kudos to you for ditching your TV, BTW, you are miles ahead of the rest of us, OK, me.

    And even more congrats for writing about it!
    Twitter: mearth

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  46. You are hysterical. Awesome. I don’t even know you and I love you. Cheezeits in your bra. Bedsores from the minivan.
    You go girl.
    Love it.
    Twitter: AndeeEve

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  47. Hahahaha!!! You crack me up as usual :)

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  48. Finally getting around to commenting! I’d like to think I would have been the calm, collected, just-the-right-hint-of-sexy mom on the couch. But I wouldn’t even have gotten as far as you did. I would have said something about “Gotta go to the bathroom…outta my way!” and then hidden in the stall.

    I love that you found something exciting to do while waiting…although North Korea sounds pretty exciting.
    Twitter: kdwald

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  49. towards a common cause.often the first draft…

    passes through many hands and eventually turns out to be very different from the initial one. it is a common adage, “two minds are better than one.” when several writers work together, the outcome is vibrant and exceptionally brilliant.through brain …

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  50. your style is not boring. if you…

    run a personal blog, you can use even slang words to get closer to your readers.much depends on your audience. think of people reading your blog: how old they are, what their occupation is, their hobbies, interests, languages, etc. that will…

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  51. own fameif people love what you write…

    and it is unique, you might not be able to find a publisher or might not want to but you still want people to read what you write. the internet is the fastest way to publish today. if you have a…

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  52. [...] A few weeks ago, I was in the same room as Nigel Lythgoe, which means Nigel and I are practically on a first name [...]

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  53. [...] I Eff’d Up My 15 Seconds by Ado at The Momalog [...]

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