My agent rang me in a panic this morning. A few weeks ago I went to an audition to be the voice of an American television channel over here in London. I did it while my in-laws were over and it was mildly inconvenient as it meant I had to write several scripts and then ditch them for an hour in the West End with two babies while I went off for an hour, pretending to be a career girl of old. Truth is, I really enjoyed it. I actually adore auditions in general because of the element of competition. It's refreshing to be taken at face value as a human being with more skills than merely nappy changing with minimum poo fall-out.
At the audition all the attention was on me and it was such a novel feeling and I was in such a great mood that I was most likely glowing, and in retrospect it might have been that which landed me the job! Or maybe it was the fact that I knew I probably couldn't take it even if I got it, so i wasn't too bothered about trying too hard, and thus delivered a nerve-free performance like an old pro (not a desperate mother on lunch-leave).
At any rate, my agent rang this morning to tell me that they loved me and i'm their first choice for the job and oh by the way could I race to their studio right this second across town to work a ten hour day script-writing and then an eight hour day recording tomorrow. Oh yeah - and there is also the small matter that I'll get paid the same amount I usually make in an hour, for a whole days work.
Understandably I had to come clean and mention the existence of a 6 month old baby (i couldn't bring myself to mention my almost 3 year old Egg) of which my agent had no previous knowledge. There is also the small matter of my darling Dad currently in town for his bi-annual London visit, and I treasure the time so much that it would take a hell of a lot more money to get me to even consider it (sorry Dad but if the price was right then I confess I'd be sorely tempted...but we're talking hundreds here ok?!)
You might be horrified that my agent has no previous knowledge of any dependents on my part, but you have to understand the way these things work here. I need to keep up my image as 'cool, sexy, contemporary girl-about-town'. That's what i'm billed as to the clients and it's a long drop from former MTV voiceover artist to current status as flustered South London mother of two. Besides, I knew that if he knew I had kiddies then I wouldn't be the first person he calls for last minute jobs...and I couldn't risk it. I've never yet turned a job down in five years and that is in no small part due to the great and crazy lengths I'll go to in order to secure last-minute babysitting from a sis or two and some ridiculous shimmying around of schedules and transport.
Anyway I digress. Bottom line is that I had to refuse the job and my agent took it as well as can be expected. With an infant who likes to eat every hour on the hour, a still as yet potty-averse toddler and a husband who no doubt feels neglected from time to time, I can't really entertain the fantasy at this moment in time.
Would i like to have colleagues again, and discuss last nights telly (and not baby sleeping schedules)? Absolutely! Would I like to be one of those girls in Haviana's leaning against the outside wall of a pub after work on a summers evening, joking around with mates? For sure! Would I like to wear all my cool clothes and strut about Soho, cappucino in hand and mobile phone pressed urgently to my ear? Without a doubt.
Is it going to happen for me now?
Not a chance in hell. Que sera sera. One day again I'll hopefully again become relevant in a way that has nothing to do with the volume of milk in my breasts or my ability to kiss boo-boo's away. One day I'll figure out how to 'have it all' or at least a way of getting more of what I need to make me happy. But for this girl, on a Monday morning, staring down two dirty nappies, a porridge mess on the kitchen floor, an unmade bed, an empty refridgerator and a busy week ahead, it's all I can do to stay afloat.
(Oh - and I must dash as Dumpie is trying to eat Egg's beloved blue Play-Doh surreptiously underneath the kitchen table and is about to get pounded!!)