Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And you thought all I posted were pics...

Babies are cute, with the rare exception of babies that are "breathtaking." We heard it all the time after Em's arrival ("cute," not "breathtaking"). We heard that, along with "You guys should get her into modeling!" We always took the compliment on Em's behalf, and shrugged off the modeling part. Then one day Brent tentatively mentioned, "Maybe it wouldn't hurt to at least look into it." So I did.

I read some interesting articles about "the biz." My pal, Wan, had blogged about some of her experiences taking her gorgeous little gal to castings, so I had an inkling of what that process is like. I also connected with some moms in one of my parenting message boards for more tips and insight, like your "agent" shouldn't charge you anything until your little one books a gig. There are "agencies" out there that require you to use their photographer, and possibly require their modeling "classes." But those are probably the agencies you want to avoid.

I researched reputable agencies, and submitted some of Em's pictures (including this one, this one and this one) via an agency's site. Within a few hours we had an eager email reply, asking to represent Em. Obviously it's in an agency's best interest to cast a wide net of clients, but we were still excited that they liked her.

There were some next steps we needed to take before we could go on any castings, but before I did any of that, I became "funemployed."

So, with some free time on my hands, I tackled those next steps and sent away for Em's work permit, and our friend, Winnie, offered to take pics of Em. We got Em's agent's approval on her favorite pics, and we put together a photosheet to take to auditions.

There are two types of castings -- the mass "cattle calls" where they ask agents to send all their clients of certain ages/genders/looks, and then there are casting calls where advertisers look through the agency's roster of kids and ask for specific kids.

The first three auditions we took Em to were cattle calls -- one for a major children's clothing line, one for a European kids' line I'd never heard of, and one for a huge diaper brand. They were fairly similar -- arrive, sign in, wait amongst a huge group of babies/toddlers, and then meet someone who takes Em's pics. No news is bad news, so when we didn't hear back before the shoot date, we knew she wasn't chosen. Not that surprising, given the large pool they had to select from.

A couple months ago a major brand requested Em specifically, but that was based on photos from when she was 9 months old, so we didn't fit their age expectations. A downside of the industry is that we have to keep Em's photos updated -- like once a month or so. Luckily our agent is fine with our snapshots since babies grow and change so quickly, although we did recruit Winnie to take some new pics of Em a couple weeks ago.

Last week a big baby brand asked to see Em specifically, so I took her to their offices. This casting was different than the previous cattle calls. We had an appointment time and there weren't groups of other kids waiting around -- just Em and the brand managers. They met Em, took their own snapshots of her and spent a few minutes just interacting with her. She fell asleep on the way there, so it took her a few minutes to warm up to them. However, by the time we left, she was all smiles and giggles. They asked how she was with strangers and asked if they could see how she'd react to one of them picking her up since their photoshoot might involve "model moms" who might pick her up. She was fine when they did.

The brand said they'd make their decision the next day, as the shoot was this week.

We didn't have high hopes, given our previous experiences and not knowing how many kids they were choosing from. So we were happily surprised when her agent contact us to say Em had been booked!

I had planned to tell you all about her shoot, which happened yesterday, but I just realized how late it is and how long this post already is! So, more details about that in my next post.

If you've made it this far, your reward are these new pics taken by Winnie!

Heh!

Sweetest face

Peek a boo!

A-ha!

"You could be a part-time model, but you'd probably still have to keep your normal job." - Most Beautiful Girl in the Room, Flight of the Conchords

Monday, March 29, 2010

If you want more love, why don't you say so?

John Mayer was in town last week.

Stacie, my childhood bestie and long-time John Mayer concert buddy, recently moved back to California from Texas.

So, off to the concert we went!

Stacie drove up that afternoon from her new place in San Diego, and we played with Em a bit before heading out to my in-laws' for the toddler switcheroo. (Left Em with them, and Brent picked her up from there on his way home from work.)

We grabbed a quick bite and headed to the show, where we met up with an online pal and HUGE John Mayer fan, Tameka. While we were having a ball chatting with her and her friend, I heard a nearby hesitant inquiry... "Nanette?" 'Twas another online pal, Adriana, and her group of friends, including one of my Twitter pals! Group introductions were made, and Tameka told the super sweet story of her tweet from John Mayer. Nothing like an adoring crowd of fangirls to appreciate the gravity of said tweet. (The big Mayer fans will get my intentional pun in that last sentence.)

We heard the opening act start, and we said our good-byes and left to find our seats.

Did I mention that Stacie and I had floor seats in the 7th row?

I knew our seats were gonna be good, but as we approached the seats, which were on the inner aisle, not on the outer aisle, like I anticipated, I knew I could die a happy woman.

All my pics of John were zoomed in, but here's a good representation of my view during the opening act -- Michael Franti & Spearhead.
My view of the stage

Really enjoyed the opening act. Loved that he ran into the crowds at various points, and he was super energetic.

Then it was John's turn.

(Some of these pics were taken by Stacie. I can't find my point-and-shoot... AGAIN. Staples won't let you take anything with a detachable lens in, as I understand it, so I left my big camera at home and borrowed my neighbor's camera.)

Was born in the arms of imaginary friends

It's hard to beat the system when we're standing at a distance

My dear we're slow dancing in a burnin room

Lightning strike, inside my chest to keep me up at night

And yes, there were the "faces," but we love those "faces."
Is there anyone who ever remembers changing their mind from the paint on a sign?

Watch my face as I pretend to feel no pain, pain, pain

I don't care enough about how awful I look in this pic to not post it, because seriously, LOOK HOW CLOSE WE WERE! :::insert squeals here:::
Look how close we were!

See his setlist here. I would've loved to have heard 3x5 or Wheel, as I always hope for, but overall I was pleased with his selections. I was so happy to hear Assassin, my favorite off his new album. Took a little while for this album to grow on me, unlike Continuum, which I loved from the first note I heard. However, I'm lovin' it now.

I always have the best times at John's shows. (Yes, we're on a first name basis. After a dozen-plus shows, I claim that right.) His next tour can't come soon enough!

P.S. Can I tell you how sad I was to learn that Jamie Cullum's tour stop in LA was THE SAME NIGHT? Gah! He's another of my all-time favorite performers, and the Concert Gods frowned upon me! I missed some of this.

"You get in, you get done and then you get gone. You never leave a trace, or show your face, you get gone." - John Mayer, Assassin

Friday, March 19, 2010

Been living so long with my pictures of you

I haven't been as good as I'd hoped with this whole Project 365 thing. I missed a day earlier this week, and I've lost track of a couple photos amongst my numerous memory cards. I'll keep at it, though, despite those hiccups.

I'll share a few of my recent favs.

You might have guessed from my last post that we went to the LA Zoo recently. Em had been there once before without me, so I was excited to visit with her. She's still a little young to "get it," but she's certainly learning more about animals and notices them. She's enthralled by dogs, and it amazes me that she totally gets that a cartoon drawing of a dog is the same as the live dogs she sees every day. She points to them all excitedly and says, "Oooh! Ooooh! WOOF!!! WOOF!!!"

Here she is with a silverback gorilla (and me).
Day 62

It was at that exhibit where we saw another interesting animal.
Quite the tat

Um, ok...

Last weekend we took an impromptu trip with our pals Josh & Jami and the kids to Travel Town, a nearby museum filled with retired trains that you can explore.

Em was so tiny compared to the giant locomotives.
Big trains, little girl

However, she found a bench that was just her size.
Little girl, little bench

We were sure to obey the rules of Travel Town.
Don't

As Em approaches the year-and-a-half mark, we continue to be amazed by her emerging personality. She's super chatty, even if we can't understand most of what she's saying. Her pediatrician says she's doing just great, though, and is right where she should be. She also has this fun habit of responding with an emphatic "YEAH!" to almost any question we throw her way.

"Did you have fun at daycare today?" "Yeah!"
"Did you miss Mommy & Daddy?" "YEAH!"
"Do you like monkeys?" "YEAH!!!"
"Do you like cheese?" "YEAH!!!!"

Day 76

Sweet girl, growing up so fast.
Pretty in pink

Day 77

"High thoughts must have high language." - Aristophanes

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Work it, baby, work it

After five months of pounding the real and virtual pavement, I'm so proud to tell you all that Brent is no longer "funemployed."

In fact, he was in the finals for THREE different jobs at three different companies before he accepted the offer. Feast or famine, folks. I tell all of you this not only because it's a testament to his talents, strengths and value as an employee, but I'd like to think it's a sign of an improving job market for all my unemployed friends.

I won't disclose much about Brent's new job, which he starts tomorrow, but I will say that it's something he's always wanted to do.

Despite the financial toll it's taken, Em and I have so enjoyed having Brent home with us. Brent and Em had an opportunity to really bond in a way that might not have occurred if he were working.
Day 61

DayMar7

giraffe

giraffe3

monkey

bridgedaddy

He now has a deeper understanding of Em's habits, temperament, likes and dislikes, etc. She seems to enjoy his company more, too. Please note that this is not to make any working parent feel guilty for being out of the home or downplay their knowledge of their own child. This is just our bright side of what was a temporarily crappy situation.

Em and I will miss having him home so much, but we're both so excited!

Congrats again, hon!

"You know, fathers just have a way of putting everything together."
- Erika Cosby

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Project 365 sampling

Since I'm about a dozen days behind in posting photos for Project 365, I'm just going to post a sample of my favs.

Our post-bathtime ritual, immediately after we pull Em out of the tub and bundle her up, is to show her her reflection in the mirror. We've been doing it as long as she was old enough to notice her reflection. Now it's fun to watch the expecting look on her face as we wrap the towel around her.
Day 52

Em has a new silly trick of walking up to us while we're standing, and shoving her head between our knees so she can pry her way into a tunnel. It's funny until we realize that we're standing in front of a wall. Oops.
Day 55

People frequently stop to chat with Em while we're out and about. She'd often just give them this look:
Stare

But now she quickly beams:
SMILE!

When asked how old she is, she eagerly tells us...
Day 56

And when you ask her how old Daddy is, she quickly opens and closes her hands to indicate that he's a lot more than one.

It's Girl Scout cookies time! I restrained myself this year and bought one box of Thin Mints, which still sit unopened, hidden in our freezer. We let Em carry them home, and she was not eager to let go. She wanted to enjoy them with her sippy of milk!
Day 58

"I lost. I only got second place. This one girl gave her girl scout outfit to her 19 year old sister. She went down to the U.S.S Nimitz and sold 2000 boxes." - Ross, Friends