I was concerned. Elijah didn't want to go out to "see the casting people". He didn't want to get his clothes on, have his hair done, get in the car or listen to his favourite Playschool CD in the car. This wasn't boding well. So instead of singing along to Playschool, we talked about the trucks on the road, the utes, the buses, the sound the e-tag makes when you go through the toll gates and that green lights mean go and red lights mean stop.
We found a park on the street, a couple of blocks away from the casting director's premises and got out of the car. Elijah immediately started bounding down the street, saying, "We're going to see the casting people!" He had energy to burn and was truly excited. He ran and jumped alongside me, happily, waving at everyone we passed.
I'd been prepping Elijah with the knowledge that the casting people would probably ask him questions like "What's your name?", "What's your favourite toy?" and "What do you like to do?" When we arrived, I opened the door and Elijah immediately asked everybody in the waiting room, "What do you like to do?" It was met with chuckles - a good ice breaker, at least! Looking around, Elijah was the only red-haired child. All the others were blonde. I thought that would help him to stand out.
We filled out the forms and Elijah decided he didn't want to sit on the bench seat next to me and preferred to stand. Then he changed his mind, so I made room for him and he clambered up. Another mother was sitting adjacent to us. Elijah's shoe brushed her white t-shirt as he climbed. I was about to say sorry, but, as she gave us a snooty, haughty, look of disdain, thought she wasn't worth the apology. Her precious North Shore designer t-shirt must never before have felt the joy of a clambering three-year-old. I felt sorry for her daughter, who probably has never been allowed to get dirty in her life. All the other mothers, however, were quite relaxed, polite and pleasant.
After the North Shore mother left with her nose in the air (OK, maybe I'm exaggerating), I realised that all the children were going into the casting room by themselves. I hadn't prepared Elijah for this. So when the next girl went in, I pointed out to him that he would go in the room with the casting director by himself and suggested that perhaps there were toys in there. Then it was his turn. He held the casting agent's hand and walked into the room, without any complaint or looking back at me. I was relieved. That was the first hurdle overcome.
The door was closed and I had to wait, hoping that he was behaving himself. A (much nicer) mother was now sitting adjacent to me and pointed out that you could see the monitor if you craned your head a certain way. I saw Elijah, eyes bright, smile genuine, holding a coathanger, which was masquerading as a bow and arrow (the role is a cupid). He looked relaxed and well behaved! That was the second hurdle overcome.
Then the door opened and the casting director ushered him out, all smiles. She told me he'd done everything asked of him and had done really well. As we said goodbye to her, she said, "We'll see you again, very soon." That sounds like a good omen for a callback. We attempted to have a toilet stop before heading back to the car, but Elijah wasn't interested, so we wished the other children good luck and left. There was a tiny park on the way back to the car. Well, to call it a park is probably a bit deceptive as there was no grass and not much room, but it did have some play equipment. Elijah was let to have a go on the slide while I called our agent and Daddy to let them know how he went. Then we trotted back to the car, waving at the people we passed on the street again.
Elijah didn't want to get in the car or go home. He wanted to "go back to the casting". I asked him if he had fun and if he liked it. The answer was a resounding, "Yes!"
I've always said that if Elijah enjoyed doing this kind of thing, that I would let him do it, but as soon as it stopped being fun, then he wouldn't have to do it anymore. I'm glad he decided it was fun.