Friday, May 06, 2005

Micky D's

For the past few months, the holy grail of commercial work for my daughter has been doing a McDonalds commercial. When people would ask her what commercials she's done, she'd say "Well, I haven't done a McDonalds commercial yet." She's auditioned for several and has gotten called back but wasn't booked, until yesterday.

I think it has to do with the fact that McDonalds is such a large part of her life (more great moments in parenting from yours truly). There was a McDonalds one block away from our old apartment; our new apartment has at least two within three or four blocks, including the brand-spanking new tourist destination on Ohio Street. When they were toddlers, both girls used to call it Old MacDonalds, for fairly obvious reasons. Everytime we go on a road trip, we invariably stop at McDonalds to eat.

Secretly, I think she also figures that a McDonalds commercial is one that her friends are likely to see. She wants to tell her friends all about her "other" life but we've encouraged her not to talk about it. We figure that if she tells the kids at school that she does commercials, it will put more pressure on her to get jobs where now it's the no-big-deal that it should be. This business is feast or famine and the work could completely dry up at any time for no reason at all except that she grows out of the little kid roles and there are much fewer roles for "tweens." If other kids know about it and ask her about it, she could start to feel like she needs this business to keep friends. And if she feels like she needs it, she'll focus way too much on her looks and other externals. And that would be bad. Not to mention the fact that kids can be mean and I know that she'll get teased about it at one point or another (although every kid gets teased for something).

On balance, it seems to me and the hubby that the negatives of telling other kids outweigh the possible positives - especially in a place like Chicago where there aren't a lot of kids in the "business." If we lived in L.A. or New York, I'd probably feel differently. In the end, though, it has to be her decision. We can't save her from pain inflicted by other kids. If it isn't this it will be something else and, like the rest of us, she'll need to find her own way (with our help, hopefully) to deal with it.

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