Anna-mouse and I attended our first casting session today. It's too early to know if we got the part. Sorry, if I got the part, that should read...
My agent called well into the Mary Poppins Teatime Hour yesterday afternoon with a 12.30pm casting today. He said he'd checked and, if the worst came to the worst, I could take Anna-m with me. Somebody would look after her for the few minutes of the interview. It being such short notice the worst did come, and favoured Childcare Option Number One (my mother) was doing her contemporary dance group thing in Lisbon while Childcare Option Number Two is about to go into labour... I took my courage in both hands and decided to make beloved child my lucky mascot for the day, and bring her with me.
It was a curious meeting of my two selves, being only the second time I've chosen to let the domestic and the dramatic worlds meet. Not unpleasant, and at the same time not altogether satisfactory if I want to progress my acting career. There's something about the fruit of your loins saying "I want go loo" moments before you're called to audition which isn't best preparation for appearing on camera a few moments later as calm, sophisticated career woman.
And I was so intent on remembering everything Anna-mouse might need for the day that I left my long, beautiful "I-Am-A-Career-Woman" jacket on the banister at home, remembering far too late down to road to turn round and get it. The Bim, bless him, left me a wonderful "I don't know how to tell you this but you've left the main part of your costume at home" message on my mobile, which was actually worth listening to after the event simply to hear the agonised love in his voice.
I have to admit it was fun, though. Navigating the backstreets of London Bridge to find the office-cum-casting studio wasn't easy, and it was a little tricky getting a handle on the script at the same time as peeling the pith from a satsuma for toddler on lap at the same time as finding where to stick the hot air balloon in her Bumper Sticker Activity Book - but once these minor multi-tasks were over, the interview itself was a cinch...
Afterwards, little one and I had lunch out perched on benches in an inimitably London Italian 'caff'. I felt myself relaxing; breathing differently, talking differently, just being differently. At the next table two film crew type blokes talked script. At the table after that a little old crazy gobbled his soup and roll. A posh lady came in with a poodle to order cappuccino.
I understood where I was. I was there so happily with my child. There was the hopeful promise of a job. God, I miss London.