Last week I found myself in a very unusual situation.
I was at a focus group for stage mothers.
I know you all think I am kidding, because after all – I am Lady Goo Goo Gaga.
I’m not kidding.
I would love to confess to you right now that I am secretly a stage mother….but sadly I am not.
Instead I just yearn to be one.
Sam has been a strange dude since birth. His hobbies since he was a toddler, include combing his hair for hours with different combs and products, looking at himself in the mirror, and dancing like a Chippendales dancer in his underwear in his room.
People have witnessed the Chippendales thing and been completely horrified, and rightfully so. How does a 4-year-old learn to gyrate his hips like that?
“I think he was a stripper in a past life!” I said to Mr. Gaga years ago…”How else does a baby get born knowing these moves?”
He loves the spotlight. He will do anything for a reaction or a laugh. People have seen his Chippendales moves because he will come downstairs when people are over and say “Do you want to see my “signature move?” with no shame.
At one point I thought of just dedicating my life to him being a child star but Mr. Gaga made me sign him up for kindergarten. (I bet Justin Beiber’s mother didn’t care about kindergarten.)
So off he went to school like a loser with all of the other regular kids. Yet, I had this nagging feeling that I should explore his options further. There were always people telling me he had star qualities -so finally I made an appointment with a child agent.
Sam was 6 at the time and the agency obviously wanted a meeting after seeing his adorable tan face in the pictures I sent.
They warned me that although they would meet him, they don’t usually accept many new clients. They warned me that he would have to meet with the agent alone while I was in the hallway, in order to determine if he could comfortably talk to and charm adults in an audition.
“No problem,” I answered confidently and off we went. After Sam had chatted with this agent, she called me back into the room.
“Well, I have to tell you….your son can be very successful. I think that he will be hired for a lot of jobs in New York and he will be very busy.” she said.
“Ok,” I said with trepidation. “What’s the catch?”
“No catch – you don’t have to get pictures or give us any money. I want to sign on as his manager and I will get a percentage of all of the jobs he books. And I will send him for some print auditions in the city to get warmed up – but only for a short time. He should be on television or in movies.”
I was floored and also I felt sick to my stomach. I could feel heat rising to my face, as I was completely mortified that I wasn’t reacting in a happy way.
“Oh…” I managed to spit out.
“Well what’s wrong with you?” she answered with disgust. “I turn away moms all day that think their kid is a star – and I am telling you your kid is actually a star and you look like you are going to throw up.”
I tried to be excited. I turned to look at Sam. He was grinning from ear to ear at the news that he was a star.
She saw my cautious fake enthusiasm and gave it to me straight.
“Look, think about it before we sign….If you sign with us – your son will be working in New York at least 2-3 times a week. You won’t be able to work and will have to be willing to forgo sports or other after-school activities. He is going to get a lot of jobs – and we can’t sign him and have you tell us he can’t work because of baseball…Think about if you really want to do this and get back to us.”
I said ok and took the paperwork and peeled out of the parking lot in a trance. Should I quit my job and dedicate my life to my superstar child? Can we get a tour bus and hire someone to tutor him on all the school he will miss? Will I live a rich luxurious life as a stage mother living off the hard work and charm of my child? Will I just pack up Louis Vuitton luggage and jet set around the world helping Sam to become a star?
No wait. Will Mr. Gaga and I get divorced because I am always “on the road” with Sam? And what about Michael will he end up on crystal meth? Will he be neglected and angry like all of the child star siblings we know?
Will Michael become a fat depressed recluse that I drag with me to go see his famous brother?
Will Mr. Gaga become confused and despondent without me home and start wearing my clothes and chop off his peep?
“Sam – do you really want to miss the whole summer at the beach – because you are at auditions?” I asked peering back at him in the rear view mirror.
“I don’t mind.” he answered smugly.
“Ok – so when Michael is at camp and swimming in the ocean all day you will be in the car with me for 4 hours on the I-95 and then you have to sit in a dark room for 2 hours waiting for someone to call your name…” I said gravely.
“Oh – yeah – no…I want to stay at the beach.” he answered smartly.
“Ok – so maybe we should just do an audition in Goopville – so your summer isn’t ruined,” I answered lovingly and manipulatively.
Case closed. I signed up to audition locally and he’s been doing local theater ever since. I almost forgot about being a stage mother – until one Goopville mother told another Goopville mother that I was in fact a stage mother and then the queen of all stage mothers in Goopville invited me to participate in a focus group in her home. The purpose was to meet with a local theater group to inform them about what local stage mothers are looking for when choosing theater programs for their little superstars.
I agreed to attend -because clearly since I failed as a real stage mother the very least I could do was to participate with the local people.
When I arrived the Queen of the Stage Mothers greeted me and as she took my coat, she whispered, “Don’t blog about this.”
Sometimes people know who I am around here.
“Of course I won’t!” I whispered.
Ooops — sorry – I’m blogging about this…..
So when I was seated in this beautiful home surrounded by very successful and smart women to discuss the importance of theater programs for children – of course I was focused and paying attention to all of the important talk about theater.
No…..no I wasn’t.
Instead I watched the Queen of the Stage mothers carefully scoop out picture-perfect fruit onto a crystal plate while everyone spoke about how the kids will learn about blocking (what the fuck is blocking?) and musical theater vs. regular theater.
I stared carefully at the theater program director while she spoke and tried to focus on what she was saying but I couldn’t. It was just so boring…
Should I eat some fruit? The host was the only one who took the fruit and clearly placed it on the coffee table in hopes that we would all eat it. As an Italian woman I felt obligated to eat the food that was presented. But what if I ate a blueberry and choked. If I choked and fell onto the beautiful white rug – what if I threw up? What if I choked so much that I couldn’t breathe? Would they call 911 or would they think that I was acting out a skit of some sort? What if they called 911 and they put me in an ambulance? I hadn’t told Mr. Gaga what I was doing. He thinks that I am either at work or home washing his underwear as he had been begging me to do for weeks…. If they said “Your wife is at the hospital because she choked on a berry when she was at the stage mother focus group would he just hang up on them – because he would think it was a crank call? Then who will get the kids off the bus?
And so I didn’t take any fruit – but I also didn’t really hear much of the discussion and then it was time to go. As I left – I felt confident that I had no interest in being a stage mother and my choice to not be one was good.
I got home and that very day as luck would have it Sam got home and I told him to start his homework. He huffed and puffed while he took out his math homework.
“What’s the problem?” I asked with annoyance.
“I just hate doing my math homework – it’s so stupid and I have to draw out like 50 bananas to answer each math problem...” he said with frustration.
“I hate math and I am doing bad at it – and I am the worst one in the class!” he said and burst into tears.
Unaccustomed to my perfect love muffin having any trouble in life I was caught off guard. “Oh my God, Sam! I will call your teacher and make sure that we get you some help!” I assured him while rubbing his back.
“No! Don’t tell the teacher!” he sobbed as hot tears poured down his face. “I don’t want her to know that I hate school!”
I had never seen him cry about school. I was horrified. I ran over to the computer to send out an email to the teacher, while Sam sobbed hysterically at the kitchen island.
“This is unacceptable! I will be sure that we help you Sam!” I assured him as I typed furiously.
“No – Mom!!! I’m just kidding!” he said.
I looked up and he was smiling.
“Wait – what?” I asked with my hands frozen over the keyboard.
“Yeah – I’m kidding – I am like the best one at math. I was just fooling around.” he said laughing.
“But you were hysterically crying”?” I demanded.
“Oh yeah – I can just think about people that are dead, and make myself cry.”
I shut the computer and stared at his gorgeous face.
“Can you do that in an audition?”
“Yes.” he answered.
I am going to rethink this.
I mean how depressed is Rob Kardashian really??
SORRY QUEEN OF THE STAGE MOTHERS – I LIED. BUT I LOVE YOU!!! XOXO, LADY GOO GOO GAGA