Of all the bizarre things that happened during the time Tracy went in the hospital for bed-rest prior to giving birth and bringing Anne Marie home some 6 months later, the most bizarre had to be my almost 15 minutes of fame.
About a month into our time at UT Medical I got a message from a dude named Michael Cimino. He said he was a casting director from Los Angels and had casted shows like Housewives of NJ, Housewives of Beverly Hills, and assorted other reality shows for network and cable TV and he wanted to talk to me about a show in the works about stay at home dads. Somehow he had found my blog and thought the story was interesting.
Skeptical to say the least, I googelized him and turns out he’s a pretty big deal in Hollywood, NewYork, etc…
Now bear in mind I was half delirious at this point with going back and forth to the hospital sometimes twice a day. I barely slept the entire time Tracy was in the hospital because I was afraid if I died in my sleep Frank would be alone in the house and it might be days before anyone found him. It was the first time ever in my life I could feel the physical weight of stress. This was also prior to Grammy moving to Knoxville. Anyway I say all that to say this, I was not in my right mind and I naturally assumed the guy was just doing some background research for the show. Little did I know.
So I call him back and it takes about two minutes for either one of us to realize we are talking about the same thing but from different perspectives. Somehow he finally figured out what I was going on about and says, no bro we don’t want to talk to you about the show, we want you to audition for the show.
Oh sure no problem, let me……Ah what?
Yeah he wanted me to bring my talents to Hollywood, at least for a 15 minute Skype interview anyway and then see where it might go from there.
I say, really? Middle aged, fat, white dudes is what’s selling in Hollywood these days?
He was interested in the retired military/stay at home dad, baby in the hospital fighting for her life, and all that.
I’m not down with any of this. (I think that’s how the kids say it) But being a coward on the phone I tell him I have to talk to my wife and I’ll get back to him. No way Tracy is going for this. So there is my out.
Tracy says, “You should do it.”
Tracy felt like what would be the harm in it. My family wanted me to do it. Friends wanted me to do it.
I didn’t want to do it. And because I absolutely didn’t want to do it, had I done the Skype interview I know I would have been selected as a cast member. That’s how it goes.
Ultimately my sister Jane was the voice of reason in the wilderness and laid out the harm in it. Her position was, you can’t have all those people and cameras in that house when you bring AM home. She’ll need as germ free an environment as you can get, she’ll need calm and quiet as much as possible. The upheaval will not be good.
Good point. Case closed. Plus I wasn’t even sure the cameras would be coming to Knoxville, we might have to go to them. What the hell do I know. I figured they might stuff all us SAHD’s in a freaking house somewhere and let hilarity ensue, or not ensue. Yeah, no hilarity, most likely no hilarity ensuing.
So I called Mr. Casting Director guy back and thanked him for the interest but no way I could do it, and finally copped to the fact I didn’t want to do it.
He gave it his best sell, tried pushing a few buttons like, “hey I can’t guarantee you a spot, you need to act fast on this, I have plenty of other dads to call. It’s not like Housewives of NY, we’re going to portray the dads as heroes. Wouldn’t you like that?” I was going to laugh in his face, but I realized he doesn’t know me. He’s just doing his job. I don’t operate like that. I didn’t spend 22 years in the ANG/USAF making almost minimum wage to strike it rich. Fame and fortune is for other people, so I just let it slide. I said thanks again, and hung up on my destiny to be America’s next reality star dumpster fire.
This whole post is inspired by the fact the show, Modern Dads, is finally airing on A&E. I saw an episode the other night when my buddy Andy alerted me to it.
It’s four guys, all living in Austin TX, so I guess the parameters of the show changed a bit. They meet up at a park in Austin during the day. The park is named Daddy HQ or something like that. So the premise also appears to have been changed from what was described to me.
Y’all judge for yourself, but if that’s what passes for showcasing heroes these days, I’m glad my almost 15 minutes of fame are up.