BOOKED IT!

A phrase that validates the purpose, authenticate ones position and awakens the unfortunate competitive nature of children in this entertainment industry.  

This particular phrase is the perfect solvent of children who are devoted to their specific craft whether it is music, modeling, acting, dancing, singing or whatever else falls under this big umbrella of the Entertainment business. As a parent to a child in the business, We rarely celebrate such phrase but have being guilty of using it to level the playing field.  I’m sure it feels good to post or even celebrate, but to what extent does it call for a celebration? Especially when my peers are dealing with rejection after rejection. “You did a great job” thank you for coming out is obviously the new “NO” and a pleasant let down.  I get it! After countless auditions and Castings, we can all get distracted.  As a parent one feel useless at times and desperate measures often lead to some of the biggest mistakes. Me personally I go above and beyond to prepare my children for the many scenarios they may face, but how they personify and interpret a particular lesson is beyond my control.  So you begin spending money that’s not budgeted into monthly bills just to give your child a fighting chance on acting lessons, singing lessons, dancing lessons, swimming even tai Kwon do. I mean, I’m Jamaican stuck in my ways trying to break the cycle and expand my children’s knowledge In order for them to experience various levels of extracurricular activity’s, while perfecting their craft. 

Being a parent in this business, there is no shortage of rejections where one has no control.  All of this comes on the heels of hoping the manager/agent emails or call to say your child “Booked” the gig they auditioned for. What happens when that call or email doesn’t come? Do you throw the towel in and say, “To Hell with This”, or does one “Brush their shoulders off and say “there’s always a next one”, weeks later another chance arise. The same repetitive cycle of rejection is echoing again, knowing well this child is fed up of rejection when all her peers are booking jobs and though  she is not a textbook nine year old she cant be casted to portray the average nine year old.

As a parent I often ask my child to give me feedbacks of how that went, based off the answer I pretty much sum up how the Process went. My excitement stems from my children getting the opportunity to go out on an audition, but that’s just me. Booking is obviously an added bonus.  I can’t say for sure what’s going on in my children’s head because they are so excited to go into the city they rarely focus on the reasons why we are often there. While I may be excited at an opportunity this is not me Living through my children, my excitement comes from a place of mundane gratitude. Many said I wouldn’t be able to be a single mother of four children.  Yet alone give them the opportunity to participate in unlikely agendas. So, here I stand facing adversity in the face while my parental skills have being measured, my ability to balance life has being measured, and every choice til this day is oftentimes still measured.  The Entertainment business fell into our path through idle social media behavior and so we welcomed the idea as a family who were interested in something different. By chance we have met some amazing individuals from all walks of life, and we have welcomed friendship from social platforms where we have engaged in friendly chatter.   My children has had so many opportunities to experience life on the outside of our cultural community.  An experience that far exceeds itself, should I be so lucky.

I for one have being guilty of the phrase “Booked it” on various social media platforms but like some, it was just a stark reminder that We too are in the Competitive field of trying to get a coveted spot in the entertainment world.  It was never our intentions to brag and boast like some do.  It was just a ignorant ploy to remind some of the selfish momagers that their children aren’t the only ones worthy of a chance.  We solicit viewers from other children in the business from all social platforms similar to ours so that we are always in the running.  Like many my daughters have what it takes, my sons have what it take to be among the children who make an impact.  I’m the parent who stands in the corner conveniently giving their child the opportunity to shine on their own.

Then, you have the devoted parent who for all intent purposes hustle their way into casting directors doors, presence and hearts. I’m no way taking away from a child gift or beauty, but he point Im trying to make is their parents have perfected the good old “kiss ass” techniques that will make their child go from a maybe to a “definite yes” por “love them”. Hence, within seconds of the decision a “Booked it” appears on instagram for likes, acknowledgement, and validation.

A Balancing Act..

32433B32-7F10-4418-AA65-88D76A39DF10Samora sit patiently in her downgraded Honda CR-V with her twin boys placed in their booster seat. Each one uniformed behind the driver seat and the passenger seat.  Her nine year old daughter is finding it rather difficult to have such a coveted spot in between both rascals on a forty-Five minute drive into New York for an audition.  We haven’t left the parking space  yet and the tug and war already started over the shared iPad.  Each had their own individual gadget at one point but khaleb decided in the peak of his terrible two tantrum era to throw his as a way of securing an audience, shattering the glass making in unusable.  Kyleigh my attitude filled, sneaky and most caring child needed the use of a laptop for school, so with her new acquisition she had no need for  he iPad. So, it fell into the hand of a useless wanderer! Me. 

D7B77EE3-0E68-4D17-B156-CC7AB0DC4763

I began to use her iPad as a storage device for all their pictures and emails for their childhood modeling careers, and emails from their perspective agents. So, this leave us to the headstrong, uncontrollable Khaden who will never recant on a NO. His iPad just mysteriously shut off, it took a permanent nap until I was able to bring it to the nearby Apple store where they graciously revived it and offered me a upgrade deal.  I accepted, I handed over the mini for a much larger version in hopes the boys would learn one familiar lesson that should leave a beautiful imprint for years to comes. It was familiar and unselfish it was an act that never went unnoticed “sharing” a positive and common life experience as I was growing up in my day.  Though it’s a rather difficult task to teach two toddlers who seem to always have different point of views, i was determined to make it work. With difficulty and many failed attempts, the viewing war between two programs often overtook my lessons. I couldn’t compete with the transformers or the power rangers on the oversized iPad. I refused to give  up due to my commitment of always completing the task at hand, Quickly enough the iPad usually ends up in my hand bag because we are unable to come to a mutual agreement.  The idea was to get them to identify the idea of sharing at an early age. So that as they grow the idea of sharing would become second nature or something of significance would be manifested into their everyday task, making it a natural instinct rather than an option.  At times it work, other time it failed miserably.  However in this particular case I the Superior, places the iPad in kyleighs hand and my three subordinates would have no choice but to accept my directive because I was the boss in this moment giving three relentless children orders.  I failed more times than I tried but I never gave up and I wasn’t deterred, all great lessons took time.

At this point I was beyond mad. My daily task of teaching an invaluable lesson was being questioned by a four year old brat.  The annoyance of my sixteen year old, was the much bigger version of this particular four year old Brat.  She was still in the house searching for what I assumed to be her lost shadow, her iPhone. I began to get weary and the thought of going to the city had me weighing my options at this miserable stage in my day.  Being an unconventional family trying to put conventional values into place can get weary.  Sharing, being Punctual, are even the most beautiful exploration tours can get sidetracked by uncontrollable behavior in our family.

Usually by fifteen minutes we would’ve hit the intersection of Executive Blvd, on The Sawmill River Parkway and the twins would be so mesmerized  by my motivational tapes their eyelids would become so heavy that they would drift off into dreamland. Then and only then would my nine year old, mischievous child have full control of the technological gold mine. It’s fifteen minutes into the car and this girl has yet to join us.  I started to get agitated, I rang the landline as a mere reminder that I was about to leave her, that’s was all the motivation she would need to run out the house. There was something about the City Life that caught all my children’s attention. The lights in Time square, The water taxis on the Hudson in Dumbo, feeling like an insect on the outside of the Empire State Building looking up, to the shopping sprees on 34th street. They all loved NYC, all I saw was the oversized architecture, dirty street corners, and a slew of homeless people that made me appreciate my housing community even more.  Yet! As a child I get the experience and the authenticity of a diverse city that highlight the cultures of people regardless of status and background.

Finally, After what seemed like eternity, I saw the teenager with her childish ways walking towards the Cr-v.  Dazed and confused her demeanor was a bit dull, as if she had lost her most prized possession.  Again, lack lustingly she strolled carefree towards the car like we were expected to wait for her. In my bitter, pissed off state I wanted to wait till she was three steps away from the door before I reversed forcefully and drive off.  My immediate fill would’ve being the satisfaction of seeing her loosen up and chase the car down the hill. Then and only then would I be compensated after loosing 16 precious minutes of my life. The vision of her walking down the walkway as if she was lost, irritated me.  She was unusually jovial, but awkward all the same.  She entered the car with an attitude, as if I was the one who owed her an explanation. It was the phone she said, I also “misplaced my vans” sarcastically I said thank god, cause out of so many pair of shoes the vans is that “ish”.  The phone was understandable, we are avid picture takers and NYC had some amazing scenery and architecture, beside the phone had enough storage to help with our memories. The phone was society’s newest device to brainwash teens in dependency, or atleast till the battery died.  It was kind of hard to believe that The phone that was stuck to this girls left hand and usually her first defense mechanism, was misplaced. she would usually blamed the twins if anything went missing. 

As a single parent I try to keep an organized home. Everyone has territorial access to their own property.  It is their responsibility to acknowledge and know the whereabouts of their remotes, gadgets, shoes and other items easily misplaced. Among my biggest pet peeves are clutter, stepping on legos, being poked in the bottom of my foot by little transformers or power Rangers, socks and of course unnecessary stuff just lying around on the floor that doesn’t belong.  Yes! Given my current house mates I have my work cut out for me. I ran a tight ship with everyones schedule but between my jobs it was pretty much maintained.

Which lead me to this question. Have you ever wondered how single parents struggle to maintain the proficiency of a “normal” life? Well this here’s a glimpse of my very active life. A parent like me, have being plagued by obstacles, disappointment, and trust issues when it comes to life in general and now I have to include my  children into the mix.  Society don’t always paint a positive picture of women like me.  I’ve being compared to a “crazy one”, “lacking moral compass” “selfish” to often being asked if I’m pregnant again.  The gist of it is, I know my faults but I’m content with the life I have. I could’ve being a hopeless romantic earlier on in life, or attribute my pro-life choices to creating a family I never had, who knows. That was my past and one can judge all they want, my future is more of fulfillment and creating memories. My mistakes are noted, my children are the best thing to happen to me, because before them I never really existed I was just living.  I’m a Parent first, my children will never be Burdened by my choices.  As a mom I take on multiple task, sometimes too many but how I choose to manage my overwhelming choices is solely on me. I choose to be involved  in all my children’s life equally at all times.  While It’s safe to say at times we moms may feel like clowns juggling a surmount of task, manisfested through awkward thinking and hardwork our most prized possession should be that of the little monsters running around our households. Pulling  double shifts should be defined as greed or abandonment of our children. It isn’t the norm but when your the sole provider and the bills have to be paid  hands are tied, and it’s nice to have the option of pulling an extra shift instead of living from paychecks to paycheck picking up that extra shift, often times make that late payment go away. Especially when one is on a bi-weekly budget.  Single parents have no shortage of goals,  making ends meet is often our slogan, it’s not a rouse. Many will portray us as backward thinkers, and claim  that we are selfish and greedy.  As a mother I found my strength in dealing with multiple personalities, driving to activities, and managing schedules (school, work, modeling) to be the ultimate challenge.  

I didn’t know I was capable until life presented me with four innocent children who didn’t ask for this lifestyle but was placed in my care because the powers that be insisted I was capable for the task at hand.  Hard work and determination are among the many adjectives that’s used to single us parents out. Patience is an understatement when it comes to  parenting techniques but when we make the choice to do it alone without the luxury of a nanny , and the mature male figure who understands co-parenting despite the fact that the relationship is toxic. As single parents push Limits, defy odds, and shift boundaries that exists in our world. The need to succeed is our slogan, secondary goals are minor distractions. Morning errands are among the day to day goals, paying bills on time is a focus achievable goal.  Building is a deterrent factor, it is best to set achievable goals and when each achievable goal is accomplished a bigger goal replaced the previous acquired goal. 

Mountains weren’t made accessible for its unique mount at the top, Theres a trail to get to that point.  many will find it, some will attempt, but only a devoted few will accomplish the set task. That is my view on single parenting, many will differ but this is mine. When you have mastered each lesson, fill the visible void, conquer extracurricular activities, there will always be a new set of ytask at hand.  In my home their is no shortage of task, attitude, behavioral issues, and of course the ever changing personalities.  I tell myself I was made for this and so I put my best foot forward with a personal touch of my attitude and approach each one of my creation with the intention to encourage and redirect. 

I want my children to understand they did not choose this life  but due to unfortunate circumstances it happened and as much as I would like the ability to re-write their story, understandably we are all made for each other. I honestly believed this path was paved for me and I’m not mad. I am not the first and won’t be the last to travel this road. I can however work towards a tolerable future and break the cycle.  Teach my daughter the value of family, show my sons the unbreakable strength of a woman, so they value a woman’s worth.  Struggles have no shortage in the world of single parenting skills and techniques.  What propelled me to an achievable level of life was the insatiable love I have for my children, and the thirst to succeed.  I am graciously playing the hand I was dealt.

Eldest sibling (KYM)

  
 Meet Kym! Short for Kymorah, the eldest of the bunch…A self-centered teenager who loves herself as much as she love her siblings. Kym has always had an interest in the entertainment industry. At the age of three, Kym did her first set of headshots with “Tannen’s Talent”, a local talent agency in White Plains. Since, she has also been on various go sees throughout the Tri-State area. Kym was one of hundreds of children trying to make a break in the modeling and television industry at the time. We did the “go sees” for a while, which became exhausting as we didn’t experience any luck. There was no inkling of hope left from any casting we participated in. I remember going to Manhattan on a hot summer day for a ‘Dora’ casting, and as we climbed up the stairs to the audition we saw more children than you could imagine- to the point that I became uncomfortable. We didn’t know how many slots they were trying to fill- and by the looks of it neither did the unsuspecting parents who had also attended. Kym went in and did her audition with one of the casting directors, and we heard the same line from many times before…”We’ll be in touch”. That was the last “go see” we went on, as our hope died and her interest started to lack when she could not book a single casting. The next fall, I enrolled Kym into pre-K, and as she grew her focus steered elsewhere- and past ideas of modeling and television were shelved. Her headshots became as dusty as an old lamp that no longer matched the room décor. She no longer had an interest in modeling.

  
Years later, Kym returned to “Tannen’s Talent” to attend acting lessons. She decided she wanted to focus more on her performance, rather than being seen as a prop or a still. Her interest grew in her new hobbies, singing and acting. So – every Tuesday afternoon, she headed to “Class Act Studios” where she honed her skills, over the following years. I never truly understood Miss Kym… she has an incredible ability to impress whomever, in whatever she does. As a student she excels, as a friend she is loyal and as an older sibling she is okay. As a mother I don’t expect her to forego her teenage years because of her younger siblings. I want her to live as a normal child (if “normal” still exist in today’s society).

  
Currently Kym is an aspiring singer, who finds herself in writing lyrics. As a mother, I couldn’t be more proud to have witnessed her growth in all her endeavors. She may not have all she wants yet, but one thing Kym can proudly say is her support system is strong. I encourage every positive interest she holds. Although coming from a broken home- no dreams or wishes ever get discouraged here. Her aspirations from modeling, acting, fashion design, to now singing, all have been touched upon. I couldn’t be more proud of her inquisitiveness and her ambitions along the way. We live in a society where a young woman can now change her mind constantly without being judged, and that is has done. She has the ability to pick and choose, and at thirteen years she may have exhausted her creative mindset; but nonetheless, she continues to thrive.

How 4siblingsandalady came about!

Yes! As life states it I’m a single mother of four and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Maybe I could change my current status but I refuse to settle for anything less than I am bringing to the table. I get up everyday and put on a uniform where I not only make a difference in someone else’s life but I love what I do.

My six year old is such a fashionista who loves to dress up and take pictures. So one snowy day while we were stuck inside we decided to turn my room into a make shift studio, my niece did her make-up and I turned my Samsung galaxy into a make believe cannon. As we constructed with backgrounds, props and lighting. Our session and had multiple changes, we ended up with some gorgeous shots and some not save worthy.

At the time I was learning the new social media craze “Instagram” and since I had not perfected the app as yet, I scrolled and scrolled and came upon this casting. It was kind of like a bridge, it was a company that connected potential models to famous top agencies. After many days of debating and going back and forth if the site or casting was real. I did my research going to their website and it turned out to be legit. It was then that all my anxiety was put to rest! They weren’t asking for and arm and a leg but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t setting myself up. Long story short, we sent in three snapshots from our make believe session and we got a call back within the designated time. We were amped, a big name agency saw my lil girl and took interest in her beauty. They contacted us for additional pictures and unbeknownst of how this whole thing would pan out I sent them any pictures. Case in point, we didn’t have any professional pics. I figured since we sent those snapshots any pics would be acceptable. They contacted once more only to find out my location and that was it.

Which brings me to the message at hand. I wasn’t prepared to handle the task at hand but I quickly learned that I was unprepared. I then started an Instagram page to document my daughters fashionable behavior and within no time we started to learn the ropes of Instagram modeling, shopping and promoting. Soon after, I thought it would be fun to involve my sons as well. I was contacted by various sources about helping me to build a brand and promoting my daughters career, but at six I decided to take it slow.  If they see a possible future for her then the right people will come along and eventually guide her in the right direction. Not to be rude, but from my experience the middle man will get you to the river and abandon you on the bank. So we started our Instagram page at the beginning of summer 2015 and to date we have almost 1500 followers, not bad for a 6 year old. Her twin brothers are close to 800 followers and between them they Rep for 5 Instagram boutiques and have made countless feature.

With all of this going on I decided to start a blog. I want to support my kids in all their endeavors, all four of them. My teen daughter feels she can find her own Instagram Audience, I run the other two accounts with the help of coffee and retail therapy. Slowly we are embarking on another journey. Who knows if it will be successful or not, nothing is more discouraging than the “what ifs” or “if I only knew”. So with my medium caramel swirl hot cup of coffee from dunkin doughnuts I bring to you “4siblingsandalady”. With the words of the great Dr. maya Angelou: “my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style”.

Samora