“Oh, hi. Oh, goodness, we’ve not even looked at the menu yet. Well, I know Chanteuse will have…something light. She’s got a shoot today – she’s an actress: stage, tv, film and radio. And she does print-work. Only nine years old. Amazingly talented. Have you seen the movie version of ‘Sleepover Club: Mary’s Exasperating Charge?’ No? Oh. Well, Chanteuse has a speaking role in that. She played Mary’s little sister, Bridget. A very high-maintenance baby-sitting charge. It was quite clever – the girls just wanted to have a sleepover, and Bridget kept refusing to go to bed! So, they were trying to talk about boys and all, and doing it in code, so Bridget wouldn’t know. Oh, Chanteuse was amazing in it, but then, that’s no surprise. She really is a wondrous child. Tons of star quality, everybody says. She’s also a dancer – triple-threat, obviously, but then everyone is these days, aren’t they? Makes it that much harder. The competition…I tell you, it’d reduce me to a quivering, sobbing mess, but Chanteuse is such a professional. ‘It’s the business, Mom,’ she says. Just like that. Nine going on twenty-eight. But that’s where we’ll stop, won’t we, sweetie?
So anyhow, she also plays the piano and the violin, so that she’s really more a quintuple threat. Sextuple, if you count mime. But her real goal, you know, is in the singer-songwriter realm. She wants to focus more on that gift this year, but I tell her, why limit yourself? Nobody says you can’t straddle both rails. ‘Don’t define yourself too quickly,’ I say to her. ‘True, lasting stars defy easy categorization.’ So, anyhow, we’ve been getting the word out about that, and things have really worked out in that area. Her first CD will be coming out in August. Here, here’s an invitation for the release party. …Oh, no, dear, I wasn’t inviting you; I was just showing you the invitation. The event is industry only – Chanteuse’s own daddy isn’t even invited!
I tell you, I’m about to drop dead over this whole thing – we had to go back and forth to Philly every weekend for three months for the recording sessions, and the next thing comes the touring. I don’t even want to think about it. But Chanteuse has been on tour a couple times before: Annie, Les Miserables. I don’t even know what all. She was supposed to go around with Spelling Bee, but we said, ‘No. Enough.’ I asked her if she wanted to do it, and she said – what’d you say, sweetie? She said, ‘Been there, done that, Mom.’ Isn’t she a trip? She just moves forward, and that’s how you have to be in this business. Is it good for my career? And at this point, she has enough buzz that I really want her to base herself here. Here, or in LA, where we spend about half our time these days, it seems. Flying over, flying back. Between the auditions, the meetings, the rehearsals and the shoots, I sometimes we could just rip her right in half so she could be two places at once, isn’t that right, Chanteuse?
…Listen, dear, I think it’s sweet that you’re so interested, but at some point, hadn’t you better get our food?”
[Note: The woman speaking above is not, as one might be led to believe, accompanied by a child. Rather, she is accompanied by a small potato with a garishly painted face.]