Jenny beamed the moment her son came home from his college class. There was a giddiness in her demeanor and she told him to sit down after removing his shoes.
“This must be something interesting,” Robert said, sensing mom’s excitement.
She smiled, “I’m attending a casting call for a new tv show. It’s for a brief, yet major scene. They need a few female extras around my age.”
This was Jenny’s big chance. She loved her career as a stage actress. The schedules were always tough and the pay was often low, but she loved everything about acting. From the stage to the crowds, she found it all exhilarating.
In all her years in the industry, she’d never had a chance to be on film. That was a big fantasy for her, but competition to appear on the screen was fierce, and being in her mid-40’s, it was difficult to land a proper gig.
“Wow,” Robert’s eyes lit up. “What kind of show is it?”
Jenny did her best to temper expectations. “Well, it’s a small non-speaking role. My agent sent me the last minute announcement and there’s a lot of buzz around this show. Exciting, isn’t it?”
“Very. This sounds so cool. You’ll finally get to be on tv!”
Jenny felt the giddiness return. “I know. The best part is, there’s plenty of these small parts to go around. So there’s a good chance I’ll land the gig.”
“Awesome. You still haven’t said what kind of show this is.”
“Sci-fi and fantasy. Think of Game of Thrones. It’s that sort of thing. The overall plot is being kept under wraps. I’m auditioning to play a tribal character who’s involved with sorcery and magic. So it’s basically a performance art thing that I’ll be doing. I’ll be using my body and physical reactions for the scene. A very important scene, I might add.”
Robert’s eyes lit up, ” Sounds amazing. It’s going to be exciting to see you on tv, finally. you deserve this.”
Despite the joyful moment, Jenny felt herself tensing. There was more to the news. Information she dreaded to tell him. She fought hard to relax and breathe deeply, to calm herself down. Might as well get this over with.
“There’s something else,” she said. “I’ve always been very expressive in my career as a stage actress, and all the things I’ve done with art. I believe that the human body, and its expression, is the highest form of beauty. Do you know where I’m going with this?”
Robert gave an awkward look, “I think so. It’s okay.”
She straightened her posture, asserting herself. She wanted to show confidence in her decision. This was her body and she was a grown woman.
“I’m going to do a nude scene,” she finally said in a staunch tone. “That’s what the casting call is for. Women my age who will appear nude for a period of time. It’s something like an ancient ritual scene. Are we clear?”
He nodded. “Yes.”
Jenny held her chin high and kept her shoulders open. She was still determined to defend her actions.
“It’s my body, I’m an independent woman, and I choose to do this because I enjoy artistic expression. I’m certainly not asking your permission for this. I don’t need it. I find this to be empowering.”
“Mom, no one is arguing with you,” Robert said calmly.
Jenny paused and finally relaxed. “You’re right. Sorry about that. I guess I got a little carried away. I had no idea how you’d react to this, that’s all.”
“Honestly, it’ll be a little awkward knowing that my mom is naked on tv.”
“I’ll worry about getting the part first. Speaking of which, can you give me a ride to the beach this Saturday? If you’re driving, I can focus on getting into character.”
He smiled, “Sounds like fun. I’d love to go.”