It was a more frantic Friday morning than usual. My mom had gotten into town the night before and then we had had a few friends over for a dinner party that went later as planned. My wife had Zef and I had the diaper bag.
“You just put in the potimarron?” my wife asked.
“Yep,” I said. “He’s got his food.”
“And the water?”
“That’s in there, too. We need to get going. It’s almost ten.”
“I’ll get a bib.”
“We need to go!”
We had an appointment at eleven in the 8eme arrondisement with Agence People, one of the many well-known talent agencies with a headquarters in Paris. A few months prior, we had taken a few photos of Zef, put together his résumé, and sent it off to five agencies we thought would be a good fit. We didn’t have delusions of grandure. We didn’t think, or even hope, that Zef would became some high-profile Pampers-baby model. We just thought it might be neat if he had a couple of little jobs to make a bit of savings for him for when he turns eighteen. It could be a fun surprise. He might get a little chunk of money for work that he did before he could even talk!
No doubt, all of you parents are like us, thinking your baby is the most adorable little chunk. The trick is to remember that these agencies are trying to fill particular needs. That is, maybe you have a blue-eyed little doe, but they already have their quota of blue-eyed does. No matter how superiorly cute your blue-eyed doe is, the agency will probably likely tell you: Thanks, but no thanks.
To get your little one out in the cruel aesthetic world of baby modeling, you have to be tough. We knew this. Rejection doesn’t mean your baby is adorable. Usually, it just means that the agency is booked.
At least, this is what we told ourselves when the rejections came pouring in almost immediately after we submitted his résumé and photos.
Needless to say, when we got the email from Agence People, we were excited! They liked Zef’s photos and wanted us to come in so they could meet him and we could fill in his contract. Zef was going to have a talent agent before his father!
After a quick bus ride on the #80 we got off at the super chic Boulevard Haussman and in no time we were sitting in the cozy offices of Agence People, across from a kind, curly-haired lady with a wide smile who held Zef in her arms and told us how friendly and smiley he was.
“I can’t wait to work with him. He’s so adorable. So, we’ll just need your IDs and his social security number,” she said.
We gave her our IDs, our titre de sejours for France, and told her he wasn’t French so he didn’t have a social security number.
“Oh mon dieu,” she said. It’s the first time I’ve actually heard anyone say this. “Let me make a phone call. Just a moment.”
She handed Zef to me while Amina rifled through her purse, looking for some other paperwork we might be able to give her. The lady stayed on the phone, mumbled a couple of things and hung up and told us that she was sorry.
“He’ll need to have a work visa,” she said.
“But he’s only a few months old,” I said.
“Yes. That is how it has to be.”
She thanked us for our time and hoped to see us soon, once we had his work visa in order. It has been a few months now and we’ve tried. We’ve contacted different ministries and explained our situation and they’ve forwarded us to other ministries and nobody seems to have a good answer as to how to get a baby a work visa. Alas, as it looks, Zef will be have no Pampers advertisements and no sweet bank roll for his future. He’ll have to be content posing for his mom as there seems to be no way we can yet find to secure him a work visa.