"Which one is the Cuban boy?"

We live about an hour south of Los Angeles, which is nice for us because it's close enough that we can get there if we want to see concerts or shows or even just shop, but we're still far enough away that we're not impacted by LA traffic (or LA crazy, but that's not important right now). So it's a win-win.

Some of Jonathan's friends (homeschooled, remember?) also live around here, but work in LA. By "work," I mean they act in commercials, tv, and movies. They're lovely well-rounded kids and Jon thought he'd like to give it a try.

So we signed up with an agency and boom! next thing I know we're filling out Coogan Account paperwork and getting a minor's work permit (he's still only 17) and have a date set to go up to LA for him to be a background actor on a new tv show coming up this summer on Nickelodeon.

Nick on sunset

The Nick on Sunset studios are impossible to miss with their bright, stylized graphics and of course, the giant, NICKELODEON ON SUNSET sign.

His instructions included a "what to wear" sheet for the scene he was in, and being my son, he chose to wear red. (Mom win!)

We got quite the education in the hurry-up-and-wait-world of Hollywood. Also, I was in über-touristy heaven that we could see the iconic Hollywood sign directly out the window from the studio waiting area. (I know. Shut up.)

Hollywood sign

And we learned that "Craft Services" is really just Hollywood speak for "The Donut Table."

Craft services

Also that when the red light is on, filming is in progress.

Red light on

The parents of all the "background talent" had to sit in a waiting area on the worst-most-uncomfortable-chairs-ever-designed-by-man for hours as they kept trying to get the scene right. In the particular episode they were filming, there was a dog. (I'll pause for a moment while you take in that tidbit of information.)

Got it? Okay, then. It takes a lo-o-o-ng time to get each scene just right anyway, but, the dog...

The dog was, of course, trained, but well, he was a DOG, so it took them hours (and hours) to film a 42 minute episode.

We parents got to quietly watch them do take after take on a large monitor just outside the studio doors with the ominous red light warning us to BE QUIET (or die). And we were forbidden from taking photos of the scene unfolding (over and over again) on the screen. (Also, I need to tell you right here that I showed a remarkably high amount of self-restraint by not yelling "That's my boy!" every time Jon got a bit of screen time, but that's not important right now.)

Jon and I had a great day. As it turns out, he got to be on-screen a lot during the scene he was in. He's one of the patrons of a Robot Cafe in the Episode with The Dog. (I'd give you more details, but then I'd have to kill you.)

The show is called Sam & Cat and you can watch it on Nickelodeon at 8/7 Central.

Sam & cat

 Jon will be playing The Handsome Cuban Boy in the Background Wearing the Red Shirt.