The baby of the family. Hayes towers over all four siblings so “baby” doesn’t seem quite as fitting as it once did. He is a professional actor and when I remember the Japanese proverb, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight,” Hayes immediately comes to mind. It’s a brutal industry–countless rejections to the one “you’re our guy.” It takes much more than good looks and great acting skills to succeed–you simply must embody the character for whom you are auditioning. Without “the look” they are after, you need not apply. The problem is, you believe you are the perfect person for the role, along with hundreds in line with you who think the same thing. It’s not for the faint of heart, this acting stuff.
But Hayes has enough confidence and self esteem to handle the rejection, without thinking too much of himself to be accused of arrogance. It’s a quality I admire because it is so far removed from my own strengths. I tend to take the well trodden path with life, only tackling those things I feel I have a decent chance of conquoring.
As much as I respect Hayes for his determination in the ruthless world of thespian culture, it only scratches the surface of my admiration. When Mama was steadily declining in the last few weeks of her life, Hayes temporarily withdrew from acting school in London to come be with her. On the TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, there was a performance last season to the song “Fix You” by Coldplay. Watch it here but grab a kleenex first: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnguqsMQmg4 The choreographer and male dancer in this routine shared the bond of mothers who have battled cancer and illness. Only a child who has survived watching a parent suffer from cancer could perform something so spot on–it was as if it was made for Mama and Hayes. Nothing mattered in the world but her comfort. He was her constant companion…her sure thing…her everything. It takes extreme courage to fill this kind of role without crumbling and Hayes never waivered for a second. It was the performance of his life.
Next week, he will travel to the Big Apple for an audition. The audition takes place on April 11th, Mama’s birthday. If there was a day the five siblings could consider their lucky day, I’d say the anniversary of Mama’s birth would seem quite fitting. So Hayes-O, luck is on your side with this one. I believe it with all my heart and I believe in you.