by Ramsey Brown

My mom just called me and said happy boobies!!! She called to tell me that she bought me a bra and she is sending me vitamins. She called me last night to tell me to not leave my water bottles in the car and to wear my hair down when I met the director I am babysitting for. And then again this morning to tell me that she submitted me for three roles on La casting and that I shouldn’t call the guy I like. Apparently he will call me. She asked her crystal and it started swinging wildly. She said it almost flew out of the room. My mom and I have always been close, we’ve always been friends. Now she is my manager. It’s a lot to handle. It s a lot of mom.

Janet came to stay with me last year for almost three months in my one bedroom apartment. I sometimes call my mom by her first name…I don’t know why…always have. She came to be my new theatrical agent, commercial agent and manager. On the way to the airport to pick her up I almost had a panic attack. Why did I say yes to this?? No one else’s mom would ever do this!!! I was relieved when I saw her. At least she looked the part. Skinny jeans, boots, a short pixie hair cut. I was just grateful she wasn’t wearing her leather pants. My mom lived in Manhattan for eleven years before she moved to the sticks in Vermont, and I think part of her coming to Los Angeles was so she could relive her city life, leather pants and all. I watched my newly single sixty-year-old mother come running towards me. She put the down the hatboxes she was carrying so she could give me a hug. “Well, mercy! This is going to be so much fun. Hollywood here we come!!!!” Oh my god.

When we got home she whipped up some dinner. Suddenly I wasn’t worried anymore. My mom is a great cook….dinner every night??? This was going to be fucking great. I went to grab some ranch out of the fridge but it was gone. My mom had thrown it away along with anything else that was even slightly unhealthy. Tortilla chips because they weren’t the organic kind, the milk also because it wasn’t organic. The trash was full of my groceries and my pots and pans because they are non-stick. Apparently non-stick pans give you Alzheimer’s. Under wire bras, microwaves and anti perspirant gives you cancer, not to mention cigarettes. I smoke and I know it is bad for me. My mom cut out an article and left in on my pillow about the effects of cigarettes. Yup, smoking is bad. Great. She left a few more articles. One was how to spot a serial killer, which is stupid because the whole point is that there is no way to tell. They are usually sweet charming guys so that is just dumb and there was a section about how to escape from the trunk of a car. Another said that bananas are bad for the carbohydrate addict and the last was titled The Glam Scam…how to avoid the casting couch. I have never seen a couch in a casting office and no one has ever offered me a great role in a movie if I would sleep with them because I would have done that by now for sure. I wish there was more info about how to sleep your way to the top. Next to the articles was a stack of books. “The verbally abusive relationship” (referring to my ex I’m sure), “ Controlling People”(I think my mom should reread that one) and “Finding your Authentic Self”. Oh my god.

I came home the next day and she had cleaned. Again I thought this is fucking great. My mom will be home every day cleaning. I was thrilled until I opened my closet and found everything stuffed inside. She is famous for this. One time old neighbors of hers from Virginia called and said they were in our hometown. They would love to stop by. Mom flipped out because our house was a mess. None of our furniture matched and most of it was covered in dog hair and stains. She took all of it outside and left it in the yard, hidden behind some trees. That is how she cleans. I am still finding shoes and purses stuffed behind filing cabinets. I walked into my bedroom and saw pictures of men cut out of magazines taped to my wall. “Mom, why is Chris Melonie and Hugh Jackman and Ed Zwick on my wall?” “Oh, that is your vision board sweetie”, she yelled back from the living room. “Those are some of the people you will be working with. If you see them every day they will somehow come into your life.” She also told me she wanted me to write out a list of my goals and look at it three times a day. She handed me hers to look at while she went to POUR US SOME WINE. I picked up the list.

1 Find Ramsey agent

2 Get Ramsey a part in a movie

3 Get Ramsey 3 guest spots on TV

4 Travel to India…with Ramsey

A few days later I called my home phone number and Janet had changed my voicemail. It said “ Hi. You’ve reached Mutha Hubbard Management we’re not in but leave us a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible.” “Someone mom? As in one of the many people working in our management office. Mutha Hubbard? Seriously, Mutha Hubbard…with an A. Mutha Hubbard? Mom! “I don’t know..I think it is fun and people will remember it. “Do you want people to remember it mom? “Is it too much?” “Mom, mutha Hubbard is beyond too much. It is a lot of things.” We settled on Mother Hubbard Management. It does sum up my mom and I think it is easier for me to go along with this whole crazy mom manager idea if I think of it as a big joke. And it made her really happy.

Janet got on the phone and started calling everyone we had any connection to from Vermont. She was throwing a Vermont dinner party. I told her I had to work late and she said not to worry. It was her party but I was invited. Great, I am invited to my mom’s party at my house slash manager’s office. She couldn’t wait to tell everyone about her new career. She had about ten people from my hometown over and it was impressive. Alex and his fiancé both work on hit shows, Woody is Ron Howard’s assistant, Lauren works for VH1, Spencer is in film school, Parker is in special effects and I am a waitress. She took pictures of us and interviewed us for an article she was writing for the Valley Reporter, our hometown newspaper. Now she was paparazzo too.

The next day she lunch plans with another Vermont connection. A friend of a friend of a friend is a producer. Janet couldn’t decide whether to act as my mom or manager though so it was a very awkward combination of both. A business meeting with a manager and client, who were bickering about how to fold towels and why I can’t eat bananas. When we got home my mom instantly got on the computer and started emailing me…when I was standing right there. She did this every time we argued. I would be reading emails she sent me in the living room while she was in the kitchen pouring us more wine. Mom, you are retarded…send.

I thought we might need to get out of the office for a while so the next week I took her to the bar where I work. It was Halloween so they were having a pumpkin carving contest. I walked in and all the regulars shouted fun bags!!! My nickname since winning fantasy football. Janet looked at me funny, fun bags??? She pulled up a stool and started a pumpkin with Ronnie and Squiggy. A drunk and a sex offender. She ordered a glass of Chardonnay. She really can make herself comfortable anywhere. The week before I had taken her to an art opening where everyone was dressed in feather head gear and corsets. She danced to techno till 2 in the morning.

I was carving with James. It does also cramp your style when you are newly single and then all of a sudden living with your mom. When I got home I told my mom I was going over to James’ house to watch a movie. “Really? Now?” She asked. “Are you going to sleep there? ……..I don’t know mom…maybe, but I’ll come home early. ………….Why would you do that? ……….why would I watch a movie??? Why not ……….Why are you going to sleep there? Are you going to sleep on the couch? ….I don’t know…probably……Does he live far away? mom……Well it is night time…..just because it’s night time it doesn’t mean his house is farther away…..Why don’t we all have breakfast in the morning instead?? ……….mom stop … you have a crush on him? …..Get off my back. Stop asking me questions or I am going to tell you something that you definitely do not want to hear. …………What? I’m just asking?.………..No you’re not. You always do this. You ask me a million stupid questions until you get the answer you want…………She was quiet for a minute and pretended to flip threw a magazine…….What movie are you going to watch? There is no movie mom. I am going to have sex with him. We have sex, lots of sex and no he is not my boyfriend and I don’t know if I like him, even as a friend but I still want to have sex with him. He might not have any respect for me as a woman and I still want to have sex with him because I want to. I’m a grown up and I am allowed to do that if I want to. Casual sex…K??? I’m sorry. I didn’t want to have to do that. Of course my mom didn’t like him. If you are sleeping together and he new I was your mother he should have made an effort to talk to me.

When I got home the next morning she was pretty quiet. She just seemed all business. For the next couple of weeks she was on a tear. I am pretty sure she thought that if she got me working as an actress I wouldn’t have time for stupid boys. I got new headshots and she hired my friends or “messengers” to drive them over to casting offices. I started doing cold reading workshops and getting a reel together and we had lunch and drinks with twenty other random VT connections. My mom got a cell phone with a 310 area code so that when she left to go back to VT, whenever that was, she could pretend like she was still in LA. She looked so sad at the end of everyday because it never rang. She thought she would have me working in the first week. That is how she is. Once she decides to do something it never enters her mind that it might not work. It made me nervous. I didn’t want her to be disappointed if Ron Howard, or Ronnie as my mom calls him, didn’t call.

I have lived in La for almost ten years and in ten years this is what it has come to? My mom as my manager. I have had other managers and agents who couldn’t care less about me.. One agent told me he wanted me to get headshots wearing a cheerleading uniform or holding a pussycat, yes…he did say pussy. My old manager told me I was fat. Those are sucky teammates. For the first time I have someone on my side who wakes up thinking about me, even if she is thinking about my lack of dishes or the traffic outside my apartment (too much noise apparently is bad for the cells). I know my mom has my best interest at heart and that has been hard to find here. She is back in Vermont now. She just gave my headshot to a plumber in our town because his son is a producer. She checks the breakdowns daily and la casting. She had business cards made and she is threatening to come back out here in September. I can see her drive up the hill by our house every evening to check the messages on her 310 cell phone…the only place she can get reception. So that is why at the bottom of my new resumes, in big bold letters, it says Mother Hubbard Management.