Today, I’m happy to give the Tuesday book spot over to Dominic Holland, an old friend of mine – we met when he was promoting his books and I was a bookseller. Life’s changed a lot for both of us since then: you know what I’ve been up to, and Dominic… well, I’ll let him tell you the tale! Over to you, Dominic:
It is the natural order of things that successive generations will achieve more than their predecessors. Jim McCartney was a professional trumpeter and had a son called Paul. And because it is normal for parents to be ambitious for their children, when this particular milestone occurs, it should engender pride rather than any sense of failure. Plus it is handy if the parents are planning on being kept in their golden years as well. I know I am.
I hope that all four of my boys will out-achieve my accomplishments but I was not expecting this to happen quite so soon and in my own chosen profession, really?
My eldest son, Tom is the unwitting star of a rather unique family story. It is a story about how a kid danced his way to Hollywood via the west end and overtook his ‘celebrity’ dad on the way. I am the ‘celebrity’ dad. A somewhat famous comedian, author and general wit for hire.
It all began when Tom was spotted completely by chance at a local YMCA dance class and asked if he would like to audition for the stage show, Billy Elliot the Musical. We went along to see the show and came out laughing at such a ridiculous prospect. At the time, Tom couldn’t dance and had never been in a school play before. But I explained that it was still a good idea to go along. Failure is a part of all of our lives and this is a good lesson to learn early in life.
So Tom joined a long queue of hope and was eventually duly cast and some 18 months later after intense training, he took to a west end stage as Billy. Blimey, well done Tom and this idea of being eclipsed first occurred to me – since I was suddenly the second most successful show biz person in my house. Nearly two years in the show, I needed some limelight back and we decided that Tom needed to get back to school and to be more normal again. But fate had other ideas. Tom was cast to play Lucas in the film, The Impossible – now showing around the world and watched to date by nearly 10 million people.
The eclipse of his old dad is not indisputable – and thankfully as his dad, I am much more proud than I am bemused.
I wrote a blog called Eclipsed – and I have recently published an ebook called ‘How Tom Holland Eclipsed His Dad’, available at smashwords here and amazon, here.