It was 6 days after the delivery of my first daughter when I got the call from my agent. “Any chance you could come into the studio”. After 48 hours of labour and hardly any sleep, I had a new found appreciation of my capabilities to say the least, so I replied with a “yes that should be fine” and off I went. With slippers on, a brand new baby in tow and my husband by my side, on I soldiered.
For performing artists this pandemic has changed the game. In the blink of an eye we have found ourselves in unfamiliar territory. A place where our work has dried up overnight for the foreseeable future. And like the rest of the world’s population, lockdown has presented itself with the challenge of being socially isolated. Throw in a government who I’m certain doesn’t realise we exist/ doesn’t value our worth and things have quickly become dire. So if the work that nourishes us and pays our bills has vanished, our freedom to collaborate in person has gone and we don’t even qualify for some of the packages on offer to financially hold us for now, how do we stay afloat and remember who we are and what we offer to society at large?
Ah the audition trail as an actor….emotionally draining, fulfilling, gruelling, tiring and inspiring. As actors, our lives are spent hopping from one audition to the next. It’s a tough and sometimes lonely road, don’t you think? So much preparation, so many knock backs. So what happens when we become mothers? The audition trail remains the same with all it’s highs and lows but we need to become smarter. Smarter with our time, our resources and with our energy. We are forced to step back and look at what the audition trail means for us now that we barely sleep!
12 years ago, I read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and it transformed my life in incredible ways. It reframed my relationship with time and gave me a simple framework for continuing to develop my craft, even when I felt like time wasn’t on my side……. hello motherhood!
Even with the best of intentions and effort put in, when you are juggling motherhood and a career in the performing arts, some days ARE JUST ABOUT SURVIVAL.
Lack of sleep, no extra help, tantrums (yours and your child’s)…. The list goes on and on and I hear you, I am with you on this reality.
The first few years of motherhood; beat me down and I hardly recognised myself when I said that’s enough, that’s it, I can’t live this way anymore.
The other day I was doing a voice job, and found myself across the booth from Melanie Munt, a really friendly soul who was such a pleasure to work with. I didn’t realise how much we needed each other on that day until she simply lent away from her mic and said to me “you don’t happen to be a mum do you” Well I went into a small tailspin thinking “ Oh no, I’ve got shit or food on my face” You feel me? I said yes and she said “thank god” and I knew she just needed someone to see her and the sheer guts it took to be there that day. We literally lent in and held hands for a few minutes. It was a precious and magic moment where two exhausted mothers looked each other in the eyes and just “got it”. We were in the studio doing our thing together and merely minutes before and I’m sure minutes after we said our goodbyes we were in the thick of all things motherhood.