For My Daughter 

When Isabel M. Jones interviewed me for her artist blog, she mentioned  the theme was “hope.” I thought the topic extremely relevant and unfortunately rare. Once I read through her questions, one rang especially rare to me. I wish I were asked the question more. I happen to be very proud to be an artist mom. I  grew up in an artist household. I find my art and my love for my children pour from the same place. I hope for many things for my children. And here, Isabel asked a key question about it – and here’s the answer that poured out:

What do you hope your daughter will learn by watching you pursue acting?

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My daughter found my dance shoes and just started ballet, so she taught me a class at home.

My daughter is incredibly perceptive. Two year olds are such incredible vessels of deep thought and feeling, mind and heart unseparated, that I honestly have learned more from her in regard to acting and how to express the truth of what my character is thinking or feeling or wanting. Toddlers have such assurance and lack of apology that spending time with my
daughter makes me bold.
There’s a courage to her joy and sorrow that I find powerful. In terms of what I hope she learns from watching me pursue my craft:

I hope she learns joy that comes from devotion to a life long discipline, whatever that may be for her.

That rejection from others has no connection to her inherent value.

That critics are meant to make us think, not make us doubt.

That making beautiful things is a valid social contribution.

That empathy and storytelling are effective ways to explore solutions and expand compassion.

That in real life some people do break out randomly into song and dance.

That telling the truth about what she feels and thinks, even when standing alone in the spotlight, should be lauded – whether on a stage or not.

That we are witnesses and contributors to each others stories, and how we engage with that truth matters.

That some professions require ten times the effort for success than others, but may be worth it.

That you can try every time and still not succeed every time, but failure is a part of a healthy process and work is the pursuit.

That I will support whatever she aspires to do. Always.

That is all equally true for my four month old son as well.


Read the full interview here:

Part 1 and Part 2

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Where Are the Disappeared Women of the Theatre? – HowlRound

The full article first appeared on 12/16/16 on HowlRound.com – excerpt and link below.

Written by AuditioningMom Rachel Spencer Hewitt.

As promised, here is the stunning comprehensive story behind the #StandByYourMAM selfie posted by AuditioningMom and loads of other supporters. Mothers Artist Makers (MAM) – an off-shoot of the radical movement #WakingTheFeminists (#WTF) – is a sister group across the sea in Ireland making waves for gender equality on the platform of generating awareness and initiatives that support theatre artist moms. It was my pleasure to interview four of them and create the essay for HowlRound that the journal published yesterday. Read the incredible story here:

“Tara Derrington scribbled her question on the back of one of her daughter’s paintings. She woke at 3 A.M. with it spinning in her mind. That day in November 2015, Tara joined close to 600 women at a rally in Dublin for Waking the Feminists (WTF) to fight for gender equality on the stage. She attended alone after the event proved inaccessible to many of her colleagues due to scheduling. Standing solo, photographers snapped the image of Tara holding the sign she had made with her question in thick, black ink: ‘Where are the disappeared women of the Arts? At the schoolyards now.’ And thus began the dialogue that is revolutionizing representation for professional female artists with children across the Irish theatrical platform.”

READ MORE

Click photo for full article.