Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Motherhood: the Musical. No really.

I'm waiting to see if it was just a fluke or coincidence that at the very same moment that I needed something to reactivate my brain out of mommy madness there was an audition in Philly at Society Hill Playhouse for Motherhood : the Musical.
[BARB: 30-45. Stay-at-home mother of five. She has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. She doesn't own anything that isn't machine-washable and would use her sleeve to wipe her child's nose without hesitation. Her husband's name is Chris and her kids are Daniel, Steven, Jessica, Lisa, and Timmy. (Vocal Range: Low F, G# (lower) Belt, C (lower) Strong Mix)]
Perfect, right? Well, no, I don't have five kids, but seriously, I'm thinking if I don't find a babysitter for the audition I can just strap one in the Ergo and push the other in an umbrella stroller as I walk in the room. *BAM*. It'll be the first time I am the benefit of type-casting.

my fellow actresses with me at Society Hill Playhouse
Long story short, I blew their minds, got a callback, and the offer of 'Understudy' two weeks later. I was so excited--I was finally getting in on the Philly theater scene. I'm thinking this'll be great; people will get to know me and see how reliable I am and how big a range I have and keep me in mind for every single production they put up...

Get the contract: Production company is in Florida. Omph. Ok. Well, still majorly cool, people around the city will see me and I'll get to know the town and other actors, etc...it's still my in. 

Moving forward....what an amazing YEAR it was. Yes, that's right from August to July this wonderful company kept a mommy working in her favorite industry. Don't you wish I had started the blog before I got that gig? [Yes, Ashley, it would have been much more exciting.] But alas, I didn't have time to breathe during that run and the surrounding drama, especially in the beginning. Now I'm bored. Waiting by the phone & computer...for...another...*sigh*...gig...

my people
The real drama kinda starts now. Was it a fluke, me re-entering the workforce in such a way, in a way that is reminiscent of my 20s, pre-marriage days even, not to mention pre-mommy days, that both reminded me I was a real person, and not only that, but that I was a singer/actress, too? Being able to hang with show people - "my people" - who understand why you buy a new shirt and have it on before you reach the next block...all adding up to me functioning as a 'fuller' mom. Everyone asks if I'm going to do another 'show around town'....if only it were as easy as me deciding it so.

I've done the season auditions for all the big name theaters in a 30 mile or so radius, the Theatre Alliance audition for those theaters I may have missed, and submitted my headshot & resume to other listings & casting directors. This is like the worst part of my 20s all over again. The good news is, this time I already have a full-time gig. *Mommy*. But I feel sooo limited in what I can audition for, and once again, what type I may be able to play.

December run....that's quarter-end time. No good...
Lancaster...that's at least an hour away...how much do they pay? Wouldn't cover the babysitter...
Two weeks in NYC...could my mom handle the kids in an apartment...would I get any sleep...  
  • Equity
  • Experience
  • Exposure
In my early career I had a rule of the "3 E's" : Equity (actor's union membership access), Experience, Exposure. If a gig had 2 of the 3 requirements, it was worth any amount of money they were going to pay. If a job was in NYC, it automatically had the last 2 locked. I never minded making my 'real' money in my day jobs as long as I was furthering my career in the arts in the right way. And looking back on it now, I really did make the best choices I could, and I'm happy with what I was able to accomplish before 9/11 and the city got the best of me...
  • Marriage
  • Money
  • Mommy time
At this point in my life.......I guess it would be the "3 M's": Marriage, meaning, can I maintain the thing that keeps my life working while doing something I love; Money, that is, can I actually pay the babysitter and make it at least a zero sum loss for my time away from the fam; and Mommy time being, can I still fulfill the needs of my children for me, and my need for them. I honestly re-started this venture in my life because I felt a part-time gig in the BIZ was a perfect way to still be a stay-at-home-mom during the day and fabuloso drama queen at night. Win-win. And last year, it was!

I'll keep auditioning & wait around for another cherry gig. In the meantime, I'll take you with me.

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