Monday, August 31, 2009

Adam Sandler and My Guilty Hand

I had a crazy dream last night. I dreamt I was discovering a new playground near my house, at the bottom of a steep hill. When I got down there, I passed by the swings and went into a building. It was a fringe festival office (a theatre office). I was dismayed that no one recognized me for my past fringe performance successes. I figured it was because I had kids and it had been a while so I had better get back on the fringe circuit and make a name for myself again. I sat at a table with other performers who were watching TV. I was beside Adam Sandler. He held my hand under the table. I was excited that he liked me and recognized me as a fellow talent, but I was feeling guilty because I was married. How could I hold his hand?! I kept holding it, working through my guilt by trying to figure things out so my husband wouldn’t know. I also felt guilty about being away from the kids. I had meant to come and find a playground for them and here I was, in an entertainment office, with a fellow comic genius. Clearly I felt love for this place of potential, but I was there without consent.
Then the dream morphed into a murder mystery dream… I’m currently in the main cast at Mysteriously Yours theatre… which I am really enjoying… and then Jake, my 2 year old, came and woke me up.
But the dream stayed with me, and I had a chance to write it down. I know what it means too. I have been feeling guilty about having a Hollywood style, successful career because it would clearly be a compromise to my husband and children. There is so much guilt for wanting a film and television career it seems. Don’t get me wrong. The guilt comes from me. No one else is making me feel bad. I’m doing it to myself.
It’s like I should be transferring my career aspirations onto my children, and become a stage mom. Or I should keep my dreams of success to myself and not share them with my husband. I should perhaps go to teacher’s college or join the bank fulltime. And I ask you, how would any of this help?
You know it is evil to have career plans for your child. And my husband knows I’m an actor and writer and that I have big plans. He wants to know and wants to help me succeed. And living a compromised life (not following my bliss) is no example to set for my kids…
Do you know how much my family would benefit from my successful TV and film career? If Adam Sandler has faith in me, then at least I should too. Tomorrow I’m getting my production team together, (my husband and kids) and going over the time lines for the rest of the year.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Suddenly Home and Mommy Again

Hi there.
So, just to recap, I went to The Winnipeg Fringe to do my new show Suddenly Mommy! And when I say new, I mean, new. As in "hello folks, you are hearing this for the first time..." And I went without my husband and kids! So, it was intense in many ways.

Firstly, when you do The Winnipeg Fringe (just in case you are thinking of taking your show there) it is arguably the best fringe in the world. The reviewers and audiences want to see the show you have been crafting for years. So, I had to really work for it. But I worked. And I worked hard. I opened a good show. But I closed a great show! And it is only going to get better with every run, with every performance, because that's what happens when you create a show. It grows! It gets better! It makes more sense! Just like a baby!

And to address the other point: I went to Winnipeg without my 2 year old, or my 4 year old, or my 10 year old step-daughter or my 41 year old husband. (I'm sure he hates it when I mention his age. Personally, I just turned 30. Again.) But I was away from the children for almost 2 weeks! Putting up a new show in a new city! I didn't even bring a stage manager! Or a director! Or a girl friend! I stayed with three 25 year old girls who were lovely. I went to yoga every other day. I spent my free time working on my show, writing, or working over Skype with my director. (I now know what Skype is! You can video chat on your computer! Who knew!) Or I talked to other mothers who take there one woman shows out into the world!

Third point! There are some fabulous women out there on the fringe circuit who do their solo shows and sell out and are amazing and talented and have kids too! Specifically Rachelle Elie, Colette Kendal and Precious Chong. Then there are other cool women, sans enfants, who gave me oodles of support and feedback around my show! Specifically Susan Jeremy and Sherri Sutton. My show got so much better so fast with help from these stand up comics! Let me put it into perspective: Susan Jeremy has been invited to Just For Laughs not once but twice! And Sherri Sutton opened for Roseanne! And they came to my show, and I went to theirs, and I learned and I grew, and I was in paradise! In a beer tent! In Winnipeg! So happy!

Forth point! My audience included more amazing women. Buffalo Gals came to see me! And so did NSI! And men! Farpoint Films! (These are important names in the world of film and television, so I won't go on). But I had such incredible feedback, not to mention lunch, from great people who saw what I was bringing to the world! A fresh new look at motherhood!

Erica Ehm from Yummy Mummy Club also emailed me to offer sponsorship! Do you see where I am going here! Winnipeg was my creative incubator! I stepped on stage with my bean sprout and I left with a beanstalk to a castle in the sky! (I think I need to go to bed soon...)

But finally, and I will end it here, I could not have had the experience I had if it weren't for my husband. He raised the kids without me for two weeks. He did not complain. (He did go to his mother's for the last, which was a great idea. Gramma and Poppa got to spend lots of time getting to know their grandsons). And suddenly mommy was suddenly free to get some much needed work done on her show. Suddenly, being a mommy is not what it used to be. And that's good. xoxo AMS