I am still a theatre artist.
That's getting harder and harder for me to say.
I believe it, you know, in my heart and all. But I'm out of practice. Out of the loop. Out of the ritual of it all.
Before I had my daughter, I didn't understand why people--particularly women--fell away from making theatre when they had kids. Even if they did have a day job, too.
I didn't understand why they couldn't just have their partner watch the baby during all those nighttime rehearsals. And get a sitter on the nights when both parents had something to do.
I didn't understand why they couldn't just bring their kid to rehearsals every once in a while.
I didn't understand why something that was so important to the mama's sense of self and contribution to the world could be put on the chopping block so (seemingly) easily.
And now, here I am, more than two years into child-raising, and this is how much theatre I've done:
- performed in 1 staged reading that required a total of 10 hours of rehearsal,
- attended approximately 9 rehearsals over the course of 3 months to help create 1 performance piece (in which i did not perform),
- wrote--in fits and spurts--1 draft of a new play with my writing partner,
- took 1 workshop for a total of 9 hours spread over 3 weeks.
The pre-daughter me spent between 20 and 40 hours almost every single week for the past 20 years on this stuff.
I am missing you, theatre.
I am missing you, black blocks and rehearsal mats and ensembles that make something out of nothing.
I am missing you.
But I need to find a new way of participating, of making theatre here. A way that works for a mama who needs to contribute to the family's income and also needs to be there (at least most of the time) when her daughter goes down to sleep.
Right now, there's not much out there that I can see, and I don't have the bandwidth to dive in and make some huge, dynamic, new infrastructure--as awesome as that sounds.
So I'm going to poke around the idea slowly. Here on my blog. And I'll be interviewing some amazing creative mamas in many genres to see how it's working for them.
I hope you'll join me. And I hope we'll all learn something cool in the process.
Something about what we need to let go in order to have space to create. Something that maybe applies to mamas who make all kinds of things.
Each day this week, I'm touching on the kinds of things I'll be writing about here at one broken teapot. If you think these explorations are interesting or helpful, you can subscribe to have my blog posts delivered to your inbox. It's easy, and it's free.