I trained and worked as an actress. Now I’m a stay-at-home mom to two boys.
Not long after college, I broke my knee onstage. I wasn’t really a dancer, but I guess I looked like one, so they let me do things I shouldn’t have been doing. In that one moment, I knew that it might be all over. I had studied for four years, majoring in theater with minors in dance and voice. Looking back, I’m so thankful I got that intensive four years of doing what I loved to do.
My training also led me to my husband, who was the music director on a show I did. He had sworn he’d never date a performer. But he couldn’t help himself—I was playing a road-kill possum, singing power ballads! (This was not a good show.)
I had a day job working at a bank. I would greet people when they came in, organize conference calls, that sort of thing. It was kind of boring, but I got to meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’d go to auditions on my lunch break.
I saw that bank job as my greatest acting challenge. It was a French bank, so I’d pretend to speak French. All dressed up in my mother’s clothes, I was like, I am a Business Woman. I would order coffee with a shot of espresso. I didn’t even drink coffee, but I thought that’s what you were supposed to do in an office.
Then got pregnant—a bit of a surprise since I’d been told I was infertile. After my second son was born, I broke my leg again. Turns out I’m a trailblazer in a very rare knee condition. I tried to pretend I was okay. But inside I was screaming, I’m not going to be able to carry my baby.
The most surprising thing to me about motherhood is that I don’t know everything. I always assumed my mom had it all together. Now I see we’re all just flying by the seat of our pants. That’s where my acting training comes in handy—pretending I know things, when I really feel like I’m always cramming for an exam. Once you figure out one thing, it’s over, on to the next.
Sometimes when people ask what I do, I feel embarrassed. Like I’m not contributing. But at the same time, my husband is a workaholic. He’s happiest when he has 20 hours of work to do in a day. So I get to be the steady in the kids’ life. And honestly, I feel very fortunate.
He comes home and talks about his work in the theater, and a part of my heart is still there. A lot of people I trained with are working in the business, girls I used to share clothes with. I know it’s not always glamorous. It’s a hard life, even for the most successful. But I miss having that thing that I was really good at.
Interviewed on January 17, 2018