I trained and worked as an actress.  Now I’m a stay-at-home mom to  two boys.

I trained and worked as an actress. Now I’m a stay-at-home mom to two boys.

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MARCY

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 I 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.

“I feel very strongly about not judging other mothers. You don’t know what their lives are like.”

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

I am the program director of  St Jerome HANDS community center  in Mott Haven, in the Bronx.

I am the program director of St Jerome HANDS community center in Mott Haven, in the Bronx.

As a physician, I specialized in immunotherapy for hematology-oncology: using the immune system to attack tumors. Now I’m in the business of drug development.

As a physician, I specialized in immunotherapy for hematology-oncology: using the immune system to attack tumors. Now I’m in the business of drug development.