Ah, the audition trail as an actor….emotionally draining, fulfilling, gruelling, tiring and inspiring. As actors, our lives are spent hopping from one audition to the next. It’s a tough and sometimes lonely road, don’t you think? So much preparation, and so many knockbacks. So what happens when we become mothers? The audition trail remains the same with all its highs and lows but we need to become smarter. Smarter with our time, our resources and with our energy. We are forced to step back and look at what the audition trail means for us now that we barely sleep! Here are 3 things to know about the audition trail for actors juggling motherhood.
Blog in 30 seconds
- Being honest and nurturing about where your body is at after giving birth can be liberating as an actor
- Having 2-3 times in your week for audition prep can stave off the overwhelm when motherhood chucks you a curve ball
- Tapping into our flexibility and creativity can allow us the freedom to be the mother we aspire to be, and the artist we want to be
Don’t pretend nothing’s changed! We have just birthed humans. That is surely one of the most amazing and intense things we will ever do, right? So I don’t believe in pretending nothing’s changed when everything has. If we can lean into that we can set ourselves free. But we have to get a little uncomfortable and real first.
Yep, this is the uncomfortable one that can set you free if you let it. Personally speaking, my body pre-children was way more “ornamental” than it is these days. I was a not-ever-really-happy-with-my-body size 10. When I say ornamental, I mean I had things like a performance and audition weight and I hovered around that, always aware that the camera adds kilos. Honestly, I appreciated my body more for how it LOOKED rather than the amazing life-creating miracle that it really is. I now sit between a size 12-14 and I honestly LOVE my body. Giving birth to two humans also birthed respect and perspective. So, what does this mean for the audition trail as an actor? I urge you to embrace your body today. That means be honest firstly with yourself, then with your agent/managers. Be honest and unapologetic about your size. Allow for different priorities to come about now that you are a mother. This industry is full of scrutiny, but please be true to who you are right now. If that means a bigger size, that’s what it means right now!
Values and desires.
You may find that prior to children you did shows that ran six nights a week with matinees on the weekend for months at a time. Or perhaps you toured the world in your chosen field. But what if after you have bubs this doesn’t appeal to you anymore? What if the thought of not putting your bub to sleep at night makes you cry? I think it really helps to have more than one creative avenue in this season of motherhood. Creativity and flexibility are our greatest assets as mothers in the arts. It’s not about putting our work on the back burner while we change nappies and apply the nipple cream, but about creating new strategies for your work and actually being honest about what values you hold around mothering your children.
I strongly recommend something that has worked so well for me since I became a mother five years ago. Leave two to three spots in your week where you plan to do the same audition preparation, i.e. learn lines, and research characters. If you miss the first time you set aside, go to the next one. No sweat. Motherhood throws us incredible curve balls and we need to have a strategy in place to work with the curve balls, not against them. This helps to eliminate stress and overwhelm. Give it a try for your next audition.
W & W
This sounds like an obvious one we don’t need to address, but it’s crucial when we are lacking sleep. The two W’s. Water and Warm-ups. When we are sleep deprived, busy and stressed as mothers we can forget their importance, but truthfully we need them more than ever. Water helps keep our throats lubricated and those tired headaches at bay. When tired our voices can really suffer too and we can become lazy with how we use them, which increases our chances of straining. Take ten minutes on the way to your audition to practice tongue twisters, gently hum or sing. This preparation is great for our focus too.
Whilst we can’t change the audition trail as actors when we become mothers we have to do what works for us. Be very honest about whether your priorities have shifted post-birth and examine the work that serves your values in this season of motherhood and the work that doesn’t.
Our time, resources and energy are so precious when we enter motherhood.
We rely on using them all wisely to stay sane but to also ensure we are doing the work that makes our hearts sing. Here’s to your next audition beautiful mama. I’m right alongside you on the audition trail!
With so much respect,