This is the second show I have done this year in which I play a terrible mother. Is the world trying to tell me something? Hate to disappoint you. I already knew.
I have 5 kids. Two sets. 21, 20 & 18. 4 & 2.
I was really young when I had the First Batch. I did the best I could under the circumstances but by virtue of being so young and raising them mostly on my own, I made a lot of mistakes. I had the best of intentions (fortunately) and did not make the mistakes SOME young moms make. I did not spend my time partying or resenting the kids or things like that. I just think I had grander expectations of what we all were capable of handling. I worked all the time, went to college and ran a theatre company while trying to raise the kids. I thought I was showing them that hard work was important. I seem to have taught them that they "can't" live up to my standards.
And so they do nothing at all. Which makes me feel like a huge failure.
So now that I am being cast as all of the "bad" mothers, it brings all of those feelings of failure right to the front. I know that I am not an alcoholic and that I didn't abandon my kids but I can't help feeling my personal sense of failure as I am trying to explore the failings of my characters.
I have never felt so "method" in my life.
And I look at my little ones and think about the choices I am making now – mostly different choices than I made with the First Batch - and I worry that THESE choices are going to cause some of the same harm THOSE choices made. In other words, I am still screwing up.
One of the best things about being an actor (as far as I am concerned) is that it forces one to evaluate one's behavior pretty much constantly. The "why" of character development is my favorite aspect and the "why" of Sami usually goes hand in hand. I am consistently fascinated by why we do what we do so these characters are forcing me to look at my life and ask WHY am I doing what I do.
And in the end – with luck – I will be making more good choices than bad ones. Then I will be able to get to know these women without feeling like I am one of them.
Maybe then I will start being cast as GOOD mothers but not GRAND mothers . . . I don't think am not old enough for THAT yet.