Friday, May 8, 2009

Challenges of the actor life - with Susannah Mars

Monday May 4th 2009
Where has the time gone? I’m home, in Portland today, making dinners, carting kids to soccer, track and piano. Back to Seattle tomorrow for our final week of Sunday in the Park with George. I can’t believe that we’re in our final week. It has been such a joyous experience, from being cast, through our rehearsal process, and including our incredible run. Everyone involved with the show has been just fantastic. I’ve made new friends, and spent time with old friends too.

Tuesday May 5th 2009
I’m on the train heading back to Seattle. This train ride is GORGEOUS! I have a unique situation, I’m an “out-of-towner” but not too far out of town! I live in Portland, a 3 hour trip, which goes by quickly if you have LOTS of music to learn, or a good book on tape! Lucky for me I love Burgerville, so there’s always something to look forward to when I’m on I-5 :)I have two children, 15 and 9, so being out of town presents all sorts of wonderful opportunities for our family, as well as a few challenges.On the opportunity side, my kids have watched a gorgeous creative process; seen my interest in researching the time periods that we’re experiencing in the show, and they’ve had the chance to see, and hear, this beautiful piece. (My nine year old loves to sing all the parts of “It’s Hot Up Here") Both of my daughters have brought friends up for a visit. We’ve played in the fountain in the Seattle Center, and hit every clothing boutique within a 6 mile radius. (remember, I have a 15 year old!) We’ve hunted through Pike Place Market, and ridden the Elliot Bay Water Taxi. We walked to Ballard! My husband has had the opportunity to miss me, and I him, and that’s a good thing in the midst of a 21 year marriage! It shakes things up a bit, and makes the 36 hour visits home pretty exciting.

My husband is always coming up with fun trips for the girls, last week they hiked to Angel’s Rest in the Gorge. They sent pictures to my cell phone and great texts. They’re having some very special alone time with their dad. On the challenging side, we’ve had some extra work in scheduling. Getting the girls to their sports activities, piano, etc. etc. Making family time, while also giving the girls the time to spend with friends and all that good stuff, especially when my time home is very limited. My husband has taken on SO much at home, he’s a beloved Chiropractor, working long hours, and then, comes home, stays cheerful, does homework with the girls, puts them to bed, and then falls into bed himself. Meting out energy can be a challenge for both of us, I think especially him, right now.

All in all, this job is such a gift. I don’t even think of it as a job. Job connotes hard labor to me... there is hard creative labor, but it is most certainly a labor of love. It feels so good to be able to show our kids that we can all support each other, in our chosen professions, and interests, in all sorts of ways. That you can love your job.The girls contribute too. My older daughter helps my younger get ready for school when my husband leaves for work, and walks her out the door to her bus. They can make dinner, do their chores without a big whine-a-thon, be proactive about what needs to be done around the house. (okay, now I’m just dreaming, but we can head in that direction, right??)

It’s easier knowing that it’s a six week commitment, and that next week I’ll be back at home. Things will get back to a semblance of normalcy. I mean our family normalcy. Having a performing artist in our family, our sense of normalcy is different from most families. I’m a freelancer, so my work ebbs and flows. When I’m working, we refigure our home life again. It’s a great way to attempt to keep somewhat flexible!

SO, thank you 5th Avenue for availing us of this glorious opportunity, as a family, and for me, as an artist. It has been a dream date!

With love and thanks,
Susannah Mars

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