Mona King was in our very first Expressing Motherhood cast. Mona wrote and sang her “Minivan” at almost all of our first shows. She became my lucky rabbit foot. Mona is, as we all are, complex and deep. Her answers below have kind of blown me away. Reading her interview made me appreciate her even more. Really interesting creative journey, read about her here.
I am or should I say was previously a ‘Mini Van’ mom.
Yes, I have turned in my ‘Mini Van’ and upgraded to a Pilot and let me tell you I love it! I never liked my Mini Van although it was very practical and lovely to drive. It seemed as I started having more children this vehicle was forced on me to make my lifestyle chauffeuring the kids around a little easier. I’m not sure anything makes that easier, but for over 10 years I drove a Mini Van and wrote a song about, which I have discovered a lot of mother’s relate to very well.
I am one of the original cast members of Expressing Motherhood and have performed with this great group of creative moms for over 4 times. I have three children. Two girls and a boy, my youngest with special needs. Prior to children I worked professionally as a singer, dancer, and actress in Las Vegas, touring companies, Cruise Ships (travelling the world) and off broadway and stage productions throughout the US. Some commercial work and TV stuff, but live theater and music have always had my heart.
When I got married I still performed and auditioned regularly and I was able to balance both work and motherhood.
My family slowly grew from one to two and then when my son arrived, my life slowly started to change.
I still performed but not with the same regularity as his medical needs and care were very demanding as well as his older sisters and trying to balance work with motherhood. My work has always been creative, so when I wasn’t performing as much it was very difficult.
So I slowly built up my teaching base as a voice teacher and still had my hands in music working with students. It was great. I found as my children started to get older, performing and teaching voice were not fulfilling me as much as they had in the past.
Unfortunately, my spouse has not been supportive of my performing career so the joy I previously felt started to wain. I started taking jobs choreographing shows which was great for the time commitment. It didn’t take as much time away from the family as performing and was/is still very creative and fulfilling. I also started running and racing and this has been a strong force of release and meditation in a difficult marriage and demanding special needs child.
I run regularly during the week and have also carved out a beach run once a week. This beach day has become mom’s day to regroup and get inspired and energized by being at my favorite place. In many ways it has saved my sanity and has grounded me. (just ran my 5th 1/2 Marathon on Sunday…woo hoo)
As the need to perform became less, the need to give back to my community of children and adults with special needs became increasingly more. I went back to school and I am now a Certified Massage Therapist, (CMT), and a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist, (CPMT).
I specialize in children and adults with special needs and medical conditions, however, I massage and do body work on everyone. My heart and passion is with the kids. I work part time at UCLA in the PICU and volunteer at a local hospice, as well as work part time at Massage Envy and private clients. I still teach voice, but not as much, and do the occasional show or performance, but my passion now is using the power of touch to help heal, relax, and comfort.
Yes, my schedule is very full and busy, but I find by giving back to others, it has healed me on many levels. My son has given me the gift of compassion and patience, and I’m continually trying to find the balance of music, performing, and the healing arts. I love my work. As much as I love my family, for me, I have had to find a balance with the work I love to feel fulfilled. It’s easy to loose yourself while raising children and I always promised myself I would stay true to my own desires.
It may sound selfish, but in many ways I am a better mother, by being creative and touching others.