An Interview with “The Gay Dad Project”

A few weeks ago on Twitter a Twitter handle popped out at me “The Gay Dad Project.” I wanted to know what it was about. So I tweeted them and asked if I could interview them. One of the co-directors, Erin Margolin, got right back to me and was happy to do it.

It’s an impressive documentary in the makes and Erin has three very small kids so the fact that she’s doing this is even more impressive.

Read about Erin’s project here.

 

Gay Dad Project obviously jumps out at one, what is your documentary about?

 

Our documentary is quite far from finished, but in general

terms it’s about kids who have had a parent come out

of the closet after being in a heterosexual marriage.

When I say “kids,” I’m not talking about little ones; I just

mean anyone who has experienced this — kids like me.

I’m 37 years old, but I’m still a “kid,” in a sense, and I always

will be as long as my parents are still alive.

 

What drew you to this project?

 

My own life and living through this. My dad came out of the

closet when I was 15 years old. He and my mom had just

celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. That was back

in 1991, so as you can imagine, it wasn’t a time when you

could just talk to anyone about it.Back then I was desperate

to connect with other kids who had gone through this. I

wanted to read books about it. But there wasn’t much

out there. That is *finally* starting to change and I have

hope that the trend will continue.

Erin as part of the NoH8 campaign. Love this!
                                     Erin as part of the NoH8 campaign. 

I see that you have a producing partner, how did you two become connected?

Do you live in the same city?

 

Amie and I found each other through a mutual friend who also had a gay dad.

Amie lives in California, and I live in Kansas City, so unfortunately we don’t

live near one another. But in a way it’s good because we each do different things

and we’re in different areas…so it sort of spreads more stuff around!

 

How did you channel your creativity pre and post children? 

I see via your Twitter bio that you have three kids so you

are obviously a busy mom.

How did your creativity change post children?

I have always been a writer and have kept journals

off and on throughout much of my life. That evolved

into blogging. I started my own personal blog in 2007

when my twin daughters were potty training! I’ve

kept that up over the years and wish I had more

time for it. But we had a surprise/miracle baby in 2011,

so I guess you could say my hands are full again

for awhile. It’s a good kind of full, it’s fun being a

mom to three girls. And once the youngest starts

kindergarten I’ll be able to throw myself headlong

into writing. Or something like that. 😉

How much time do you put into the documentary?

How many months or years have already gone into it!

Did you get financial backing? 

 

We started filming a year and a half ago. We are not constantly

filming because we have to do a little at a time based

on our budget. We did a crowdfunding campaign on

Indiegogo last year and raised $20,000, but we quickly

realized that wouldn’t get us as far as we wanted to go.

We have tentative plans to launch another crowdfunding

campaign, but we haven’t finalized those details just yet.

 

Do you have plans to take it to festivals?

We would love to do that! Sundance HERE WE COME!

In all seriousness, Sundance would be my dream

come true; but we’re not done yet and we have

a lot to learn as far as all the different festivals go.

And there are rules with each of them, i.e. if you

submit something, you have to wait a certain period

of time before you can submit to another one. It’s a

process, a long one, and we’re learning as we go.

 

 

What do you hope to accomplish by making this film? 

 

We hope to shed light on different kinds of families.

We want other “kids” like us to know they’re not alone.

There’s still such stigma attached to being LGBTQ,

and the whole coming out process can wreak havoc.

I wish it wasn’t that way….then again, if it wasn’t,

I wouldn’t be here (my dad knew he was gay when

he was 12 years old, but knew it wasn’t acceptable. So he

married my mom and figured he could stuff it down,

pretend it away. One day he realized he couldn’t do it

anymore, & that’s when he came out, left my mom, and moved out).

 

 

This is a photo of Erin, bottom right, Erin's dad is seated to her left and that's Erin's producing partner Amie and her dad, standing.
This is a photo of Erin, bottom right, Erin’s dad is seated to her left and that’s Erin’s producing partner Amie and her dad, standing.

 

 If you are interested in being interviewed for “The Gay Dad Project” please email either Erin or Amie.

 

Come Join Us For An ExMo MeetUp To Discuss “The Big Disconnect” at Mama’s Secret Cafe

We are having fun planning events where Expressing Motherhood alum and fans can meet up around town.

I need more face to face time with you lovely ladies.

So, we are happy to announce another event slated for April 1st, Tuesday at 9:30AM at Mama’s Secret Bakery & Cafe in Hollywood.

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Pick up your copy of  “The Big Disconnect” and buy yourself a ticket to the event.

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Space is very limited, we are capping it at 6. For $20 you’ll have a delicious meal, the menu will have choices and be set just for our event. Coffee and or tea and a lively morning discussion to ensue.

Buy your ticket here.

Slightly Obsessed With “The Big Disconnect”

After every show or really during the show I begin to think about where I want to take the show and myself next.

This time I wasn’t quite sure though I had a feeling it would be to not make plans quite yet for the next show.

I took a morning to myself and went to my local bookstore the day or two after the show concluded and bought “The Big Disconnect” by Catherine Steiner-Adair.

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I will admit, that I have probably read 1 other book since all three of my kids have been born. OK, maybe 3 but that’s it.

This book has really both disturbed me and motivated me to make some changes.

On the front jacket the book says “Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age.” The photo’s artwork just screamed at me at the bookstore. Yes, yes, that’s where I need to dive into next.

Technology is driving me crazy.

Ironically, I built Expressing Motherhood due to technology, taking submissions via email during my kids nap time. But I didn’t have an iPhone and I didn’t even use Twitter. I was against it and mocked my good friend and mom who loved their iPhones. Then of course I got hooked and began using Twitter, Instagram and our ExMo Facebook account with regularity.

Cut to my children, turning and staring at my hands and then my eyes.

Not my eyes first.

It makes me sick. Literally.

I even have stopped chatting on the phone with my closest friends. And do I feel more connected. Hell no. I am lonely as fudge(censored.)

Ahh, I have so many thoughts and yet I want to call my friend tonight and watch The Bachelor so I’m just going to throw them out there.

Here are a few of the passages I underlined, I’m not all the way through the book, I have to put it down from time to time as I become unnerved.

“When texting begin to take the place of substantive in-person conversations for any of us, we are training the language and speech centers of our brain for a new, unnatural, and superficial model of connection.” (The Big Disconnect)

That really concerns me in regards to kids.

“…kids are developing a seriously disordered understanding of what it means to truly communicate: to hear a voice, process the incoming and outgoing messages, engage directly with someone that way.” (The Big Disconnect)

The author talks about how teens deem phone conversations too personal! That really freaks me out.

“As our kids have grown accustomed to the detached and superficial quality of texting and online messaging, they have become to averse to spontaneous conversation…They describe a phone conversation, even with a friend, as “too intense,” or “so intrusive.” (The Big Disconnect)

She talks about how our phone usage as parents effects our little ones. How they see it as whoever their mom and dad is talking to is so much more important then them. The almighty phone. She explains that being ignored so much is similar to the feelings a child of a narcissist encounter. And that’s not good. Trust me on that one.

OK, I might have lost some of you, I’m not yelling I swear, I’m just frightened and intrigued.

So this weekend I didn’t carry my phone with me.

And we had.

The best three days.

We have ever had.

Me and my three kids that is.

We were lost in play. Yesterday, due to our gorgeous, drought of a Winter I wanted to capture pushing my girl in the swing so badly. It was a perfect, perfect moment. I ran inside and thought I could hide the phone and quickly snap from behind.

Full storage, read my phone. I tried to delete stuff to make space. I took up time. It took my attention.

My 2 and 1/2 year-old sailed back and forth and said, “No touch the phone mommy.”

I said OK, no touch.

Then she said, “Touch me mommy.”

I did not make that up.

Yesterday I headed out to go see The Book of Mormon and I arrived early so I sat and had a glass of wine at the W Hotel.

Everyone was on their phone. Even people who were with their friends. It was creepy.

Really, really creepy.

A woman even Facetimed someone!!!! She put her ear buds in and did it.

I will never forget when I was 25 and had to wait for someone at a swanky place on Sunset Boulevard. I sat for about 40 minutes and finally a man came over and said, “You wait very gracefully.”

I said thank you and laughed and he walked away.

It was an intimate moment.

He had observed me I guess. Just sitting. It was pre-iPhone, remember I’m a dinosaur.

At any rate, how will our kids learn to wait I wonder?

The author talks about how we give off the vibe to people that they aren’t very important when we are on our phones and that makes me very sad for our children. I loved and still do love interacting with strangers.

She even addresses giving screens to our kids so we can run errands. Handing them to our kids so they don’t cry.

“When we hand our baby a touch screen to keep her occupied or entertained, she’s missing the opportunity to engage herself-litearlly, to engage with her own inner self, her feelings and processes for learning and adapting in the moment.”

OK, the Bachelor has started. I suddenly am saying to myself are you preaching here? I’m not, I’m just needing to rap out about this book and about where I find myself.

Oh but before I forget, the part that really gets me is when she reminds us to reach out and hug the ones we love first thing in the morning rather then reach for our iPhones.

I am going to set a date, place and time for a Book Club to discuss this book. So read it if you want to meet and discuss. I’ll plan it tomorrow.

 

 

 

ExMo MeetUps

Expressing Motherhood has become somewhat of a mother’s group.

Filled with whacky, open, funny Los Angeles moms and really moms from all over the nation.

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We like hanging with you people so let’s keep it going beyond the shows.

Online friendship is good but face to face is really good.

We have thrown many events outside of our shows but we wanted to officially announce we are doing more and we’ve created a page with the obvious ExMo MeetUps title.

Our next event will be a screening of Mary Trunk’s documentary “Lost In Living.”

If you are a sponsor or a mom looking to hang with a supportive, creative group of moms then come on out for one of our event!

That’s a Wrap

Tonight as we stood out front of the theatre on closing night a mom revealed that her hand was “probably broken” but she “just had to get out of the house.”

By the looks of her VERY swollen hand it might really have been hurt but apparently she did it as she was leaving her house to come see the show and she really wanted to get out of the house.

We all laughed about it.

Today I really needed to get out of the house.

My 2 and 3 year-old were crying and whining for me, thrown by all of this mom getting dressed up and whisking off to some mythical “Expressing Motherhood” land.

But tonight as I type this is a quiet kitchen with flowers from the cast in a nearby vase, a glass of wine, pouring over money we spent and earned on the show and you don’t earn in theatre I should say, I feel grateful.

I thought of all of the Los Angeles moms driving home tonight.

In the solitude of their cars.

All of us driving back to our vastly different enclaves around Los Angeles.

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I thought about how lucky I am to have the show and how thankful I am to have met so many people I now call friends because of it.

It was a really great show and it’s always fast, furious and bittersweet.

Tomorrow I will be alone again in my head trying to stay calm as I parent.

I’m just so grateful for these interludes of solidarity.

Expressing Motherhood Hosts a Screening of “Lost in Living” with Director Mary Trunk

After you come see our show, get yourself a ticket to an intimate, fun evening of food, drink, conversation, a screening and a chance to talk to the director. We have sponsorship from Pretzel Crisps that night already, yummy.

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Everyone will be going home with some product from Smora Skin Care, handcrafted skin care from two sisters from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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Mary Trunk directed the documentary “Lost In Living” and I’ve been wanting to see it.

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So, I’m hosting a screening.

Behind the domestic curtain of motherhood, where the creative impulse can flourish or languish, are four women determined to make a go of it. Filmed over seven years, Lost In Living, confronts the contradictions inherent in personal ambition and self-sacrifice, female friendship and mental isolation, big projects and dirty dishes. The complex realities of family life unfold in this documentary film about the messy intersection of motherhood and artistic expression.

Tickets just opened up for the small event. For $8 I’ll give you dinner, some wine, you can watch her film and connect with other creative moms around Los Angeles. The screening will be on the East Side, location will be emailed to you once you have bought your ticket.

Buy your ticket here.

Heels to Packing Lunches

There is always a a strange transition from going to staying up late, wearing red or sparkly lipstick, heels and hearing thunderous applause for something you’ve poured your soul into juxtaposed to the next early morning with your kids.

 

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Greeted with hugs and hustling and thoughts swirling around your head the days tasks seem a bit harder for me sometimes.

I’ll never forget flying back from NYC after a week of putting the show on there in ’09 and quietly sitting with my 3 year-old at his little table and draping my cardigan around his shoulder and watching him eat.

I’m so grateful for being able to experiencing both but there is an Expressing Motherhood hangover.

Part of me wants more.

More nights off from putting the kids to bed, more nights to connect with other adults to feel connected to humanity.

I look forward to four more shows this weekend.

Every time the show ends I began to retreat and think about where to take the show next. Every time I tell myself don’t rush into the next one, enjoy your kids.

I do enjoy my kids.

I spend a lot of time with them.

I’m not sure where we’ll go next but I’m thinking by the end of Sunday night my intuition will scream at me to do this or that next.

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It always helps the Expressing Motherhood hangover last not quite so long. Knowing I can pour myself back into it again. And for the performers, I’ve seen countless numbers of them jump into other projects. Solo shows, more writing, etc.

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As I type in my go to mom outfit, yoga pants and tennis shoes, the only reminder of the show are my bright red and sparkly nails, the co-existion of both sides of me.

Daphne’s California Greek & Pretzel Crisps Will Make Our Sunday Shows Delicious!

pretzelcrisps_flavors-1Coming to one of our Sunday shows this weekend?

You’ll get treated to either Pretzel Crisps or Daphne’s California Greek!
At the Sunday matinee, 2pm show, Pretzel Crisps will join us to let you sample the amazing flavors of Pretzel Crisps and you can take some home with you as well.
Pretzel Crisps happen to be a staple in our home…the original and everything are our favorites. We can’t wait to have them share with you!

1558495_791980567483329_454540321_nThen, on our closing night show…not only is will you be watching a great show and have an opportunity to stay for a “Talk Back” with the cast, but you’ll be treated to delicious food from Daphne’s California Greek!

Daphne’s is  a Southern California based company and if you’ve never had, you should. They do Mediterranean with a California twist.

Come enjoy our last weekend of this run.

 

There are tickets still available for all three days, HERE….