Elizabeth B. Soutter performed in our Boston show and we are fortunate enough to have her flying out to Chicago to be in the show again. Elizabeth is a talented, generous woman and I look forward to seeing her soon!
How are you creative post children? How has it changed since pre-baby?
Probably one of the biggest surprises for me was how motherhood made me creative. “Hey, I made a person. Gee, I wonder what else I can make?” Before I had kids I was a creative problem-solver, but I did not consider myself particularly artistic. Now that I have children I feel much more connected and invested in the world. I am so much more aware of beauty and complexity and it has made me creative in my cooking, my home decorating, my holidays … and increasingly in my work.
When do you find time to create?
I had a writing teacher who told me that writer’s block is for fakers. — Writers, people who do this as work, can’t afford it. I don’t think that’s entirely true, but I think it is true that being creative has a lot more to do with being disciplined than we may think. Shotgun creativity is maybe a little underrated, even. When you are grabbing an hour while your kids watch a video, you can’t luxuriate in wondering whether you can do it. You’ve got to produce something. That’s still how I do the majority of my writing, although I am working now on more sustained creative time, which is vital for larger projects. This spring I took myself on a little writing retreat to a beach hotel where I wrote for large, unbroken chunks of time. I had almost forgotten how. It’s a very different kind of creativity and I’m really excited to pursue it now that my kids are older.
(From February to April, 2013 Boston saw three major winter storms and a terror attack. For me, it also meant 11 total doctor visits with my asthmatic four year-old. Here we are during the power outage with thirty inches of snow on the ground. I had thought ahead and ordered the car adapter for her nebulizer (and fueled the cars before the storm). Motherhood made me creative in a lot of ways.)
How did you hear about Expressing Motherhood?
A few years ago I made a deal with myself that I would accept the next two big projects that crossed my desk. I was forwarded an e-mail calling for submissions to Boston’s ExMo 2010. I submitted and was accepted and I was horrified! I have no professional stage experience. I am amazed at what Lindsay can do, how great the show was. It was the most fun I’d had in a long, long time. I had no plan to submit for Chicago, really at all, and then the night of the deadline I just found myself hitting send and I was thrilled when they accepted me.
Do you have a background in acting/writing?
In writing, yes. I did my undergraduate work in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins and have spent the last fifteen years as a writer and editor. I teach journalism at Harvard Extension School and taught Creative Writing at Boston University.
What creative projects are you up to?
I am teaching a lot and writing a lot. My personal writing retreat was so successful, I am now hosting and teaching them, which is a lot of fun. I think it’s easy to get caught in your own little world and really — to be truly creative you need to be collaborative. As writers, particularly, you simply must invite other people in if you want your work to grow. My website is here: http://www.claritaseditorial.com
We have found that the platform of Expressing Motherhood has given our performers a lot more than just a “reason to get out of the house”…as I sometimes like to kid.
It’s a lot more than that.
It’s creative license, it’s camaraderie, it’s a moment to be heard and it’s sometimes a stepping off point to do something you wanted to try or didn’t even see coming. After over five years of doing this show, we’ve seen so many of our “alumni” continue on with amazing gusto.
Stacie Burrows and Shannon Noel met while at a rehearsal for Expressing Motherhood a few years ago. They knew immediately they would be the “closest friends for the rest of their lives”…I’m quoting them.
After performing in Expressing Motherhood, their collaboration began, and it hasn’t stopped. They have written, produced and performed their own show, I’m Not From Here, But My Kids Are,” which was quite successful. They’ve truly created a friendship that will certainly produce more amazing creative projects, we’re certain of that.
Nicole Blane, a two time performer in the show, has fulfilled a dream of hers to try stand up comedy. After the second time performing, Nicole has been gracing many stages in Southern California with her comedy.
Julie Mudd, one of our Boston Performers, created a comedy show appropriately titled, Mudd’s Comedy Pie.
Sometimes we get feedback from our past performers that humbles me. Kendra Pinkleman, a personal friend of mine, had such a deep desire to share her struggles with PPD, she flew to California for three weeks to be in the show.
“Expressing Motherhood came into my life when all I saw myself as was a mom. It consumed all aspects of my life and I didn’t know who I was anymore. The chance to share my struggles with PPD and how it affected me showed me there was more to who I am than just mothering. I was blessed to spend three weeks in California finding who I was again and learning I could be a mom and still be me! Honestly I just watched that show with a friend and I didn’t even recognize that women (myself). My faith has changed so much and grown that my strength comes from God. Thank you for that opportunity in ’09 – you changed my life!!!
We are so thankful, grateful and proud of the women who grace our stage and we are always encouraged to hear that their experience with Expressing Motherhood has helped them grow, personally, professionally or both!
We’re excited to be doing this again and sharing another casts’ stories with you.
Joya will be performing in the show opening Mother’s Day Weekend. She is a mother to two beautiful girls ages 7 and 2, a wife to Josh and a writer/producer on the weekday morning show at KTTV.
She also studied Broadcast Journalism at Emerson College in Boston.
As I was planning on sharing Joya with all of you anyway today, I’d like to also share with you that she has spent a lot of time in the streets of Boston where the bombings happened this week. She also was in the newsroom at FOX in Los Angeles helping to report the story to all of us here watching and listening closely.
I talked to Joya this morning and she shared this with me:
“Its hard to put into words the sadness I feel for the city of Boston. I am overwhelmed with emotions as I sit and cover this act of terrorism for our morning show. I adopted Beantown in my heart when I started Emerson College. While I left nearly 14 years ago, its still a place that feels like home. The news of the bombings shook me to my core, because I walked those very sidewalks nearly every day for five years. The two jobs I had through college (and beyond) were located on Boyleston Street, both of them within steps of the bombing sites. I know what its like there on Marathon day… the excitement, the crowds. So today I say a prayer for Boston, for my fellow Emersonians and most importantly, for those who lost a loved one in this senseless and horrific tragedy.”
Joya is a very amazing, strong and talented woman. She has seen a few Expressing Motherhood shows in the past few years and says “… I love it. I find each show brings laughter and tears.”
When I asked her what made her decide to submit, she replied, “I always had the notion that I wanted to submit, but not before I had something real to say. I wanted my story to have substance. The piece I submitted was healing for me. Telling that story helped me grow and I hope it helps others grow as well. I’m simultaneously thrilled and scared to death to be on a stage!”
Joya says she’s “just starting to get back in touch” with her creative side.”
She says “There are also rare days where I specifically set out to write. I put it on the calendar, I find a quiet corner of a coffee shop or library and I just go to town! Those are life affirming days because I feel so accomplished when they are done! (and then I crave another!)”
We are looking forward to having Joya grace the Expressing Motherhood stage in May.
Southern California native, Krista Knott is putting her feet on the Expressing Motherhood stage for the second time in our next show, opening May 10th. Krista had heard about the show originally through a friend and decided to submit when the next round opened. She performed in Burbank, having only to walk down the street from her house to the theatre.
She is a free lance writer who works from home and says she is up late most nights. Her “day job” is mom. Her “paying job” is as the Managing Editor for The Bright Side Project, although if she could stay home and eat bon bons and watch soaps, it would actually be “a marathon of The Walking Dead and a bucket of high quality chocolate bars.”
When I asked her about her first time on the EM stage, she said “the first time I performed was a bit of a game changer for me. I spent years as a struggling actress/unpublished writer and to take these two aspects of myself (coupled with the inextricable role of mother) and mash them together helped me work from feeling like I somehow failed in my past life since I didn’t “accomplish” anything before having kids to reconciling that I am exactly where I need to be. And that I am worthy.”
Krista and her fiance Bryan have been together since 2006 and have two children, Finn (5) and Dash (1 1/2). She also has a 13 year old step-son who lives out of state but spends the summers with them here in SoCal. “His sister has full blown hero worship and his visits here even trump the excitement of Disneyland.”
Krista and Bryan have been engaged since 2010 and are pleased to announce they will be getting married on May 20th….the day after Expressing Motherhood closes in Los Angeles!
“We finally realized that, with two kids, we were never going to be able justify spending money on a wedding so we are taking our parents and heading to the courthouse on our 7 year anniversary. Our five year old daughter is, by far, the most excited about this. She is obsessed with brides and grooms and can’t wait to wear her own fancy dress.”
Krista says she walked away from her first performance in EM with confidence, friendship, camaraderie and validation. “I realized it was much easier to perform as an actress because I wasn’t having to completely be myself, you know? To stand up on a stage and tell my own stories, in my own words, was absolutely terrifying. And honestly the most liberating experience I’ve ever had.”
We’re so happy Krista is going to be back on stage at The Lillian in May.
She says “this time is a little scary for me because I’m sharing something personal, something with weight. And that’s exactly why I am doing it. I believe in sharing our scary truths. I’m just a little shaky about doing it while standing in front of a group of people and not from behind the safety of a keyboard…
…I’m looking forward to looking my fear in the eye and doing it anyway.”
The National Play About Motherhood – Established in 2008