Here is a follow up interview with recent Chicago performer Colleen O’Neill.
What was it like participating in Expressing Motherhood? What surprised you about being in the show?
It was an amazing experience. I was surprised to find out that so many of the women had never performed before… never been on a stage. They were all so good! I was also blown away by the caliber of of the pieces. The writing. The stories. I was touched by each and every one, and honored to be a part of this group of women.
Had you ever performed before?
As an actor who has been working for a LONG time, I have performed quite a bit and this show was different in so many ways. It was a very vulnerable experience for me, because I was doing a very personal piece that I had never intended on putting on a stage. I always intended for it to be a written piece that would allow me to share it while hiding behind a computer screen. I, typically, perform comedy pieces when they are original, so I was pushed out of my comfort zone. I am grateful for that, because that is how we grow. Thank you to Lindsey for asking me to do this piece instead, even though I growled at you behind your back when you first did. :)
What projects do you have on the immediate horizon?
I am continuing to produce my fully-improvised web series and first full-length feature “Blind Faith,” for which I am in the throws of securing funding. I continue to write, audition and perform as my actual day job and I pray every day that I will get to keep doing it for the rest of my life. I have several projects in the queue. That queue gets longer by the day.
In regards to your piece, what kind of questions were you asked by people? How did your friends respond?
I was so pleasantly surprised that people wanted to really know and understand more about the entire experience that led to that piece. I was worried that people would be like – UGH! What a downer! I didn’t want that. I wanted people to find the positive in a not so positive experience, but mostly, I wanted to send the message that what you see is not always what it seems and sometimes we all need to pay more attention. We all should ask more questions of ourselves and others. Not to get to deep. My friends and family were mostly surprised that this was the piece they came to see. They all expected to laugh and to see something funny from me, because that is what I do – usually. I didn’t tell them in advance. I wanted a genuine reaction, which was all very positive.