Read about upcoming performer Kari Dyas here.
I have 2 children. My daughter Maud is 15 and my son Hugo is 12.
I work as a designer – invitations and stationery, found-object assemblage pieces, re-worked vintage children’s clothes, linen napkins. I have an 1889 letterpress on which I print, feeding each piece of paper by hand. It’s in my garage behind a washing machine, dryer, and my husband’s 1974 Alpha Romeo. That car and my press are both too beautiful to be hidden away like that. It’s tragic, really.
I guess I’m lucky enough to be able to express some sort of creativity most days. If I’m not working on a design project, I’ll sometimes force myself to sit down and write. I also feel pretty creative when I make dinner out of a few ingredients I have on hand. I love to let the food supply get really low, just for that challenge.
I did a little acting as a kid in San Francisco, and a few plays in college, but otherwise, not much performing. I once thought I wanted to pursue that, but realized fairly early that it would break my heart.
I enjoy being a mother in Los Angeles for a few reasons. One is the access to art and culture. Since they were 5 and 2 we’ve taken them to the ISC performances of Shakespeare in Griffith Park, which they love. There’s a great young opera company called Pacific Opera Project that is also fantastic and affordable enough for the whole family to go.
I also love that there are so many good school choices here. We found a preschool that was great for our family, a magnet elementary school that we loved, and now a charter middle-high school where our kids are getting a wonderful classics / art-based education, with a strong program in classical music and modern dance.
The diversity in Los Angeles is a big plus. We’re a multi-ethnic family, and I love living in a city where that rarely even gets a curious glance. That my kids grow up around all types of families is hugely important to me. Their friends are from all different races, cultures, economic levels, and parental configurations. I think L.A. is one of the least provincial cities in the world, and it’s diverse nature reflects that.
Oh, and it’s also nice to have your kid’s birthday party outside in January. Every single year.
One of the biggest challenges I find raising kids here is the exposure to the extremes of the entertainment industry. It’s not easy to keep kids grounded when there is so much excess and opulence around them. I’ve found my ways, but my kids are total geeks because of it. Don’t tell them I said that.