Myths and Perceptions

February 2, 2008

Five Weeks

I got my nails done today, my hair did (I did it) and I met with a commercial print agent from a very good agency. He was great! Very warm and kind and hopefully will be able to really get me out there for commercial print work.

As an Asian-American actress, I’ve always been told that I had to work twice as hard as the next person to prove my talent. I have always gone out of my way to be the best actress possible. Now becoming a mother I believe that I must fight to be relevant, to stay in shape, to carve out even MORE time to act. It will be very hard, but at the same time, I believe I can do it. I realized how lame I thought people with kids are. I never cared about binky blankets or pacifiers or bottles and now I’M going to be one of those people.

I recall when I was in an improv group and we were at The Fringe Festival party. We met two really attractive actresses and one was a mother. She was skinny, funky and vivacious. The male members of the improv group were astounded that woman + babies could = hot.

I went to therapy this week and when I told my therapist that I was pregnant she looked at me worriedly and asked “Is that a good thing?”. Perhaps my expression was not excited enough for her. She tried to pin my wacky childhood on my lack of excitement for the pregnancy. I believe she is wrong. I’m actually quite happy but I don’t gush about everything. I will love my child and care for my child without the need to gush. Prior to getting pregnant, I was ambivalent about having kids.

Actually, I could imagine a life without children and just work on my acting career. My husband was slightly worried because I could sense that he wanted children more than I did. I would wrinkle my nose at kids in elevators or point to tables with misbehaving wriggly kids at the mall and say: “See, that’s what OUR life is going to be!” It would really upset him so I would not say it out loud but do it to myself in my head.I’ve slowly changed my mind.

I’ve read about how heartbreakingly difficult it is for couples to get pregnant and how hard people try to have children. So instead of feeling resentful, I feel grateful to be pregnant. I feel good about being in shape not just for me so that I will have a healthy baby. I don’t know what changes will come, but I look forward to them. One thing I’m really excited about is quitting my job for a while. Granted I will be home, changing diapers and watching T.V., but I look forward to it.

Last week I got in touch with an acquaintance I worked with a very long time ago. It was for a film which aired on PBS. She was warm and intelligent (a lawyer) and looking through my business card file, I decided to give her a ring. I felt slightly sheepish leaving a message because we shot that over 6 years or so ago. This week she called me and in a hushed-there-are-other-people tone we both caught up on what we’re doing. She was still a lawyer and she got married and had a two year old daughter. But she had often thought about acting and we decided to meet for lunch. Somehow the contact feels that it was meant to be.

I feel like I must prepare and get as MUCH acting in as much as possible before I start getting huge. I know that my time will be limited. But I also look forward to it! Gives me something to look forward to.

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