Mom In The Arts Interview #1

November 14, 2008

My first interview is from my dear friend, Momma M who is a professional opera singer.  (I am very impressed by how she kept gigging up to her seventh month of pregnancy!!)

Q:  What is one of your favorite moments of your career?  Any other highlights?
A:  One of my favorite moments was during a performance of Rossini’s “Otello”.  I was singing Desdemona, and she has a Willow Song in the opera.  It was probably the most “in the groove” I’ve ever been, and I knew I was connecting to the music, the text and the audience.  There have been other times like that, and those are all real highlights, to be sure, but I think that one was possibly the most pronounced and memorable.

Q:  Did you always know you wanted to be a mom?
A:  Yes, I believe I did.  I’ve thought about it for about as long as I can remember.

Q:  Were you nervous about how becoming a mom would affect your career?
A:  Definitely.  Mostly, for me, I was concerned about how the hormones would change my voice.  Many singers have said that it changed their voice for the better, making it richer and fuller, so I’m hoping for that!!  Also, my career involves a lot of travel, so I’m concerned about how I will balance that with giving the little one stability.

Q:  How did you occupy your time during your pregnancy?
A:  I continued to work during my pregnancy, up until about the seventh month.  I had gigs up until that time, so that was helpful.  After that, my husband and I did a lot of traveling to visit relatives and friends and have some “together” time because we knew that would all be curtailed for a while after the baby was born.

Q:   Is becoming a mom been what you thought it would be?

A:  Yes and no.  I knew I would fall in love with my baby, and that has definitely happened.  I think I didn’t know the extent to which I would become super-protective and second guess myself in trying to give him the very best care!!  I would look at other mothers being obsessive and think “oh, I won’t be like that” and I TOTALLY am!!

Q:  Any role models or mentors you look up to?
A:  My husband’s siblings are really wonderful parents, and I’ve been so impressed with them and how they’ve managed to balance work and taking care of their children and splitting parenting duties.  And there are other singers who have managed to balance their careers and be devoted parents at the same time – now that I’ve just begun trying that, they have become superheros in my estimation!

Q:  How do you inspire yourself?
A:  Living in New York City is a big inspiration in itself – there is so much going on.  Live performances really inspire me, and there is so much to choose from here.  Even now, with an infant, there are live performances in churches and other settings where I feel like I can take my baby, and hop out if I need to if he starts fussing.  It’s great!

Q:  Any advice for other moms or parents in the arts?
A:  Get help if you are feeling overwhelmed.  I had no problem before giving birth feeling like it would be okay to have help from time to time if I needed some extra time to myself to practice or study my art.  Now that I have the child, I admit, I’m feeling guilty for wanting/needing that.  My husband has been amazing at convincing me that not only is that okay, but it will ultimately help our baby too, because I will be in a better place emotionally.

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