Improv has been a great outlet/hobby/activity/distraction, all of the above, for me as a mom. After the birth of my second child, I fell into a postpartum rut. I loved my kids, but I felt so lost about who I was aside from them. I started browsing through the local Parks and Rec magazine looking for an enrichment class. Between Line Dancing and How to Have a Conversation I found Held2gether: Improv for Life. Improv was the perfect way for me to escape and do some acting minus the homework. Then, one short year later, I was forced to take a break from everything due to some scary pregnancy complications. Thankfully, this baby made it and I’m now the mother of 3 beautiful children who are 9-, 7-, and 4-years-old. My little one did continue to scare us with a couple of medical issues during the first two months of his life. After his first birthday, when we knew we were in the clear, I could finally breathe and started craving something for myself again. So, I came back to Held2gether and started with the Sketch Writing Class. I wanted to do something creative, but was nervous about being on stage. The Sketch Writing Class was perfect because I could “perform” from behind my computer.
Since then, I’ve gotten my stage legs back, went on to perform live improv, participated in several scripted Sketch Shows, and was even part of Held2gether’s first scripted show, “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues,” which was a very heavy dark comedy dealing with sexual assault. Like any other play, this required homework and memorizing lines, but I was ready for it. I was in a place where I could dive deep into my character’s dreams and struggles. It felt so empowering channeling my emotions into this scripted play that paralleled many of today’s headlines. It was a far cry from my usual shows like Paw Patrol and My Little Pony. For the last 9 years, I’ve devoted my life to my three kids. Like many parents, we lose ourselves to raise our kids. It’s important and necessary work, but I lost myself. I still help with my kids’ schools and different non-profit Mommy groups, but I’m ready to discover who I am again aside from being a mom. I’m so grateful to Held2gether for putting on local theater productions to give me a chance to express myself here in Long Beach without having to drive two hours each way to Hollywood. Because, let’s be honest. I just don’t have time for that with my three kids. As much as I want a life of my own, my kids are still a big part of me.