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How to stay busy as a pregnant actor

October 19, 2015

Hey, all!

Long time no see. This has been the craziest year for me, and blogging has sadly taken a back seat during all of it, but I’m here this morning with a couple of hours to spare and I’d love to catch you up on what I’ve learned this year!

My year in a nutshell: I fundraised over $8k to shoot the short film CHOICE I wrote, took an incredible trip to Egypt with my husband, got elected to serve as a National Councillor of Actors’ Equity, shot my short film, launched Lady Plays podcast, and…got pregnant! Whew, what a whirlwind.

Showing off our AEA pride in the Labor Day Parade!

Scarlett and I showing off our Actors’ Equity pride in this year’s Labor Day Parade!

One of the things that kept me from starting a family for a long time was the fear that I would have to give up my career to have a baby. And while I haven’t yet started the adventure of actually raising said baby to adulthood while trying to balance an artistic career, I have learned a lot about how being pregnant affects your work and what you can do to stay artistically busy while your body is busy growing a human.

One thing I’ll say right off the bat is to be kind to yourself. I’m not all that good at this, so this is as much a reminder to all of you as it is to me. While pregnant, you will likely feel tired in a way you’ve never experienced before. Your body will do crazy things, and it won’t feel like your own. And you’ll be shocked at how time-consuming it is to attend all of those doctor’s appointments, set up a nursery, buy baby gear, and get ready for birth. So keep your expectations of what you’ll be able to do reasonable, and try to forgive yourself when you can’t live up to your high standards.

That said, there’s a lot you can do to stay busy for these nine months! Here are some ways to do so:

  1. Keep your eyes (and your agency’s eyes!) peeled for the rare pregnant role that does turn up. They may be few and far between, but legit roles for pregnant women do exist. One of my friends played a surrogate mom on Blue Bloods while pregnant, and another friend of mine directed a Fringe show this summer with a pregnant character in it. Be aggressive in pursuing these roles, and give your representation a heads-up that you want them to do so, too.
  2. Go out for pregnancy commercial and print work. If you’re into it, there is work to be had modeling for places like Babies R Us and Motherhood Maternity. Ask your commercial representation about getting seen for this work. Just be prepared to get weird feedback at auditions like “you don’t look pregnant enough.” 😉
  3. Get into voiceover. Now’s a great time to put together a voiceover reel and start auditioning for that work. Or start a podcast like Lady Plays! Your voice will still work, even when you’re enormous!
  4. Make your own work. I wrote CHOICE and fundraised to shoot it with getting pregnant in mind. The timing luckily worked out so I can be doing post-production while my body keeps me from being on camera more 🙂
  5. Use the time to network. Now’s a great time to figure out who you’d like to be meeting and getting it done, especially in the beginning of your pregnancy before you’re really showing. But even when you’re clearly expecting, you can continue to network away! Just be clear that you’re not quitting the industry post-baby. Why do people always assume women are quitting their careers when they have a baby?! /endrant
  6. Refocus your post-baby career strategy. Now’s also a great time to really focus on what you want out of your post-baby career and strategize about how you can achieve it. You’ve got lots of thinking time when you’re tired and laying on the couch super-preggo, so use it to your advantage and make some strategies for when the post-baby fog lifts!

Hopefully, these tips were helpful for those of you contemplating motherhood and a continued acting career. For those of you who have done it before or are doing it now, what’s your best “stay busy while pregnant” advice?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2015 1:17 pm

    Congratulations and good luck!

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