"What were you thinking of Mum?!" my daughter exasperates "I mean it's one thing getting your kit off on stage to make a point theatrically, but doing it whilst I was in your tummy and your ankles looking all puffy and your belly nearly blue- puts the audience in an uncomfortable place doesn't it?! I mean, it can't have been that comfortable for you either- prancing about pouring brown sauce all over yourself in your ill-fitting underwear with your huge bump spilling over?...You looked, umm, reaaal swollen mum!"
This is how I imagine it going- the conversation with my future little girl, when she's a 14yr old, looking through photos of my development rehearsals for 'Gutted': a show I have written to tell the story of my life as it was then; 32 weeks pregnant with her and balancing my acting career with my everyday life and I'm one of those hippy actress mums who take my kids on tour with me and force them through nights and nights of the same show...this is how I imagine it anyhow.
It was strangely liberating being pregnant and acting in front of people, baring my body and soul to them. The balance of what was important to me most at the time shifted- instead of worrying about what people thought of my acting/the piece/my future with it all, I found myself prioritising what this meant for me and my daughter and wondering what she could hear in there and hoping she was safe and comfortable. There was this other presence in the room with us all who was yet to come into this world and figure out what it is all about and we have no clue what she's going to make of it all. I felt responsibility for someone else as well as myself up there in front of people, and it made it all the more special to share it with her. An abundance of love...well that's what makes the world go round yeah?