By Lindsay Kavet
At 22 I came to LA with the dream of becoming a director and empowering women.
At 27 I called my mom up from the Valley, hysterically laughing at the absurdity of the fact that I had just directed a segment for Playboy that involved naked women jumping into a pool. “Mom, I’ve made it, I’m a porn producer,” I had tears rolling down my face.
I had taken a slew of jobs in between 22 and 27, one of them being a receptionist at a post-production house in hopes that I could find a female director to mentor me. All the directors, except one, were men. I was quite shy and nothing materialized of that goal.
To make myself sane I directed a friend’s music video.
I got married and had my first child at the ripe age of 29. During my pregnancy I directed a short film that I had written. Once my child was born I felt like a total failure. I was lucky enough to be a stay at home mom but I kept thinking about my contemporaries and how they were working their way up.
Finally when my son was a year and a half I called up a friend who had produced before and said, let’s make our own show consisting of people sharing their stories about motherhood on stage. She, being the good friend, was game. We fleshed it out over the phone literally while our kids slept and Expressing Motherhood was born.
It really snowballed and was well received immediately. My producing partner and myself actually said no to a lot of our own ideas because we still wanted to be SAHM primarily. Ironic, finally catching some “acclaim” and having to pull back.
What’s been incredible about the show is that is has brought me so much creative fulfillment but I also get to be a stay at home mom. There’s no way I would have wanted to work some crappy assistant job while I had my three kids or even a humongous job for that matter. Those years are irreplaceable.
Of course, only now that they are slightly older at 9, 5 & 4 I can see that.
I would work on the show whenever they napped. I was obsessed. I created the show to cater to my lifestyle. Meaning there were no auditions because I didn’t have the time rather I accepted people’s submissions over email.
I have always abided by the rule that power lies in the story and so with curation the story could be best tailored for the stage.
Yes, there were times when I wanted something big to happen for the show but every time someone would approach my partner and myself we were almost glad when things never cemented.
I also am frustrated at times when I pitch the show to people and they say our audience doesn’t want to hear motherhood stories or stories from people that old. I’m 38. People have ranged in age from 18-early 70’s in my show. That’s frustrating.
My kids are finally now all in school and I’m happy with the pace of the show. I have some exciting new ventures with it coming up in 2016 but just enough where I won’t get crazy with the kids and working.
A lot of my full time working friends are incredibly stressed out and wish they could work less. I’ve had a few of my friends quit working completely.
It seems to be a bit of a dirty secret that being a stay at home mom could be desirable. Kids get sick, people need to eat and shit schools these days send about 5 emails a day, multiply that times 3.
I truly love what I do. I feel like my work is play. My grandma always instilled in my mom the need to have a job to fall back on “just in case.” I think that has set in with me as well. I do have something “in case.” More importantly, I’m a far more fulfilled person because of my creative outlet.
About 5 months ago a former Playmate, whom was one of the women I was directing to jump into the pool more then 10 years ago, emailed me and said “Remember when you told me you wanted to empower women, well here you are doing it.” I couldn’t believe she remembered that. Not because she’s a bunny by the way, lady is kick ass.
It’s kind of wild where your creative passions can lead you.
Lindsay Kavet Directs and Created Expressing Motherhood, the hit national play which features people sharing their stories about motherhood on stage. She writes for multiple publications. She’s an LA mom to 3.