performers.net forums  

Go Back   performers.net forums > BUSKING STUFF > BUSKING Q&A/GENERAL PERFORMING TOPICS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-31-05, 11:17 AM   #1
Frisbee
Senior Member
 
Frisbee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 753
Default Performers with kids.

Hey gang,

I thought of posting this a while back and never got around to it, because, well...I have a kid.

Here are a few topics for discussion.

-How many performers here have kids?

-How many performers here have kids
under 5?

-How do you deal with the pressures of performing as well as parenting?

-also touring your show?

-Does your performing affect/influence your parenting style?

-Does your being a parent of a young child affect your performances and/or prevent you from certain job opportunities?

I have personally found that the first year was the toughest, trying to find that balance, but I feel that I have learned a lot and it has improved my professional life as well as the obvious greatness of personal growth.

I feel that I am now back in the swing of things and my job of performing is back up to where it should be.

What are your thoughts and insights?

-Frisbee
__________________
_____________________________
THE GREG FRISBEE SHOW
Comedy Juggler | Variety Performer

www.FrisbeeShow.com
_____________________________
Frisbee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 11:44 AM   #2
pablo
Senior Member
 
pablo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Burma Shave
Posts: 200
Default Performing vs. parenting

My family is my most reliable inspiration & resource, but they are also my biggest & most constant hurdle. If I was single & childless, I could tour more colleges, festivals & other events and have less obligations & expenses at home. But I'd probably be lonely, alcoholic, broke, in jail or bored most of the time.

It's one of those yin/yang situations. I wouldn't want it any other way.
pablo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 12:52 PM   #3
jester
Senior Member
 
jester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,083
Jester

It is a cruel Irony that if I didn't want to be with my kids, I could earn a lot more money, however, as I have kids I need a lot more money....

It's not really that bad.

When we had our 2nd, my wife insisted that I share the parenting so she could go back to work part time. She got herself a nice job which is important to all of us and she pulls in a fair whack of the household income.

So for 3 days a week, I was the parent. I would reccommend it to anybody. It is bloody hard work, but very very rewarding.

The downside of my work is that I work a lot during the kids holidays. The Upside is that I work in a lot of fun places and my kids can often come along and get free entry into all sorts of places. Taking my kids to work is often possible now that my daughter is 9 and my son is 4. As long as another adult comes along specificly to look after them because I can't look after them and work.

When my son was pre-school I would tell clients I could do a gig but I had to bring my son. Many of them offered childcare if I bought him, they just wanted me there. In return I would give them a generous discount.

Kids are a lifestyle choice and there are lots of gigs that I used to find fun that I would not dream of doing now because of my kids.

There are many jobs I would have screwed my nose up at but I do now because it is good for the kids.

Kids are expensive. Since I had kids I have become a lot more proffessional and moved my game up several gears. I found to my delight this actually enhanced the artistic urge rather than compromise it.

It does get easier as they get older. And only by having children could I have ever learned that the universe does not actually revolve around me.
__________________
If an artist can't even dream of happy ending what chance have the politicians got of making one?

jester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 02:35 PM   #4
firegirl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Posts: 452
Send a message via AIM to firegirl Send a message via Yahoo to firegirl
Default

you know, fris... i was just thinking the other day about how i don't think i could persue the things i spend my personal life persuing if i had children. i would find somewhere - settle down and teach... stop doing things which are potentially life threatening, etc... and, i'd more than likely end up being bitter and resentful because of it.

props to you all who have learned how to balance artistic persuits with family...

i have always found interpersonal relationships with individuals outside of the theatre/variety arts field most difficult - as most people are *very* impatient with my wacky life and schedule...

my niece was particularly angry with me this xmas when i was comitted to a show which cut my visit home for the holidays from the normal 2 weeks to a whirlwind 2 days...

my most recent ex (yes, we are no more) who is a writer/social worker never understood the nature of theatre employment (it's seasonal - you have to keep looking for work ALL the time - you're often unemployed and broke) and would get frustrated with me when one job would end and (occasionally) i wouldn't have another lined up to start right away...

my mother doesn't understand how i can have a masters degree, make "blah-blah" amount of money a year and still be broke as a joke... as i put much of the $$ i make back into furthering my career...

i just cannot IMAGINE adding a child on top of that.

not to mention being as good a parent as you are, fris...
k
__________________
FIREGIRL -- Fierce, Funny, Fearless!

Check out "Mama Said Don't Play With Matches" - coming this spring to a San Francisco theater near you!
firegirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 02:45 PM   #5
Frisbee
Senior Member
 
Frisbee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 753
Default Fries

The one thing I think I have most definately learned so far on this road is that we all have limits.
I have a tendency to not see those limits until I push myself too hard and it all almost comes crashing down.

That two month project was a lot for me and honestly, I barely escaped in one piece.
By working every waking moment either doing office work for performances or performances or my directing duties or my own show, I sacrificed my family time and I almost lost it all.
even when I had down time I was playing catch up on business things I had neglected.

I am glad that we all made it thru alive and can tell the stories. ;o)

-Frisbee
__________________
_____________________________
THE GREG FRISBEE SHOW
Comedy Juggler | Variety Performer

www.FrisbeeShow.com
_____________________________
Frisbee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 02:55 PM   #6
firegirl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Posts: 452
Send a message via AIM to firegirl Send a message via Yahoo to firegirl
Exclamation LIMITS? AND, HOW!

That was the one thing I commented on to my friend Martin after we left the tapas resturant after the last show... that we all looked like a battillion of combat weary soliders...

I know I was EXHAUSTED (and, am still recovering) after that project... though, in the end it was worth it - I think.

Goodness knows, it was worth it just so I could meet you, Fris... heh! That really was an odd coincidence!

That and I now have a new favorite holiday song... and, know people as obsessed with both the Muppets and Avenue Q as I am... and, have a dysfunctional attraction to animating objects at inappropriate moments... paperclips recently have been coming to life in the middle of staff meetings and trying to seduce stalwart, responsible pens into leading lives of mischief... !!

Hey - some Monday when you're free you should check out our improv jam at the Climate... it's quite fun.

K
__________________
FIREGIRL -- Fierce, Funny, Fearless!

Check out "Mama Said Don't Play With Matches" - coming this spring to a San Francisco theater near you!

Last edited by firegirl; 03-31-05 at 02:59 PM.
firegirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 03:06 PM   #7
jester
Senior Member
 
jester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,083
Jester

I did not think a kid could possibly fit into the equation. But she did.

She was two when I met Carol. We had to pretend that I was just some bloke who came to play with her once in a while to begin with, just so she wouldn't get too attached.

However, I got attached to Alex at the same time as getting attached to Carol. They were a pair, there wasn't one without the other and I loved them both dearly.

And they needed looking after. They did not have as much as they needed or deserved. It was only natural that instead of blowing my money on beer, fags, toys, I was investing it in them or my business.

Fortunately, I had just actually gotten quite good at holding a crowd and business was booming.

Having a child made me far less stupid in my real life.

Alex is now 9, Keegan is 4 and I don't miss the trips to Holland and across the channell. I don't miss the jobs one does for the travel rather than the money. I don't feel guilty about charging decent fees and I view discounts as shortchanging my family and if anybody ever lies to me in order to get a discount I view it as stealing from my family and I tell them so.

The companionship of children is amazing (and firegirl you are obviously fond of your neice so you know what I mean) and the love of your children is utterly utterly selfless.

Of course, we had to get a bigger house, just as property prices were peaking so now I have a massive mortgage but I do not regret it one little bit.

Everyday I wake up in our three bedroom semi detached house, a palace compared to the old place, and I feel bloody marvellous that I have a house and kids and a wife and everything I could ever want...

Of course I'm human and I want more... but I don't regret or begrudge anything I miss for my kids.
__________________
If an artist can't even dream of happy ending what chance have the politicians got of making one?

jester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 03:10 PM   #8
firegirl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Posts: 452
Send a message via AIM to firegirl Send a message via Yahoo to firegirl
Bunny

i'm very fond of both my nieces. one of whom lived with me for a while (but, she was 12 at the time - so it wasn't as rough as having a small child/infant around.)

i also work with kids... (teaching arts outreach) some of whom i've become attached to in a maternal way.

there was one kid in milwaukee, wi who *BEGGED* me to adopt him and bring him with me to san francisco when i moved...

those kids inspire me and at the same time my heart breaks for them.

i'm very family oriented - i'm irish (1st generation american) & come from a huge family. i (along with my twin) am the oldest of our generation... and, oddly enough i am the only one who has no children (except my youngest brother.)

anyhow.
__________________
FIREGIRL -- Fierce, Funny, Fearless!

Check out "Mama Said Don't Play With Matches" - coming this spring to a San Francisco theater near you!
firegirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 07:14 PM   #9
GlassHarper
Senior Member
 
GlassHarper's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hurricane Isaac Evacuation to NYS
Posts: 174
Blog Entries: 2
Exclamation Kids of Street Performers

The worst stage of a child's life is....the present!

Thank goodness both of my sons are adults now. When I see or telephone them (one's in Alaska, the other's in Central New York State) it is a delight to be able to have an adult conversation. We didn't talk much when they were teen agers -- shoot I didn't like teen agers when I WAS one! Both they and I would probably have been better off if I had been a performer back in those days.

But Nooo!

I was selling computers in those days, which required twelve to fourteen hours of work a day, leaving little time for family. Indeed it was my dislike of working that hard that convinced me to become a street performer (that and my former wife telling me to get the H... out of her life)!

Fortunately neither of them has chosen to follow the family business. One is a ski instructor and barrista in Girdwood, AK, while the other is a landscaper/hardscaper near Ithaca, NY.

Enjoy being with your kids while you can -- they (and you) grow up all too quickly.
__________________
The GlassHarper (I play glassical music)!
GlassHarper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 08:14 PM   #10
Stephon
Handonmy Member
 
Stephon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Silver Spring, MD USA
Posts: 651
Blog Entries: 1
Default

Most of what I have to offer on the topic has already been said, but there are a couple things you asked about that I don't think have been covered:

-How do you deal with the pressures of performing as well as parenting?

I find they actually compliment each other. Sometimes performing is a nice relief from the pressure of being a parent. Sometimes, if work is slow, or I'm questioning myself, that pressure is reduced by spending time with my son, and the satisfaction of being a good parent.

-Does your performing affect/influence your parenting style?

I'm not sure it does directly, but being in performing environments gives my son a chance to be exposed to some things many other kids aren't.

-Does your being a parent of a young child affect your performances. . .

Not sure if this is exactly what you mean, but, yes, to some extent; there are very minor content things that I have changed because I have a new perspective from which to work, but nothing major. I think you summed it up best when you talked about personal growth. It's odd though--I can't really remember how my life was different five years ago. Seems like this is how it's always been.

. . .and/or prevent you from certain job opportunities?

Absolutely. I've turned down several jobs because I don't want my wife, who works full time, to have to be a single mother for six weeks, and because I don't like to be apart from them for that long.
__________________

Swami Yomahmi
~The Original Sideshow Geek~
Stephon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-05, 09:48 AM   #11
Cybele
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Boardinghouse, Maryland
Posts: 126
Default

Having kids killed my career for about four years, then I started working them into the act.

Except for squeezing them in the travel trunk--- they keep growing, damn them--- it's been working out nicely.
Cybele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-05, 12:08 PM   #12
Steven Ragatz
Senior Member
 
Steven Ragatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 493
Default

Having a family has grounded me in a 9-5 job for the past five years. It is a matter of priorities that determine whether or not a stable income and regular schedule outweigh the manic highs and lows of performing full time. Everyone has to find their own balance.

Steven Ragatz
Steven Ragatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-05, 12:54 PM   #13
firegirl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Posts: 452
Send a message via AIM to firegirl Send a message via Yahoo to firegirl
Thumbs Up COMPLETELY O/T

hey steven!
i just saw a pic of you w/a review of the pickle circus's latest production... i didn't know you were involved!

and, you were right re: chris lashua... amazing!
__________________
FIREGIRL -- Fierce, Funny, Fearless!

Check out "Mama Said Don't Play With Matches" - coming this spring to a San Francisco theater near you!
firegirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-05, 01:14 PM   #14
jester
Senior Member
 
jester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,083
Jester

Hey Steven.

I know several performers who have day jobs as well. If you have other gifts and you can command a decent steady wage, then I say more power to you. You can perform as well which you obviously do.

The people with the Day jobs perform brilliantly but just less often than I do. They are often fresher and enjoy it more. I personally do not know how I would earn enough with a day job as I cannot see how I am employable.. and I used to work in the Jobcentre (!?)

So because I have kids and a mortgage, I am not gifted enough to have a day job.
__________________
If an artist can't even dream of happy ending what chance have the politicians got of making one?

jester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-05, 03:25 PM   #15
Steven Ragatz
Senior Member
 
Steven Ragatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 493
Default

fg: "i just saw a pic of you w/a review of the pickle circus's latest production... i didn't know you were involved!"

I posted about the show before we went up to try to get some p.net folk to turn out, but I guess you missed that post. Fritz Grobe and I did several acts in the show and we were in the Bay area for two and a half months (most of which was spent in rehearsals).

I did bring my family to that one - no reason to have to be away for so long at a stretch and not have them with me. Lisa did wardrobe for the show, but the kids only visited the site twice. Backstage in a theater is not a safe place for extra people (especially children) to hang out. Additionally, since the house was union, there were other issues that needed to be observed.

Steven Ragatz
Steven Ragatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-05, 01:30 PM   #16
firegirl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Posts: 452
Send a message via AIM to firegirl Send a message via Yahoo to firegirl
Embarrassed

yes - i must have missed the post about that. however, i was supposed to go to the show... my flat-mate (david hunt - who studies/teaches at the SF Circus Center) gave me tickets... but, at the time i was teaching arts outreach (directing a play) at a middle school in the richmond which had a bomb threat phoned into the office on the day i had tickets for... we were on lockdown at the school until 7pm & after dealing with that i didn't have the energy to go to the theatre...

sorry i missed it!
__________________
FIREGIRL -- Fierce, Funny, Fearless!

Check out "Mama Said Don't Play With Matches" - coming this spring to a San Francisco theater near you!
firegirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-05, 08:53 PM   #17
theincrediblelarry
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 66
Default

Perorming actually separated me from my kids.( currently 6and 10) I recently moved back with my family -oct, and i'm not sure its going to work. It's fucking hard an doesnt get any easier, the older they get. the older the get the more of them you miss. When you are not around they grow astonishinly fast, and its wierd how they become more ok with you being gone than you are. the thing that makes it the hardest for me is my relationship with thier mother. She doesn't get it, and she thinks she does. its so fucking complicated that to really get into it requires beer, and a night without kids, which is hard to do unless you are out of town. good luck Greg
Larry
theincrediblelarry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-05, 10:01 PM   #18
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Default

I was a lucky dad. I had my daughter Samantha with me often as a street performer in Florida, where I did the full time dad bit, while her mom worked as a trainer on horse farms. We ran the wheels right off a couple of strollers, cruising the beach.

Working, I would bring a portable playpen, set it up within view of the pitch,and ask the first mommy type to keep an eye on her. As the crowd formed, I would ask five or six people to keep an eye on the woman keeping an eye on Sammi. They all got right into it. It felt good.

Over the toddler years Sam joined me in the show, performing the only magic in the act by doing a cardboard tip box turn... flashback...

( Dad: "Look in the box and see, there's no little girl!"
Sam, standing, revealing the trick, hands on hips, two years old: "I'm a BIG girl!")

Her mom and I divorced when Sam was one and a half. I lived as a single dad with the kid for fifteen years. Just this past summer, she moved to Boulder, to try life with her mom. She is a fire poi performer and a fire eater, twists an ok balloon, and has worked Pearl Street mall once or twice. She just got into an arts school there. (God, I feel old, suddenly.)

We had a blast living together. Having a kid made me far more concerned about making a living than I had been before. It was good for business.

The cool thing about being a performer was that, unlike most dads, I was there most every day to put her on and take her off the bus. Weekends were 90% off limits, but almost always, she could come to work if she wanted.

There is nothing I would do differently, except one thing, more walks, just the two of us, not saying much.

Last edited by Mr.Taxi Trix; 04-08-05 at 10:08 PM.
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-05, 10:55 PM   #19
firegirl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Posts: 452
Send a message via AIM to firegirl Send a message via Yahoo to firegirl
Exclamation

out of curiosity, taxi... what age did your daughter start doing fire eating? did you teach her or did she go off on her own (as kids are wont to do) and figure it out herself?

i love the idea of the kid in a box thing... i'm a BIG girl! that's so cute i could hardly stand it!
__________________
FIREGIRL -- Fierce, Funny, Fearless!

Check out "Mama Said Don't Play With Matches" - coming this spring to a San Francisco theater near you!
firegirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-05, 07:17 AM   #20
theincrediblelarry
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 66
Default

Taxi, i envy you, but why the hell would you teach your kid to eat fire?
theincrediblelarry is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.