Throughout the making of Lost In Living and as the film screens in various places I have the great pleasure of receiving letters and emails from some of the most talented, determined, resilient artists who are also mothers. I feel quite honored to be the recipient of their very kind words about the film and their stories of balancing creative lives while raising children. All of them have unique narratives and situations and all of them persevere in work and parenting. I am greatly inspired by them and I will be sharing their work in this newsletter and other newsletters in the future. Here are three women who write, perform, sing, play music, photograph, collage and paint. I hope you are as inspired as I am.
Born in Minneapolis, Andrea spent her early childhood in Minnesota, Michigan, and rural Wisconsin, and her teen years in the mountain town of Missoula, Montana. She headed back to the Midwest to attend Northwestern University, where she studied classical voice, acting, and dance, and earned degrees in music and history. Before writing and performing her original material, she spent a number of years on the stage, eventually making her way to New York City, where she used her vocal skills in musical theater and acted in theater and film. She started performing with live bands after a move to Los Angeles, singing jazz, blues, and pop standards. Her first song was written for a character in a screenplay she was co-writing with a friend. The response prompted her to write more and soon she was playing her alt-country originals in clubs and bars around Los Angeles with her band, The Alternators. Her first album, Miles To Go, was released in early 2008. Andrea currently lives in Seattle with her husband and two young children. After taking a break to tend to the babies, she is at work on her second album.
Brooklyn-based writer and performer Amanda Hirsch was 34 years old when she and her husband decided they wanted to have a child. The decision was prompted when her doctor told her, "'Maybe' never turns into 'no,' and it only gets harder as you get older." Bam. Hirsch found out she was pregnant in the middle of Hurricane Irene, and she chronicles the stormy emotions of pregnancy, from elation, to shock, to sheer terror at the prospect of what having a child will do to her life. Like all women, Hirsch wears many hats -- in her case, the hats include artist, business owner and wife; how will she wear the motherhood hat without sacrificing other parts of her identity that are so important to her? Once her daughter is born, she is overcome with love, and documents the disorienting rush of new motherhood, while showing us how she slowly re-inhabits the other parts of her life. Motherhood does change her, but it doesn't limit her.
This is a book for pregnant women anticipating parenthood, for new mothers who want to know they aren't alone as they adjust to this profound change in their lives, and for any mother who wants to remember what it felt like when this enormous part of their identity was brand spanking new. It's also a book for anyone looking for a window into how new motherhood feels, and for anyone struggling to lead a life that balances many passions.
Michelle Johnston lives in Bungendore NSW, Australia with her husband, three girls, a cat called Matisse, six chooks and a very large garden. Michelle is the Author and Publisher of Woman on the Verge - The Subject is Herself. She is also contributing to the Arts in the Canberra Region giving Art-Journal and Creativity Workshops locally. Michelle gave herself a 30 day art/play/mend/make challenge. Here is her description of it in her own words: "I am the mother of three girls under ten years. Lately I have found myself slightly frustrated with the amount of time and dare I say creative energy that goes into maintaining our house and life. And since the real problem is priorities I have made a big decision for the good of all. Art/Play/Mend/Make first. I don't know how this will effect the greater whole, most likely they will not notice or even care and I will most likely save electricity from not vacuuming the floor so regularly but that could be good for the environment anyways so yes win/win perhaps. Anyway the point is I am fed up with my own whining and feeing mostly that I am letting myself down because I haven't gotten around to doing most of any of the things I value. This is the plan: Each day create/play/mend/make something. Even if one cannot be bothered it shall be done regardless. Do it for 30 consecutive days and no judgement, if for some reason it does not happen. Each day keep a list of all things that fit into the above category. Potentially post some pictures/lists of things I have come up with. You can join in too, you may not have the same reasons as me, that doesn't matter. It is about making yourself happy and being subject in your life and doing what you need to do, without any excuse. And off we go..."
Check out her website to find out what she did and to see so much of her beautiful work as well as buy her book!
DVD's are now available for sale on the website here. Thank you for your support and for sharing this film with friends and family.
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We have two upcoming screenings in Fargo, North Dakota and at The National Gallery in the Cayman Islands. I will be at the Fargo screening on Thursday, June 13th. That screening takes place at the beautiful and Historic Fargo Theatre at 7pm and the event is free. All four women from the film will be attending as well and a discussion panel will take place following the screening and moderated by Colleen Sheehy, Director and CEO of The Plains Arts Museum in Fargo. Hope to see you there! Details coming about the The National Gallery screening.
House Parties have been popping up all over where small groups are screening the film in living rooms and having lively discussions about the film. I offer a House Party Kit that includes the DVD of the film, an Extras DVD with an hour and a half of extra footage, a 23 page discussion guide, postcard invitations and a totebag. I can also be available to skype after the screening and answer questions. So please check out the House Party Kit here.
As always I thank you for your incredible support and please feel free to email me anytime if you have questions or comments, you'd like to share something in the newsletter or share your work. I love hearing from you.