By: Corinne Cameron
You would think that as much as needs to be accomplished on any given day that I would prioritize my tasks
accordingly, right? Yeah that doesn't seem to happen, as evidenced by the hour and quarter I just spent
meticulously figuring out the exact nutritional information for my son's oatmeal mix as if I was about to report
my findings to a Weight Watchers meeting. I was actually nervous! What if it was too many points or that I was making a seemingly good meal worse with all my “additives”?
Then, with a head shake in order to physically empty it out, I realized that: 1) He is two and doesn't have to
watch his weight, 2) All my “additives” were healthy additions and 3) Where in the world did the Weight
Watchers thought come from? I'm not in the program nor is anyone in my household. I dabbled once about 10 years ago, but when it became my own personal game of “how few points can Corinne eat today” I realized it wasn't for me, as I don't think that was the program creator's “point” (no pun intended).
If you read my first post, you'll see what I wrote about digressing...well insert the same sentiment here. I
digressed so much in this blog post that I had to go and change the entire subject matter! Like right now with what I was writing, I had a few paragraphs about priorities and organization, asking questions about how you,
the reader, handle these things and such. I ended up realizing that I had wanted to formally introduce my little
miracle, Remy. The segue into talking about him was actually quite smooth and appropriate but youʼll have to
take my word on it since with a swift “Command X” it was cut out of this post and plunked into the next one,
albeit needing to be re-worked a bit.
So now needing a new lead into gushing about my toddler, Iʼll start with the following: In my immediate family,
which comprises of: my husband, Rob; my 2 year old; and my boy/girl 15 year old twin step children, William
and Samantha and myself, of course, we are passionate about all things theatre. Rob and Samantha both
fully enjoy acting on the community theatre (and on the high school stage for Samantha) stages on the Cape,
both enjoying their fair share of success and lead roles. William has also participated in the past but rather
watch the productions than perform; however, he is turning into a nice little critic! My background involves a
brief stint in the professional acting world and a resume full of acting, stage managing and directing in
community theatre, here on Cape Cod. Collectively, we have learned, from both personal “hands on”
experience as well as observing others' personal drama throughout many productions, that there is a delicate balance between life and theatre. Being in production has a way of sweeping you up, completely enveloping you and if you're not careful, it can overtake you and cause some questionable decision making. I offer this warning more to parents of teens because I remember being in shows back then (a looong time ago) and totally living in a fantasy world and needing to be shocked into reality when it was over. It was a tough adjustment at times, especially as you go through the pains of puberty, and it usually had heart break with some boy associated with it too.
Iʼm going to take a moment to say something important here. Theatre brings so much joy and has more
positives then I can even think. So I encourage people who have never been on stage or adults that haven't
graced it (the stage) since high school, to go out and give it a try. HOWEVER, please do so fully knowing the
time and energy commitment involved and with the support of your partner, if you have one, and even your
kids. I would hate for someone to find a new passion and their family be resentful for the time away from
them. That's why shows with children in them are so great! It is something you can participate in as a family,
even if not everyone is on stage as there are plenty of behind the scene duties available. Also, if you're having difficulties in your relationship, getting involved in a theatre production may not be the activity you want to start, in order to take some time and space to think about things...Let's leave it at that.
The reason I am writing about the commitment is to give some explanation for the following story. Some may
shake their head reading some of it and question our decision-making, but I wouldn't change a thing if I
could go back and do it all over again. With that…..
Meet my two year old, Remy. He was born on 11/11/11, 4 weeks early. I know everyone says their child is a miracle, because they all are, but he was a miracle in that he beat all the odds for existence. After 8 miscarriages and 3 years of complete infertility during my first marriage, he was not only conceived but done so while I was on the Depo shot! I hadn't been with my current husband that long and we had talked about the struggles I had had and our plans to try conceiving the following year. Well he had other plans!
Despite the birth control, which was used for regulation purposes, Remy and our journey began. As each week passed with hcg levels going up and strong heart beats seen and then heard on the different ultrasounds, we were in complete awe of this incredible blessing. Now I, unfortunately had one of my miscarriages at 11 weeks, so I worked really hard not to get my hopes up until we got to that magic “Week 13”. Which is irony isnʼt it? In any other context the number 13 would be dreaded. I mean they purposely skip numbering the 13th floor in tall buildings, when all it's doing is screwing with the psyche of the people on the 14th floor.
Anyway, the second trimester came and went without too much incident and then BAM, welcome the third
trimester. I should mention that my past fertility issues were not the only reason my pregnancy was high
risk. I was “advanced maternal age” at 35 years old (I guess the whole “35 is the new 25” doesnʼt apply in
gynecology), have Lupus and also suffered disabling injuries from a bad car wreck in 2007. So the doctors
were always on their guard with me and, self-fulfilling prophecy or not, I ended up with pre-eclampsia and
was put on restricted activity.
Oh wait!! Did I fail to mention that I was in the middle of directing a production of Guys and Dolls at the
time? Yeah, it took me a bit to wrap my head around the fact that I, a director that is very hands-on,
showing actors physically what I want, had to do this while restricted. And as these things go, eventually
ended up on full bed-rest as my blood pressure and my belly grew. After arguing with my doctors, we came to a happy medium. I could go to rehearsals as long as I didnʼt move while there and any other time stayed on strict bed rest. Enter my incredible husband, who after securing a big comfy chair on wheels that also lounged backwards, would bring me into the building, settle me in my new chair with my legs propped up and would wheel me anywhere I needed (usually the bathroom) to go. The experience actually taught me a lot. I
needed to learn how to explain things instead of physically showing them. In other words it made me think on
my feet rather than being on them. Theatre tends to do that, you end up learning things that can be useful
in many factions of life while also growing as a director, actor or whatever other discipline you are
undertaking. My husband always says, and I fully agree with it, that if he ever stops learning and growing as an actor then it would be time to give it up.
Well I made it through...almost. The show opened and had a very successful opening weekend. The
reviews were quite positive and I was so proud of Rob whom I couldnʼt take my eyes off each night as he
portrayed the suave, Sky Masterson. Anyway, on Thursday the 10th I had my last ultra sound appointment
with my maternal fetal medicine specialist. Everything looked great, however she said “Well now we will
look for reasons to take him out as when things go down-hill they go down fast”. Little did I know how the
next 24hours would turn out..again with that self-fulfilling prophecy thing.
After a long night with little sleep as my blood pressure was through the roof, I awoke to a great article in the
CC Times talking about the show. The bulk of the article was about directing in my third trimester and she
ironically summed it up saying that we all hoped that the baby would wait until the show closed to make his
opening appearance. I got dressed and headed out the door to the OBʼs office, sending my husband to
work and assuring him all would be all right.
Ok, I knew it was the day, but I'm an actor and did a real good job at calming him, plus he needed to be on
stage that night at 8pm to start off our second weekend of performances. From the office I was sent over to
maternity at the hospital for some monitoring, texting my husband frequently with no news, as they kept
saying “Let's wait and see”. He made it until about noon when he called saying he was going to get packed
up as he wasn't being productive (he was in Woods Hole) and drive to get the twins from their mother's
house in Yarmouth and await news as to what was going to happen.
Well at 2:30 everything sprung into action. Nurses came in and out, poking me and asking questions. When
I expressed my concern about my husband not arriving yet, they assured me not to worry as we had to wait
for the surgical team which could take a bit. Two minutes later (of course) the surgical team and the anesthesiologist came popping in saying “Ready to go” and I yelled a resounding “No”! Then, after breaking many speed limits, my husband and step kids came running into the room at about 3pm. Nurses
threw a surgical gown at him and at 3:24pm, Veterans Day or 11/11/11, our miracle arrived.
Unfortunately, as is common with Caucasian boys in their 36th week, he had breathing complications soon
after birth. Because I had a spinal for my C-section, I obviously couldnʼt move, so I was not able to be in the
special care nursery with my precious Remy as they gave him oxygen. Rob and the older kids took turns
coming back into my room with photos and video of his first hours of life.
Now is where that balance thing comes in… It was time for Rob and Samantha (who was also in the show)
to leave for the theatre. The pediatrician assured them and me that Remy would be fine and to have a good
show. I chuckled as, after all I went through to get the production off the ground, there wasnʼt much that
would make me cancel a performance. Well, not 20 minutes after they left, the doctor came back in and
gave me the horrible news that Remy needed to go to Tufts Medical Center in Boston because of his lung
function. He again assured me that this was common and that he would be fine but needed extra support.
I had to battle whether to tell my husband or not. Here he had to entertain a hundred plus theatre patrons, singing and dancing, but he deserved to know what was happening with our little boy. To make a long story short, he as the incredible performer that he is , got up on stage and submerged himself into the world of gambling and gangsters. Right after the show he returned to stay with me at the hospital as it would take until the following day for me to be transferred up to our son.
Remy had a 25 day struggle in the NICU at Tufts and special care nursery at Jordan but came home on
December 7th, his due date. Since then he has grown and flourished and is a perfectly healthy 2 year old
boy. Since his birth I have directed 3 more shows and starred as an actor in one while his dad has starred in
5 shows! Remy has also made appearances in 2 shows to date! Theatre is a special part of my family's life
and I hope that it will be an integral part in Remyʼs life as he grows up in it.
If you have any questions about how to find a theatre or production for you or your children please donʼt hesitate to comment, find me on Face Book or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoyed this post please “like” it on FB so I know you want to hear more!
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