Mother of The month

Emily Carding - January 2019

1. What’s your name, and your children's names and ages? Where are you based? What kind of making do you do or dream of doing?

Emily Carding, I have a nearly 16 year old non binary child whose birth name is Willow but she also goes by Rowna. They are on the autistic spectrum and ADHD. I am an actor, theatre maker, writer and artist.

2. How do you do it?! How do you make it work? 

As a single parent of a teen in school the only way to really be in continuous work is to make my own work and collaborate with others, as well as anything I may be lucky enough to be cast in. This means having several projects on the go at any given time and burnout is a constant danger. However I thrive on the variety and creativity! Creating work on the Fringe often doesn't pay but there is a lot of interest in the solo Shakespeare shows I created with Brite Theater internationally, so occasionally I perform at international festivals. Sometimes Rowna comes with me, sometimes she stays with friends. I can never really be away for more than a week or so at a time so it's definitely an unconventional career path and lifestyle. I have enormous trust in the Universe to support me in what can sometimes feel a very precarious path.

3. How has your mothering impacted your making? 

When Willow was younger I left theatre entirely and this is when I established myself as an esoteric author and artist, creating a number of Tarot and Oracle decks which are still relatively popular in a niche market. I still teach and read Tarot and am currently working on a book on the esoteric content of Shakespeare, so I've not left this entirely behind. When I felt she was old enough I was able to take an MFA in Staging Shakespeare at Exeter University, which has really formed the artist I am today. I was married at the time and my then husband asked for divorce as I was finishing my MFA so this second phase of theatre life has been as a single parent. It's certainly not an easy industry at the best of times and not being able to take long tours or runs away from home impacts that even further. However it has meant I have had to be resourceful and creative to survive. I believe my best work has been forged of these circumstances and the incredible good fortune of finding remarkable collaborators and friends who help if I do have to travel.

4. And vice versa? 

I sometimes feel guilty for being so busy but I also know that I'm setting a good example by following my dream and making it work as I wish no less for them. We've had some great adventures, travelling together and although they're not a big fan of school, I hope that she has had some great real life education, travelling around the country and the world seeing shows and meeting creative people. They're not into performing but Rowna has recently discovered an interest in Media and potentially being behind the camera. 

5. The best thing? The hardest? 

The best thing- showing Rowna that she doesn't have to conform and knowing that together we can find a way to make things work. The worst is when I have to be away and I feel like it's impacting her. 

6. Future dreams? 

Now that Rowna is potentially looking towards college and has an interest in filmmaking, I really hope that one day we will be able to work together on something. That would be magical!


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