Reach for the moon! Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars!

3 March 2022

A inspiring tale of juggling an acting career with motherhood by Kate Edney.

I always knew I wanted to be a professional Actress. But I also always knew I wanted to be a Mum. Hmmmmm tricky one that. Or so I was told. The trouble is, if you tell me something is tricky I’ll try and prove you wrong. And I’ve always been a dream big kinda gal.


“We worked as a team and we still do.”

I grew up in Penryn and moved to London when I was 18 to train as a professional Actress, and that’s where I stayed for the next 12 years. During this time I met my Husband Craig who is also a busy professional Actor, and we lived and worked together as jobbing Actors from the off. We worked as a team and we still do. We work hard. Unsociable hours and 24 hour work schedules all over the world. If you know, you know. Working all the time to develop networks, develop work and develop your instrument, which just so happens to be your very own self.

Our set up as a team is what enables us as a family to fulfil each of our roles. We are also very lucky that my Mum is a hands-on Nannie, adored by her Grandsons and us, and willingly able to jump in at a moment’s notice (as is so often the case), and help us with the best kind of childcare there is. As a trio we have a couple of rather lively Whats App threads and work as a team to juggle each aspect of freelance life and the routines of our sons.


“Could we have it all? That was the question.”

We had our oldest son in 2014 and I longed to be back home in Cornwall, to be close to my Mum, for my family to enjoy my wonderful son, and so that we might be able to have the best life I knew – the Cornish life, which was so far geographically from London. Could we have it all? That was the question.

I had firmly decided to take a break from acting to have a family, as I wanted to give my all to being a full time Mummy whilst my children were little. I was also very passionate about breastfeeding and wanted to allow that journey to happen with as much freedom as I could. I breastfed each of my children for 2 years each and I’m so grateful that we allowed the space for this to happen as it was so important to us.

“It was the hardest thing we have ever had to do as a family, but we have done it!

When we moved back to Cornwall in 2015, Craig was as busy as ever and the big question was, could he continue to attend the amount of auditions he was getting plus working all over the world on film sets and for global commercials whilst we lived way, way down in the corner of Britain?

The answer: it was the hardest thing we have ever had to do as a family, but we have done it! It was hardest during the first few years. Once, Craig got home from an audition in London and his agent called with another for the following day. He got straight back in the car and drove back. We learnt the hard way. We learnt that during busy times he would just have to stay in London for the week. That was hard for me too. Oh yeah – forgot to mention, both our babies have been very wakeful through the night. That has made things all the more tricky as we have been rather tired!

As a family now, we are very used to the ways of working we have become accustomed to as it’s all we’ve ever known, but gosh, it is beyond exhausting. Imagine taking your children in the morning for the school/nursery drop off, having learnt 5 scenes of intense dialogue just the night before, getting into the car and driving straight to London to get in front of an audition camera (smiles, energy, looking fresh, acting skills sharpened, tears on cue, comedy on cue, ready to travel to Bulgaria tomorrow), to perform your scenes within just a few minutes, saying goodbye to the casting team, getting back into your car, driving back to Cornwall (not in time for bedtime), and……….not getting the job.

“We have made HUGE sacrifices along the way to accommodate our goals and priorities.”

That’s how it is for Actors every single day (whether you have children or not). Popping off around the country on a summer theatre tour which means your partner automatically becomes the full time parent and so they can’t take every job that comes their way. Having to turn your home into a self-tape studio once the kids are in bed to film multiple audition self-tapes, learning pages of dialogue from different stories and scripts on a daily basis, creating costumes from the clothes you have in your mish mash ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ wardrobe.

Doing all of this with a smile, a great look, energy, emotion in the right place, ‘daily self-care’ in order to tick all of these boxes. Juggling and plate spinning to the extreme! We are fortunate and thankful every day for the work we have done and continue to do which has enabled us to live our dreams, but we have made HUGE sacrifices along the way to accommodate our goals and priorities. We have no routine, however we also love that every day is different and every week can churn up a whole range of exciting possibilities!


“So many people doubted our set up or how ‘tricky’ it would be as Actors having a family, living in a remote area.”

I returned to working as a professional Actress in 2018. I have been very fortunate and had a lot of work and opportunities and I have LOVED it. Any gap in my schedule is usually filled with some kind of ‘self-care’, sea swimming, walking, good food, mindfulness, but this can be so tricky to maintain when one week is so completely different to the next.

Our youngest son is now moving on from the toddler stage, so we are able to confidently move further into exciting projects which take more of ‘us’, and hopefully I can get more of a grasp on that ‘self-care’.

When our oldest son was a baby, so many people doubted our set up or how ‘tricky’ it would be as Actors having a family, living in a remote area, but I think we’ve done a pretty good job. We’re very tired! But what parent isn’t?! The modern world is spinning. We all have to work. So now you know the reason for us frequenting Cornwall’s beautiful coffee shops.

Our passion for coffee is REAL! Fuel. We are partners and team mates who love and respect one another very, very deeply, had the desire for having a beautiful family, two energetic young sons, full of life, who are thriving in our stunning Cornish community. Fuel to reach for the moon.




Q&A with Kate!


What’s your biggest struggle with being self-employed and juggling family life?

Having to stretch my brain to the max on top of all the regular day to day family stuff and leaping into lots of imaginary worlds for a huge variety of projects eg having to learn 10 pages of dialogue for a self tape due in 2 days which I’m currently doing!


What’s your biggest parenting fail?

Actually it’s being too hard on myself.


What’s been your best day as a mum so far?

Every day. My boys make me feel like a Queen.


Top tip for keeping organised?

Routine so that even if our work takes us away from home or we’re working out of hours (which is totally normal in the acting industry), the boys’ routine can be maintained and their week remains largely uninterrupted.


Top tip for balancing family life with your business?

Stay positive, keep smiling, communicating and explaining the work to the boys. They love to know what’s going on, find it really interesting/exciting and understand that they have their own routines too which they really love.


What do you do to take time for yourself/ practise self-care?

Long walks, fresh air, podcasts, movement, yoga.



About Kate:

Originally from Penryn, Kate attended Penryn College and Falmouth Sixth Form, and began her life as a performer right here in Cornwall.

After moving to London to achieve her degree BA Hons Drama & Theatre Arts with Performing Arts at Middlesex University Kate then went on to attend drama school Guildford School of Acting to further her training as an Actor.

Graduating from Guildford School of Acting in 2007 Kate has gone on to work professionally in theatre, radio, television, film, commercials, voiceover, all sorts!

Kate and her Husband Craig were married at Trelissick House in 2011, have two sons – Teddy and Henry and live in Falmouth.

Links:

Website: https://www.spotlight.com/0350-0194-1393https://www.spotlight.com/0350-0194-1393
Instagram: @kate_edney_russell
Twitter: @kate_edney



ABOUT PROJECT MOTHERHOOD

This blog series exists to champion the astounding achievements of awe-inspiring mums. Because the truth is – motherhood is a full time job in itself. It is tough (and rewarding). There is no day off (we’d miss them if there was). There is no escape button (except the toilet – sometimes!). But, we’re in it for the duration and we wouldn’t change it for the world.

And when you throw another job, building a business, career or anything outside of motherhood into the mix – then, life gets a hell of a lot more of a challenge!

Somehow, against all odds, we pull through and get that shit done! Because we need something for ourselves. We need to feel a sense of achievement outside of being xx’s mum. We need to feel a sense of who we were before.

So here’s to you all mommas who are absolutely killing it. You are amazing, you are awe inspiring – you are champions!

Do you know an awe-inspiring mum who deserves the spotlight? Or perhaps you have some useful life hacks or advice to share with other mums in this blog series? If so drop me an email at suzanne@suzannejohnson.co.uk . They (or you) will even get a few photos in return to say thank you x

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