Mother of toddler juggles motherhood and professional acting career.
An unflappable attitude and being a member of a theatrical family helps this mom live guilt free while pursing her dream.
There’s no typical day for Luisa Frasconi of San Rafael.
A mother of a toddler, Frasconi also works as a professional actress. She’s currently starring in the role of Desdemona in Marin Shakespeare Company’s production of Othello playing through Sept. 25 at Forest Meadows Amphitheatre in San Rafael.
Her daughter Lenox was born into the theatrical family of Marin Shakespeare Company. Lenox’s father is actor and set designer Jackson Currier, son of Robert and Lesley Currier, Artistic and Managing Directors of Marin Shakespeare who have helmed the professional theater company since 1989.
On opening night of the company’s 2016 summer production of The Taming, 14-month old Lenox was apprenticing backstage by picking up bobby pins.
“Lenox loves being at theaters. She is a fantastic actor’s companion, has come with me to a number of auditions and has been entertained by many actors in waiting rooms,” said Frasconi.
“My biggest challenge is definitely having to leave Lenox to go to rehearsal or a show,” said Frasconi. “It can be so difficult to leave a part of yourself and go do your job. The actor schedule has been really great for Jackson and I because he tends to work a lot during the day and I tend to rehearse and perform mostly in the afternoons and evenings. So, we don’t have to find as much childcare that way.”
Q & A:
~ Where did you grow up?
I always knew I wanted to be an actor, but had no idea how to make that a reality, except to just keep trying. I grew Santa Barbara, CA. As a young teen, I started taking some community college acting classes and performing in whatever community theater opportunities were available to me.
~ How did you first get involved in theater?
I moved to the Bay Area in 2008 to pursue a career in the theater. It was the summer I turned 18 and I didn’t have any plans to go to college. I have always done things my own way, and I was ready to start my life on my own. I decided to move in with my best friend who was attending University of California at Berkeley. I started by getting a job as a server at a restaurant, then doing research on theater companies and sending my headshot and resume to a ton of theater companies. I went to literally every audition I could get to. I only had a couple shows on my resume and no real training beyond a few classes.
~ How did you and Jackson Currier meet and fall in love?
It’s pretty funny that Jackson and I didn’t get together until we were studying together at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Mass. We had known each other for a couple years. I had worked at Marin Shakespeare (which his family runs) for two seasons before we got together. I don’t think we’d exchanged more than a few words to each other.
Falling in love is just one of those things that you can’t plan. One of the really amazing things about starting a relationship while doing this intensive acting training in Lenox, was that we were both so emotionally available and open, so we were able to develop this wonderful line of communication which has been the base for our relationship. And especially important since having a baby!
I was immediately drawn to Jackson’s relaxed good nature and his passion for theater making. And he we always laughed a lot. Since we got together, we have often stayed up way too late talking about Shakespeare plays and how we would stage them…we get pretty nerdy when it comes to Shakespeare. So, we had to give our daughter a Shakespeare name (Lenox is from the Scottish play “Macbeth”) and it has special meaning for us since it all started on Lenox, Mass.
~ As a working mother, what are your biggest challenges?
As she’s gotten older and more opinionated, it’s gotten more difficult to go to work, because she wraps her sweet little arms around my neck and says “No!” Then I spend the car ride to rehearsal thinking about her and hoping she’s not too sad. But, I’ve found that when it’s a project I really care about (and I’ve been so lucky to be a part of some really great shows and companies this last year), that once I get to rehearsal, I remember that I’m still my own person. That I still have thoughts and opinions and experiences that are not connected to her. And that it’s actually really amazing to be able to put my attention and heart into something else that I love so much.
It can also feel a little crazy trying to schedule childcare for her. We have a pretty epic family calendar where I have listed who she’ll be with and when. We are very lucky to have her grandparents so close and willing to watch her! We often have to do “hand offs” at both our jobs. I’ve dropped Lenox off backstage at Marin Shakespeare with Jackson many times. She’s been to most of his production meetings.
~ What advise would you give to mothers who want to pursue a career?
My advice to working mamas is: You can do it. You absolutely can. And ignore people who tell you that it’s too difficult or say that you can’t have it all. Ignore them and then smile at them while carrying your baby on your hip and doing what you love! Jackson is so supportive on days when its been difficult to leave her and reminds me how important it is for Lenox to see her mama doing her job and fulfilling her dreams while raising her. I hope that it teaches her that she can do anything she wants.
Luisa Frasconi at Marin Shakespeare Company: