By Jennifer Weedon Palazzo
“Oh, I make it a rule not to date other actors.” I’ve heard this blanket statement time after time from fellow performers. And while it seems like a rather harsh rule, I completely understand the sentiment behind it. Performers and artists of all types often live up to the stereotypes about them. Many are self-centered, needy, dramatic. Some have to be the “star” of the relationship and can’t help but feel jealous when the spotlight is focused on their partner. The schedule of a performer is constantly changing. Book a vacation and invariably you’ll be called in for your most exciting audition of the year. Make a date for a romantic dinner and you’ll book a job that shoots that night. And who knows what time you’ll wrap! And then, of course, there’s the financial insecurity that comes with the career. Several actors I know say they won’t date another actor for this reason alone. At least one half of the couple should know how much they’ll bring in in any given year. And don’t get me started on health insurance.
So all that being said, why did I marry a fellow actor and musician? Because we don’t control who we fall in love with.Because the universe works in mysterious ways. Because when we met as acting students, I had no idea that the guy I was hanging out with would someday become my husband and the father of my child.
Our careers have given our relationship it’s fair share of challenges. There have been times when we have both auditioned for the same project and only one of us have booked it. There are times when one asks the other’s opinion on a performance and we’ve had to honestly say, “It wasn’t your best.” There have been theatre or low budget film roles one of us has turned down because it would mean going out of town for too long or not being able to contribute to the household expenses. There are the inevitable disagreements any couple has over money. How much to invest in the “biz” when money is tight. Who needs new headshots more.
The most challenging time for me was the period when I was pregnant and the first months of our son’s life. Just when I was unable to work, Evan’s music career took off. I was thrilled for him that he was finally getting the recognition he deserved and supporting all three of us while doing what he loved. But part of me felt uncomfortable being dependent on money I wasn’t personally bringing in. And it was lonely staying at home every night, eating a frozen meal before I collapsed into bed until the next feeding session, while he played gigs in fabulous places, getting to eat out and drink with his bandmates. But after a few months of this, my career started to get rolling again. And I felt refreshed coming home to my family after a day of shooting or even just an hour of auditioning.
This year will be our tenth wedding anniversary. Coming from divorced parents on both sides, we’re proud to have made it this far. It’s taken sacrifice, dedication, and a lot of humor. But I guess I can’t really imagine sharing my life with someone who didn’t understand the crazy life decision to become a performer. Though I’m kind of hoping our son takes up medicine. Or plumbing.
Jennifer Weedon Palazzo is the creator/writer/and producer of MomCaveTV.com, an online network of comedy shows for moms including Slummy Mummy, Double Leche, Blabbermom, and MomCave LIVE. When she’s not writing about the funny side of being a mom for sites like Scary Mommy and Mamalode, Jennifer can be found eating Reese’s Cups while furiously bidding on vintage clothing on eBay. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Evan, bandleader of The Hot Sardines and their son. Follow her on Twitter @MomCaveTV and visit https://www.youtube.com/MomCave.