American entertainer Tracey Birdsall has been performing since she was a child. The Van Nuys born entertainer credits her mother for being so supportive and encouraging of her dream.
‘My mother drove me to the Gary Dance Studio for lessons constantly as far back as I can remember. She would sew my costumes, drive me to rehearsals, and support me in my shows. It was in my blood, and my fondest childhood memories were on stage’.
In later years, Birdsall would make a name for herself in commercials, on television (The Young & The Restless, Loving), in film (Tick Tock, Dawn of the Crescent Moon) and the runway.
On the promotional trail for her newest film Rogue Warrior : Robot Fighter, Birdsall fills me in on juggling motherhood with acting and how being a parent will always be the most important role she plays.
Describe a typical day for you?
If I’m not shooting, then a typical day for me involves focusing on my input/output (what I’m consuming and what exercise I’m getting), working on the next project and spending time with family. I used to spend a lot more time in friendship circles, but have found that is the downside of working a lot – there isn’t much time left for friends when you work this much. I’m going to have a lot of catch-up to do!
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
I have personal achievements – which involve physicality and fitness, raising a happy family, being a good daughter/friend/partner… and then I have my professional achievements which involve the level that I’ve allowed a character to evolve and grow within my embodiment. Of course the films are great achievements, but the work feels like the biggest achievement – being able to go to those places and do those things while living the life of the character.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
My wallet, a constant supply of mints, a nail file, keys, my signature lipgloss (www.mangloss.com) and some random receipts! I don’t carry makeup, nor do I carry a hairbrush… I’m not a big bag girl!
What are your ambitions in life?
I constantly want to be the best me that I can, and create diverse characters and live their lives. I have no limit to how hard I’m willing to work, or to where that might take me. I try to “stay out of my own way” when ambition strikes, and let my life lead me.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
I wish I had known how hard I would have to work in order to create success. Really. In this industry, you have to work harder than anyone around you. Once I figured this out, the waters parted a bit more. You literally have to work day and night in creating your characters until you have nothing left… it’s the only thing that works.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Hopefully in Tahiti again! No, I’m just kidding. In 5 years I would like to have worked myself to death and be an Academy Award winning actor. On top of this, I would like to be working – for the rest of my life. I truly strive on it.
What advice would you give a new parent
Children teach us to be proud, and to be humble. Each child is a separate human being with every little thing being unique to them. My best piece of advice is to spend as much time as you can with them. With our current drug epidemic, do everything in your power to keep them away from the party scene – unfortunately it’s our only choice – because it’s their life and irreplaceable.
What advice would you give a budding actress?
If there’s anything else you can picture yourself doing, do it. This industry is much harder than it looks on the outside. If it is all that you can imagine doing, then work harder than anyone around you. Always find out what the next “layer up” is doing and gradually do what they do. Study with an acting coach who isn’t into complimenting you (it’s a ploy) but who truly cares about your career. Always be off book – even in auditions… if you take the question out of the equation then you’ll always be prepared.
What do you wish you’d known about motherhood before having kids?
I actually knew quite a bit as my mother was an amazing mother. Although children are a lot of work, the rewards are equally as amazing. I didn’t realize just how hard it would be, as our parents always made it look easy.
Finally, happiness is…
a state of mind 🙂