We are dealing in an uncharted territory. The best thing we all can do is roll with the punches and adapt to this new normal. Take it from Broadway stars Cara Cooper (The Prom) and Jessica Rush (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) who started the Mamas Talkin’ Loud podcast where they speak opening about the raw, funny, and emotional parts of motherhood with some amazing mamas of Broadway and beyond! Check out more about Cara and Jessica in our latest interview and their awesome podcast.
Interview with Mamas Behind Mamas Talkin’ Loud
Weekend Jaunts: How did the idea of Mamas Talkin’ Loud come about?
Cara and Jessica of Mamas Talkin’ Loud: We had created a support group for mothers in our industry several years ago, and though we try to limit our group to members who live in the tri-state area we wanted to bring the same kind of support to a broader audience.
We had been tossing the idea of a podcast around for awhile, so when Dori Berinstein began the Broadway Podcast Network and approached us about doing a podcast focusing on mothers on Broadway, we jumped at the opportunity. She knew of our work with Broadway
Baby Mamas and was just as passionate about supporting mothers in show business as we are. The name Mamas Talkin’ Loud is not only an ode to the beloved musical “Gypsy” but it is also a sort of call to action, a pledge to speak openly and freely about all the experiences women face when they become mothers, and to lift each other up throughout our journeys
Weekend Jaunts: What do you hope people will get out of the Podcast?
Cara and Jessica of Mamas Talkin’ Loud: Our sincerest hope is that our listeners feel a sense of community and support. We believe that no one should embark on the journey of motherhood alone. It truly does “take a village” to raise children and in this day and age, with families spread out and the
pressures of parenting more suffocating than ever, we want to be a part of that village. We want our conversations with the mothers (and some fathers) of Broadway and beyond to not only comfort but inspire our listeners, to help them know they are not alone and that it’s possible to continue to pursue your passions once you become a parent.
Weekend Jaunts: Tell us more about Broadway Baby Mamas!
Cara and Jessica of Mamas Talkin’ Loud: We were sharing a dressing room at Broadway’s Jersey Boys when we had our baby girls, juggling motherhood, 8 shows a week, and the pressures of show business. We knew we weren’t alone in our struggles, but for years, motherhood hadn’t really been talked about in our industry. If you were having a hard time, you kept it to yourself because if you were a mother and you were working on Broadway, you were lucky.
We wanted a place where all the women who were going through this could vent and find the support of others who were going through exactly what they were; fear of telling their employers they were pregnant, feeling like the industry would count them out as soon as they had a child, balancing performing and auditioning while having a newborn, etc. With over 300 members and growing every day, it is a community of loving, supportive, and open minded women who always jump at the opportunity to help one another and never criticize. It’s a pretty magical group of women.
Weekend Jaunts: How has life been for you during quarantine? How have you pivoted in work and life at home?
Cara and Jessica of Mamas Talkin’ Loud: We both have made major adjustments. As two actor households, we and our partners are unemployed, and that is very scary, especially since we don’t know when our beloved Broadway will return, not to mention that we have families to support. We have really been focusing on Mamas Talkin’ Loud and what our listeners need most right now. To be honest, when the shutdown first happened, I don’t know if we thought we would continue recording the podcast, but it soon became clear that it was a way in which we could support our fellow artist/parents through this time. It has also been an outlet for us to maintain our creativity and inspiration.
Weekend Jaunts: What are your hopes for Broadway/theater during this uncertain time?
Cara and Jessica of Mamas Talkin’ Loud: We cannot wait to walk through our stage doors again, to feel the energy of a live audience waiting to be entertained, taken on a journey, moved emotionally. We are confident that the art that emerges from this time will be incredible. The pent up passion and creativity will explode into a hopeful renaissance of sorts, but we know it is not an easy road back and that the finances of the Broadway community and all its surrounding businesses have been decimated. It is imperative that our government supports the rebirth of the arts in our nation. You can visit https://beanartshero.com/ for more information on how you can support arts and culture recovery.
In a lot of ways it feels like we are all being given a “hard reset’ and our hope is that when Broadway returns, it will do so with eyes that are open to the systemic racism that has plagued our industry and our country for so long. It’s the perfect opportunity to come back better than before, to ”be the change“ if you will. There are some incredible resources for our industry and the nation moving forward. Check out Black Theatre United and Broadway Advocacy for more information.
Weekend Jaunts: Anything else to add?
Cara and Jessica of Mamas Talkin’ Loud: We are so excited for Season 2. We have some truly incredible guests and their stories are even more important now, 6 months into the Broadway shutdown. You can find Mamas Talkin’ Loud wherever you listen to your podcasts.