Motherhood and Meaning | PAAL

diane davis headshot
By Diane Davis | PAAL Ambassador, AEA Actor, and #FWOC Candidate

I have three children. A lot of people think this is insane, and most days I tend to agree with them. But I love being a mother and three kids just felt right for our family. I also love being an actress. I once asked my mother what the meaning of life was and she told me “the meaning of life is whatever you find meaningful.” So if that’s true, the meaning of life for me is my family and theater. I have brought my children to jobs I have worked in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Williamstown, and Los Angeles.

I think it’s good for them to know that they can make a home anywhere.

I have brought them to countless auditions when the babysitter fell through — I just crossed my fingers and hoped that someone I know would be there who could watch a small child. I’ve worked through two pregnancies up until my 30th week, I have pumped in my dressing room more times than I can count (I even brought a breast pump when I went to see “The Iceman Cometh” because that shit is 5 hours long and I had a 9 week old. Totally worth it.) After my third child, I went back to work when she was 8 weeks old — we set up a little nursery for her across from the rehearsal room and I commuted with her from New Jersey every day through the coldest January I can remember. If you are a working parent in this industry I just want to say: I’m with you, I hear you, and I will fight for you.

Not everyone is a parent. (Not everyone should be! I always say that people should have the exact amount of children that they want and often times that number is zero! Yay! More for me!).

But we all have people/things/causes/animals/places that we love, outside of our lives in the theater. This is a good thing.

Diane, baby Cecilia, and most of the cast at the end of first week of rehearsals for “Amy and the Orphans”

I wholeheartedly believe that full lives make better artists. I want us all to have that. I don’t want us to spend all of our precious energy worrying about how to feed ourselves, or how we’re going to make rent, or pay our student loans, or working two extra jobs to “support” our work on stage. I want us all to thrive and have the fullest lives possible. I know that together we can create a culture that supports us, but it’s going to take all of us, believing that we deserve it and we can do it.

I want Equity members to have access to jobs, jobs that pay a fair wage. I want us to have safe workplaces. I want the theater we create to be diverse and inclusive. I want our members to feel engaged with their union, and heard by the people who represent them.

And whatever makes your life meaningful, I want you to have that, too.


Learn more about Diane’s advocacy, Fair Wage on Stage, and the candidates for Actors’ Equity Council advocating for fairer wages at



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