As told by Butterfly Co-Founder Bradi Nathan
|Today I’m coming out. “I am a complainer.” There, I said it. I sometimes complain of the monotony each day brings: racing like a lunatic to get the kids on a 7:40 am bus, cleaning, organizing, gym, shower, late lunch, some work jammed in between, bus drop-off 2:50 pm, play dates, pickups, football, soccer, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Oh, but how I love to be able to work and be there for my kids! Perhaps if I sang about it, it wouldn’t feel repetitive after all...
That’s what Sue Fabisch does, she sings about it! She actually writes mommy songs about complainers like me. For real. Sue Fabisch is a Musical Humorist whose songs have appeared on Billboard Magazine’s Top 10 comedy chart. She also co-wrote a little song you might have heard of, “I don’t think about it!” sang by Emily Osment (co-star of Hannah Montana). As a mother, Sue provides educational entertainment throughout her show. Through her singing, Sue provides a game plan for balancing family and career. In an exclusive interview with Butterfly, Sue Fabisch shares her journey of Music and Motherhood:
BN: What did you do before you had children?
SF: I can't remember!! Actually, I owned a Karaoke Company and would provide the service to bars and private parties. This was in the early 90's and at our pinnacle, we did 53 shows a week!
BN: Can you describe the Game Plan you sing about for balancing family and career?
SF: I used to take myself SOOOOO seriously before I had kids! I would get stressed out about everything at work and literally lose sleep over the littlest details! Now, I know how to keep it all in perspective and laugh most of it off. Yes, there's a time to be serious about work, but not nearly as much as I used to think.
BN: How is it that you wrote a song about/for Avon?
SF: A fan of mine wrote me a letter and she told me that she went from rags to riches selling Avon. I couldn't even believe that was possible! After researching her (Lisa Wilber) and Avon, I was inspired by their stories and wrote a song, then an album about these women who never gave up!
BN: What void in the market did you seek to fill with your music?
SF: The first thing you learn in any songwriting class is "write about what you know". And at the time, I was in the throws of motherhood (while trying to have a songwriting career). So I just started writing these songs about my life, you know, the REAL stuff that goes on in a woman's life. And apparently I struck a chord. The songs about motherhood became my most requested tunes when I performed live.
BN: How do you personally balance career and family?
SF: I build in down time. There's no way that anyone can do it all - at least not at the same time. So there are cycles. For instance, I'm doing a show now, and the rehearsals will get intense up until Thanksgiving. So I make sure that on my nights off, I'm there with my kids - bringing them to swim team and soccer, so that on my rehearsal nights, I don't feel so guilty taking time for my work. Plus, I'm making sure that I don't plan anything from Thanksgiving through New Years, which is typically a crazy month at school and home.
BN: What inspired you to create “Motherhood the Musical”?
SF: The Musical was a natural progression with what had been happening in my life. I had written so many songs about motherhood, that to build a storyline around them was a breeze. And it's not rocket science. The show is about 4 women who all have different views about Motherhood: There's Barb, the stressed-out, overweight mother of five. There's Catherine, the lawyer, who barely sees her kids. There's Jenna, the soccer mom and a single mother of two. And there's Julie, a 20-something about to have her first child. As the three friends throw Julie a baby shower, the truth about motherhood (the good, the bad and the laundry) comes out. It's a 90-minute romp that will make you laugh, cry and pee in your pants! It's kind of like a group of your girlfriends sitting around and talking. I think all women will relate.
BN: In what ways has your family offered support in your journey?
SF: Well, hubby's been juggling the kids while I have rehearsals, so that's a biggie. Plus they all see the potential, so it takes a little work now, for the payoff later. And I'm trying to involve my kids. My oldest son, who is 11, is my stage manager, and my younger ones like to hand out playbills at the door.
BN: What is the most rewarding thing about what you are offering to families?
SF: I'm offering families a chance to laugh at themselves! A chance to say "whew! I guess I'm not the only one who was feeling that way!" And to hear each woman latch on to her favorite song is great for me. Everyone has a different favorite! It's rewarding for me to know I've hit the target...
BN: How does the humor from your music best benefit women?
SF: Let's face it- motherhood is definitely the HARDEST job in the world. If you don't laugh, you're gonna cry, so you might as well laugh!
MOTHERHOOD: THE MUSICAL
A new and original 4-woman show by Sue Fabisch
Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Ave. Nashville, TN
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