August Mama Meetup: Director Tara Miele
If you’re a member of The Mama Actor Community on Facebook, then you already know about our monthly Mama Meetups. If you’re not, you are missing out on some gorgeous live and in person get togethers. (What are you waiting for? Only requirements: be a mama or a papa and an artist.) Every month I invite a guest mama–a mom who is working in the industry–to share her journey and insights about balancing mothering with a creative career.
In August, our guest mama was writer/director Tara Miele, who has directed feature films such as Starving in Suburbia, Thinspiration, and The Lake Effect (which she wrote and directed while 7 months pregnant). As a writer, she’s sold films to Lionsgate, Screengems, New Line, Gild Circle Films and Disney Channel. Most recently, she created the film ‘Meet a Muslim‘ to combat Islamophobia, and it has over 2 million views and has been featured on sites Refinery 29, Now This, and Huffington Post. She’s also mom to two girls.
Tara was so inspiring to the moms present at the meetup and those who joined us in the Facebook Live video feed. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the conversation:
Becoming a mom has not only made me more emotional, but more human, more connected to other people, more stalwart in my beliefs, and more confident in declaring my opinion as a valid opinion. I think in my 20’s and even my early 30’s I was kind of like, ‘Oh, there’s some big conversations going on, but I’m actually not that informed, so I’m just not going to participate. I have an opinion but I’m not sure it’s the right opinion because I’m not totally educated on it, so I’m just gonna hold back.’ And I wasn’t like that as a kid…So now I’m way back to my childhood self, where I’m like, ‘I think I have something to say about this gun issue, because I have two young children and it effects me, and I actually have something to say about tolerance with other people because I live in a city with a lot of diverse people.’
My second favorite story was when she shared how the project ‘Meet a Muslim’ started over dinner one night when she was trying to explain to her 7-year old why her grandmother was afraid of Muslim people. She says, “Being a mom makes you have to explain the world and what else are you doing as an artist but explaining the world.”
I really related to this, as I also have an inquisitive 7-year old. In trying to help our tiny humans navigate the world, so many things that we’ve glossed over in the hustle of life come into stark relief. These explanations of what it is to be human in our world, in our country, in our town, are the molecules of meaningful stories. And in explaining to our children, we explain to ourselves, we relearn what is important, we resee what we’ve learned not to see. I know I’ve become a stronger, braver artist since becoming a mother. I’d love know how motherhood has changed you as an artist and storyteller. Feel free to comment below, or join us on Facebook, where you can also access the rest of this conversation with Tara Miele.