Today’s profile is of Megan Ortiz, a Mom proving dreams don’t end when the baby comes…an inspiration for moms with big dreams and little kids!
How many kiddos do you have?
I have one beautiful baby girl who isn’t really a baby anymore. She started her first day of 2nd Grade and is making me feel “old”.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve wanted to be a performer for as long as I can recall. Whether it’s singing, dancing, acting or all 3 at once. My sister recently found a ton of cassette tapes that she’d recorded of me throughout my childhood and has a pretty stellar version of a 3 or 4 year old version of me singing some Bon Jovi.
How did motherhood change your priorities?
This is an incredibly intimate question, but something I’m beyond thankful for and more than willing to share. I found myself unexpectedly pregnant at 21. I had just graduated from a musical theatre school in New York City and had truly just started to head out to auditions in earnest. A family was the furthest thing from my mind, and if I’m being entirely honest, I’d never intended on having children.
I’d planned on stealing my friends babies for a “fix” and then handing them back when they needed something. So, to say that my whole world was turned upside down is probably an understatement. It’s interesting how quickly that mind set changes. My initial reaction was panic. I was 21 and unmarried. What was I going to do? The next question was…No, seriously, what are you going to do?
I’d been blessed with a gorgeous little girl and loving husband/father that made my life far more fulfilling than anything I could’ve ever possibly planned. My priorties changed vastly! My body, my career, my lifestyle were all no longer within my realm of worry. Just that I didn’t mess up this beautiful little persons life that I was about to be in charge of. At 21, and feeling like you hardly even know how to properly take care of yourself, motherhood, I assure you is a terrifying prospect.
However, I find it amazing how the universe, God, what-have-you really knows exactly where and what you need. My priorties went from all about Me to all about my child. The balancing act came later.
What are you passionate about?
People. Community. Anti-bullying. Chocolate. Theater. Music. Dance. Art. Food. Equality. Love. Forgiveness. Open Minds. New Experiences. Travel. Family. Those moments that make you FEEL something, good or bad. Pie. Friendships. Singing in the shower. Just to name a few.
How have you made motherhood and your dreams work?
It took a few years before I even considered reentering the entertainment field. Depending on what project you’re working on you can be away from your family for pretty long hours. I didn’t really start working on projects until my kiddo started pre-school.
I’ve been very blessed with an incredibly supportive husband who has always been my biggest cheerleader (well, outside of my Mom and Dad) My husband was really the one who pushed me to start going after my dream again. I’d all but given up. He literally found my first audition I went on after our daughter was born.
Due to the nature of my job I really get to interact with her. We dance, sing and act together ALL the time. She’s always excited for when I have a new project coming as it means she’ll be learning a new song or coming to see a show. It does get difficult when rehearsals run late or often but we make sure that we have plenty of Mommy/Daughter time to balance out that time away. She’s a really amazing kid.
You are in a theater production this week, what is it?
I am indeed! I’m currently playing Rizzo, in Grease at The City Theatre! It’s a super fun and quaint theatre off of Airport Blvd. and Manor. We are running until Sept.15th Thursday-Saturdays starting at 8:00 and Sundays at 5:30. We had a sell out weekend, so get your tickets while you can! This cast has been amazing. I’ve had to bring my daughter with me to a few rehearsals and she’s always been welcome with open arms! However, I will say this is not your Mother’s version of Grease. It’s the original Broadway version, and a little PG13.
If you could have a super power what would it be and why?
Probably the ability to heal people, both physically and mentally. I think it’s something every mother wishes they had. I’ve already watched my kiddo scrape her knees and have a kind of crummy day at school where she was feeling a little blue. I know it’s only going to get tougher. I’d love to be able to have that power to make it all better. REALLY make it all better.