What is it that enables you to work? Childcare, family, a partner, the children’s father or something else? Please explain.
My partner takes care of the children a lot when I perform in Finland or travel abroad to perform. Also, I create new acts at home in our living room. Whenever I can I do my stage makeup to reduce how much I am away. Working at home as much as possible enables me to do art.
Has your work been influenced by being a mother? How so?
I work with my body and having been pregnant three times, having two children and three years of breastfeeding are part of my history. Also being a mum is an important part of my life. In burlesque and drag I deal with issues such as rigid gender norms, getting older, failing, pleasure, owning your body, sexuality and gender. Being a mum is an important part of my everyday existence so it does affect the way I think about human emotions, growing, learning, time and values. I think being a mother does affect the art I do. I need to practice at home late in the evenings and there is not much space so that has an effect on the choreographies I create at the moment. If I had more time for myself I would practise more and create more.
Can you describe a normal workday?
At the moment I work for a human rights organisation in the daytime and then take care of the children after work and do my art in the evenings and on weekends. I have very little time to cook, clean or relax as such. I don’t watch TV. If I did there would not be time for my art. In addition, I also take a week’s leave from my day job several times a year to make my art.
What needs to happen to make it easier for mothers to work within the arts?
Free or very cheap childcare! I am lucky that in Finland the childcare is free or you pay a very affordable fee if you don’t earn much. It makes it possible both for me and my partner to work.
What would you have done differently knowing what you know now?
Nothing. I love my children. I would still like to have the two of them and spend a lot time with them. And yes, there were some years when they were babies and toddlers, when I had very little energy or time for my art because I wanted to take care of them myself, but everything become easier when the children grew a little bit older. It is easier to be away or travel abroad if needed now.
I do drag, burlesque, collaborative art, film, and workshops. I am educated in dance, philosophy, psychology and gender studies and also work as a psychologist. I perform internationally.