Cast Spotlight on June Cavarretta

by Tracey on April 23, 2017

Our cast members are complex, intelligent, and witty people. You simply have to hear them to believe us. We asked 4 questions to give you a feel for the innermost workings of their minds, and the variety of answers has been one of the highlights of this year’s process. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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Photo credit: Brandi Lee of Balee Images, LLC

 

1. If you could meet any person in history (living or dead, real or fictional) who would it be and why?

I would love to meet my paternal grandparents. My dad was in his 40s when I was born, and his parents were long-deceased at that point. But they were born in the 1800s, so I think that qualifies as someone in history. They immigrated from Germany and ended up settling in Chicago where my father was born. He was an only child and grew up on Karlov Avenue where his parents had a corner grocery store. My dad shared little about his family or growing-up years. I found an oral history on a State of Illinois site about someone who lived across the street from him. He said that the neighborhood liked doing their shopping with “the German” instead of at a bigger store like Piggly Wiggly. My dad put himself through the University of Chicago majoring in philosophy and had a career in business. He was a lifelong reader, had an incredible work ethic, and valued the power of education. I wish I could have known the parents who raised him and instilled in him the values he passed on to me.

2. Have you ever been on stage before? How do you feel about going on stage for the LTYM show, knowing you’re also reading your own words?

Having spent time advocating for education and funding reforms, I have spoken before large groups. But nothing like this, where I am reading a personal essay. What makes this special is that I’m sharing this with my daughter. It was an incredible experience to write the piece with her, because what mother ever imagines she will be writing about motherhood with her daughter who is also a mother? If I wasn’t going to be sharing the podium with her, I doubt I’d be putting myself out there, and I’d certainly be feeling nervous about it. But I’m not.

 

3. Unrelated to your essay, do you have a motherhood story to share?

I had an epiphany early on as a mother which has stayed with me. It was late at night, and my first-born infant was nursing practically nonstop, around the clock. It was probably 3 a.m., and I was sitting up in a creaky rocker which was anything but comfortable, nursing her yet again. I remember watching my husband in bed, peacefully slumbering, with moonlight filling the room. Anxiety was overtaking me, as I wondered if she’d ever sleep, or would I ever sleep again, and how was I going to get through not just infancy, but motherhood, when so much felt out of my control. Then it hit me: this was life now. I just needed to go with it. And I let go. Doing what I was doing felt right, and I would be able to do it.

4. If you could relive one day over again, what would you choose and why?

Life is filled with special occasions that mark the passage of time, occasions we plan for and events we celebrate, like birthdays and graduations. I have those memories. But life is really more about the moments, how we choose to spend our time, every single day. So I wouldn’t go back to any of those. I’ll take an ordinary day, probably a summer day, when the girls weren’t in school. A time when they could all climb into the van on their own. They wake up and come downstairs, not all at the same time, still a bit sleepy, and get a morning hug. After breakfast they find their way outside to play, in and out of the house, out and about in the yard and neighborhood. I hear them as I’m inside, sorting laundry, puttering in the kitchen. Dinner is be something off the grill, and we all sit down to dinner together. Someone might be trying to hide their carrots, and there was usually applesauce on the table, no matter what the dinner was. After dinner we might get up from the table and go out for ice cream. Or, we’d go over to the pool in Sleepy Hollow for a night swim. We’d probably be the last ones out of the pool, and it’d be almost dark by the time we got home again. The girls put on clean pajamas, probably something Strawberry Shortcake or Care Bears, and go to bed smelling like summer. Later I’d go in to check on them and usually scoop up the  books they’d fallen asleep with. I lived those days over and over again, and I’d do it again.

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Thank you, June!

Tickets are available for the May 7th show at Ovationtix.com.

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