While I'm absolutely not implying there's anything wrong with this choice-- I believe a lifestyle choice is up to an individual to make-- what I do find awful is the misperception in our culture that for eons now a woman's traditional place has been in the home. Medieval censuses show women employed in a variety of fields from candlemakers to smiths. It wasn't until the industrial revolution dramatically cut out any number of jobs traditionally done by hand-- not to mention created the beginnings of that afore-mentioned, more widespread prosperity-- that women began to "retire" to the home where they certainly still worked-- paid or not appreciated or not-- for their efforts.
However, a trophy wife is a different animal entirely from the housewife. If you close your eyes and envision one, perhaps a gleaming golden statuette come to life might be the first image to form behind your eyelids. It's a very negative term-- no (sane) woman would lay claim to being a trophy wife, while I know many women who, with a slight apology and a dip in their tone, will call themselves a housewife. Just like all aligators are crocodiles, but not all crocodiles are alligators, all trophy wives are housewives, but not all housewives are trophy wives.
A glowing golden statue come to life, hanging about Michel's home who neither toils nor does she spin... it wasn't much to go on when I was cast as a trophy wife to Thomas Middleditch's world's-most-famous-papparrazzo husband in a Funny or Die short film Michel Jean-Michel: Overexposed. Naturally, despite her flaws, I wanted to make Cossette human, and I wanted to do justice to the incredible oppurtunity to work with an actor so talented and so FREAKING FUNNY as Thomas Middleditch and with a crew of writers as dedicated and witty as Giancarlo Fiorentini and Jonathan Grimm. I only had a few days to prepare, but in that time I became fascinated by the mentality of a woman like Cossette-- someone who is so selfish, so self-assured, callous enough to leave her child and run off partying. Cold enough to care only for herself and her own image. What on Earth goes through the mind of a woman like that? Anything at all?
It's an actor's job not to take sides or judge the character they're playing, but to try to actualize or realize that character to best of their ability. After I played "Cossette" and saw the results-- the incredibly funny film those guys put together-- I became even more intrigued by the possibilities I castigated myself for not having explored on set. The result-- of both the extra exploration and the thought I put into the character work-- was the short poem "The Trophy Bride" slated to be published later this month by Everyday Poets http://www.everydaypoets.com/julys-table-of-contents-4/
Everyday Poets is an incredible site filled with daily inspirational poems and ideas for poets to explore. It's a site I check out daily both to learn about other poets whose work might inspire me or to read the essays about the world of poetry published (about) weekly by the site's editors. I'm honored beyond words to be included. It feels life-changing and life-affirming-- especially because this poem meant so much to me and represents a bridge between my two worlds of acting and writing, which have sometimes felt distressingly contradictory or too far from each other-- to the point I act and write under (just slightly) differet names! However, I'm not complaining...this time. If you've followed my blog, you've heard me complain about this (un) balancing act enough! It's time now to continue to create uplifting opportunities such as this one instead of bemoaning the lack of such ready-made opportunities out there. And I also want to focus more on honoring the people who are helping me find my way... the editors at Everyday Poets and the guys at Funny or Die and YOU, my wonderful readers. Your comments and support and enjoyment of my blog fill me with the greatest joy.
So I hope you liked the story of the genesis of this poem. Please enjoy the film for now (see above), and I'll publish another link when the poem is available. Hope you had equally splendid weekends!