Second City alumna, Anne Marie Scheffler, has a gift for finding the humour in everyday situations and she’s bringing her one-woman show to Mississauga.
Suddenly Mommy, takes the audience through every mom’s experience of good times, bad advice, and trying to do it all. From hot dates to play dates, experience the rollicking rollercoaster of motherhood. Because no matter how you planned it, it always comes suddenly.
“Have I learned nothing from dating badly?” asks Scheffler, star and creator of the show. “I lose myself to my sons, in the same way I was vampire food for those charismatic, commitment-phobe boyfriends I used to date.”
Scheffler’s star was rising when CTV and The Comedy Network gave her a one-hour comedy special based on her live show, Not Getting It. She spoke for the women of her generation when she shone the light on being single but having needs. As CTV was preparing to build a television series around her, she pressed the pause button to have kids.
“When opportunity knocks, I like to open the door a crack and say, ‘can you give me a minute?'” she said.
So she did what any good Canadian girl would do, she politely ran away from success. A single dad swept her off her feet, and they got pregnant and married, in that order. So Anne Marie threw herself into her new family and turned her back on the entertainment industry. But dropping who you really are can’t last for long.
“I could never stay in a relationship with a guy for longer than two years,” she says. “You know I’d turn into what I thought he wanted me to be. If he liked Star Trek, so did I. If he went for a run every morning, I bought running shoes and always went for a run every morning. Actually, that was pretty good for me. But after two years, the real me always emerges.”
Ironically, it was when her second son was two years old, that she snapped.
“I remember being in the kitchen, doing the daily drudge, the kids were in the living room, and Pink’s Just Like A Pill came on the radio,” explained Scheffler. “I just transformed. I started singing and dancing like a maniac. I knew their was a part of me, the part that was about to get a TV series, that was dying to get out.”
So she wrote Suddenly Mommy.
She struck the vein of gold with Not Getting It, asking is it okay for women to have sex like men, without love? A master of wanting two opposing goals at the same time, Anne Marie struck gold again with Suddenly Mommy. Working on the script with Saturday Night Live veteran, Rosie Shuster, Scheffler gives her mommy show a refreshing twist.
“If all I’ve done my whole life is lose myself to men, of course, I would do that with my babies,” she says. “It’s not that I’m a mom now and all of a sudden I understand how to say no, how to have boundaries and how to love without completely disappearing.”
As many of her audiences agree, parenting is overwhelming. And Suddenly Mommy brings release.
“I believe in having an arc in my comedy, in a very Joseph Cambellian way,” said Scheffler. “In Not Getting It, Anne Marie learns to love herself first. In Suddenly Mommy, she learns to find her backbone and be the centre of the family. No one tells you that motherhood is like a hero’s journey. You enter the extraordinary world and it’s unfamiliar. You have to fight, grow, learn, battle. You return with the elixir of put yourself first. Or the mommy, the wife, is just a sad shell of her formal self. And guess what? No one wants that.”
Suddenly Mommy, at the Meadowvale Theatre on May 11. Visit meadowvaletheatre.ca for details.