Well, we’ve moved and it was quite the experience. I’ll share more about that adventure next week. In the meantime, I wanted to tell you all about another exciting area of my life.
If you’ve been with me for a while, you may know that my daughter, Zoe, is on a Netflix show called Black Summer. If you’re brand new around here, I’ll give you a little background (and a refresher for the rest of you).
That's Zoe on the left.
Zoe has been acting professionally since she was about 5. She was the voice of Pillow Featherbed in the animated series called Lalaloopsy (before she could even read!). She also did a number of commercials for TV and radio, along with some small parts in some movies.
My husband and I never dreamed of having kids in acting (our son, Oakley acts as well) but that’s what happened. They expressed their interest and we’ve done everything we can to support them.
When Zoe was 14, she landed a role on the zombie apocalypse show, Black Summer, Season 1. It was an absolute dream come true for her. For me, I would have preferred less zombies and less apocalypse, but hey, we’re all about going with the flow over here.
She appeared in 3 of the 8 episodes and loved every second of the experience. I taught her how to ask for signs and she asked for a sign that there would be a Season 2. Soon thereafter, she saw a balloon floating through the sky in the shape of a #2. She felt pretty confident that it would happen.
It took a long time, but eventually we got word in December 2019 that Season 2 was indeed on its way and Zoe’s role would be expanding to a lead character! They started filming in February 2020 and then… you know what happened… the real apocalypse. In March, everything shut down indefinitely. I was a little relieved, to tell you the truth, because on the days in March that we would have been filming (I am Zoe’s guardian on set), many days were around -30C/-22F. I was happy to be cozy at home.
Eventually, the show started filming again in September and we were back on set until late October. Zoe was in heaven, even though heaven involved adrenaline pumping experiences like toting a shotgun and running from ferocious zombies.
Fast forward to Thursday, June 17 of last month. Season 2 released and apparently the show has a LOT of adoring fans worldwide. People just can’t seem to get enough of zombies.
On the 17th, Zoe had a little Instagram account of about 300 followers who were mainly friends and people she knew. 5 days later, it caspoded (that’s a fantastic word a kid at my sister’s science camp invented - kind of like exploded but on a major scale) to 3000 followers and daily doses of hundreds of direct messages from people all over the world. Now, a few weeks later, it’s at 5000.
Overnight, from the 17th to the 18th, a number of websites popped up with all sorts of information about Zoe, her brother, and even me and Paul. Good thing we’ve been careful about what we’ve shared over the years… It was also a clear example of how you can’t believe everything you read online. According to various sources, Zoe lives in LA, or Vancouver. (Neither is true; we live in Calgary.)
Last week, Zoe got several interview requests. She appeared on a local radio show yesterday morning and last Friday she did a 1 hour interview on the show Dead Talk Live, where she and the host dissected her character, Anna, and talked about her motivation for each scene. Another one is scheduled for later this week. (In case you want to jump on the Zoe bandwagon and feel compelled to listen, I’ve made those links clickable. The first interview is only 7 minutes.)
People have even been making fan art of Zoe and compiling video montages of her scenes.
A couple of days after the show was released, Zoe said, “This is so surreal. It’s like I’m living 2 different lives. Here I am doing the dishes and there could be someone out there watching me run from zombies at the same time.”
The amazing part is that she’s remained super grounded, humble and conscious. Yesterday she told us that a 26 year old man from Russia sent her unkind messages because she didn’t respond to his direct messages.
“What did you do?” Paul and I asked her.
She replied, “Oh, I blocked him and I’m not taking it personally.”
Whew! She also blocked the guy who asked her for nude photos. We’re very grateful that she still has her head on straight!
So why am I telling you all this? A few reasons:
>I always love to know behind the scenes stuff, so I thought you might too :)
>One of the best things about having your child realize their dreams is that you can claim it for your own too, so I’m celebrating all of Zoe’s success with as much enthusiasm as if it were my dreams coming true (in some ways, it’s even more sweet when my kids accomplish their goals; it just feels so gosh darn amazing).
>As a parent, I think it’s so very important to be persistent in conveying values to your kids. We’ve done that for Zoe’s entire life and it’s completely worth all the effort when I see how gracefully she’s navigating through this sudden rise to international fame. (The show was number 3 overall on Netflix for the entire world for a few days!)
>When great news comes your way, it’s a sign that what you want is getting closer to you too, so revel in that goodness.
>It’s so easy to get caught up in sharing what goes “wrong”. Although I don’t do that, it can still be a stretch for me to share what goes incredibly well, so here’s me stretching by sharing some fantastic news.
>Doesn’t everyone love a “dreams do come true” moment? I was sharing all about Zoe with my new dental hygienist and she said that it’s always cool to hear about this kind of thing from someone you know, not just some stranger out there. It helps keep the faith, so I’m sending you a big dose of that too.
It’s been an interesting exercise for me to notice all the things coming up around this whole experience. As a person who values peace, high vibrations and light, having my daughter star in a show that’s about violence and zombies has been… I don’t even know the word for that. Perhaps supremely uncomfortable.
I’ve had to do a lot of witnessing of myself to see how I’m showing up in various situations. There’s definitely a fear of judgement, and seeming incongruous. Hypocritical, even. However, it’s also a giant cosmic joke, because Paul and I have been so protective of our kids’ subconscious (no video games, no news, no violent shows, not even any shows or books where there was name calling or humour at the expense of others) that the Universe is now having a big old belly laugh to show us that a rich life is one that has a full spectrum of experiences. Ha Ha! Good one Universe!
I was tempted to just keep the whole thing to myself, but clearly that’s now impossible, and anyways, it’s better to opt for openness and authenticity than to just hide and hope no one will notice. Those days are over, methinks.
So that’s what it’s like over here, living with a brand new celebrity. Every day is an adventure and it feels like something really big is coming up next. We shall see.
Next week, I’ll share about how going with the flow got us through the gong show of our move.
With legendary love and apocalyptic-worthy courage,
Creator of Courageous Self-Care
Enjoyer of a good cosmic joke
Unexpected stage mom