Photo credit: Sean Priest
Any scene that I do lately, when I’m playing Ma Joad, I think of the long line of strong women in my family before me.
The way I stand. The way I stare. The way I clench my jaw in contemplation. Tired, somewhat relaxed, but chewing on tomorrow.
These two women saw the 20th century in color.
They saw the blood. And the babies. And the dust.
They saw the first car in their town.
The first TV.
The first washing machine.
They watched tears roll down their children’s faces.
Wiped those tears.
Watched rivers rise and fall.
Husbands come and go.
I think of them as I play Ma. How they would hold themselves? Carry themselves? Present themselves to the world? What did they have to do for their families during the Depression?
I know that deep down, they were both scared for their families, wanted the best for their kids. Loved God. Wanted all the things good people want for their descendants. And they just went on. Did what they needed. Hoped they made the right decisions. Cried their own tears.
They are Ma.
I am Ma.
All women are Ma.