Rebecca Pidgeon is singing a new song. With the release of her latest album, Slingshot, Rebecca is taking stock of life, love, and relationships. We spoke with the actress and singer about balancing her career with her family life, why she’s super excited about her son Noah’s production of Pirates of Penzance, and why it’s good to venture outside of your comfort zone.
Photos: Gabbeli Photography
Let’s talk about the new album, Slingshot.
Larry Klein, the Grammy-winning producer, and I had worked together in the preceding years. On this album, we went on this journey of writing these songs, which turned out to be these studies of different types of relationships. I say jokingly that it’s like hero worship and the madness of crowds, but it’s actually not a joke.
I’m exploring different styles and going into different territory that might not be my comfort zone. I’ve gotten the bug and want to do it again. It’s really thrilling; you’re o a ride with other people who are happy to take you there.
What has the response been to the album?
It’s been a great critical response. It’s good to feel that people are enjoying it. As an actor, I don’t read it, but with this record, I’m very interested in how it does. It’s really my baby. When you’re an actor, you’re like a cog in a machine. I feel like the writer and director and co-producer for this. I feel interested in it to a larger degree than just that I’m the singer.
Which do you prefer, to act or sing?
It’s all a part of the whole, I think. So many actors are singers or composers. It’s a cross-over business. It was the norm 40 years ago to act and sing. It’s only recently that it’s become compartmentalized. Recently, I finished a film about Phil Spector,which is coming out next year. I play a jury consultant. My character is presenting the case to focus groups to see what will work and what won’t work; Phil Spector is being played by Al Pacino, so it’s a high-caliber cast.
What types of roles are you drawn to?
That’s an interesting question. I have loved in the past working with my husband, David Mamet, because he writes such interesting stories. I love interesting stories where the character is an integral part of the story; I’m not drawn to characters that are vehicle-driven. They tend to be more formulaic, but that can also be great, especially in comedies.
Do you find any similarities between the roles you choose and the music you write?
The roles you choose tend to be the ones that come your way. You don’t have as much control or input, whereas writing you can create a whole world to do that.
You’re a mom of two. What is it like balancing it all?
The calendar is incredibly important and iCal and who’s going to be where when and knowing where Dave is taking the kids. The schedule changes all the time. I feel like I’m sinking under water and I’m trying to take a big breath before I go back under again. The school is always slinging stuff at you. You’re trying to live more than one person’s life. You’re trying to live your children’s lives as well because you have to get them there. It’s overwhelming so you have to let some things slide a bit or you’re going to go insane. Not care so much about the math grade if the kid is not going to be a mathematician. God knows that I can’t do math and my father is a physicist. There’s this thing about sit around the table and have a conversation. I find that stressful because they all have so much to do. If you can all be in the kitchen at the same time, talking and grazing, that’s fine too. It’s okay.
There’s a lot of competition with the other moms out there, for sure.
That’s true. I can’t spend too much time with other groups of other moms, unless they’re working moms like me. I don’t have time and I can’t go to all the PTA meetings. When I get back from this tour, I’m going to help with my son’s production of Pirates of Penzance, and I’m so excited for that. When another mother is disapproving of you, you can’t let that get to you. You have to get into the real sane world again, know what I mean? It can be very competitive and it’s important to have a reality check, and be happy in your own world.