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As an actress, mother, wife, friend, colleague (very part time-professor who teaches half a course), new blogger/writer and retired physician, I am an amazing multi-tasker — as are all the women and many of the men I know.

I am not always a paid actress (read almost never paid and when she is, she loses money on accommodations and meals), but I am an actress. I am almost 60 years old. I actually practice saying that so it won’t come as such a shock next month when I turn 60. Acting is a second career for me, and it is way more fun than being a doctor, my first career — much as I loved my patients who I really hope are reading this.

I decided to become an actress after retiring as a physician. I figured if you meet people and want to chat and you tell them you are a retired physician, you get “oh really” or “wow” or “you are so lucky” and the conversation pretty much ends there, while they look around for someone more interesting. But when you tell them you are an actress, you get everyone’s attention and you become the life of the party. So, I am an actress, and I have actually made movies and been in plays. My first movie will be shown at the SoCal film festival in February. You better believe we are all going to that one. I look “interesting” enough in little photos, but I cannot wait to see me on a big screen.

I wish I looked like my headshot every day. Actually, I do look like my headshot if I have a makeup artist, a stylist, great lighting, spectacular undergarments and a wonderful photographer. That is the most fun thing about being an actress — with make up and great lighting you can look like anyone you want. And you can drop 20 years like magic!

I am married (same man for 33 years — you need a sense of humor to accomplish this). Actually my husband needs the sense of humor. I am high maintenance; after all I am an actress. My two grown children wish to remain anonymous.   In deference to Dr. Seuss, I will call them Kid 1 and Kid 2. I must say I am very proud of both of them and their choices in life — so far. If they are still doing this well when they are 35 years old, I will write the one and only How to Raise your Children book by someone who can document she actually did it successfully. We have a few years to go before I can claim that, but it is looking really good right now.

I will offer one piece of child-raising advice now, though. Never trust a book or article titled, “How to have fun with your children under 16 on vacation.” There is no way to do this. They are just trying to suck you in, wanting you to have the same miserable time they did.

In fairness to the kids, they hate it, too. Once they could drive their own cars and pack their own suitcases, we would let them follow us to our vacation destination. We even let them stay in the condo with us. Now that was a fun vacation, and the only way to travel, peacefully, with children.

— Mandy Gennaro

Mandy Gennaro is a retired physician, actress and new blogger, whose musings appear at A Day in the Life of a NE Actress.

Reflections of Erma