“I think my career goals continue to evolve. Having kids has made me realize that I want my work to be more flexible for them.”
Tirralan Watkins is a writer, producer, former actress, and mom. She’s a regular contributor for sites such as Working Mother’s magazine, and 30 Second Mom. She runs a celebrity mom blog entitled, Tinseltown Mom, where she interviews famous moms and posts tips and recipes from Hollywood’s elite. Tirralan attended the Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, for screenwriting, fiction and non‐fiction writing.
We’re thrilled to feature blogger, former actress, and mom Tirralan Watkins. She talks today about being a blogger and how she juggles her career with being a mom.
Her blog, tinseltownmom.com brings her readers the latest from fabulous Hollywood moms, while also reminding us that these famous moms may face some of the same everyday joys and struggles as the rest of us. Her aim is to facilitate hope and encouragement through conversations around these shared experiences.
On your blog, it says that you are a former actress turned blogger. I love that you kept your passion but found a new direction to approach it in. What made you decide to make the transition?
Well, the transition to blogger was a by-product of many different career paths, culminating in becoming a blogger. After I stopped acting I began writing and then I got my Masters at USC (University of Southern CA) in the professional writing program.
From there I wrote a book, some screenplays, began producing, along with my husband, who’s a filmmaker. Then I began writing online content and blogging for various websites like Working Mother magazine and some other websites before I realized I could start my own blog, using all the experiences from my past.
Has becoming a mom changed your career goals or how you perceive your career path?
I think my career goals continue to evolve. Having kids has made me realize that I want my work to be more flexible for them. I want to be able to join the school PTF and be more involved in their extracurricular activities.
I think a lot of moms dream of being a blogger and sitting in their pjs all day sipping coffee. What’s an actual day like for you?
Well, because I live in a creative household, having the acting/writing/producing background, plus being married to a filmmaker, I’m constantly thinking of new ideas for my blog, whether it’s new article ideas or website formatting.
A typical day involves a lot of thought, research, fact-checking and social media. It also involves reaching out to managers, agents, and publicists for interviews. After an interview, it takes several days to actually transpose, write, and edit the interview.
I do what I do for the love and passion of it all, and that’s what I would encourage other wannabe bloggers to focus on. Blogging all day in PJ’s is not the norm for most bloggers, but the exception. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and love.
Often it seems like journalists covering Hollywood have an almost adversarial role with the celebrities they cover. How have you been able to bridge that? Does it feel odd to be on the other side of the table now as a blogger?
I can see how journalists might feel that way, but because I see celebrities, especially celebrity moms, as regular people who go through the same things as me, and others, I don’t take that adversarial approach.
That’s what I want others to see with Tinseltown Mom. Even though the focus is Hollywood moms there is still a lot to be learned through their experiences. These moms have the same fertility issues, co-parenting issues, health issues, etc., as other mothers out there. We can learn and grow from each other.
In your blog, you do a combination of research articles and interviews. How do you decide what and who to write about? Do you have a favorite celebrity mom you like to follow? Do you have any favorite interviews or articles?
I have a spreadsheet of topics that I want to write about and moms I’d love to interview. People also approach me with various requests, whether it’s covering a TV show, interviewing a celebrity mom or doing a review. One of my favorite interviews was with Sherri Shepherd.
She was so passionate and genuine with everything that she said, especially with some of the challenges of being a working mom. We were both brought to tears during the course of the interview. I also enjoyed interviewing Melissa Rivers, which was a month before her mother, Joan Rivers, passed away.
She talked about her family legacy and I was so glad to have had that glimpse into her life with her mom. As far as following celebrities I love following Jessica Seinfeld on Instagram. She is so funny! I’m sure her husband’s humor has rubbed off on her in some way. I also follow her website doitdelicious. She has great recipes.
Living in LA, you must run into celebrities quite often. What’s your favorite celebrity encounter?
Hmm, there’s been so many over the years. It’s always fun to go to an event and meet a lot of celebs at one time. When my hubby worked for Magic Johnson we went to his birthday party and the room was filled with celebrities.
But some of my favorites were once meeting Kathy Bates and Jean Smart at a party because I’ve admired their work for so many years.
Have there been perks to your work since you became a mom?
Some perks are that I often learn from my kids and they give me inspiration for new ideas and articles all the time. They make my work so much more meaningful. I wouldn’t be running this blog if it weren’t for them.