Jennifer Weedon Palazzo is the creator/writer/and producer of MomCaveTV.com, an online network of comedy shows for moms including Slummy Mummy, Double Leche, Blabbermom, and MomCave LIVE. When she’s not writing about the funny side of being a mom for sites like Scary Mommy and Mamalode, Jennifer can be found eating Reese’s Cups while furiously bidding on vintage clothing on eBay. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Evan, bandleader of The Hot Sardines and their son. Follow her on Twitter @MomCaveTV and visit youtube.com/MomCave.
Can you tell us a little about momcavetv.com? How did you get started?
MomCave began when three moms and a dad noticed a lack of authentic programming for parents. Babies on TV shows sit silently. Moms on YouTube networks look like they stepped out of Real Housewives. And don’t even get us started on Pinterest Moms! We wanted to create shows about something we could really relate to–and that is the difficult and humorous moments of parenting. Because, in our opinion, those moms that seem to have it all together must be lying.
What is the thing you dislike the most in running your business?
I dislike not being able to include every good idea someone throws at me. We work with a few really talented moms. They often submit ideas and scripts and we just don’t have the means or time to get to all of them. I feel terrible telling someone that we can’t use their idea when they took the time to share it with me.
What is the best thing?
The best thing is when someone comments on one of our videos that it made their day…or made them pee their pants. I love it when someone comments or tweets asking when we’ll release the next episode of one of our shows!
What are the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge is motherhood itself. I don’t have as much time to devote to MomCave as I would if I weren’t typing with one hand while chasing around a five year old AND nursing a newborn. It’s also a challenge to find a way to monetize what we do, though we are excited to be figuring that out.
How has becoming a mom changed how you work?
I am much more efficient since becoming a mom. I have to multi-task and be able to stop in the middle of something, wipe a butt, and come back to it without losing focus. I have to be more discerning about which events I attend. We’re honored that our shows are often in film festivals. Before kids, I would have gone to every event. It’s tough to miss a screening of your own work, but if you don’t have a sitter, sometimes you have to. Because after all, “Mom” is my most important job title.
Do you have any tips, resources, or tools for managing work/life balance?
Nope. Absolutely none. I struggle with it every day. Did I mention that most of my work is done with a babe on my boob?
What creative activities do you like to do with your child?
My son loves to dance. He asked Santa for tap shoes last Christmas. We often do “interpretative dances” which serve as the only exercise I get on that day.
Do you have any advice for moms thinking about taking the plunge into acting?
Casting directors and agents expect that you are ALWAYS available unless booked out. If they call with an audition in an hour, they expect you to be there. And they don’t take, “I don’t have a sitter” as an excuse. Does it suck? YES.
But I love acting so much and that’s the way it is. Line up childcare and backup childcare. And backup childcare. Of course, if you write, produce, edit, and act in your own work, you can set your own hours. Want to shoot a show for MomCave? We’re always looking for more content.
Do you recommend any resources (websites, organizations, books, etc) for people interested in pursuing a career in acting?
Casting Director Bonnie Gillespie has a ton of great advice and wrote a book called “Self Management for Actors” that is a huge resource bonniegillespie.com
For those who want to produce their own work, check out the International Academy of Web TV iawtv.org
How did you manage the day-to-day process of making your art/working/etc. with your child?
I try to work when my kids are sleeping or otherwise occupied. My son is allowed to watch one TV show per day and that’s my most productive time. He has, on occasion, “helped” me edit by sitting on my lap and clicking the mouse when I let him.
But every day is a struggle. I always feel like I’m not working enough AND not “mom”ing enough. But I’m doing the best I can. And so far, my kids have turned out to be amazing little people, so I’m not too worried.
Fill in the Blank
If I could have a super power, it would be not to sleep. Ever. Man, I’d get so much more done. Also, the power to resist Reese’s Cups would be fab.
A famous person I would love to meet: Toni Colette is an amazing actress. I’d love to talk with her.
Laughter inspires me.
If I weren’t an actor, I’d be a dance teacher, a midwife, or something to do with computers.
If I had an extra 2 hours in the day, I’d take a bath and go thrift store shopping.