Three More Views
Zell Miller III• Interdisciplinary theatre artist and educator
• Divorced father of two "in a healthy relationship"
"[Fatherhood] made me really understand how I needed to choose mercy in my living and art practices. It quickly erased so much hate and fear and sharpened my focus as an agent of change. It also drives me to continue. I want to give [my children] possibility when they see Daddy pushing for his childhood dream to be a writer/director/actor, then they will see anything is possible ... Also, because I'm a black male artist in America, they get tired of conversations like, 'That's a cool show, but how many people of color were cast?' or 'How many people of color are in that commercial, and the one person they had, did you see what they had them doing?' Now, I get back from them, 'Daddy, there was a person of color, did you see them?'"
Deirdre Strand• Choreographer, co-founder and director of education of Tapestry Dance Company, director of dance at St. Stephen's Episcopal School
• Raised her daughter Siobhan, now also a professional dancer, with her professional and domestic partner Acia Gray
"I was determined to get my body back as fast as possible, and so I nursed and had my daughter with me at the studio as much as possible. I was back in class and rehearsal two weeks after giving birth. When she became a toddler, she would mimic me teaching and walk around correcting my students — it was quite funny and very sweet ... Artistically, I felt much more present. I had to be available physically and emotionally for my child, and so that helped me become more introspective."
Sandy Yamamoto• Violinist of 37 years and senior lecturer in the Butler School of Music
• Wife, mother to two boys and a cat
"Being a parent has definitely made me realize what my priorities are as an artist. I realized that what is most important to me is my family and friends, and I need to prioritize my community first. I used to be much more focused on the 'career' portion of my art, but now I feel like I am just enjoying sharing my musical voice and passion with others.
"A lot of discipline, creativity, open-mindedness, and determination were needed to become a professional violinist and musician. These traits definitely affected my parenting style, which I feel focuses on discipline and flexibility ... I am hoping that this will help them become responsible and compassionate human beings."