From the "Film World" to the "Food World" - Changing careers after kids

6 comments Jul 9, 2024

Acting was my job for a long time. The first film I'd did was when I was 15 and that was my primary career until 5 years ago, around the age of 32. Acting, writing and directing mostly in the Australian film and TV industry. I made an okay living from it but nothing like the 1% of very successful people in that industry make. You'd probably be surprised to hear that most actors, writers and directors paid work is sporadic and many have to supplement their income with other work. I, like many, thought that maybe one day I would get my big break, and start to make good money, but on another hand I wasn't ever really in it for the big bucks (I'm a pisces, we do everything for love - so go figure).

I didn't see it like this at the time, but when I look back I view my relationship with the film and TV industry, similar to a relationship with a boyfriend who doesn't treat you very well but you keep going back to him. I loved so much of it. Loved the creativity, the people, the excitement, the collaboration, the work (when it was there), but I really struggled with the rejection and months at a time without work. Getting so close to life changing jobs only to be told "no" yet again. Sometimes not even a "no" - you just don't hear anything. Mostly I felt that the work I put into it didn't equal the reward. Far from it. And I would have been considered "successful" in the industry. 

For a long time I thought about quitting. Just turning my back on it.  I would flirt with the idea of doing something else but I didn't know what else I could do. Was I good at anything else? How could make my life work in an entirely different way? That industry is like a drug. When you get a taste you want more. But at 32, with a new baby, I really started to ask myself, at what cost? I used to get excited when auditions came in, but suddenly spending 3 days locked in a room trying to learn lines for a job I probably wasn't going to get, seemed insane when I had a small child to look after. I started to get resentful when auditions came in and anxieties about about how my body looked, was it thin enough, were always rampant in my head. The 9 months I'd given myself off allowed me to understand what it felt like to live life completely at ease, without the pressures I felt from the industry. And I liked it. It took having another child to really change direction and give myself permission to stop prioritising it. I felt I was able to be more picky, because nothing mattered more than time with my kids. 


As soon as I made a conscious decision to take a step back, I felt relief... and power. Until then I'd let it dictate everything. But now, I was in control. I didn't know what I was going to do, but suddenly there was room in my life for something else. And that's when I started trying different things. Experimenting. Throwing things at the wall (metaphorically). My grandmother had died a few years earlier and left all her grandchildren some money. I was lucky - that money came in around the time I was trying to figure it all out. Yes, I wasted a chunk on testing out some ideas that didn't come to fruition, but I don't regret that. Those failures eventually led me to where I am now: The business that I started with my husband Scott, The Good Farm Shop.

So, let me tell you what I've learnt...

I learnt that we have relationships with people but we have relationships with our work too, and sometimes we have to come to terms with the fact that, that relationship might not live up to our expectations, or it may have become dysfunctional, or stopped bringing us joy, or maybe we realise we don't like the person we are in that relationship, and we have to say goodbye. (That might not mean goodbye forever). 

I learnt that it's terrifying to start again. But you're not actually starting again. You're taking everything you learnt from that chapter into the next one. Which can be really valuable. I learnt that my film making and storytelling skills work really well in how I market my business, and the same transparency and honesty I applied in my film and TV writing is the same transparency and honesty I apply to the communications through the business and across socials, and that's something our customers and followers really resonate with. 


I learnt that I probably wasn't as good as I thought I was at acting, and even though luck and timing play a big part, recognising that was part of my ability to let go and it was actually really freeing to accept, because I could stop holding onto this idea that I deserved it, and get on with something else. Something I could control and move the needle on. 

Finally, I learnt that business is really creative. And while being in "the food industry" isn't as cool sounding or as glamorous as "the film industry", I absolutely love seeing my hard work pay off and I love that there is something I can do every day to move it forward and no one can tell me that I can't do that. The work is very rewarding. 

So... here I am. 37. Three years into a new career that I started with my husband at the same time as having kids. Yikes. I have no idea how long I'll be here, or what other directions life will take me, but right now what matters is, it makes me feel good. 


6 comments


  • Katy July 10, 2024 at 4:17 pm

    I absolutely love this. I have followed your journey for a long time and seeing you coming into your own has just been beautiful. I changed careers after my kids and it’s a totally different vibe .

    Thank you for writing this x


  • Libby July 10, 2024 at 4:17 pm

    Just adored reading your article. Loved your honesty. Also love your delicious food – being Gluten Free it’s heaven to eat such wholesome food. 🤗🙏


  • jojo July 10, 2024 at 4:17 pm

    Simply wonderful… joyousness in reading your ‘Tapestry of Life’ thus far…
    Where you are right now…would be such an awakening to many…
    So FAB that you are weaving some golden threads into your life tapestryof your loving skill full creative inquisitive senses…your giving labour and love of something that you and your husband hold near and dear..
    Bravo Bravo…
    To be connected so warmly and strongly with your parents along with living and caring and loving the earth and your surrounds is GOLD… such enhancement for lessons of life.. nourishing all goodness..
    for you and your L💚VES…
    Your beautiful children are so surrounded by a massive amount of loving guidance… that they are clearly ‘Winners’ of choosing those who would love and cherish them this life time…
    Hold on dearly to what you all have and share together…
    You All seem to dwell in the essence of …
    L💚VE..
    Can only bring forth all goodness of what matters in life…
    What you all have .. I say once more is …
    GOLD🤩
    How fabulous…
    I in my mind visualise that You have an enormous gift of being a writer of ‘stories’ especially involving your BeBe’s…
    Their characters exude very brightly in your ‘posts’
    Farewell … jojo 😍


  • Karen silva July 10, 2024 at 4:16 pm

    Love these telling words, I was doing an engineering degree in my 30 s and was so looking forward to a career. Working in a male dominated area had its challenges and in the 90s I had to do lots of handwritten work unlike today. I married a lovely Sri Lankan who is an awesome cook and Mathematics tutor online. He would go from house to house by car tutoring. Then Covid hit now he works online. A far cry from the travelling days.

    My oldest daughter finished her Masters at Sydney Uni and has a great job. The youngest a fitness freak bush walking and swimming. I can’t keep up.

    Always seemed a good idea to leave my career and watch my girls grow up. Best thing ever!

    Karen


  • Linda Frank July 10, 2024 at 4:15 pm

    I love to read about the journey that brings people to the place they are currently at. For me I never knew what I wanted to do, I have just done what’s come along. I think this was destined for you as I couldn’t ever imagine you doing anything else. I’m glad your at a happy place in your life as some people never have that in any of there jobs. I to have found my happy place working with people with disabilities. Thankyou for sharing I hope the good farm is your second love ❤️ always put family first. Lots of happiness to you and your beautiful family.


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