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Middle Stage: An Interview with Stacia Fernandez

by Holly Osterman

MIDDLESTAGE We recently had an opportunity to chat with Stacia Fernandez, writer, singer, actress and star of Middle Stage, a fictional video blog of a middle- aged actress trying to remain relevant in her industry.

In Middle Stage, we meet your fictional alter-ego, Marina Lippon. Was there somebody in your life who helped shape your character?

First of all, hold please while I blow this font up to at LEAST 18 so I can read it. Okay… there. Hello everyone. What were you asking? Oh. Yes. What shaped Marina? She is a mélange of me, my sisters and several of my peers in the Broadway community. I think Marina was shaped by the emotion that probably most women start to feel.

Marina is an actress who struggles to “remain visible and viable in an industry that refuses to accept the fact that she is aging.” How are your own experiences as a Broadway actress reflected in Marina’s video blog?

What? Me? Not visible or viable? Never. Well okay…. Some of the time. This theatrical and television industry that I do love so much has definitely got its sites set on the young’uns. Some of us, including me, have a lot to offer and just want to be seen for who we are. Not thrown into a bin of “character women” because we are at, beyond, or approaching 50 or even 60, does not mean we are not sexy, strong, artists who have even MORE to give now because we are starting to understand life. Isn’t it more interesting to hear someone talk about and reflect life who has actually lived it?

And two quick examples. 1. I had an audition recently for a 65 year old secretary. (please note.. I love 65 year old gals.. I’m just NOT quite there yet) and was also told by an agent whom I was hoping would represent me that, and I quote, “we are looking only for young people whom we can turn into stars”. Well I think my star is still pretty bright, thank you very much.

I don’t remember Marina specifically mentioning menopause, but how do you think she’d inject a little humor into this “middle stage” of a woman’s life?

Well it’s one more thing, ain’t it? Marina knows it’s coming. It’s like the shark swimming through the water with the fin barely above the surface directly towards her. It’s looming. It knows she is there. But the laugh is on the shark because… Well think about it. What are sharks attracted to? Boom. Gotcha Mr. Shark. Marina one. Shark nothing.

Marina is clearly—and hilariously—having a hard time with technology and social media. Are you, personally, finding it as challenging as the rest of us?

I now tweet. As @fernandezstacia. And Marina tweets. As @marinalippon. It’s way fun to have followers. I think Marina is getting the hang of it. Her first tweet was “I’m all a-twitter”. And her tweet today was “If I call myself Middle Aged, does that mean I have to live to be 115”. So it’s fun.

BUT I DON”T LIKE IT! GIVE ME SNAIL MAIL ANY DAY!

Seriously though, here’s what I will say to your readers and my menopausal sisters.. forge ahead. I think in order to keep up with the kids, or even run right past them at work or at home, we as Menopausal women have to keep up. So dive in. Tweet. Instagram. Let’s don’t let them get the drop on us. It’s not that hard either. Just takes a little brain power. And learning something new is always good!

In real life, you’re a writer, singer and actress. You’re currently on Broadway in Mamma Mia! and recently launched “Middle Stage.” So many women today are juggling multiple roles and projects. Where do you find the time to do it all?

Well let me say firstly that I did not have children. So my hat is off to women trying to do it all AND monitor kids, or teenagers! I have found that staying creative is how I stay happy. So finding time to do Middle (St)age although certainly stressful at times, also brings me great joy. I hope it will to you and your readers too!!

You can find Stacia at Middle Stage or on Facebook.

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