Women in the Entertainment Industry: Rex Rees
We are asking women in the entertainment industry around the world some key questions about their life and career. Here is Rex Rees based in Melbourne, Australia.
1. In which part of the industry do you work?
Stage Management, Commercial Theatre and Events.
2. Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women in the entertainment industry? How have they inspired you?
Of course – and I continue to every day. I have been inspired to advocate for working mums in all areas of our industry, and am a passionate educator of the next generation of stage managers.
3. What would you tell young women who are just starting out? What would you like them to know?
Be confident. Be honest. Find (and connect with) those who inspire you. There may be male dominant areas of our industry – but there are no male jobs.
4. What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
As a show caller – don’t compound a problem/mistake. As a theatre professional – both your mental health and physical health will impact your longevity in the industry – look after yourself (students I work with will tell you I harp on about this constantly!)
5. Please share one of your toughest challenges in your career. How did you overcome?
2020 was challenging. Not the time to move interstate for a gig that’s for sure. The toughest challenge was undoubtedly returning to work, mid PND (post natal depression) after the birth of my first child though. I overcome PND and the initial challenges of being a working mum with the support of friends and colleagues, being open and honest about the challenges of PND and receiving appropriate medical support. I speak very openly about my battle with PND – it is still so taboo in many ways. The more it is spoken about, the more new mums will get the help they need.
6. What is your favorite musical or play?
So many shows, for so many different reasons. Right now, though? ‘Come From Away.’
7. What is your morning routine?
Early. Way too early for late finishes! Up around 5am to go to the gym or run before my electrician husband leaves for the day, then have 15mins to set myself up for the day (mediation/goal set – sounds silly but it works for me) before the kids wake up, then it’s all kids until school and daycare drop off. And coffee. All the coffee.
8. Drink of Choice?
Coffee. And I love a good red wine.
9. What is a phrase you are known for saying?
Nothing specific I don’t think? But I am well known for falling over words and saying ridiculous things on comms.
10. At what point in your career did you become a mother? What was your entertainment industry job?
I was an established stage manager working in Macau when I had my first child.
11. What allowances (or not) were made to accommodate you as an expectant mother?
My workplace was very accommodating of my pregnancy – I immediately stopped backstage tracks that put me at risk in any way, and for medical reasons I stopped calling in the third trimester.
12. What childcare options were/are available to you?
In Macau I did not have access to government led childcare, but I was very fortunate to have a wonderful helper who cared for my children while I was at work. The move back to Australia has been challenging in that respect – I have access to wonderful childcare programs, but they don’t reflect the odd hours that theatre works, and allow very little flexibility in bookings. It has ultimately resulted in my husband leaving theatre and working a job with more ‘normal’ hours.
13. What are the biggest challenges of being a mom in the industry?
14. What are the biggest rewards of being a mom in the industry?
My kids seeing me work in a job that I love – and learning that happiness should be their expectation too.
15. Any tips for balancing work and parenting?
I (try)to make my time in the mornings and on days off 100% family focused. Cleaning/cooking/life admin is done when I’m not around the kids, so they have my undivided attention when we are together. Oh and meal planning and online grocery shopping are absolute life saver too.
16. What advice would you give to other women in the industry?
Ask the question – you never know where it may lead.
Other Women in the Entertainment Industry:
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