Alysia Reiner and her husband, fellow actor David Alan Basche, welcomed their first child Livia in December 2008. The 39-year-old mother of one currently stars on the off-Broadway play Modotti (for free tickets to this amazing play, send a quick email here). Alysia opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about performing on stage, her quest to help people grieve the loss of a loved one and her “incredibly verbal” 18-month-old daughter.
CBS: Tell us all about your off-Broadway play Modotti.
AR: “Modotti is about Tina Modotti, a spectacular woman: photographer, Hollywood silent film actress, Mexican communist revolutionary, spy and nurse during the 1920s and 1930s. She was a true revolutionary in every aspect and inspires me daily.
The last performance is this Sunday, June 27th at 3pm.”
** To order free tickets to Modotti, send an email here!!
CBS: How have you managed working on this play and being mom to 1 1/2-year-old daughter Livia?
AR: “During rehearsals the schedule worked out for me so I got to spend time with Liv in the morning and put her to bed after work. I got at least 4-5 hours a day with her so I got my “Liv-Fix.” Now that we are open, I get to spend all day with her, put her to bed, and then go to the theatre – a working mom’s dream. Thank god she still goes to sleep by 6:30 p.m.!”
CBS: How is Livia doing? What is she into these days?
AR: “Liv is amazing, her favorite things in the world are fountains (she asks me almost daily to go to Lincoln Center), Water Towers (one of her first words), rainbows, and alligators. She is incredibly verbal for 18 months so she tells us how much she loves these things. My favorite thing she said recently is, ‘Dance with Momma up rainbow and slide down?'”
CBS: Are you and David hoping to try for baby # 2 soon?
AR: “Today we love living in Livia-Land so much we can’t imagine it, but anything is possible.”
CBS: You created the film Speed Grieving after the sudden loss of your father to prostate cancer. The film is now being used by grief counselors and in hospitals. Tell us your thoughts on the grieving process. Do you think most people are ill-prepared for death and the process of grieving?
AR: “I think no one is ever really prepared for death or grief. I made the film because I wanted people to be free to speak about grief and loss – no matter where they are in the process, be it a terminally ill beloved, or having lost someone 20 years ago.
It’s all about starting the conversation, particularly to talk about the fact that it is not easy to quantify or qualify, that it doesn’t fit into an easy box or stages, it’s mess and unpredictable in the range of emotion and experience, and there is no wrong way to grieve.
We are about to head to our 10th festival (Woods Hole in Cape Cod) and we are creating a very exciting partnership to create a grief counseling guide to accompany the film to help its mission worldwide.”
CBS: We hear you are into organic products and work hard about being eco-friendly. How do you try to make a difference? What are your best tips for busy moms who want to become more green?
AR: “Liv already knows the difference between garbage and recycling! We bring our 5 plastics to Whole Foods together and she dumps them in the bin.
All moms are so busy. The best we can do is try to educate ourselves as much as possible, but I know the info can be overwhelming. A great quickie resource for food is EWG’s ‘Clean 15.’ This is a quickie guide (and free iPhone app!) with which foods to go organic.
Another great site is Healthy Child Healthy World where you can sign up to get a daily blurb from them about how to be the best green momma.
I try to dress Liv in all organics and same with her skincare. A fantastic site for eco-clothes and products is Ruby Pinwheels. All the clothes that Liv is wearing in the photos are from this website. I’m working with them to help broaden the awareness of their products.”
CBS: If you are working on any other projects or with any charities, please feel free to discuss.
AR: “As I mentioned, for Speed Grieving we are working on a yet unannounced partnership to package the film with a grief guide and distribute worldwide. We are at the funding stage, which is the hard part, but our mission is so important I’m confident we will find backers for the project.”