#powerparent Nancy Carroll


Describe your Family
Jo and I are both actors. We have 2 kids, a 9 year old daughter, Nellie, and a 6 year old son, Arthur; and as of today 2 lurcher puppies!

Where do you work?
We share and juggle our work and world constantly and with that comes harmony and chaos in equal abundance. We try to accept work that allows for happiness at home and then somewhere down the list our head and hearts get a say too. We have both wanted to be actors  since we were kids but trained as artists too. Neither of which aren’t great on paper but somehow… so far so …hanging on in there.

Describe your typical working day
There is no typical working day, except the consistent struggle to get out of the house on time. When we’re going through a heavy logistical few weeks, I tape lists everywhere and schedules to the fridge door. That way everyone can triple check what needs to be in their bag and where they need to be. I tend to do online supermarket shopping at these times so they go on the schedule too. Knowing that there’s an end date to the crazy periods helps maintain sanity, and we just burn the oil at both ends until we can’t. Then I stop trying to be Mary Poppins and become a bit more Miss Hannigan!

Work top tip, mantra or motto
Situations and work combinations that threw us early on when Nellie was a baby, feel less daunting now. We know now there is a way to sort it, it just needs time, lateral thinking and military style schedule. We slow everything right down and find a way together… prosecco helps too. So our motto is ‘simplify, slow down and smile’. And then call Bea and Co!!!

Favourite family hang out and places to visit
Dulwich park to hire bikes, Brixton village for Franca Manca pizza, The Horniman museum, Brockwell Lido for breakfast, the Southbank for fun food fountains and the Udderbelly festival (The amazing bubble man is a must see!). Italy, Greece, Hereford and Lymington and our bed on a Sunday morning!

Favourite way to unwind?
We unwind with kitchen disco, 2nd and 3rd breakfast, dog walks and feeding frenzies with friends. There’s nothing better than sitting at our kitchen table talking the week from your bones and laughing at craziness and adversity.

What are you reading at the moment?
A history of Rhodesia.

What did you last see at the theatre?
I just saw Girl from the North Country at the old Vic (totally sublime!)

What’s in your handbag?
I always carry sellotape and germolene in my handbag.

Who is your inspiration?
Other actor parents constantly inspire us to keep going and have a go and stay open to whatever life throws at you.

What do you most hope your children will have learnt/ will learn from you?
We hope the kids will grow up fearless of change and excited by people and stories. We take them on political marches and talk to them about most stuff we experience….short of traumatising them and robbing them of their innocence! But I hope we’re teaching them how most things are helped with love laughter and germolene (!)

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