Interview with Dedee Pfeiffer

Dedee Pfeiffer 1

Dedee Pfeiffer is not just an actress starring in Big Sky on ABC, but she’s also been on Cybill and For Your Love.  She’s also amazing in that she has a master’s degree in social work. In our interview, we talk about her acting, juggling being a mom, and how Dedee is handling  Covid.

Q) How do you find parenting teen boys through these Covid times? Do you think it’s more challenging?

A) Hello! Thank you for inviting me! I think parenting in general has to be the most important job overall if you think about it, yet it is the most overlooked and unappreciated job when done well! It’s so easy to do it wrong and yet so very difficult to do it right. It doesn’t come with a manual! Throw a pandemic in the mix and the very fact that none of us know how to survive well during the challenges that come from a pandemic (once again no manual), whatever parenting issues one had before, are most certainly highlighted now. So, challenging, you ask? Oh, yeah!

These challenging times have forced me to find ways to give my boys space and stay in my own lane. I’m learning new ways to communicate with them, but by far the most important thing I’ve learned is to “listen hard and actively” to them. Teenagers don’t feel listened to enough without the complications of a pandemic, so giving them space and making sure they are truly heard is vital to having any harmony in our home life. The minute they don’t feel heard, they push me away and there goes our communication and without that, the isolation we all are already feeling gets even worse. I think that remembering and making an effort to be mindful that we “all” are grieving is important. That we are not alone on this crazy-train pandemic journey, because everyone throughout not just our country, but the entire world, has been affected by Covid and the loss (grief) of what used to be our norms.

Q) You took time off from acting to be a mother. So many people seem to indicate that it’s impossible to juggle the two roles of parent and actress. Is it possible to succeed in Hollywood while still keeping your role as a parent?

A) Well first, just putting out in the universe the word “impossible” certainly doesn’t leave any room for possibilities. I did not take time off to be a mother while working as an actor, but rather had to find ways to make it work while carrying both boys (separately lol) and raising them as a single mother, i.e. going to interviews with a friend so they could hold my son, holding a basket of laundry in front of my belly while doing a scene (yes, while 9 months pregnant), etc. It was NOT easy, but only impossible if that’s what you’re telling yourself. This single mother/actor also took off 10 years to not only have kids but also to put herself through school to earn a degree to help others. Yes, even with 2 young boys in tow. I am back acting again, armed with my Master of Social Work Degree and yes those same 2 teenagers are still around… LOL! Not easy, but doable because it was important to me that I SHOWED my boys what it looked like to not give up when you want something at any age or gender and send them the strong message by doing…not just saying…that you are the only one that can stop you and this stopping starts with words like “impossible.”

Q) You tape your new show Big Sky during Covid. Are you still taping? How is it taping through Covid?

A) I am sitting in my “bat cave” as I write these answers for you, yes still filming Big Sky, and yes during this pandemic. Considering no one has ever filmed during a pandemic (just like raising kids during a pandemic), we and others fortunate enough to be working are all writing the playbook on how to do it! The old ways of filming are long gone for now to ensure all are safe from this horrible and wicked virus. The sacrifices are that there is no intimacy, bonding is challenging at best, and there are cast members, writers, producers, studio and network people that I and others have never met, if only on Zoom.

Q) With your Master of Social Work and your focus on mental health, how do you feel we are all handling Covid as a society?

A) Oh man! That’s a great question! I feel everyone is doing the best they can, considering there is no way to have been prepared for this! We are going to have a lot more issues with mental health and most certainly on a larger scale, so considering we just started acknowledging the importance of mental health before the pandemic, it is MANDATORY to address it now and after the pandemic is under control. Access to “effective treatments” MUST be accessible to everyone (not just the rich/fortunates), and we as the people who put others in positions to make that happen (politicians) have to be held accountable! There is no good reason to NOT address the importance of a person’s mental health. I have friends who are in the field working with those without homes, mental illness, addiction, Vets, domestic violence, and one friend who works on a Department of Mental Health “Hot Line” for people on the front lines struggling with stress/suicide/burnout, etc… Every single person will need extra care, love, and support in any way or form it can come to them. We need each other more now than ever!!! I feel the days of thinking life as an “I” versus a “We” are over. It is detrimental we come together and I truly believe we can do this as long as we don’t ever give up on good and push bad aside! We don’t have time for that any longer. Life—and our quality of life—is counting on a new perspective, determination, and the will to demand better!

Q) When people ask who you are, do you answer actress first or social worker and why?

A) Oh, I am a MOM first, for sure! Being a parent is by far the most important job a person can do because like I said, it is so easy to do it wrong and so difficult to do it right! Raising a happy, healthy, and compassionate human being is challenging! So, I would have to say MOM first, social worker second, and actor third because it is important to me to show my boys what it looks like (not just tell them) to be a person who cares about the welfare of others. The last thing I ever wanted was to raise entitled children! Ewww! Considering they aren’t impressed at all with me being on Big Sky and refuse to watch it because… “Mom! It’s just too weird to watch your mom on TV!” – I think I have succeeded with raising relatively “in the spectrum of average” children LOL! That goes for their Aunt Michelle and Uncle David as well! Not impressed…buy them a pizza from Domino’s and THAT will get their attention! Priorities…lol!