Dads in the Limelight – Darren Farrington

Our 41st Dad in the Limelight is Darren Farrington of Claresdad.com. I want to thank Darren for being a part of this series. It has been great getting to know him and now sharing him with all of you!

1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

I’m the dad of one eight-year-old girl. My wife, daughter and I live in the northwest corner of Connecticut—in the same town I grew up in, although I’ve also lived in Massachusetts and in Manhattan for about ten years.

Professionally, I’m a theater manager and producer. I’ve worked with non-profit and commercial theaters on Broadway, Off Broadway, and in regional, community and children’s theaters in New York and Connecticut. I’m also a licensed attorney who has worked in business litigation, entertainment law, and appellate practice, but I don’t practice any longer.

For the past few years, I’ve offered freelance consulting and management services to theaters. I’ve also just become an approved arts consultant for the State of Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. And I’m the founding Executive Producing Director of New Britain Youth Theater in Connecticut, which just began operation this spring. I’ve got an M.F.A. from Columbia University School of the Arts, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and an undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

2) Tell me about your family

Like most families, we’re pulled in different directions during the week. My daughter takes ballet lessons, she’s in Brownies, she’s in her school’s drama club, and she’s on the student council. (Before this year, I didn’t know any third grade even had a student council.) My wife commutes over sixty miles (each way) to work. And I’ve got kind of an unusual (but flexible) schedule working for theaters.  When we’re together, we have lots of fun. We like movies, music, playing outside, and traveling. My daughter has been to Disney World a few times already—and on a couple of Disney cruises.

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

Some parts of fatherhood come easily to me. I’m great at playing and having fun—probably because that’s part of my job. I can easily get caught up in my work though—in both good and bad ways—so for me a challenge is being able to pull myself away from work and spend more family time. It’s important to remember priorities.

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

No matter what your strengths or weaknesses are, never doubt that you have something important to offer your kids. Just spending time with them is the most important thing you can do.

5) Seeing that you (or your position) is in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

You read my biggest challenge, didn’t you? It’s especially hard to balance work and home life when you spend some days working from home—and when we’re constantly connected to work by email, telephone, and other ways. It’s a give and take—if work lets us be flexible, homelife needs to be a little flexible too. Sometimes you just have to catch yourself and say “work can wait—family needs to come first right now.” I’m not sure I do that enough though—especially for what I’m paid in theater!

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

In the past few years, I’ve gotten to know a lot of fathers online. I’ve had a blog of my own, but my posting has become pretty rare lately. What I’ve learned from many of them—which I don’t think I knew before—is that there are lots of different ways of being a good dad. There’s no one formula, and there’s no perfect father. We’re all just trying our best.

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

Enjoy it before it’s over. It’s cliché, but kids really do grow up too fast. I feel like my daughter was just two or three years old—and soon she’ll be going into fourth grade. Don’t end up wishing you’d paid more attention to your kids.

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

It wasn’t my family’s original plan, but I had the great chance to be the parent who spends most mornings and afternoons with my daughter. I’m the one to get her on the school bus, and the one she’s with after school. What I’ve learned is that every day is an experience—the playing, the conversations, the arguing about homework or whether we’ll listen to classic rock or Radio Disney in the car. It’s all part of a memorable relationship that I hope will stay strong into her teen years and adulthood.

If you have any questions for Darren, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!


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