Polly Mae Tolonen

This is written by Expressing Motherhood Co-Creator/Director Lindsay Kavet.

Living in Los Angeles I am surrounded by people pursuing their creative passions. In my 20’s I was a starving actress. Great diet BTW. At 25 I stopped going on auditions and began returning to behind the camera where I was most comfortable.

I was lucky enough to meet a wonderful friend when I was 22 doing extra work for a show called Opposite Sex.

Polly Mae Tolonen a beautiful young woman pursuing acting. Polly had the longest legs ever and an incredible gift for listening and making everyone feel special. She was also a gifted actrress.

Image

Polly and I came from similar backgrounds and unknowingly I made her my chosen family. She was my soul sister. I would show up to watch her perform and people would run backstage and tell Polly, “your sister is here.” We looked alike.

Ironically we had a little tiff over the peach dress since we both had this dress in different colors and both wanted to wear it to our friends wedding. We should have just both worn it and danced and drank the night away, well we did that part πŸ™‚

Polly continued acting when most women have given up, packed their bags and moved back to where they came from. She continued doing live theatre around LA. She is the one who recommended the first theatre we ever debuted “Expressing Motherhood” at.

Image

Polly over at my house when I was pregnant with my first.

She died one month before our first show on May 1st, 2008. She died in a car accident on the 101 North going to a catering gig. She stopped traffic that night. Literally. No one else was hurt.

Image

Polly, Producing partner Jessica, me and some other friends having brunch and talking about books.

Ironically, in January 2008, 4 months before her death, I began emailing news heads and producers saying that we need to do more to lower the amount of lives lost in car accidents. I would end everyone email with the sentence fortunately I do not know anyone who has died in a car accident yet.

I started a blog about car accidents but due to my other time commitments I have yet to devote my time to it, but it lies very close to my heart as I’m frightened by the amount of people who die in car and find it ridiculous we accept it as OK.

Anyways, Polly was a true friend and a fun creative companion. I was always doing photo shoots with her. A few months before she died we walked from my neighborhood and went to Hollywood Blvd. with my boy in the stroller and she let me snap pictures of her I thought I could use for Expressing Motherhood.

Image

When she died I thought a lot of things obviously and ridiculously or not I thought, who will play dress up with me now? She was true to her craft. A real artist.

We begin every show with the song “Sara” by Fleetwood Mac in memory of Polly. Our muse and my big city soul sister.

When that song plays I’m always backstage in the blue lighting dancing thinking of her and putting things in perspective.

Image

Polly walking back to her studio after a wonderful afternoon of walking Hollywood Blvd. and taking pictures.

6 thoughts on “Polly Mae Tolonen

  1. I remember hearing about Polly when I did the show years ago. What a beautiful, beautiful person, and how utterly horrific that she died. I am so sorry that you lost such a dear friend. I’m glad that you’re able to keep her alive in the hearts of so many —

  2. everytime i see a car accident, i think about the trajectory of after the clean up crews leave. what lingers. and now i will think about polly. and think about how, by sharing this story, you have honored her.

    • Thanks Krista. I also hate hearing how car accidents are talked about on our airways, “two cars are flipped over in the fast lane, hopefully those will be moved out of the way soon.” I think it’s a big part of our problem regarding our relationship to how we drive as if there aren’t people driving those cars. Freak me out going over 65 on the freeway. I can’t imagine crashing at high speeds. Anyways, that is a tangent πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Ho Hey | Expressing Motherhood

  4. Pingback: Ho Hey | Expressing Motherhood

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s