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But her parents would still write letters to each other, and during one of her father’s visits home, they had dinner and were “basically engaged.” “It was all this drama,” says Coon. But my grandma knew, my grandma always knew.” Coon is the second of five children and did her fair share of babysitting growing up.Her mother works as an ER nurse and her father ran the family auto parts store in Copley Circle; he now works as a janitor in an art museum. “My parents are just really down-to-earth, earnest, hardworking people that don’t want for anything.Her great-great-grandfather was one of the city’s first police chiefs, and her parents grew up down the street from one another.Their relationship was a dramatic affair at the time: Her father was off at Catholic seminary and her mother was dating someone else who wanted to marry her. The author returns to her home in London for the first time after a tsunami swept away her entire family — her husband, her two sons, and her parents — while they were vacationing on a beach in Sri Lanka.She’s rummaging through a pile of papers on her husband’s desk when she realizes her home is like a time capsule, frozen in the moment before tragedy.“He would always come to my dressing room for eight minutes and talk to me, and that was kind of the way our relationship built, around this tiny, tiny chunk of time,” she recalls.
What asks me to use a part of myself that hasn’t been used yet? “I rely on poetry or literature to keep me centered before I go onstage because it reminds me to be present,” Coon says.(She did do a production of in high school.) “When I was in grad school, I was making ,000 a year as a TA, but I can live off of ,000 a year,” Coon says.“So for some people, that would be a struggle, for me it was just, ‘Make chili every Sunday and freeze it.’” After graduate school, she stayed in Wisconsin, getting an apprenticeship at the American Players Theater, an outdoor amphitheater just south of Spring Green, where she worked on and off for the next four years.“Those two words, school dinners, were all it took.I shattered.” Carrie Coon carried the book around with her during the three years she spent on the set of gave her the emotional anchor she needed for her character, Nora Durst, a woman whose identity is forged by grief: She loses her family — her husband and two children — in the Sudden Departure, a Rapture-like event that disappears 2 percent of the world’s population.