My Perfect Weekend with actress Catherine Gardner

Catherine Gardner is an American stage and television actress currently based in Singapore. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Who: Catherine Gardner, 39, an American stage and television actress currently based in Singapore, is best known for playing Rosa Santos between 1996 and 1998 in TV soap opera All My Children. The series ran from 1970 to 2011. She lives with her partner of 12 years, Mr Enayetullah Khan, managing director of Bangladeshi conglomerate Cosmos Group. Since the pandemic, she has been on hiatus from acting, but is returning to the stage as struggling mother Amanda Wingfield in Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie. The production by theatre company Pangdemonium will run from March 11 to 27 at Victoria Theatre.

"I take acting seriously. During the weekdays, I immerse myself 100 per cent into the character I'm playing and don't really take a break from being someone else. So, weekends are a time for me to unwind and step away from my character.

Usually, I spend my Saturdays at home. My home is a sanctuary, where I can just be present and spend time with Enayet and our two beautiful dogs, GiGi and Vito. They are both Maltipoos, a hybrid between a Maltese and toy poodle. We got them right before the pandemic and they are the light of our lives.

After my homemade breakfast of hard-boiled eggs with multigrain toast and fruit, I will do some gardening. I grow our own vegetables in the seven terraces that wrap around our house in Orchard. It is a relaxing hobby for me.

As a huge cook, I love entertaining friends for dinner parties. After being knee-deep in a role, I find cooking and feeding people therapeutic. I get my lobsters delivered fresh to our home and a nice tenderloin from Huber's Butchery.

We have this big teppanyaki grill and oven in our kitchen and I use it to prepare a good lobster and steak for our main dishes. Since it is a full-course meal, I also make some salad and my favourite lemon ricotta zeppole, which is basically an Italian doughnut.

Enayet and I have a light lunch of cheese and cold cuts, then I get myself prettied up for the night. My friends arrive at around 7.30pm and we take dinner course by course, then let loose and have a good time. I have been loving jazz and cabaret music recently, so we will blast that and party till about 11pm. That is when I call my family back in New York. I am very family-oriented so I will always prioritise them.

Sundays are more relaxed. Enayet and I go for walks along a beach in Sentosa or we charter a boat and shoot the breeze. I take a break from cooking on Sunday nights, so we will grab some pizza or eat out at One15 Marina Club. Back home, I do some self-care like get a pedicure or massage, plan for the week ahead and have an early night.

The pandemic has made me stay in one spot and settle down, and I am blessed that it is in Singapore. Through Pangdemonium, I was reunited with theatre, my first love, and I have been in such good hands with a very professional team. I love my job, but I do not want to burn out, so weekends are for me to reorganise and recharge."

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