As Mercedes on P-Valley, Brandee Evans is focused on starting her own business, caring for her loved ones, and navigating life with a scheming mother. Offscreen though, the professional choreographer, dancer, and actor is devoted to being the best caregiver she can be to her mother, who lives with multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. Amid Season 2 of the hit Starz series, Evans sat down to talk about sacrifice, refusing to self-sabotage, and finally taking her first vacation.
[This interview originally appeared in an August 2022 edition of the Wondermind Newsletter. Sign up here to never miss these candid conversations.]
WM: How are you doing lately?
Brandee Evans: It can be real. I am overwhelmed. I am exhausted. I’m happy living my dream, but I’m tired. [The P-Valley press tour] feels like it’s still going. I’m very grateful for that, but yeah, between that and still caregiving for my mom. Ooh, it’s a lot.
WM: Your mom has multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. What has being a caregiver taught you about mental health?
BE: It is so important to care for yourself so you can be able to care for someone else. Literally, I’m just sitting here taking this interview in the bed right now, breathing, because I know when I get done, I have to start training another caregiver. So just trying to take this time for myself. I don’t think I really knew how important self-care was until I started caring for someone else.
WM: How do you prioritize self-care, and what are your favorite ways to take care of yourself?
BE: I’m still trying to figure out the best way because I think that I still take on more than I should when I have people that can help me. But that’s just that daughter in me that’s like, I gotta do it. I know my mom the best, you know? So just telling myself I gotta get up and go to the gym or, You’re gonna leave the house today. Your caregivers have it. You do not need to sit in this house and micromanage them. You’ve hired them for a reason. Let them do their job, Brandee.