E.G. Daily, voice of Rugrats’ Tommy Pickles and participant on The Voice, shares her optimistic approach to work and solo parenting
E.G. Daily has starred in movies, topped the charts as a singer/songwriter, is the voice of Tommy Pickles from Rugrats, and has voiced other notable characters. In 2013, Daily sauntered onto the stage of The Voice and blew everyone away with her rendition of “Breathe,” joining Team Blake after the performance. Yet Daily’s greatest success is solo-mothering daughters Hunter (19) and Tyson (16). Seriously, how many kids can say their mom is a Powerpuff Girl?
Which career came first—singing or acting?
It’s really one career with all sorts of tentacles. It all goes back to my voice.
When I was young I’d make up pretend voices. And I loved to sing. I taught myself how to play the guitar so I could sing and write songs. I starred in the school musicals. Then right after high school, I started booking movies.
But no matter what I was doing, I was singing and developing my voice. My voice had been so developed as a singer, and my acting so developed as an actor, that the voice-over made sense. It contorted everything together into animation, radio, TV, and commercials.
How did you land in the voice-over business?
I was doing a musical about female wrestlers. The play involved my character’s voice at different ages. Jeff Danis saw me at a performance and told me I should pursue voice-over. He’s still my agent to this day.
But I did not do the play for any reason other than I wanted to be singing. My motives were clean. And I ended up getting all these accolades, getting a record deal, breaking into voice-over. All these great things happened because I did something solely because I loved it. I talk about this in my seminars.
When and how did you become a Solo Mom?
I always had a feeling I would be a single mom. There was too much pressure to meet guys. At 32 I decided to do it myself. I made the plan with my doctor. The pressure was off. Then I went to a barbecue, met this guy, and five weeks later got married in Vegas. I got knocked up on my wedding night. Completely unplanned!
I loved him. We had two kids. But he had a problem with drugs—so I ultimately left him. I knew it wasn’t healthy for the kids and me. Years later he got sober, and over time we learned to care about each other. Now he’s my best friend. It was painful at first, but I feel blessed that I got way more from the universe than I’d asked.
How did you manage being in a creative field while solo parenting?
I could do voice-over and bring the babies with me. I literally nursed while I was working. If I was working remotely, I could have a baby on the boob and they never knew. I did not sacrifice anything to take care of my kids.
Was there a defining moment that drove home you were raising kids alone?
My youngest had baby asthma. I’d have to grab both babies, throw them in the car, and rush to the hospital. I cried all the time because I never slept. I’d have one baby on the boob and the other on a nebulizer, and I would move my arms around like an octopus, grabbing this and that. That’s when I decided to ask for help. My family was amazing. If I had $80, I’d hire someone. Peace at any cost.
Can you recommend resources for women trying to break into voice-over or music?
My voice-over seminar is great and teaches a spiritual approach. As for singing, if you love it, sing! Take lessons. Do open mics. Bigger things will start happening.
What are you most proud of as a Solo Mom?
I’m proud of the work I’ve done on myself so I could be the parent I wanted for my girls. I didn’t follow the pattern and I think my kids are amazing because of it. I taught them to believe that if life alters things, it’s for the better. It’s not happening to you, it’s happening for you. There are no rules—it’s only what is beautiful and fantastic. Having a miserable married couple as parents is not fantastic, as opposed to pure mama love. I want my kids to not just tolerate—but to lean into all joy.
What’s your favorite single-parenting tip?
Write little notes with beautiful affirmations. Color them up and sparkle them out and put them in their lunch box and backpacks. “You’re beautiful.” “You are magical.” “You are everything I could have ever dreamed I’d want for a kid.”