Listen To Your Mother is a national series of live readings in celebration of motherhood- the peaks, the valleys, and everything in between. Each show is locally produced and cast, and then shared via Listen To Your Mother’s You Tube Channel. This national storytelling movement began just five years ago with one show, in Madison, WI. The show’s creator and national director, Ann Imig felt that the stories of motherhood being shared online needed to be shared in the communities where they were happening. And then it grew- first to five cities, then to ten, to 23, and this year 32 cities hosted a Listen To Your Mother Show.
I have been thinking about our show a lot lately- mostly about the Hows of the show- How are we going to make this happen… and with that, the seemingly never-ending to-do list that comes with the task of organizing a production with so many moving pieces.
But now that most of the work has been done, I’ve been thinking more about Whys of the show. Mostly: Why do I do this?
I do this because it feels important. Despite any anxiety or fear our cast feels when sharing their stories with each other for the first time, or with the audience on the evening of the show, there is something in each of us that pushes through and forces us to tell our story anyway because it’s more important that we are being heard. It’s more important that, through telling our stories, we are validated. Our stories are each so different. Yet they are the same in that they are true and they are from our hearts.
I do this because I am in awe of the process that unfolds when a group of strangers share their stories- their hearts- with one another and create a bond that is palpable.
I do this because most of it is outside of my comfort zone- albeit a bit less so than last year, when I really had no idea what the heck I was doing. Co-producing this show has forced me to develop skills I was previously unfamiliar with, from booking a venue to coordinating auditions, to finalizing the programs, to creating a show that would have a good flow, and so many other aspects that could fill another entire blog post.
I do this because I love working with Joelle. She is the yin to my yang, the “It’s ok.” to my “OMG!” I think I will go into withdrawals now that we are not texting/calling each other a dozen times a day with LTYM minutiae.
I do this because what happens in the theater for those 90 minutes creates a unique energy that I can’t see, touch, smell, or taste, but that I know I can feel. I don’t know how to describe it, but I think if the universe reached out and gave me a big high five, maybe it would be like that.