Listening to yourself can be a powerful tool. For years I have looked to others for guidance on what I should model myself into. Not necessarily people giving advice, just trying to find an example to follow.
Recognizing that performance and writing are for me, things that work in concert, was a revelation. Most of the writers I know prefer to curl up in a hidey-hole for great stretches of time. I had trouble making that work, in part because of the demands from my family but also due to my own needs. I thrive so much on interaction, on bouncing off ideas, and performance. I am never more "on" and creative than in a room full of people listening, where I can feel their energy and use it to imbibe my tale with extra vigor.
I know it sounds very obvious and silly but Tina Fey's Bossy Pants actually helped give me the direction I needed. I had grown up dearly loving theater but I thought I had to choose between acting and writing. I felt like it was very clear I had lost my way, and she helped me find it again.
My husband recommended listening to The Moth podcast, living storytelling performed all over the world. I fell in love, the kind of love where you have met your soul mate. I didn't know there was an avenue for this kind of thing outside of me holding court at parties.
Sometime last year my friend Kristin asked me if I would be interested in helping with a show she wanted to bring to Evansville called Listen to Your Mother in honor of Mother's Day. I didn't know much about it but all I need to hear were the words "Show" and "Mother" and "original writing" and I was IN.
In the meantime I joined forces with my friend John Scott Foster, director of the Wesselman Nature Society, to form a story-telling group based on The Moth's concept of true stories told in front of an audience (we do allow notes.) Not only did Evansville Speaks help cure a lot of what was ailing me, but it found a tremendous audience and many loyal participants in a short amount of time.
Listen to Your Mother was not brought to Evansville in 2014, and when the time came around to try again Kristin was pregnant and due near enough to Mother's Day that her participation was not possible. She and Hillary Melchiors passed the baton to me and we worked together to create an application. I was also fortunate to meet the creator of the show, Ann Imig and several almuni from past shows at Blogher 14 in July. It seemed kismet! And it must have been, because our application was approved.
Hillary and I are proud to bring the show Listen to Your Mother to Evansville on May 9 at the AIS Diamond Auditorium (Old North High School.) We are holding auditions later Feb 18, 21, and possibly also Feb 23 since our evening dates filled up so fast! The show consists of women and men from the community and beyond reading their own original pieces on Motherhood live, for one night only.
Please email LTYMEville@gmail.com for more information on auditions, shows, and sponsorship, and we hope you'll join us on May 9! You'll help make my dreams come true.