Thursday, March 1, 2012

LTYM-NYC has made a busy bee out of me.

Noticed it was a fairly quiet month on my blog this February? Yeah, me too. Sorry. I’ve actually been very busy, just not HERE.

I’ve spent a lot of time THERE, working on the NYC Listen to Your Mother Show, gearing up for its first annual appearance this upcoming May. (The 6th at 2pm at the JCC. Go HERE for details. Tickets on sale soon – but not yet.)

This week? Three glorious, wonderful, exhausting, grueling, uplifting, wrenching days of auditions. Sitting in a little room with my wonderful partners - the director, Amy of When Did I Get Like This and associate producer Holly, The Culture Mom - being amazed and humbled by the outpouring of stories brought to us.

And, of course, this being New York City where space is at a premium, we held our auditions in a big professional casting and rehearsal studio. Which was… interesting, as big Broadway shows were being cast and / or rehearsed all around us. Which meant that big Broadway voices were belting out showtunes accompanied by boisterous piano plating throughout the audition process.

You’d think a place like that would have better soundproofing wouldn’t you? Well, think again.  But we got really good at tuning out all the distractions and tuning in to our people.

And I do think for some of the folks who were not performers (maybe especially those who had traveled in from distant ‘burbs and beyond) it was a thrill to be waiting for their auditions in the same halls as professional actors and dancers with Broadway credits to their names.

And now? Auditions are DONE!

And now, the very, very painful choices need to be made. 

We saw over 50 writer/readers. (What were we thinking?!) Wonderful stories flooded our ears and eyes. Woman after woman - and two men - came in and laid their hearts and kishkas on the table (that’s “guts” for you non-Yiddish speakers).

We could probably just drop all of the auditioners names in a hat and pull out a dozen or so and have a great show. But you know we’re not going to do that, right? We’re going to think and talk and agonize; and think and talk and agonize some more.

And sweat blood, as we move names from yes to maybe and back again, our hearts breaking a little each time, as we sacrifice an individual piece we love in order to make the show stronger, as a whole.

Creating flow, creating a beautiful quilt in the pattern of motherhood, one lovely square at a time. (Full credit to Amy for this metaphor. It has been very useful as we work together to choose the big and little stories that we’ll stitch together to create our show.)

Thank you so much to everyone who bravely came forth to share your stories with us. We appreciated each and every one of you. We loved hearing your stories. You truly were ALL stars.

And if you were thinking about coming to audition and didn't; if you thought "Why would anyone want to hear MY unimportant story?" -- please think again.

Come see our show on May 6th. If you live in another city or area of the country where there is a LTYM sister show, by all means go see that one! If you can't come in person, watch the videos when they come out shortly thereafter.

And next year?

Grab your story.

The one that scares you because it is so honest, because you are so "out there" when you tell it.  The one about which you think "Can I really say this?"

The one that makes you laugh or cry, yourself, when you read it.

Bring it to us.

Stand up and read it out loud.

We're giving motherhood a microphone.

The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.

We want your laughter and your tears. We want your unvarnished truth.

Yes, YOU.

Bring it on!

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