Listen to Your Mother 2016!

Thrilled to announce that Marty and I will again be bringing Listen to Your Mother to the Raleigh-Durham area in 2016!  That show will be our 4th, and this year, Listen to Your Mother expands to 41 cities, including one in Canada!

Marty and I met for coffee last week to start planning, and we’re going to do a few things differently for the 4th year.  Shake things up a bit.  It will be fun!

Here’s the official announcement for 2016.

If you are in NC, information about the submission process will come out in January.  If you are outside NC, please look and see if there is a show close to you.  It’s been amazing being part of Listen to Your Mother, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Submissions Open for 2015 Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham

It begins!

I am pleased to announce that Marty and I are now accepting submissions for the 2015 Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham show! I know you have stories to share, and I’d love to hear them all. Please consider submitting or passing along the information to your book clubs, neighborhood groups, church groups and school pages or lists.  We are looking for diverse voices to share their stories, and remember you do not need to be a mother or a woman to submit.  The submission deadline is January 31, 2015. You can find more information here, and if you’re curious about what the show is about, check out the videos from the 2014 show.

If you are outside of NC, I encourage you to find a city close to you and submit.  There are shows in 39 cities this year.  I was delighted that Arch Mama was in the St. Louis show last year, and I’d love for you to participate!

Being Enough

We had our first read-through for our Listen to Your Mother show yesterday.  First of all…it is going to ROCK!  We have a wider variety of posts this year thanks to word of mouth, and the show, well, I like to think of it as a diamond with many facets (look at me getting fancy).  Sooo many perspectives of motherhood represented.  I am SO excited about it and love the ladies participating.

Anyway, yesterday a few people mentioned to me that they didn’t know how I did it, managing a full-time job, parenting and Listen to Your Mother. I gave some answer about it being my hobby.

Well, LTYM is a hobby, but the truth is that I don’t feel like a very useful co-producer.  Liisa and Marty are able to handle cast communications and getting sponsors and press. I send a few emails to potential sponsors (who never reply because these are the equivalent of cold calls), handle the web stuff and attend auditions and rehearsals, but the truth is that I feel like dead weight.  I feel like there should be an asterisk by my name as in “sort of” a producer.

And if I’m being truthful, that’s the way I feel about everything. Am I a good employee? wife? parent? My answer would be that I’m fair to middling. I don’t feel like I excel at any of it. Not in the way I’d like to anyway.

The truth is that I don’t know if I have a realistic comprehension of what competence in any of those roles would look like.  Does anyone? Maybe that’s the problem. We have way too many ideals and not enough reality. I know I would welcome a reality check right now.

How do you ever feel like you are doing enough, being enough, simply enough instead of what you think you ought to be or should be?

I’m 36 years old. Shouldn’t I have the answer to those questions by now?

Once More, with Feeling

One of the accomplishments I am most proud of this year was co-producing Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham. It was a whirlwind of planning, logistics, casting, obtaining sponsorships and enticing press, but it came together beautifully, and it was powerful seeing our cast bond and come together as well as watch the audience’s emotional response to the cast’s powerful stories about motherhood.

That’s why I am thrilled to announce that Marty and I will bring Listen to Your Mother to the Triangle again in 2014!

The 2014 season expands to 32 cities, and I am awed again to be part of such a wonderful group of women.

We have no details yet about a show date, venue, or audition details – the official announcement only came out today! I am certain we will have more details about our show after the holidays.

In the meantime, if you are in NC, start looking over pieces to submit. If our are outside NC, please see if a city close to you is on the list! Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Spokane and Chicago, to name a few, are some of the participating cities. I’d love to have my friends from all over the country participate!

Congrats to the 2014 cities! I know it will be another amazing series of shows.

LTYM 2013 Video Launch

Now for some good news!

Thanks to the support of National Video Sponsor The Partnership at Drugfree.org, LTYM celebrates the release of over 300 new videos from our 2013 season on the  LTYMShow YouTube channel!   LTYM is proud to share The Partnership’s message of preventing prescription drug misuse and abuse. Join the growing number of parents pledging to end this epidemic.  The Partnership at Drugfree.org is a national nonprofit dedicated to solving the problem of teen substance abuse.  The Medicine Abuse Project is a multi-year national campaign of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, with the goal of preventing half a million teens from abusing prescription medicine by the year 2017.

You can access LTYM: Raleigh-Durham’s videos here:

And here’s the link to mine 🙂


I am so thrilled to be able to revisit Raleigh-Durham’s wonderful performances and cannot wait to watch the videos from the other cities.

Presenting Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham

Today’s the day.  At half-past-7 (imagine that in a pretentious British accent), 14 brave women and 1 intrepid man will file onto the stage at Kenan Hall on the campus of William Peace University, take their sits and the inaugural Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham will begin. For the next hour and a half, the audience will be treated to original readings on motherhood:  the  highs, the lows, the hysterical, the wistful, the sweet.  Tears of mirth as well as sadness may flow. And then, it will be over.

Somehow, it has become May, and it’s time for our show.  It truly seems like only a few weeks ago when Marty and I were trying to find a location and then holding auditions.  It seemed like we had plenty of time before the show, but the day has come.

We’re ready. There are a few show-day hiccups however: one cast member is in the ER for pain and shortness of breath, and I sound like a 3-pack-a-day smoker thanks to allergies (hopefully) or a poorly-timed cold (hopefully not). But the show will go on, and it is going to be so awesome.

We’re sold out, y’all. Sold out. We hoped we would sell out, but actually seeing the ticket site say zero tickets remaining gave us chills.

And our cast rocks. Despite only getting together a handful of times, the 15 of us plowed through forming, ignored storming, and quickly progressed to norming and as of tonight, performing. They are exchanging emails and offering each other hugs and advice, and swapping stories.

I learned in Performance Leadership that the quickest way to build trust and intimacy is to share something about yourself, to show that you are human; that’s what each of us have done in our pieces.  Baring our souls has allowed us to gel, and I’ve never felt so close to so many former strangers in such a quick period of time.  Everyone one of us is grateful for the opportunity to be in the show and keep thanking me and Marty while we keep thanking them. It’s their stories that make this first-ever show in Raleigh-Durham possible.

I have a new dress. I have new jewelry. I have a new haircut. And most importantly, I have new shapewear.

Of course, none of that is important. We could read in burlap sacks and it wouldn’t alter the impact of our words.

Spare a moment to whisper “break a leg” at 7:30 PM EST if you can.  I can’t wait.

Almost Show Time

A month from now, it will all be over.  All the meetings and Facebook conversations.  The tweets.  The texts.  The sponsor soliciting.  Celebrating when your cold call gets a positive response.  Gnashing your teeth in frustration when you are turned down by a potential sponsor or charity who doesn’t get what you are trying to do.

A month from now, these 15 women and men who were brought together due to their heart-felt pieces on motherhood, camaraderie formed, confidences shared, enthusiasm evident, will disperse.

For Raleigh-Durham’s Listen to Your Mother show will be over.

I remember in January as Marty and I bounced venue and charity ideas off of each other, how much time it seemed like we had.  Suddenly it was time for auditions and building our cast and our show.  And now, here we are in the last few–very few—weeks before our show.  It’s time to shift our mindset to publicity, to ensuring we have a full house for our show.  It feels like there are a thousand balls in the air that we are juggling for the show in addition to our “normal” lives of working, parenting and living.  We’re at the detail stage right now: designing ads, posters, programs; thinking of cast gifts; finding an after-party location.

It’s been difficult for me to be as engaged with the process as I would like since work has been crazy just when I need to contribute the most.  I hate feeling like I’m not pulling my weight.

Sometimes my mindset shifts to my old theater days in terms of thinking of the production: need to do this, tech rehearsal, costumes, etc. But then it dawns on me how special our show is, how remarkable it is to be part of the Listen to Your Mother organization.

Our cast is comprised of real women and men with real stories.  These aren’t scripted lines.  They come from the heart.  They are their reality.  The darkest moments.  The highest highs. Painful histories.  Worries.  Doubts.  Appreciation.  Love. Side-splitting humor   I feel honored that Marty and I have been given the opportunity to help bring these stories and these wonderful voices to a wider audience.  I take a step back and am awed and so proud to be able to do this for our community.

Tickets are on sale.  I’ve added a feed of the latest posts on our LTYM site to my sidebar (it’s a bit wonky).  Right now we’re posting cast profiles and posts on our gracious sponsors.  I’d love it if you’d click over and get to know the amazing man and women who will be reading on May 8.

Listen to Your Mother Raleigh-Durham: Location Update!

Awesome news!  We have a venue!  The Listen to Your Mother Raleigh-Durham show location will be at Kenan Auditorium on William Peace University’s campus May 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM.

I am so relieved to have a location for our show, and it looks like it will be perfect.  Having a place, date and time makes our show so real!  Marty and I agreed that we are going to keep our scope small for our first year of putting on a Listen to Your Mother show so we can learn the ins and outs and not become overwhelmed, but I promise you the show will be no less meaningful and awesome.

Stay tuned for audition information that will be announced next week!  We also are getting close to announcing our chosen charity.

If you aren’t in the Raleigh-Durham area, I urge you to check the other participating cities for audition dates and performance information.  You do not have to be a blogger to participate.

Thank you for your support.  I’m a little in shock that we will be having our show in less than 4 months, but it is SO exciting.

LTYM: Raleigh-Durham Update!


The Listen to Your Mother website for Raleigh-Durham went live this morning!  Please feel free to bookmark the site as it will be where we post the official information about performance date, venue, and time as well as audition information and sponsor information.

Marty and I have been busily contacting potential venues, and it’s been more of a challenge than we anticipated to find suitable space that can seat at least 300 people AND is available Mother’s Day weekend.  The latter condition is the one we are having the most problem with since Mother’s Day weekend is apparently a hot commodity in the area.   Contacting venues and receiving rejection after rejection reminds me of trying to find a reception site for our wedding years ago.  We got married in December (ahem tomorrow), and I had a difficult time finding a place that wasn’t already booked for holiday parties or didn’t require a much higher food and beverage minimum during the lucrative holiday season.

We still have a few irons in the fire, so I’m confident we’ll find an awesome space for the show.