Last post, The Story Behind the Story, I shared the inspiration behind my story “Are You Hoping for a Boy? at Listen to Your Mother (LTYM)/Providence 2014. In this post, I want to share a little behind the scenes participating in the Providence LTYM Show.
Being a writer can be an isolating endeavor. Taking an idea, creating and crafting words, and then editing, and revising is time-consuming and often exhausting. Writing for me, is mostly done in isolation. Participating in Listen To Your Mother was a unique experience of not only sharing my writing with a live audience, but also working in a production with women who also share a passion for writing.
I met fellow cast members for the first time in April at a local bakery. We sat around a table, making introductions and small talk, then each one us of read our story. The stories were heartfelt, humorous, beautiful and inspirational. I left feeling changed for the better, connecting with fellow cast members and their stories.
Our second rehearsal was at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) auditorium, the venue for the LTYM Providence Show. Collectively, at rehearsal, we had an, “Oh my goodness, I am going to be reading my story out loud to an audience of family, friends, and strangers” moment. There was no turning back. Although, Carla Molina, director of the show, graciously offered to complete our story on show night if one of us were overcome with emotion and unable to complete our reading. I appreciated her safety net greatly. The rehearsal went well. While I was starting to feel anxiety about reading my story, I was calmed by having the collective support from fellow cast members. While we all had different stories, together we came together for one powerful evening of storytelling.
The week leading up to the show was a busy one. End of the school year activities, birthdays and celebrations, not to mention camping out with my Girl Scout troop the night before the show prevented me from thinking too much about the show; I was too busy and tired to feel nervous. So the nervousness set in three hours before the show when cast members gathered at RISD. During this time, we took pictures, did microphone and lighting checks, saved seats for our family and friends, applied and reapplied make-up, all in preparation for the show.
Once the auditorium began to fill, the reality set in-I was about to read a personal story to an auditorium of people. I was thankful not being first in the group; Tricia Kelly had this courageous task reading “Farewell, Purple Bunny.” While on stage, I listened to each story and again was moved by the stories I heard. I almost forgot I was going to have to read my story. When it was my turn, I stood, smoothed out my dress and walked to the microphone. I was thankful that when I started to read my anxiety had not gotten the best of me, my voice actually had audible sound. Reading my story aloud became emotional for me. I was sharing part of my life with people I did not know. While I felt vulnerable, I also felt momentum reading as I could hear the emotional responses of the audience as I read my story through the sniffles and tears. People were relating and connecting to my story. This is what Listen To Your Mother Show is all about-giving motherhood a microphone, connecting the unique and powerful stories of motherhood.
Last month, Listen To Your Mother Show released the 2014 videos from all of the shows, thirty-two cities in all. If you are interested in watching the videos from Listen To Your Mother-Providence, please click on the link here and you will see the Listen To Your Mother You-Tube channel, featuring not only the Providence show, but also Listen To Your Mother shows across the United States, including previous years, starting in 2010.
Finally, I want to share links to the websites and blogs of fellow LTYM-Providence cast members. These women are talented, creative and inspiring. Please check out the following links to learn more about some of the amazing cast members from LTYM Providence.
© Dr. Claire Nicogossian 2014