Saturday was the first rehearsal for Listen to Your Mother. Let’s just say I was beyond nervous. I was up at the butt crack of dawn to make the snowy drive into the city. Snow, the second day of Spring and it was freaking snowing. Although at this point I would be more surprised if it hadn’t been snowing!
I arrived an hour early and as luck would have it, found the parking garage without getting lost (a first). I sat in the car and listened to Jimmy Buffett, enjoying the peace and calming my nerves. When I was more “fashionably” early (15 minutes) I walked to the venue. As the other participants came in a natural camaraderie evolved. You could tell we were all slightly nervous, some more confident than others, but nerves still the same. As the directors placed us into our spots we began introductions. I was amazed at the diversity of this group.
The women ranged from twenty-somethings to sixty-somethings. Though in truth I almost gasped, I never would have guessed one of us were over 60-something! We were all shapes and sizes and ethnicities. Although most of the women lived in or near the city, most had migrated from elsewhere. While most of us are mothers, our group included those who did not have children. Some were bloggers, some had never written publicly before. In my opinion those were the bravest amongst our group. It was when we began the table read that the commonality was found:
All of us have stories that deserve to be heard.
The table read was surprisingly intimate. Perfect strangers shared such private thoughts that were accepted without censure. I blundered through my piece, a complete novice compared to more powerful voices. There were stories that made your sides hurt from laughing and those who made your eyes red from weeping. Yet every story had us nodding our heads and finding a connection. Every piece was cathartic and empowering. I sat there thinking, May 9th is going to be an incredible show.
After the table reading women who were complete strangers 90 minutes before exited the room as confidants. We went to lunch at an Indian restaurant, a first for me. Trying new foods is as scary for me as public speaking. I gingerly chose food from the buffet, hoping to look as cosmopolitan as my fellow cast members. Conversation flowed as we shared experiences, life stories and an unbelievable new bond was formed. I faked my way through the spicy food, concentrating on the rice when I burnt my tongue on chicken that had looked benign. Truth be told I was more interested in the women surrounding me than I was on the food. They all had such a presence, drawing me in as we learned about one another. When I submitted my piece to LTYM I never expected an audition let alone the opportunity to create new friendships. However I truly believe I found 12 new girlfriends this weekend.
If this process has taught me anything, it has given me courage to take more chances, even if it means you get a blister on your tongue.
You never know where you might meet your next friend.
Will you be in Boston May 9, 2015? Tickets for Listen to Your Mother Boston are on sale now. Tickets are just $15 each. Ten percent of all ticket sales will be donated to the Second Step, a non-profit dedicated to helping victims of domestic advice.