Listen To Your Mother Austin

It’s Wednesday, so where’s the guest post? Just when a pattern gets established, I’m switching it up. But only for this week. In honor of Spring Break here in Austin, I left this week off the guest post schedule. We will return to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

This week we’re celebrating. We’re jumping for joy, in honor of

Women.

Writers.

Mothers.

Readers.

Daughters.

Stories.

Sons.

Listeners.

Families.

Why?

Because we have a voice. All of us. Whether you’ve started to tell your story, or it’s still brewing, you have a voice. Your experiences are pieces of this vastness through which we’re all wandering. Now more than ever, we have outlets for sharing those experiences, for shrinking the gaps between your story and mine.

I’m honored to be part of one such story-telling outlet: This spring, I am lending my voice to the story of motherhood as part of the 2012 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

 

It’s humbling, and thrilling, to be involved. I’ve been a fan of the show since hearing about the first LTYM, created and directed by Ann Imig, in Madison, WI. After that show took place, videos started floating around the internet and I sat one day, mesmerized, listening to story after story.

Many of you know I auditioned last year, but was not selected for the cast. And yet, the audition experience was one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever done. Sure, I was sad when I didn’t get selected, but the process was completely worth it.

For those who are wondering, the audition process is tricky. It’s about putting together a show that flows, that balances all of motherhood: joy, sadness, sleep deprivation, and everything in between. I knew that liking what I wrote was merely one criteria for making the show; it didn’t come as a surprise to get the “not this year” message. Yes, it stung, but not because I felt rejected (there’s not a writer in the world who isn’t familiar with rejection* – we’re pros in that department). I was bummed because I love Listen To Your Mother, and I wanted to be involved.

Which brings us to this year. Thanks to some gentle nudging (you know who you are), I once again submitted a piece to read. This time… well, this time my story found a spot in the show. My story fits within the delicate balance that the show co-producers/directors, Wendi Aarons and Liz McGuire, were tasked with creating.

And so. We’re celebrating.

I feel grateful, humbled, excited and a bit nauseous to be part of Listen To Your Mother 2012. The show is happening in 10 cities this year, so if you want to see what it’s all about, please buy a ticket or 12. Just don’t tell me if you’ll be in the Austin audience, because knowing you’re there will make me very nervous. Click to purchase Listen To Your Mother Austin tickets or one of nine other cities (just click on ‘Local Shows’ to find the one closest to you).

The cost of your ticket will also help local families in need. Part of Listen To Your Mother’s mission is to support families in need by giving 10% of ticket proceeds to a non-profit cause. In Austin, that cause is Any Baby Can.

As for that asterisk up there…

*Lemme say this about rejection: even though it’s a familiar part of writing, of course it stings. Of course, the validation that comes with acceptance is like a drug. So of course, I longed for that validation last year when I auditioned. Being in the cast would have rocked!

And yes, I allowed myself a little wallow after I found out it was a no go. I talked to a couple of understanding friends, and a couple of understanding writers. I shared my blah-ness, and then moved forward so that I could keep writing.

I understood how complicated the audition process was, and I also felt – for once – that what I submitted was good work. Rarely do I think what I’ve written is good enough for anything. Just hitting ‘publish’ on this blog nearly kills me sometimes. That’s part of the disease. Writers could edit and rewrite every word, over and over, and still never feel that it’s quite there. I have to force myself to send stuff out in the world. Sometimes it glows, and sometimes it sits there like a big, steaming pile.

What I’m getting at here… Not getting cast last year was a little sad. But only a little. I’m telling you the truth when I say, at heart, it wasn’t about feeling rejected. In fact, I felt included in something so much bigger than myself, and was proud to have had the chance to read for the show.

I wonder…

:: If you’ve ever read your work to an audience, how did that feel?

:: Have you considered telling your motherhood story (you don’t have to be a mother to have something to say – you probably have a mother, know a mother, have heard of mothers)?

32 Comments

  1. Missy, congratulations on being selected for LYTM!!! That is amazing. And I love that you didn’t let what happened the year before get to you, and you went and tried again. Well done, and YAY!

  2. Fantastic post and huge congrats! Thanks for sticking with us!

    • Thank you, Ann. I’m so excited! Wish I could be at every show (someone really needs to sponsor the LTYM Tour…).

  3. So happy for you!! I tried to find my voice this year, but the story I started writing about was hard, and I chickened out. There is alwaus next year and the one after that too!! Congratulations Missy! I can’t wait to hear your wonderful story.
    Whitney Lavender´s last [type] ..Wordless Wednesday: A New Fav!

  4. I can’t wait to hear your piece. You are a fantastic writer. I’m glad you succumbed to those gentle nudges.
    Leigh Ann´s last [type] ..Listen to Your Mother

    • I look at that cast list and wonder what I’m doing there, but I’ll squash the wonder and just enjoy the ride. So glad you’re on this adventure, too!

  5. Wonderful thoughts here, Missy. I’m so excited to have you in the show.

    • Thank you, Wendi. I hear your voice often, saying, “What do you have to lose?” and I thank you for that.

  6. Congrats Missy! I am proud of you my friend. As someone who has sat on the other side of an LTYM casting table, I can confirm first-hand that really, really good pieces can get left behind for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the work. So I’m so happy you were resilient enough to try again this year- and be rewarded for it!
    Amy´s last [type] ..how do you stop the whole world?

    • Thank you, Amy. I like that word – resilient. So much better than ‘stubborn.’

      I can’t tell you how much I wish I could be there for the NYC show. I will settle for YouTube!

  7. I am thrilled beyond belief that you stuck it out there again this year and made it. So proud! You are an amazing writer and people will be blessed by you. I know I am.
    Christina´s last [type] ..My epic fail of a perfectly good Beef Pot Roast

  8. SO GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good for you! So proud of you.
    Missy | The Literal Mom´s last [type] ..6 Bloggers Who Make a Difference

    • Thanks so much!! {And please see my response to Kristen in this same post for an explanation about the extreme tardiness of this reply!}

  9. YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!

    (I didn’t want to worry about editing my words. So I just went with my heart. And my gut. And YAY!)

    So proud of you. So. soooooo.
    julie gardner´s last [type] ..Today call me Bombecked

    • I love it. THANK YOU. {Please see my response to Kristen in this same post for an explanation about the extreme tardiness of this reply!}

  10. Missy, we haven’t met yet, but I am looking forward to meeting you IRL soon! I submitted a piece for the first time this year myself, and just became a blogger in the last 9 months, so my stuff is a work in progress. I can say that every opportunity to try out for something is a learning experience, and I learned that I can do better!
    Hooray for you! I’m sure you’re going to be a knockout.
    Kristin Shaw´s last [type] ..Chapter 7: Leaving Phoenix in the Rear-View Mirror

    • Thank you, Kristin! {Please see my response to Kristen – with an ‘e’ – in this same post for an explanation about the extreme tardiness of this reply!}

      I think submitting our work is the hardest part. Setting those words free hurts, and is scary, sometimes. I’m so glad you are writing and working on your story. And thank you for the kind words.

  11. Congratulations on being selected for LTYM!!

    This year is the first time that I’ve heard about it and I checked out the site and there isn’t one that is even remotely close to me. I’m not sure that I’d audition though… I have speaking in front of people! It scares the crap out of me!
    Jackie´s last [type] ..I see the boy

    • Scares the daylights out of me, too. I hope you’ll go for it if (when) LTYM comes to a city near you!

  12. Huge, huge congratulations . . . really. I’m very excited for you.

    Any chance a show will be recorded, so that we can see you (Austin is a bit far for me to attend)?
    John´s last [type] ..Where I recount one of the longest nights of my life

    • John, I cannot recall if emailed you to say THANK YOU! {Please see my response to Kristen in this same post for an explanation.}

      So if I did not, THANKS. I appreciate it.

  13. Congrats, Missy! I hope to make it to the show.

  14. Oh I’m just so happy for you!! This is YOUR year! Wish I could be there (but of course I won’t tell you if I am…) ;) Congratulations, Missy! YAY!!!! :D
    Elaine A.´s last [type] ..My friend called the other day…

    • Thank you, Elaine. {Please see my response to Kristen in this same post for an explanation about the extreme tardiness of this reply!}

      I’d love it if you came to Austin for the show AND would love to see you (after the show, of course… I do not want to know you’re there before. Ha.). Thanks again!

  15. Congratulations! That’s really awesome. You will do great, I’m sure of it!

    • Thank you, thank you, Amber!

      {At the risk of excessive repeating of myself, please see my response to Kristen in this same post for an explanation about the extreme tardiness of this reply!}

  16. Huge congratulations to you – not only on being selected for the show, but also for sticking to your guns and trying again. Good for you, Missy!!!

    I relate deeply to so much of what you’ve written here about writing and rejection. I’m grateful to you for your honesty. I feel like motherhood and writing are alike for me in that I am always comforted when someone I like and admire seems to experience the process of them the same way that I do.

    • Kristen! I’m going to start sounding like a broken record in my comment replies, but please let me apologize for the huge delay in responding. And if you’re getting two responses from me, sorry about that, too. Apparently my comment reply system in my Dashboard ate all of my replies over a couple week period, and I just discovered it. I can’t see any of them on the site or in the Dashboard. So… you may have received it, but I suspect you didn’t.

      Thank you for your kind words. I think the rejection and/or failures we face in our lives, our writing, can make us better and stronger. Of course. But they’re more apt to do so if we share our experiences with others. It bonds us as writers, mothers… people. So I’m honored that you relate. Thank you!

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