Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Listen to Your Mother Indianapolis 2013 Recap

It has taken me 5 days to come down from the high of last Thursday’s Listen to Your Mother Show in Indianapolis.  It was unequivocally one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I can’t begin to explain the sense of sisterhood that I feel with the intimidatingly brilliant women I had the privilege of sharing the stage with at the beautiful Indiana Historical Society.  I will try to capture some of the most amazing moments for you here though. 

Before the show we gathered in the green room of the theater.  Some of us showed up fully ready
I showed up in shorts with no make-up on, but wasn't the only one thank goodness. I got dressed in my new outfit from Marshalls and listened to the requested hair advice from a couple of cast mates. 

Here's the outfit when I tried it on in the store: 

I tried to gnash a little bit to calm my nerves and chugged some water to quench my dry palette.  Then I started worrying that I was going to have to pee during the show so I emptied my bladder multiple times to prevent the catastrophe.  I wasn't the only nervous one.  We chattered like a group of school girls while Judy and Michelle tried to corral us to give us directions for how things were going to go down. 

As we streamed out of the green room and into the wing to wait our entrance several of us took nervous swigs from a bottle of wine.  It could have been a lovely bottle, but I was so anxious that I let it slip over my tongue without even tasting it hoping it would get to the job of numbing my nerves a bit before we got on stage.  We stood in the wing listening to the music of a beautiful slide show of our collective mother-memories, and I tried not to cry as Jason Mraz sang “I won’t give up on us.” The audience laughed and clapped and we finally got to walk through the door and out into the bright lights of the stage. 

The last stage performance I remember being a part of was in high school, and even then I wasn't reading my own words.  I looked out into the audience and immediately found my mother sitting in the 7th row.  That calmed me.  I looked to her right and saw my step-dad sitting there, and to her left I saw my sister-in-law and one of my oldest friends Theresa sitting there. Continuing in the same row I saw my friends sitting there in support of me: Kristi, Sarah, Wendy, Allison, and Jenny. There were 9 people all sitting in a row there for me!  That was a great feeling! 

Then the readings started. All of the pieces were so beautiful and hilarious and I could not have been in better company on that stage. The essays flowed so wonderfully between reflections, comic relief, and portraits of motherhood.  I tried in vain not to cry before it was my turn, with the threat of tear streaked cheeks forever on YouTube hanging over my head. Thankfully there were tissues. 

When it was my turn to read, I very carefully stepped up to the microphone.  I almost tripped over the carpet in my heels, but thankfully was spared a trip of eternal embarrassment.  I got to the microphone and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I don’t remember much from the haze of actually reading my essay.  I do remember that the audience laughed in the right places, and even cheered in the middle when I mentioned how far academia has to go when it comes to graduate students with children.  My “Big Plans” were well received, and I was sincerely relieved to be finished. 

The end of the show was a proud moment for all of us.  We basked in the standing ovation as we collectively bowed saying “hippopotamus hippopotamus hippopotamus” under our breath.  We streamed into the lobby and had a giant group hug before receiving our audience.  It was a triumphant moment that I’m sure none of us will soon forget.  We were done; we are forever bound together in the amazing bonds of LTYMotherhood. 

And now?  Now I’m so excited and feel so privileged to have been able to be a part of such an amazing experience.  Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat!!  As my friend Amber wrote: if you are a writer and have the chance to audition for a LTYM show next year: DO IT!!  It was so much fun to share our stories and to meet other amazing mother-writers. Check out these awesome cast mates of mine too.   

P.S. I have some cute pictures from the after party, but I promised not to share all of them.  If you were my cast mate and took a picture with me that you'd like a copy of, email me and I'll send it to you.  :-) 


  1. Congratulations!! What a wonderful, amazing opportunity to share your words with the world. :) So excited that you did it!-The Dose Girls

    1. I'm still a little in awe that I did it frankly. It was soo much fun!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Kate! Big thanks to my stylist Jenny too.

  3. Wait. You got WINE? The producers totally cut me off. Oh the humanity.

    I'm STILL on that high...and thrilled that we sorta shared this experience together! Can't wait to see you on YouTube!! xoxo Mar

  4. Oh my goodness, how lucky are we to get to experience this??

  5. We just did our show in the twin cities, and oh my, I know how you feel! Amazing! There is a power that we have when we come together and share. Congratulations to you and all of the women across the country who participated!

  6. Congrats to you and all the women across the country who participated. What an awesome experience!



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