This past spring, I had the joy of being involved in the NYC production of Listen to Your Mother. The experience has changed my life in more ways than I describe. Now being involved in a REAL off-Broadway show is just ONE small example of how it changed in life as I’m on the crew of The Best of Everything coming to the Here Arts Center this October. This never would have happened to me had it not been for LTYM and meeting some very special people involved with the show. A long time theater goer, more avid than you would ever realize, LTYM has allowed me to explore a part of me that was undiscovered. It also enabled hundreds of women around the country, 15 of whom were in the NYC production, to share their stories. I am so proud of all them who were brave enough to get on stage and lend their voice to the show, which took place in ten cities around the country.
Nearly two weeks ago, I had the chance to watch the magic unfold once again at BlogHer during the LTYM Open Mic Salon. Led by the amazing Ann Imig, the night was dedicated to bringing in voices from the nearly 5K attendees. I was asked to work behind the table outside the salon and organize everyone who wanted to speak signed in. It was thrilling to see so many women fill out the forms, and make their way into the salon to read one of their most poignant posts revolving around Life, Humor or Rants. There was a space on the form for “Prison Nickname” which generated a lot of laughter and chatter around the sign-in table.
My fellow LTYM:NYC 2012 Director Amy Wilson kicked off the evening, reading her hilarious post about Buckyballs from her site When Did I Get Like This. I managed to sneak in to see her reading. Every time one of my fellow friends and colleagues get up on stage, an enormous sense of pride builds up in my being and this was no exception. Other people I know sat in the audience, praying that would get called up but only a lucky selection of about 20 got randomly picked. Several of my friends were fortunate enough to get called upon, and I’m sure it was both satisfying and electrifying to go up and read for a room full of dynamic women. Ann listed the night’s readers on the LTYM site, check out the list. Other friends of mine who got selected (all random, I had no pull) were Randi Chapnik Myers, Jessica Bern and Julia Roberts. As I was working outside, I only heard a few, but I did walk in at the end to hear Julia, who read her piece “On this Day of Suicide Prevention” which had me in tears. I immediately went up to her at the end to let her know its impact on me. That kind of feeling that you have to hug the person who read is what LTYM is all about. They are that close to your heart.
One of the most meaningful aspects of the show in NYC in the spring was donating a portion of the show’s proceeds to a non-profit, in our case Room to Grow. The national show raised 6K for charities around the country. Leave it to Ann to choose a charity for this special night to donate to: Violence Unsilenced. With its mission to educate about domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and violence in general, one of the salon readers spoke up about being a survivor. I happened to be in the room to hear her confession and it made everything about the night seem even more important.
I’m so happy to say that I am officially a part of the 2013 NYC LTYM crew, joining my colleagues Amy Wilson, Varda Steinhardt and Betsy Cadel once again. The memory just keeps going…..