Last August at BlogHer10, Lisa Page Rosenberg and I sat in a diner to talk about LTYM coming to Los Angeles. I don’t think I would’ve considered LA as one of the first LTYM:National cities were it not for Lisa Page Rosenberg’s interest in doing the show. Because people don’t just waltz into Los Angeles, throw up a show, and expect success like you can in many other places—you need to know exactly how to craft an event for L.A. that will bring people out in an over-saturated market, to yet another “show my friend is in.”
A veteran TV writer and producer, a blogger I truly adored, and seemingly the most grounded person I’ve met through blogging–Lisa seemed even better equipped to pull off a successful LTYM show in Los Angeles, than I was in Madison. And she really wanted to do it!! In 2012…
For 2011 I wanted to surround myself with people I trusted implicitly, who “got” the vision of LTYM, and had the where-with-all to direct and produce a successful event. I knew Lisa was one of my people for 2011, and when I proposed finding someone to help her make that happen she responded without hesitation and with complete conviction YES. Meet Lisa—she doesn’t waiver, and she inspires me with how she knows herself, knows what she believes, and delivers compassion with everything.
Enter Leane Vandeman.
It’s hard for me to talk about Leane, or “Lee” as she is known in blogland without glowing. Leane and I began our creative soul-sisterhood at BlogHer 09, despite the fact we had never read each other’s blogs—it was one of those instant conference “fall in love by the potted plant” friendships. The creative force behind Creative Alliance 10, and Project Momcasting (with Ciaran Blumenfeld), not to mention her own beautiful blog, and video storytelling site—Leane produces independent reality television for a living. Leane is a professional storyteller, and surrounds her life with creativity. She is very very busy, and very very very funny, and I love her.
And look at the gift of a production they gave LTYM:
|Photos courtesy of Lisa Sjolund|
I flew to Los Angeles to see their show on Sunday May 1st, and for a quick visit with family. Set downtown in Los Angeles’ garment district, Inner City Arts’ Rosenthal Theater sits off the beaten path of the typical entertainment and arts scene. Lisa and Lee faced a big challenge even to bring the audience to this theater in “skid row”, set in a gorgeous arts education center for Los Angeles’ poorest children.
The audience came—they filled the theatre—and even some industry insiders who’ve quite literally spent their entire careers seeing it all laughed and cried from start to finish. While this LTYM cast featured many seasoned readers/performers, the experience of reading personal stories created a very intimate and vulnerable space that reached the audience in a different way from your typical “show.” The production flew by, and carried the audience with it out into the sunny courtyard for a fabulous reception with Mexican food, cans of Grape Crush, and acoustic guitar.
I only brought Listen To Your Mother to Los Angeles because I knew the capable hands and hearts of Lisa and Leane. Lisa and Leane delivered LTYM with a glorious cast and a spectacular event, and inspired Los Angeleans Los Angelites LosAnglos? out of their comfort zones and straight to the heart of LTYM’s mission.Thank you my dear friends. I OWE YOU BIG TIME.
Videos of the show will be forthcoming, so you can listen to each reader and witness the stories of this phenomenal cast.