Join Us Saturday April 29th at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Auditorium at 6PM!

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Meet the Cast: Tuere, Jessica and Roshni

by taya on April 17, 2017

Hey there Baltimore!!! 

There are only 2 weeks until our show on April 29 and we are EXCITED!!!!!!! 

Each week we’ll be giving a little sneak peek at our cast members. 

Today we are featuring Tuere, Jessica, and Roshni!


Introducing  Tuere T.S. Ganges

Tuere 3

LTYM: Who IS Tuere?

TUERE: Friends and family call her Tui or “2E.” Her kids call her “Ma!” or mommy. Her students call her “Ms. G.” Bill collectors just call (she debates on answering.) Tuere is a single mother who tries to write when the moment strikes. She teaches English to 12th graders in Baltimore City. She’s been published, her work performed and produced, (keeping with the P’s) she’s been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she writes poetry but feels she hasn’t earned the “poet” title just yet, and it appears as though she may be able to add “playwright” to her list of appellations and pretentious epithet.

LTYM: How did you learn about LTYM?

TUERE: I learned about LTYM through Andria Nacina Cole. Some years ago, Andria had a writers conference in Washington, DC, “Flanked,” and I was honored to be chosen to attend. The, I think it’s healthy, cyber-stalkage ensued and I saw a posting about the auditions.

Tuere 1

LTYM: What is the craziest thing you remember your mother saying to you?

TUERE: The craziest thing my mom ever told me, well, there’s a lot to choose from, but I talk about one of these moments in my piece, “Always get back up.” My mom’s version of that advice landed me in the principal’s office at least once and she’ll brag about the phone call she received. “Ms. Ganges, we have your daughter here in the office for fighting and she said that YOU told her to do it!” “Yes, yes I did,” she proudly replied.

LTYM: What do you wish most for your children?

TUERE: I’m sure mom’s threats…um…words of wisdom…led to my wish for my kids to succeed, be happy, find love, and to get back up when life knocks you down.

Tuere 4

Tuere doesn’t blog, so we are so thrilled she will be sharing her words on stage.


Introducing  Roshni Rao

Roshni 1A

LTYM: Who IS Roshni?

ROSHNI: I have taken half a day to ponder this question and I realize that the reason is because it is every day that I discover a new piece of my personality I didn’t know was also me. Thus far I have learned that I am extremely passionate about the things and people I care about, I’m crazy about animals and I live to eat.  I get a flutter in my stomach from excitement when someone mentions a road trip and sometimes I make spontaneous decisions, most of which turn out ok (I think). Music is my life’s panacea and so is a good cry and some cuddles.

LTYM: How did you discover LTYM?

ROSHNI: A year ago, while pregnant and at the juncture at which I had to confront the reality of becoming a mother, I felt like I had a lot of thoughts to share about the obvious changes to my body and my mind set. At that time I saw announcements on Taya’s Facebook page for LTYM auditions and I began to consider auditioning. While I wrestled with the idea, the days went by and the auditions were closed. When the announcement was made again this year, I made the decision to quieten the self-doubt, write my story and seize the day.

Roshni 2

LTYM: What do you wish most for your child?

ROSHNI: At the very top of the list I wish for my son to be happy, healthy and strong. More specifically, I wish that he is free to be whoever he chooses to become and confidently embraces his individuality. My hope is that he remains curious, never loses a sense of adventure and contributes positively to this world with kindness and strength.

LTYM: Tell us 2 fun facts about yourself.

ROSHNI:  I was a tomboy growing up and at some point I embraced  and accepted my femininity. It took a lot of screaming, yelling and my aunt and mom chasing me around the house to get me to try on my very first bra.  It may be surprising to my friends that I have never had a manicure or pedicure.  I don’t have any idea about makeup (I own one lipstick and eyeliner) and could not tell you the difference between bronzer and concealer.  Oh and shopping stresses me out.  I once hitchhiked through New Zealand, making money for food and accommodation by singing and playing the guitar on the streets.  During that trip, I also jumped off a canyon.  I guess those were wilder days.

Roshni 3

Roshni doesn’t blog, so we are so thrilled she will be sharing her words on stage.


Introducing Jessica Gregg

Jessica 3

LTYM: Who IS Jessica?

JESSICA: I am the person at the counter in Belvedere Square who is writing away, cup of coffee at hand, happy for the noise and bustle around me as I scribble a story or essay. I love to write and always have. I love to rewrite, too, which was how I knew this whole writing thing and I were meant to be. I worked as a journalist for a long time and then spent some time in the world of education. Both were socially acceptable ways to people watch – you can learn so much about a person in a 10-minute interview or when you teach them how to write.

LTYM: How did you discover LTYM?

JESSICA: For a few years, I had a blog called Charm City Writer. I started the blog as a New Year’s resolution and kept it up because I started to get followers, but mostly because it was a good way to share my life as well as to document these years with kids that go so fast. I must have been Googling parenting blogs one day when I saw something for Listen to Your Mother and I signed up for the audition. Right before the audition, I found out my job would be eliminated within the next few months, so in a panic I started a job search that consumed my free time. And truthfully, my confidence as I didn’t go to the audition. This year, when the LYTM email came out, I saw the all-important word, final. This was the final time this was happening in Baltimore. Time for a new resolution: Get out of my comfort zone and try out. So, I did.

Jessica 2

LTYM: What do you wish most for your children?

JESSICA: I wish for my children to do good in the world. My son, who is 14, is a 9-11 baby. His father and I weren’t sure we were going to have any more children until we lost friends that day. From the sadness of that time, Doyle came into our lives, an old soul who is both loyal and kind. His 17-year-old sister Leeannah is ebullient and infectious in her enthusiasm. Both of them bring me great joy and it is my wish for them to make their corner of the world – and maybe others’ corners as well – a better place. A few months after the unrest in 2015, the three of us toured colleges for Leeannah. When we mentioned that we were from Baltimore, the response ranged from curious questioning to physical recoiling. Baltimore has been our city for 10 years – I want my kids to be good stewards of it and to carefully tend the other places they call home.

LTYM: Tell us 2 fun facts about yourself.

JESSICA: I have two sisters and all three of us are left-handed; our parents are right-handed. I am a diehard urbanite who strives to give a backstreets tour of Baltimore as well as my father (that man knows things), but I also lived in Montana for seven years and am very proud of my Western hardiness, a.k.a. I can shovel some snow.

Jessica 1

Jessica doesn’t blog, but maybe she will again after the show! We are so thrilled she will be sharing her words on stage.


We hope you’ll join us at the show in 12 days. Here are the details:

Saturday, April 29, 2017
6pm
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Auditorium
on the campus of Mercy High School
1300 E. Northern Parkway

Tickets are on sale via Brown Paper Tickets. Grab a friend or two, then click HERE to purchase your tickets. Special group pricing is available. Stay tuned – later this week we will be talking about our amazing charity partner. As always, if you have any questions regarding the show, please email us at ltymbaltimore@gmail.com and we’d be happy to chat with you.  See you on April 29, ok?

T and A Signature

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Meet the Cast: Heather, Montia and Nasrene

by taya on March 30, 2017

Hey there Baltimore!!! 

There are only 4 weeks until our show on April 29 and we are EXCITED!!!!!!! 

Each week we’ll be giving a little sneak peek at our cast members. 

Today we are featuring Heather, Montia and Nasrene!

 


Introducing Heather Christie

 

Heather 2

 

LTYM: How did you discover LTYM?

HEATHER: A friend performed in the 2016 Lehigh Valley LTYM show last and it sounded like a wonderful experience. I’d lived in Baltimore for seven years when I was first married so I figured I’d come to Baltimore and audition. I thought I wouldn’t get picked because it was a larger market, but that it would be good practice and then I’d audition in Lehigh Valley. I was thrilled to be chosen! It’s great to be back in Baltimore and I’ve used the rehearsals as a great excuse to meet up with old friends and a bunch of them are coming to the show.

 

LTYM: As a writer, please share your favorite piece with us.

HEATHER: I am a novelist and in an effort to build an audience of readers, I started a blog in January 2016 called Heather Christie’s Sunday Morning Stories. One of my favorite posts is the story I wrote about the year my brothers’ high school soccer coach died. It’s called Is Winning Everything? My second novel is a fictionalized account loosely based on this essay.

 

 

Heather 1

 

LTYM: What do you wish most for your children?

HEATHER: I hope my children discover a passion to guide them in their life choices and they realize their unique purpose in the world to fulfill that mission and in doing so they find happiness, good friends, and a loving partner along the way.

 

LTYM: Tell us a few fun facts about yourself.

HEATHER: I had a small speaking role on the soap opera Another World in the late 1980’s.

I married at age nineteen and I’m still married to the same guy twenty-seven years later!

 

 

Heather 3A

 

You can follow Heather’s blog HERE.


 

Montia 1

 

LTYM: Who is Montia Denee’?

MONTIA: Montia Denee’ is granddaughter, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, preacher, teacher, student, professor, entrepreneur, spoken word artist, athlete, friend, lover, traveler, woman…SURVIVOR!!! With all those titles it’s very easy to get overwhelmed but I am blessed to be surrounded but the most amazing family and support system a girl could ever want. I was raised in the small Midwest city of Gary, Indiana, and …..Yes! This is where Michael Jackson is from. I just recently moved to Baltimore to pursue my Doctoral Degree in Language, Literacy, and Culture from UMBC, so who I am has changed drastically from who I was just 1 year ago. Notice, in my description I didn’t say mother. I don’t have that title yet, but in the meantime I am enjoying all that life has to offer and praying that my success can stand as a living example of what any Black girl can achieve if she puts her mind to it.

 

LTYM: How did you discover LTYM?

MONTIA: In 2015 a friend of mine forwarded a link to my Facebook page. I decided to send in an audition piece and low and behold, I was chosen for the Valparaiso, Indiana show. When I moved to Baltimore, my affiliation with LTYM through email sent me the info for the Baltimore show. Again, I auditioned and here I am. LTYM keeps validating my work and invigorating my passion to write.

 

montia 3

 

LTYM: What do you wish most for the children in your life?

MONTIA: This question automatically brings tears to my eyes. As I was going through looking for pictures I came across this photo of myself with some of the youngest little women of my family. What do I wish most for them? Is there enough room on this paper?

 

I wish I could take your innocent smiles and put them all in a row

Wrap them up with shiny paper, and cover them with ribbons and bows

I wish I could take you little dresses and pants, fold them neatly and put them away

So you can remember how small you are to God, when you get big someday

I wish I could take the hugs you give, so genuine and so true

Cover them with a blanket, keep them warm, until I could give them back to you

I wish I could take the sparkle in your eye, I’d make a million stars

So that you could look at the sky one day and remember who you are

I wish I could take the pain of this world, and seal in a box

And let you walk through this life without a tempest or a toss

I wish mostly that you know how loved you are, how in prayer your name I call

I wish you favor, faith, and fortune in this world, I wish that most of all

 ©M.D.G 2017

 

Montia 2

 

LTYM: When did you first start thinking about your mother as an individual person and not just “mom”?

MONTIA: I started thinking about my mother as an individual person when we were talking on the phone just recently. My grandmother, her mother, passed away about a month ago and as we were talking, she said “Montia, do you think I will be alright without my mommy?” At that moment, it didn’t matter how old my mother was, she was just a little girl that was missing her mommy and was trying to figure out how to manage the new club of motherless children she had just been inducted into. I was the mother then, reassuring her that everything would be alright. Reminding her that her mother’s spirit rests inside of her and her wisdom just like that spirit will never be too far away.

 

Montia doesn’t blog, so we are so thrilled she will be sharing her words on stage.

 


 

Nasrene 1

 

LTYM: Who is Nasrene Mijarfray?

NASRENE: I’m a Baltimore girl, a single mom, an oldest sister, a daughter, an Orioles/Ravens fan, a hard worker, and a supporter of human rights and equality. I am a lover of life, I’m obsessed with life. I love to live life to its fullest, and I hate to say no to anything or anyone, which obviously causes some burn-out. As I’ve gotten older I’ve *kind of* figured out my limits. But truly, I love to experience every aspect of life, specifically though travel. I’m lucky to have friends spread out all over the country, and abroad…that makes it even more fun. I love last minute plans, I love connecting my friends to one another, and I love love love more than anything, sharing all of these experiences with my daughter, Sadira. My first blog was a “30 before 30” list – a list of goals to accomplish in the year before I turned 30. I shared this experience with one of my best friends who lives in Connecticut and we had such a blast with it. I found my voice in writing for the first time. The focus of my blog changed drastically in 2014.

 

LTYM: How did you discover LTYM?

NASRENE: In 2015, there was a sign in the lobby of the building where I worked. I was writing like mad just to cope. I didn’t even think about it, I just knew I had to audition and speak about my motherhood journey. I think, for me, just getting in front of people and telling a shred of my story, was a huge step in my healing process. I didn’t even THINK about making the cast…which is good, because I didn’t that year! Haha! Fast forward to two years later, and Taya reached out and invited me to consider being a part of the cast of this show. She said she had always remembered my piece and wanted to give it a chance to be heard. I’m eternally grateful for that. It’s all in the timing, and I think this year I am much stronger. The timing is right.

 

Nasrene 4

 

LTYM: What do you wish most for your daughter?

NASRENE: Sadira is such a shining beam of light, and I know I’m her mom so I’m going to say that, but she really is. She is one of the coolest, most compassionate, kind-hearted people I know. I hope that she experiences everything she wants in life. I want her to be brave and take chances and go for it, without the fear of failure holding her down. And if she does fail (which she will, we all do) I want her to learn from it and use it as motivation to propel her in whatever direction she wants to take next. I want her to know that this life is what she makes of it. There are no preconceived notions of what I expect her to do in her life, other than make of it what she wants. I want her to be happy. I want her to keep her critical judgement, as it’s served her well thus far. I hope, more than anything, as we approach the pre-teen years, that she stays open with me. I want her to always confide in my sisters if she feels she can’t tell me something. I want her to know it’s ok to make mistakes, and that how we react in times of difficulty tells more about our character than how we react when everything is going our way. And I hope to God she never goes sky-diving, or if she does I hope she tells me afterwards and not before. I CANNOT handle sky-diving.

 

LTYM: Tell us a few fun facts about yourself.

NASRENE: Well, first I have three rescue dogs and they are all named after rappers – Biggie Smalls, Missy Elliott and Tupac. And yes, Tupac and Biggie get along. I’m obsessed with birthdays. Mine is June 21st and I celebrate the ENTIRE month of June. I tend to remember people’s birthdays more often than I remember their names. Tell me your birthday once, and I’ll remember it forever!

 

Nasrene 2

 

You can find Nasrene’s blog HERE.


 

We hope you’ll join us at the show. Here are the details:

Saturday, April 29, 2017
6pm
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Auditorium
on the campus of Mercy High School
1300 E. Northern Parkway

 

Tickets are on sale via Brown Paper Tickets. Grab a friend or two, then click HERE to purchase your tickets. Special group pricing is available. Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as we will announce our amazing charity partner, welcome back our three fantastic sponsors and give you an in depth look at each of our cast members. As always, if you have any questions regarding the show, please email us at ltymbaltimore@gmail.com and we’d be happy to chat with you.  See you on April 29, ok?

T and A Signature

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Meet the Cast: Rennett, Katie and Tasha

March 20, 2017

Hey there Baltimore!!!  There are only 5 weeks until our show on April 29 and we are EXCITED!!!!!!!  Each week we’ll be giving a little sneak peek at our cast members.  Today we are featuring Rennett, Katie and Tasha! LTYM: Who IS Rennett? RENNETT: My full name is Rennett Dani Bennett-Burden. My childhood and family nickname was and is Rennie but my closest friends call me Reanz like String Beanz… My husband calls me his Beanie Pie.   LTYM: How did you discover LTYM? RENNETT: I first learned about LTYM in August of 2016 during a job interview where the hiring program director and I began to discuss our family and Motherhood experiences and she shared her experience of reading in the 2013 Baltimore LTYM show.   LTYM: When did you first start thinking about your parents as individual person and not just “mom and dad”? RENNETT: I first began thinking about my […]

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Baltimore, We Have a New Cast!

February 15, 2017

The audition process is one of the most sacred parts of the Listen To Your Mother show experience. Strangers grab their pens or computers and willingly decide to share their hearts with us. The arrival of each stranger to our audition space is full of positive, yet anxious energy. And when they leave, we all know that we are strangers no more. Deciding which stories will form our show is always a difficult task because joy for one person certainly means heartbreak for another. We sincerely thank all who gave us a tiny piece of their heart here in Baltimore and we are excited to share the 12 whom we have selected for our 2017 cast.   Rennett Bennett-Burden Heather Christie Kelly Claire Montia Denee‘ Cynthia Dixon Tuere T. S. Ganges Jessica Gregg Nasrene Mirjafary Roshni Rao Tasha Rose Marsha Wight Wise Katie Young Finally! We’ve been so anxious to share the news!!!  […]

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Baltimore, It’s Audition Time!!

January 3, 2017

Baltimore, Please Tell Us Your Story! We want to hear YOUR voice!  Yes, YOU!! Afraid you have nothing to say?  We don’t believe you!! Worried that no one cares?   We do!! Nervous to get on stage?  We’ll help you!! We are so very excited to bring “Listen to Your Mother” back to Baltimore for a 4th and final season!  We can’t wait to hear everything that you have to say.  And don’t forget, if you’re not near Baltimore, there are 31 other shows across the US and there’s even one in Canada.  Click here to find one closer to you. If you’ve been thinking about auditioning in the past but changed your mind, or maybe the dates didn’t work out, or maybe you didn’t quite have the courage, NOW IS THE TIME. This is IT Baltimore. This is the grand finale season for the entire national project and WE WANT YOU to […]

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