That’s a Wrap Baltimore!

by taya on May 26, 2016

After Show Collage

Our 2016 Listen To Your Mother Baltimore show wrapped on Saturday, April 23, 2016 and I still don’t have the words to express exactly what that means.  I’ve been stalling on writing this wrap-up post because it meant that I would actually have to acknowledge that this season is over.  **insert sad face**   Arlene and I believe in this project with all heart and soul.

In 2014 for our inaugural season, we were terrified that no-one would audition.  They did!  We were nervous that no-one would attend. We almost sold old!  Oh those stories!!  The cast from 2014 will always be our first “babies”.  Then for 2015, we prayed that we wouldn’t have the “sophomore jinx”.  Kind of like a one hit wonder?  We weren’t! 2015 was another great show and we popped our collars a little at being able to match 2014.


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A third year though? Could we do it again? And how would be able to love another new set of cast members?  Arlene and I are both mothers to one child, both boys.  I think we finally understand how parents with more than one child feel. LOL! Honestly, I’ve always been stumped because I’m in the one and done crew, but now I get it. You love each one with the same intensity but for different reasons. Ah ha! Lightbulb moment. We hoped, but we were worried that we couldn’t love a new cast the way we loved our first cast of 2014, but then the ladies of 2015 rolled in and our hearts expanded. Totally different experience and dynamic but the same love. Then we feared, geez, a whole new crew and yet here we are with our rock solid love for them.

Thanks to all that attended the show, family, friends, and strangers from near and far!  And a special shout out and thank to my friend, and our amazing founder and National director, Ann Imig.

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Show alumni from 2014 and 2015 came to support and the feelings of love, kinship, family and appreciation are real!

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A few members of this years cast have shared their after show feelings. Man! Their words??? Check them out below. Stay tuned this summer for all of the videos from our show and all the shows across the country.

Michelle Dowell-Vest

Vera Ezimora

Terri Jackson

Sara Farrell Baker

With love,

T and A Signature

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There are only 3 days from taking the stage!! In a mere 70 hours, this phenomenal crew will be delivering our 3rd Annual Baltimore show!!

Today we are featuring are our “final 4” – Andria Nacina Cole & Sol Ari Leandry, Teri B and Vera!


Introducing Andria Nacina Cole and Sol Ari Leandry

Pic 1

LTYM: How did you hear about the Listen To Your Mother show?

Andria: I was invited to the LTYM show in 2014. I was almost five months pregnant with my son and SICK AS A DOG! But my good and wonderful and talented friend Carla DuPree was reading, so I had to be there. I brought Sol along, as I always do. We’re art buddies—we see plays, films, and concerts together. In general, I do all the laughing and the crying. And Sol sits shaking her head as I climb and descend a hundred emotional hills. Now and then she’s moved to giggle, but rarely is she inspired to cry. Sol is a tough cookie. Anyway, I found the show to be comforting and Sol gave it a thumbs up. The seed for auditioning was planted.

LTYM: What’s your favorite piece that you’ve written? 

Andria: I am a writer, but I don’t have a favorite thing I’ve ever written. Actually, I’m often discomfited by my work the moment it’s published. But I do have pieces I think are important. How To Forgive Abortion When You Are The Aborter is one. I think anti-choice folks scare women who have had abortions into believing they can’t mourn or celebrate or do whatever they want with the decision. I wanted to provide a space that allowed for both the choice and its consequences.

Pic 2

LTYM: What do you wish most for your children?

Andria: I wish for my children discernment at an uncommonly early age. I wish for them to understand that what they want and what they feel they deserve are two different things, and that they get to feeling they deserve good love, money, health, and all the goodness the universe can muster—immediately. I wish them the power to manipulate context on the spot. That is to know what sort of energy a situation requires at first glance, and to give it only that. I wish for them the understanding that the truth is best told early on—should you hold it tight for too long, it tends to come out a tad nastier than necessary. I wish for them a true narrative—Black children are told they can’t, they aren’t, they won’t from the womb. I wish for my babies the strength and courage to resist that bullshit. I wish for my daughter as much reverence for her mind as for her face. And a “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it” type of thinking. A life partner who knows she’s a human being, and not some plastic, unblinking, no-vagina having doll baby. A lot of damn money. And empathy by the barrel. I wish for my son the audacity to love, to be tender, to firmly take responsibility for all of his actions, and to act on his dreams with the fortitude of a man who knows he will accomplish them. I wish for him the good fortune of never being pulled over by a racist cop. 

LTYM: Tell us a few things about yourselves

Sol: I can move my ears and say the alphabet backward as fast as I can say it forward. My favorite book is The Fault in Our Stars, because it touched my heart. My favorite albums are Bryson Tiller’s Trap Soul, because he explains my life to me, and Rihanna’s Anti, because Riri bumps. 

Pic 3

LTYM: Are you currently working on any passion projects? 

Andria: Last summer, I co-founded A Revolutionary Summer, an intensive, innovative critical reading and writing workshop series dedicated to the dissection of womanist literature. Young African-American women ages 15-19 spend the summer examining literary giants like Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Zora Neale Hurston. My partner Malene Bell and I created A Revolutionary Summer to keep Black girls whole, to balance the scales, to offer up a Nobel Laureate, radical poet, and love story for every stupid, shallow representation of her. ARS validates Black girl language and Black girl thought, Black girl hair and Black girl hips. It traces, analyzes, justifies, and celebrates Black girl herstory. It contributes forcefully, unapologetically to a sound and solid Black girl future. (Otherwise, we’ll need to get busy gathering Black girl bones.) We are currently accepting applications for the 2016 session.

You can find more on Andria’s project HERE

Introducing Teri Biebel

3 Biebel girls

LTYM: How did you hear about the Listen To Your Mother show?

So many of my blogging friends have been selected to appear in previous LTYM shows all over the country. These are people I’ve met in real life at blogging conferences and people I admire. If these people had the courage to get up there and bare their souls to hundreds of people in person and thousands more when their videos were shared, I knew I could totally do this too.

LTYM: What’s your favorite piece that you’ve written? 

2 years ago I wrote about my ‘Not So Secret Crush on Mike Rowe’, the former host of The Discovery Channel’s show Dirty Jobs. He actually saw the piece and invited me to meet him in Washington DC where he was appearing at the STEM Conference. I brought my oldest daughter and we had the chance not only to sit down and meet with the TV star but to interview him as well. He had his camera man, and I had my daughter working our video camera. I got to pick his brain for almost an hour and it was an amazing experience for both of us. When we left, he hugged me and when he hugged my daughter, she said “Thank you so much for making my mom so happy”. That was such a cool experience. So that’s totally one of my favorite pieces.


LTYM: What do you wish most for your children?

I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a child. I’ve never been happy with my appearance, always finding fault with my size, my curly hair, or my freckles. Both of my girls are so self-assured, so confident with who they are. I never want them to feel that they aren’t good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. I want my daughters to always know that they are amazing young women, beautiful on the inside and the outside, and to spread that beauty and never be ashamed. Your pants size does not define who you are, and I hope they always remember that.

Tough Mudder susan

LTYM: Tell us 2 fun facts about yourself.

I’ve run more than a dozen half marathons. I ran the Goofy Challenge back in 2012 which was a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. Apparently, I’m very easily convinced to do stupid things with some good chocolate and fine red wine.

I sold the very first Keno ticket ever in New Jersey. Atlantic City started offering Keno to its casino patrons in 1994 and the news was there with their TV cameras as I sold the first Keno ticket. Here’s a little secret: I made a mistake on the ticket, it wasn’t what the guest wanted. She never told on me.

You can find Teri’s blog HERE

Introducing Vera Ezimora


LTYM: How did you hear about the Listen To Your Mother show?

I was on Facebook one day and someone shared a link saying that LTYM was about to start doing auditions for Baltimore, so I followed the link and loved what I saw. I spent the entire day watching YouTube videos of past shows.

LTYM: Who is Vera?

I am a lot of things: a Nigerian born in Russia, living in the States, an adult whose inside child is still alive and kicking, a child of God and a believer who struggles every day to please my Father, hoping for a spiritual star next to my name. I have so many dreams for my life, and I feel like I am only now starting to realize what I am capable of. I don’t know if I will ever feel like my age, but so far, I feel like I am a decade behind my chronological age, but I don’t mind at all.  It’s nice being a kid at heart. I wear many hats in my life: I am a writer, a storyteller, a blogger, a speaker, an aspiring author, a daughter, a wife, and most recently, a mom. I am a work in progress.

Verastic Maternity  Shoot 92

LTYM: What’s your favorite piece that you’ve written? 

I have been blogging for 10 years and writing for longer, so it’s really hard for me to pick a favorite. However, my favorite from my most recently written pieces would be my post about quitting my job and living my dreams.

LTYM: What do you wish most for your daughter?

I wish that first and foremost, she finds favor from God, and that He blesses her and uses her for His glory. After that, I hope she is bold and fearless, that she does not make the mistakes I made, that she takes her time to know herself, and that she always remembers who she is, whose she is, and where she came from, and where she wants to be. And as much as it breaks my heart to imagine her moving on, I do pray that she finds her Adam and becomes the best mommy, too. It means that my life has just started, that I am truly blessed and highly favored because I have not done or said anything to make God bless me in this way. I am so blessed. Motherhood makes me feel invincible.


LTYM: Tell us 2 fun facts about yourself.

Two fun facts about me: I might be the best food burner ever. It seems like just about everything I cook gets burned, and it’s not for lack of knowing how to cook, but for being easily distracted. I am a dairy lover. I can eat sour cream by itself; I can drink a gallon of milk (seriously), and I am addicted to Chobani Greek yogurt in the coconut blended flavor. Oh, and I am also lactose-intolerant.

You can find Vera’s blog HERE.


Check out pics and short bios on our entire cast HERE. We hope you’ll join us at the show THIS SATURDAY.

Here are the details:

Saturday, April 23, 2016
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Auditorium
on the campus of Mercy High School
1300 E. Northern Parkway

Tickets are on sale via Brown Paper Tickets for $17.55 (including taxes and fees) through this Friday, April 22 at 12pm.

After that, they will be available at the door for $20.

Grab a friend or two, then click HERE to purchase your tickets. Special group pricing is available (online in advance only).

As always, if you have any questions regarding the show, please email us at and we’d be happy to chat with you.

See you on Saturday, ok?

T and A Signature


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