Join Us Saturday April 23rd at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Auditorium at 6PM!

Baltimore!!! 

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

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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
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 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 ltymbaltimore@gmail.com and we’d be happy to chat with you.

See you on Saturday, ok?

T and A Signature

 

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Meet the Cast: Michelle, Samantha and Lisa

by taya on April 12, 2016

Baltimore!!! 

There are only 11 days until our show on April 23 and we are EXCITED!!!!!!! 

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

Today we are featuring Michelle B, Samantha and Lisa


Introducing Michelle C. Bond

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

Listen to Your Mother popped up in my inbox earlier this year.  I’m not really connected in the blogosphere, but think I must have been on your mailing list from purchasing tickets in 2013. At that time, my dear friend Shannon Brown was in the cast and sharing the story of her little star with strength and love. Shannon and I were in the in the Peace Corps together in South Africa. In fact, the first day we met in staging in DC, we were assigned as roommates and actually ended sharing a bed due to a room mix up. So, not only were we in for an adventure of a lifetime, but started it off as literal bedfellows!  Normally, I would just delete a mass message and keep moving, but something made me open it. The loss of a long time job last year and other recent life transitions have allowed me to be much more open to experiences only a younger me would have sought out – writing (and being gutsy enough to share it) being one of them. So, I opened that LTYM message and thought, “huh, why not?” 

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LTYM: What does motherhood mean to you?

It’s easy to feel that you don’t have a right to have a view on something you haven’t experienced first-hand, but I realize I still do. Motherhood to me is about strength, love, nurturing and support, though that often comes in different shapes and forms, and not everyone gets an equal share.  I see this in my own mother, and her mother. My mother, a woman of few words, illustrates this in her actions, just in her being.  I am constantly in awe of her support even when – especially when – I know she doesn’t agree with me, or wouldn’t do things as I would. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen so much more clearly the grace with which she navigated the world in order to provide me with the best opportunities. Even when she hasn’t understood my worldview, or likely would have wanted an easier path for me, she has never stood in my way. She has always shown up, and unflinchingly believed in my success before I have even been able to see the end of the road. This should be a gift everyone is given, but it’s not. I’m grateful.

LTYM: Tell us something interesting about you. 

So, how many jobs did I have before the age of 25? About thirty. Due to a combination of scraping together money to pay my own way and being someone who didn’t want to miss out on a single experience (or a having a good story), I often held multiple jobs at once. Summers were packed with multiple forms of labor from waiting tables to cleaning hotel rooms to serving ice cream and writing for local newspapers.  Some of the biggest “winners” were door-to-door knife sales and cleaning up “protein spills” as a custodial hostess at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center.  After a several year hiatus building my career in training and community development, I’m now back at it, ramping up side hustles and trying to make the most of every door that opens.

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LTYM: When did you know there was a writer within you?

I knew I wanted to be a writer in some way, shape or form since I was 9 years old. I was in the fourth grade and we were given a short writing assignment before the end of the calendar year. We were to write a one page essay on anything. My creation ended up being a six page story entitled, “My Life as Santa” – complete with illustrations of broken candy canes from a malfunctioning machine and a sleigh sketched in pencil but meant to be shiny red and gleaming with gold trim. It even had a “Part I” tag near the byline. Apparently I was already thinking about setting up the sequel. I still have the tattered papers, construction paper edges soft and faded. This past Christmas, when home I dug it out and read it to my mom, and we had a good laugh. She said I should share it with my niece, who is eight, and writing her own stories right now.  

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


Introducing Samantha Payne

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

I was part of the Survivors Circle at HopeWorks. Taya was one of our workshop facilitators and and I learned about the show when she introduced herself.  It sounded like something that would be perfect for my friend Jamice. I encouraged her to try out and I wrote a piece for moral support.

LTYM: What is your dream job?

Motivational speaker/Advocate against sexual violence.

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LTYM: What does motherhood mean to you?

Motherhood is vulnerability. Being a mother has opened me up in areas that I would have never imagined.  And motherhood is definitely a sacrifice and you give up many things you’ll never get back – like sleep! :)

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

Definitely my first published book, “Tamar’s Voice: A Journey from Sexual Assault Victim to Survivor

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


Introducing Lisa Martin

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

I am fortunate enough to work with Taya and Arlene.  I remember when Taya did the DC show in 2013. It sounded like such a wonderful ideas and I was excited for her.  Once she told me about the experience,  I thought, “I would like to do that!”  I was happy when they brought the show to Baltimore, but for both years, the timing didn’t work out due to school productions that my daughters were involved with.  This year, my calendar was free, and I thought, “What the hell!”.

LTYM: What’s the earliest childhood memory that you can recall?

My very first glimmer of a memory is me, at about 9ish months old.  I’m on my grandmother’s hip and I’m holding a wooden spoon that she is also holding, and we’re stirring a big pot of something on the stove.  My first memory of my Mama is at my grandmother’s house, and we’re curled up together on the bed, and she’s smiling that sunshine bright, you-are-the-only-person-in-the-world smile and I’m giggling.  I’m very little in that glimpse of memory, maybe a year old.

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LTYM: What does motherhood mean to you?

Strength, safety, comfort, love.  It’s knowing that you always have someone you can count on, someone in your corner, someone who loves you and wants the best for you.  It’s knowing you’ll always get the truth, even when you might not like it.  My mother is my very best friend and one of the wisest people I know.  My goal has always been to be even half as good at mothering as she is.  Being a mother is everything to me, it’s my priority at all times, and it’s been the hardest and very best, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.  

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LTYM: When did you first see your mother as a woman and not just your mother?

When I had children.  I have never apologized so much in my life as I have with each stage my children have progressed through.  I call my mother frequently to say things like, “Mom, I’m sorry for being 16”, or “Mom, I understand now why you said that, I’m sorry for arguing”.  We laugh a lot together about those types of moments.  When I’m exasperated and she is trying so hard to be sympathetic and when I’m finished ranting, she says, “I know”.  That’s when I realize, she does… she really does.

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


Check out pics and short bios on our entire cast HERE. We hope you’ll join us at the show. Here are the details:

Saturday, April 23, 2016
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 for $17.55 (including taxes and fees) and 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.  Stay tuned to meet our last set of cast members and to hear a little about our returning sponsors.  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 23, ok?

T and A Signature
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Meet the Cast: Aliya, Shamel and Sara

April 4, 2016

Hey there Baltimore!!!  There are only 3 weeks until our show on April 23 and we are EXCITED!!!!!!!  Each week we’ll be giving a little sneak peek at our cast members.  Today we are featuring Aliya, Shamel and Sara Introducing Aliya Webermann LTYM: How did you hear about the Listen To Your Mother show? I first heard of the show through my work with House of Ruth Maryland. The House of Ruth Maryland was the charity organization that the show proceeds were gifted to during the 2014 season. LTYM: As a blogger, what’s your favorite piece that you’ve written?  This is super nerdy, but I’m really proud of my first published research article where I was first author (meaning I bottomlined the writing and stats in the article, but got assistance and support from others). It’s about how childhood abuse is a risk factor for experiencing later intimate partner violence, with the aim […]

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Meet the Cast: Michelle, Jamice and Terri

March 24, 2016

Hey there Baltimore!!!  There are only 4 weeks until our show on April 23 and we are EXCITED!!!!!!!  Each week we’ll be giving a little sneak peek at our cast members.  Today we are featuring Michelle, Jamice and Terri! Introducing Michelle A. Dowell-Vest LTYM: How did you hear about the Listen To Your Mother show? I first heard out LTYM on social media, but at BlogHer 2015, I met Ann Imig and interviewed her for a podcast I was taping that weekend. I also met Taya that same weekend. At the time, I was writing a chapter for an anthology called The Strength of My Soul. I wrote a story about myself and my mother which seemed as if it would fit perfectly with LTYM. I promised to audition and here I am. LTYM: What does motherhood mean to you? Motherhood is a stewardship. I never believed l had ownership over my children. […]

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Meet Our Charity Partner – Baltimore Child Abuse Center

March 16, 2016

  Each year, across the country, all cities within the Listen To Your Mother show family, donate at least 10% of their proceeds to a local charity.  This part of the LTYM mission has been of particular importance to our team here in Baltimore and we’ve actually chosen to donate 25% each year.  We have gifted the House of Ruth Maryland and My Sister’s Circle with over $2000 from our 2014 and 2015 seasons!  Throughout Baltimore, many women and families are currently vulnerable and in great need, so are pleased to be able to support another great charitable organization, The Baltimore Child Abuse Center. The mission of Baltimore Child Abuse Center (BCAC) is to provide victims of child sexual abuse, trauma, and other Adverse Childhood Experiences in Baltimore and their non-offending caretakers with comprehensive forensic interviews, medical treatment, and mental health treatment with a goal of preventing future trauma. BCAC opened its doors […]

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