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Five Minutes To Freedom

by Phyllis on February 15, 2015

Everything about Listen To Your Mother takes a little bit (or a lot) of courage. Deciding you want to tell your story publicly, thinking about how you want to tell it, putting it on paper, and sending it to us. And then, of course, there is the physical act of going to a set place at a set time and standing in front of people you don’t know and trusting them with the story you care about so much.
2014 Boston cast member Chandreyee Lahiri shared the experience of her audition and what that day felt like. Chandreyee sent us two different pieces, but just like everyone else it was ultimately up to her which one she was going to share. One was a warm and nostalgic piece about her own mother, one was the intimate story of her miscarriage.

 

“The morning of the audition, I flipped maniacally back and forth about which piece to read aloud: warm homage or raw confession? I knew which one needed to be heard so others would perhaps not struggle the way I did. If even one person heard me, felt the value of release and learnt to extend a listening ear to heal another, that would make it worthwhile.

At the Boston Improv in Cambridge, Cheryl came out to greet me 10 minutes before my alloted audition time. She looked exhausted at 3 pm and shared that this 10 minute breather was the time the team of three producers took to recover from the previous story. The care and integrity started broadcasting themselves at that moment. They listened carefully enough to require a recovery period? Wow.

Inside the little black box theater, Jessica warned me that she was a crier and I was to pardon the sniffles in advance. The box of tissues were placed directly in front of her.

Phyllis wore a warm if exhausted, smile and an expression of compassion that convinced me she was already on my team. They had all read both my pieces beforehand and were obviously bracing for whatever I would slam their way.

I’m wordy to a fault so feeling at a loss for them is a rare experience for me. Yet that’s how I feel about what came next.

LTYM readings are meant to be 5 minutes long so it didn’t take very long but they were some of the most transformative minutes of my life. Not to sound ungrateful, but sharing with 200 ticketed audience members in a prestigious venue on the actual day paled to the experience of having three caring, engaged strangers opening their hearts to be touched.

I read slowly, looking at each upturned, pale face in turn. Each set of eyes locked with mine every time I landed on them. Their faces reflected emotions that must have mirrored mine. And THAT is what did it. The validation was not just that caring people heard me out, but that they felt my feelings too and so set me free.

Those 5 minutes set me free.”

To all those who take the time and courage to share their stories with us, we hope that your 5 minutes set you free, too.

(Click here to read about the rest of Chandreyee’s experience auditioning for LTYM Boston!)

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Cause Spotlight: The Second Step

by cheryls on February 10, 2015

Second Step logoA huge part of Listen To Your Mother’s annual performances is the impact we have on our local communities by working with organizations that help women and children. The Boston production team is thrilled to announce our partnership with The Second Step, a non-profit organization that helps women and children affected by domestic violence. Here is their mission:

The Second Step fosters the safety, stability and well-being of survivors of domestic violence. Our residential and community-based programs build on the strengths, needs and values of the individuals and families we serve. In partnership with survivors and in collaboration with the community, we lay a foundation for a future free from abuse and full of possibility.

Founded in Newton in 1992, The Second Step transforms the lives of 300 adults and 500 children annually, including members of the LGBTQ community. Domestic violence, or intimate partner abuse, may include physical violence, emotional abuse, enforced isolation from family and friends, the withholding of money and ruined credit, and more. One in four households is affected by domestic violence, regardless of age, ethnicity, socioeconomic or education level, sexual orientation or gender. It can happen to anyone.

The Second Step helps survivors with both immediate needs and to reach long-term goals. Their programs include housing stabilization, access to legal help, a therapeutic afterschool program for elementary-age children in their residences, peer support groups and community outreach and education. The Second Step takes the families they serve not just from danger to safety, but from isolation to social connectedness with networks of mutual support.

If you’d like to volunteer at The Second Step, there are a variety of ways to do so. You can help out with childcare, mentor adult and child survivors, organize and collect donations, perform maintenance at their residences, or join an event committee. Follow them on Facebook for more information.

10% of Listen To Your Mother Boston proceeds will benefit The Second Step, and we will be accepting additional donations on the day of the show. We are proud to be giving back to Greater Boston by partnering with this phenomenal organization.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.TheSecondStep.org. Thank you!

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We’re Waiting For YOU (@LTYMShow #Boston Submissions Are Open!)

January 5, 2015

I have not been able to sleep since December 29, 2014. Cheryl, Jessica, and I met that evening and talked about this day when we would be open for submissions. The excitement has gotten the better of me and I’ve been dreaming of the stories that YOU will be telling us during auditions. We cannot wait to gather your stories and put it together for our show on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the Old South Church. Before I write some more details, watch this video that was lovingly created by Cheryl: 2015 is YOUR year to tell your story about all things motherhood. Here are some suggestions for your story submission: Your story should be 3-5 minutes long. Write your piece, read it aloud, time yourself, and edit if necessary. Your story’s theme is motherhood and needs to center around that. You don’t have to be a mother to write about motherhood. […]

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We’re baaaaaaack!

November 6, 2014

Hey, hey, hey, Boston! We’re baaaaack! Listen To Your Mother returns again to Beantown for another amazing year! In addition to the 29 returning cities, we have 10 new cities joining us! (Including my hometown of Seattle – woo hoo!) We cannot even begin to tell you how excited we all are – especially, Jessica, Cheryl, and I! We’re doubly excited to be back at the Old South Church again. It was an amazing and historical site for last year’s inaugural show, so we are over the moon to share the stories of the 2015 season with Boston at the Old South Church once again. The Listen To Your Mother Show has been such a life changing experience for me every year, including the addition of new and wonderful friends that started out as a group of strangers. We have become each others’ greatest supporters, cheerleaders, shoulders to cry on, and more. I […]

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Live on Video: LTYM Boston 2014 Cast Videos Are Here!

August 7, 2014

It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to a close. It seems likeĀ  just yesterday, we were all sitting at The Old South Church, listening to our amazing cast give motherhood a microphone for the first time in Boston! Words are cannot express how incredibly proud we are of this fabulous group of cast members! Every time I watch this playlist, I am brought back to that rainy Saturday afternoon all over again. If you were not able to join us for the live show, this is your chance to experience it! Without further ado, we are thrilled to share with you the official cast videos on the LTYM YouTube channel! Here is the specially created 2014 Boston cast playlist: Grab that cup of tea and get ready for your “me, too” moment. For the rest of the LTYM cities, go to the LTYM YouTube channel here. Stay tuned for more exciting […]

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