“They treated me just like one of the gang”

by Angie Mizzell on January 8, 2015

*Audition signups for the Charleston Production of Listen To Your Mother are now closed.

When I read about the 2014 Listen To Your Mother audition in Charleston I had just written a piece about the cataclysmic birth of my firstborn for the Erma Bombeck contest in Ohio. I had prepared quite an edgy piece, considering the funny competition, so I wasn’t sure it would fit the bill for a stage performance in Charleston. At age 60, however, I didn’t have a thing to lose! I figured if I wasn’t chosen to read, it wouldn’t be the first time my work had been rejected, nor would be the last.

Was I scared? Yes!
Was I nervous? Yes!
Did I want to try or die anyway? YES!

I had the full attention of the judges as I read during the audition. They laughed in all the right spots, but I couldn’t tell if they were laughing with me or AT me! Then I decided it didn’t matter anyway. THEY WERE LAUGHING. When I finished they told me I was funny… but they didn’t say I was good… or that they liked what I read and thought it was appropriate for the stage performance. They did say they would be in touch.

I really wanted to read “Birthin’ Babies” on stage, so the eight days wait for the phone call felt like biding anxious time in a prison cell. The good news is they liked it and wanted me to open the show! NOW I was really scared. I got what I wanted, but still felt nervous, wondering if I would flub up on stage and embarrass myself and the rest of the team.

Jan reading webDuring reading rehearsals I was encouraged by the laughter, which is what I chose to elicit. A few others did, too. We’d left it to the rest of the gang to produce tears by the poignant, sometimes downright sad, stories they told. They did their jobs well. It worked… the laughter, the tears, the nods, and the smiles.

Becca Anna Jan web

Although I was a good 20-30 years older than most of the readers, they treated me just like one of the gang. 

The comfort level the camaraderie produced during rehearsals bled over into our stage performance and we, with our varied circumstances, fit together like pieces of one big puzzle. So did our stories. They were cleverly woven together by the talented mind of the producer like Carol King’s tapestry. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with such amazingly talented people and to read my work in front of a large audience.

The thing I know, too, is that even if I had not been chosen to perform, the fact that I mustered the audacity to audition was a game changing experience. It will be for YOU.

Everyone who doesn’t at least try, limits his own possibilities. There’s a great big world out there and it may be yours for the effort!

You can visit Jan on the web. Watch Jan reading the 2014 Charleston LTYM show opener, “Birthin’ Babies.” 

To learn more about the Charleston production of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER contact Director/Producer Angie Mizzell.

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