“An amazing thing happened…”

by Angie Mizzell on January 13, 2015

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

When I heard about the Listen To Your Mother auditions, signing up was a no brainer. I had just published my first book, a memoir full of stories about being a mom to a precious and precocious daughter. Sharing one of those stories with an audience seemed like the next natural step.

I made it to the audition powered by a pep talk from my daughter and a triple-dog-dare from my husband. 

After, I waited on pins and needles. What if my story wasn’t good enough? What if I wasn’t that good a writer? Or worse, what if I wasn’t that good a mom?!?

Finally I got a call – my story was chosen. I was relieved! I was excited! I was validated!

And I was terrified.

I have been a performer most of my life, have spent hours learning lines and blocking and music, hours performing on stage.

Why was I afraid of reading a 5-minute story standing in front of a podium?

Because good stories have power. As an actor, I always played a character. My job was to share a story written by someone else, selected by someone else, directed by someone else. I have felt the power of performing a good story.

But now I would be on stage as myself, with only my story to share. My fear was that it – and I – might not be good enough.

A wonderful thing happens when we face down fear. It dissolves in a puff of dust, a product of our own imagination. We find we are stronger than we thought. We discover irrational fear is a waste of time. When this fear is gone, we find that our powerful imaginations are now free to conjure up more important, more interesting, more potent stories.

Meeting with my fellow writers blew part of my fear away. Here we were, women and men from various walks of life with different outlooks and styles and opinions, banded together for a brief time because of our stories.

Cindi, web

As we read our stories aloud, we found ourselves being knit together in a unique fabric, patches in a crazy but beautiful and unique motherhood quilt.

laughing web more laughing web cindi saritta sean rhonda, web

We entered the room as strangers. We left the room – red-eyed and laughing – as family.

On show day, with my new family around me, I faced the rest of my fear. Alone and in a spotlight, I took a deep breath. I looked at my words on the page and then opened my mouth to share my story with the people in the dark.

An amazing thing happened. Just as with my fellow writers, the audience and I became one. It was no longer me alone in the spotlight baring my soul in front of them. We were together, sharing the joy, the tears, the laughter.

For a few brief moments in time – moments that existed only once in the entire universe – I felt like I was a part of something far bigger and more powerful than myself, and definitely bigger and more powerful than any fear I could imagine.

Jody Mack Photography Charleston lifestyle LTYM -1fb

That is the powerful thing about stories when we have the courage to share them. They inspire us and ground us. They create new worlds, introduce us to new feelings, grow us in new ways. They remind us that we are not alone.

Sounds a lot like motherhood, doesn’t it?

You can visit Cindi Carver-Futch on the web. And watch her read her story from the Charleston’s 2014 production of Listen To Your Mother: “Growing a Daughter”

Any questions about the Charleston production of Listen To Your Mother? Contact Director/Producer Angie Mizzell.

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