Spotlight on Kristen Anderson

by Tracey on April 4, 2014

We are so happy that Kristen auditioned for this year’s show! We know you’re going to love her piece as much as we do. Here’ s a little Q&A to introduce you to this sweet lady:


Photo credit Balee Images

How did you hear about Listen To Your Mother?

Last year, a Chicago Tribune columnist I had just started reading recommended LTYM. I took my Mom. We laughed and cried and then went to Starbucks down the street to talk more about all the pieces….and lots of other stuff. I’m sure we talked about the one time I didn’t listen to her (aka: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done in your life?).download-2

When I would visit home from college, I started going with friends to Chicago raves for the techno dancing we were all into at the time. When my mother later learned from her friend about the drug scene, she discouraged me from going again, but I went one more time despite what she told me. This story comes up from time to time, and now that I’m a mother myself, I really regret I made my Mom worry so much—I could just cry thinking of the “what ifs” that must have been swirling around in her head that night. Thankfully, I always used my “good common sense” and I made it home from that last rave

Thankfully, too, this story makes my whole family laugh now…..and it usually starts, “Remember when Dad gave Kristen a ride to the rave when Mom said ‘no’?”

Why did you decide to audition for this year’s show?

Nadine Warner’s essay titledNick’s Storywas a story that I really needed to hear last year. There are times in life when you just need to feel validated, you need to know that someone else has gone before you on a difficult journey. I auditioned for this year’s show because I’m hoping that someone in the audience will really need to hear my story.

Also, I love it that LTYM is a staged reading format. (I ask people who I’ve been in storytelling classes with: How do you remember it all?) It’s comforting that everyone has already crafted their words and now the art lies in rendering those words alive for the audience. Even when working with fourth graders in readers’ theater scenes, I tell them, “Your job is to connect the audience to this author’s words.” When I read to my students, that is what I do, I bring life to the story. There is nothing like twenty five-year-olds looking up at you, completely and utterly engrossed in the story you are telling. We’ll see how I do with adults!

How do you feel about going on stage on May 4th?

I will finally be able to tell a whole story without anyone interrupting me!

Is there anything you would like the audience to know about you?

My first boss, a CPS principal, said my speaking voice was monotonous even though she had never observed me teaching! I still think of that (1)


Well, Melisa and I know that you will NOT find Kristen’s voice monotonous, especially since her story is so lovely.

If you’d like to hear her melodic voice in person, tickets are available for the May 4th show HERE.

Tracey April 4, 2014 at 8:53 am

Kristen, I love that last photo. 🙂 Can’t wait for the audience to hear your reading!

Amy Witte Pearson April 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm

I love this interview! So looking forward to listening to you uninterrupted on May 4, and agree with Tracey, that last photo of you – awesome!

hyacynth April 14, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Agreed with Tracey! Your story is so lovely!

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