Now through the end of February, $10 early bird tickets to LTYM Metro Detroit are available with the code “storiesmatter”
As we reflect on our LTYM journey, we wanted to share some of the thoughts and reflections of our alumni cast members. We asked them a few questions, and we are so grateful to share some of their memories with you.
First up is Melissa Grunow!
1. What was your favorite part of being a Listen To Your Mother Detroit cast member?
It was humbling to know that I was part of something iconic, historical, and far bigger than myself. Listen To Your Mother revolutionized the perception of motherhood the way The Vagina Monologues gave voice to women’s experience and sexuality in the late 90s. Our LTYM cast, in particular, was immediately supportive and connected from the first few minutes of our very first rehearsal when we got to hear each others stories for the first time. Even though I had auditioned with my story and told it casually countless of times, I cried through that first read through because I knew our show was going to be great, and I was overwhelmed that I had an opportunity to be a part of something so remarkable.
2. What scared you the most?
The audition! Even though The Angelas are the kindest souls you will ever meet and make you feel as comfortable as possible, sitting in a public place reading my story across a table was far scarier than being on stage under blinding lights in front of hundreds of people sharing the same story.
3. How did being a part of LTYM Detroit impact your life — professionally and/or personally?
My memoir, Realizing River City, was published a few months prior to the LTYM show, so the impacts of the show really go in tandem with the release of my book. Even though they don’t tell the same story, the show and the book really reinforced for me the fortitude that comes with speaking your truth. The show gave me confidence to speak about my book in public in a more focused and clear way, and I stopped apologizing for things that weren’t my fault or that I shouldn’t have been sorry for in the first place. One of our cast members came up with the hashtag #dothething, and I’ve tried to live by that since. If you want something, you have to make it happen.
4. How did people react to your story and to you being a part of LTYM?
I wasn’t sure how well my story would fit in with the show since it’s about being estranged from my own mother, rather than a positive perspective on motherhood. Surprisingly — or maybe not surprisingly —people found something in the story to connect with. Strangers came up to me after the show and asked to hug me. Others said my story was their favorite. Nobody questioned whether or not I belonged on the stage. Any doubts I had about whether I belonged in the show were concocted in my own mind and something I had to get over on my own.
5. What surprised you about being a part of LTYM?
The longevity of the friendships I made from being a part of the show. When 12 strangers come together and take the stage, an everlasting bond forms that can’t be broken by time or distance.
More from Melissa: