Not An Afternoon We Will Soon Forget

by Alexandra on May 30, 2015

best cast ever“The show was absolutely amazing! I laughed. I cried. I laughed while I cried. My heart broke. My heart healed. Such amazing stories of motherhood. Thank you for bringing it to Milwaukee!” This is an email that came to my inbox the day after our Listen To Your Mother Show Milwaukee.

I read this while silently smiling to myself. The feeling in every word from this grateful audience member was one that Rochelle, Jen and I will never get over. Ever.

As we stood together with our cast for our final bow on show day, we felt our pulses bounding as we gripped each others’ hands. Our show, our cast, our stories, our audience, our city — brought together by the beauty of work accomplished with the love of community.

elaine pod

How could anyone present on show day ever forget Elaine Maly’s grand explosion of an opening to our show? Elaine’s gut-busting piece set the tone for what was up ahead: namely, motherhood is a wild and unpredictable ride, so buckle your seat belts and hang on tight!

 

 

anna mic

Anna Stone taking us by the hand while we walk with her through the warm, sweet, journey of memories with a mother she once had, and straight on into her new path with the mother she now has.

 

 

 

michelle mic

 

Listening to Michelle Dobbs pour her name over us like warm syrup in her grandmama’s sultry, warm accent, Mee Shell. Oh, how our incredible audience rooted for her to have her story read.

 

 

liza mic

 

Liza Cohen capturing our hearts with her endearing full circle tale of mamas and their bunnies, and returning babies to where they belong. We all felt her mother right alongside Liza on stage that day.

 

 

moira pod

Moira Sennett’s tribute to her mother, and how I imagined her mother must have felt to have her dear child pay public homage to her. What a gift to be present to receive it.

 

 

 

katy mic

Katy Meyer’s bravery, as she stood, so tall, beautiful, strong and capable, in giving words to something few can formulate. She was the voice of hope, and she planted the seed of encouragement in so many hearts that day.

 

 

nicole pod

Nicole Smith’s visible strength and determination in getting through her piece with a mother’s promise to her daughter, Olive. Nicole is an eternal witness to Olive’s life, made no less dear by the hours in it. Truly, Nicole pieced our hearts back together with the fierce beauty of the power of a mother’s love.

 

 

mary mic

Mary Ng’s wise, honest confession. As mothers, we are not perfect, we try, we miss things. And in that moment of her reading, many in the audience found themselves with Mary, feeling the same sting of falling short as well as the welcome comfort in knowing they weren’t alone.

 

 

raina mic

 

Raina Johnson’s bravery in telling her story — in looking back to that first moment of knowing her son on through to him being with us as part of our LTYM family. She broke herself open and her radiance shown through. We all became her village that day.

 

jack mic

 

Jack Douthitt, who endeared himself to us with his story of love and protection for his mother, no matter how old and grown we become. My own heart leaped when after my middle son heard Jack’s story, he said he knew that someday that would be the way he would be with me.

 

Thank you, 2015 Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee cast! We can’t stop talking about you.

We won’t stop, for a long, long time.

With gratitude,

Jen, Rochelle, and Alexandra

Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee

photo credit orphonic multimedia

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LTYM – afterglow

by Jennifer on May 24, 2015

dsc011381Our LTYM shows are an amazing experience.  The past two years I remained in a state of shock for about a week after the show ended.  This year I missed our cast, my production team, and the venue team the next day.  Producing a show and watching everyone step outside of their comfort zones and share their truth is exhilarating and inspiring.  I walked into work taller with a sense of confidence and pride for being a part of such an amazing experience.

I owe so much to the two amazing women in the photo with me.  Alexandra and Rochelle have spoiled me for all other working relationships.  I have so much love and respect for them both.  We became an entity throughout this process forged by snort laughing, emojis, memes and our beloved coffee. I learn so much about mothering tweens and teens. Alexandra encourages me to believe in myself and take risks. Rochelle advises me to exercise grace and caution. I refer to them as my “brain trust”.  All moms need mom friends and confidants who expose us to different ideas and perspectives.  I am forever changed by my friendship with them. We had a group hug before the curtain went up. I quoted Pitch Perfect by telling them that “I love you dorks”.

This is such a labor of love for us because we love how storytelling brings our community together.  We are up late the last week muttering to do items in our sleep.  I had to hand write my list. It is my way of committing it to memory. We end up running on adrenaline and excitement the day of the show.

Each cast is a mystery to us at the beginning of the season.  We never know how the personalities will gel.  I wanted to freeze time during our show to watch the looks on everyone’s faces. I saw courage,determination, elation and triumph. I wanted to be like my mom and give each person a standing ovation.  At the very least, I wanted to stand up and have them high five me or do a fist pump.  LTYM empowers our cast; I can see each person stand a little taller after their piece.  The baby birds left our secure nest to fly and soar.  I cannot wait to see each and every one of them take flight.  When we stand in our truth and own our story, nothing seems impossible.

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*Photos courtesy of Orphonic Multimedia.*

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Milwaukee’s Thank You to Our Sponsors

May 17, 2015

Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee celebrated its 3rd annual LTYM show three weeks ago on Sunday, April 26th.  Our fantastic cast held our audience spell bound as they told stories of humor, faith, loss, love, triumph and recovery.  A shared love of storytelling and its power to unite us is what threads our production team together.  We cannot create this production alone; it takes a community and a network of support.  Alexandra, Rochelle and I could not continue to bring LTYM to Milwaukee without the help of our amazing local sponsors. We are blessed to have returning local sponsors each year whose support is key to producing this show.  A special thank you to Dave Didier and Orphonic Multimedia for being with us since the beginning!  We are so grateful.  SHOP, The Village Printer, and MetroParent Milwaukee Magazine are also returning local sponsors. We are so thankful for the support of these amazing […]

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Discovering Purpose through LTYM

May 10, 2015

So what is your life’s purpose? It was a question posed in a moderated discussion thrown out to a small group of three. Up until that point, we had been responding to questions in ways we thought would make us stand out as individuals. Or at least I had been, truthfully. The question clogged my thinking and stopped me in my tracks. As long as I could remember, I heard the perpetual question from my parents, well-meaning friends of my parents, teachers and guidance counselors: What do you want to be when you grow up? Then when I became an adult (seriously, am I really an adult?), my own voice grated in my mind even when it appeared like I had it altogether: What don’t I want to do? What I wanted to be as an adult had everything to do with career, money. What I didn’t want to do was a bar […]

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Peace in Knowing That We Are Never Alone

May 4, 2015

Receiving heartfelt feedback on what the Listen To Your Mother experience is like from a cast member, is the very food that fuels LTYM show producers/directors. This glorious sharing of what show day was like, by our 2015 Milwaukee Listen To Your Mother cast member Anna Stone, brought tears to our eyes. This, is why we do our shows. Thank you, Anna.  by Anna Stone It was the beginning of another cold day in Milwaukee, and I wondered how my baby and I would manage to bide the time until spring, when I heard the words: Listen To Your Mother. I turned my attention to the TV. The Morning Blend was on. Mollie and Tiffany were interviewing the CO-producer of Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee, Alexandra. Auditions were being held that weekend. I’m going to be in that show, I thought to myself. My heart fluttered as I called the number on the screen, […]

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