What a Show, Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee!

by Alexandra on May 28, 2014

Our Milwaukee Listen To Your Mother Show happened exactly one month ago today, and not a day has passed since then that the LTYM production team hasn’t thought about our readers, our audience, our sponsors and our Milwaukee community! Each of our cast members read with a passion and love for their story, that it was hard to believe that for many, this was their first time on stage. After our show, many in the audience said to me, “I can’t believe some of them had never done this before!”

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I think of Sini, and how she set the tone for our show: this is true confession time and how many in the audience were nodding their heads yes to Sini’s story of how Daddy gets the best of the kids. Sini’s natural spot-on delivery made us all feel as if she were whispering to us over coffee.

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I think of Colleen, finding the beautiful in the ridiculously wonderful, and how her words brought tears to my eyes when I remember my own days with muddy little boys. Colleen reminded so many in the audience to relish the fleeting moments.

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We had Mandy, with her powerful story, that though it was written for her magical boy, Cristian, it resonated with every single mother who has not spoken up for her child. You made us all stronger for the next time we encounter someone who speaks out of place, Mandy, and you helped us all sew our own Superwoman cape.

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Rebekah’s honesty will save somebody. I happen to know it already has. When Rebekah told of the valley of her experience with postpartum anxiety, there was a woman in the audience listening. Rebekah’s focused determination to share her story so that others would seek help was undeniable, and I met with the woman in the audience who heard her the following Thursday. And now, she has met Rebekah. I get shivers when I think of the power of our stories. And when the videos go live, just think of how many more women that will find understanding and hope in Rebekah’s bare truth.

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I remember our cast member, Mel, a house favorite with her local tale of her Green Bay Packer loving mother, which endeared her to us all. How many of us identified with that one story that only we can tell of our mothers. A perfect example of how unique each of our mothers are.

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Christi’s essay was one so delicate and poignant, that I wanted to place it up high on a shelf, where we could have it always. Beautiful, harkening, and speaks for why we mother: how will our children remember us? Breathtakingly lovely, and it felt like a genuine gift.

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Nancy shared her broken heart with us, telling of the double loss of a mother, and an infant daughter. You could hear a pin drop as she spoke of the last days spent with her Elizabeth, and how we filled that room on that afternoon with love right back to her. Nancy’s piece felt made to order, fitting in right after Christi’s piece in answer to Christi’ question, what will we leave our children with? The magic of these two stories, one working next to the other, from two strangers, solidifies what LTYM believes, that there is a community and a thread to the world of mothering.

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Elizabeth’s tale of the hijinks of her three children had us laughing and smiling with the unexpected mischief of young children. When you see the video, listen for the chandelier scene — she nails motherhood. It was this depiction that brought down the house. Elizabeth’s story is one of  joy found in the moments of chaos, and most wonderfully, she made her grandmother forget about life for awhile in laughter. What you did for all of us that afternoon, Elizabeth, was to quench our thirsty souls, and you did it so beautifully, loving your children the entire way.

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Linda, we will forever laugh as we picture an obedient little you, leg frozen in mid-step, awaiting the command of “Halt!” from your mother. One of the funniest visuals I’ve ever been left with. On top of making us laugh with the ridiculous then but understood decades later behavior of your mother, I am in awe of how, with your mother passing away only a month ago, you pulled up the inner courage needed to read flawlessly. Incredible strength and determination on your part, and an obvious will to dedicate this piece eternally to your mother.

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Lane, you wrapped up our show as the final reader as if you were sent for on demand. With a big red LTYM bow. We are never ready for motherhood, no matter how much we think we are: that is the beauty of your essay. Ready or not, at 100 miles per hour, motherhood arrives. This photo here perfectly represents the contagious happiness you helped as all feel as you told of your new life with your son.

To our Milwaukee cast… you  were astounding. EACH OF YOU were so important to our show and vital to what you shared with our Milwaukee community.  Your words uplifted us,  joined us together, and helped us celebrate motherhood. We found comfort and a knowing ease in each of your stories. After the show in the lobby, Jen and I  heard words of praise rolling off people’s lips, “… excellent, fantastic, amazing, we loved it! Everyone was so wonderful. We can’t wait to come next year!”

We can’t wait for the world to see your videos! You made our job look easy, Listen To Your Mother Cast of 2014.

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We love you, and we thank you, for an incredible 2014 LTYM Milwaukee show.
Jen and Alexandra

**Gorgeous photos from our LTYM Milwaukee photographer Orphonic Multimedia 

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There are a lot of ways to bring community together. People supporting one other, businesses through generous sponsorship that enable an event to happen, family and friends being in the audience to cheer their loved ones on, and those who bravely share who they are as they read their words, believing in the power of their voice. LTYM shows donates ten percent of gross ticket sales to a local charity/cause. So much of the magic of LTYM is the transparency and trust that work to bring a community together – through the process that together, we are stronger.

Listen To Your Mother shows are a community building event that nail all of the above square on the head, bulls-eye right to the target. Everyone involved in a LTYM show whether as reader, producer, director, sponsor, audience member, or representative of our local cause — all are part of the process. Each person essential and each person bringing something that only they can bring.

To our LTYM 2014 cast members, we say Thank You, for bringing something that is uniquely you. Through what you shared with us of your lives, you connected us and we had a taste of the people we live with. It’s this connection that sparks the life of a community. When you stood on the stage, you invited people into your life in a really big way.

I have never seen an occasion where anyone either attending or being part of LTYM has not been moved by what they heard and felt. We share life, and this is so evident as we watch each reader take their place behind the podium and the apprehension disappears as their faces shine in the confident role of author of their words. This is something they wrote, this is a page from their life, and they are trusting that moment to be the one that is the right one to share with all of us. They look beautiful, proud, strong, and we can’t help but feel that right along with them.

The magic of Listen To Your Mother shows is in the community. The sponsors that support us, and we in turn gratefully support them. The audience that comes to see us and we in turn trust them with words that they will carry with them long after the curtain comes down. We donate a portion of our ticket sales to local charities/local causes in further support to make our communities stronger. We share in the experience of life: through seeing what we can do, together, by challenging ourselves and triumphing.

We are LTYM proud in Milwaukee, we bring what we are but we are open to everyone’s story. Life is an experience, a work in progress, when we work together with the faith in the magic of sharing stories, we become symbiotic – needing and being fed, by each other. We lean in and the others lean in, creating an electrifying experience that is hard to put into words, but so undeniably real.

LTYM brings together a mix of people, through different voices and life experience. That’s the key, that’s how we help each other, and that is the definition of community. Witnessing and celebrating challenge and triumph, it’s how we all get stronger: by showing up for ourselves and showing up for each other.

THANK YOU, Milwaukee, sponsors, cast, and audience. Because of all of you, we had a wonderful 2014 Listen To Your Mother! LTYM raised over $26,000 for our local causes nationwide! A big thank you to our local cause, IMPACT, we were proud to partner with you in helping to bring much needed services to our local community! 

We can’t wait for 2015!

Jen and Alexandra/Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee

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Milwaukee’s Second Annual Listen To Your Mother Show Sponsor Thank You!

May 1, 2014

  Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee celebrated its 2nd annual LTYM show this past Sunday, April 27. Our show brought together 10 community voices, each on stage to read their stories that represented motherhood in all its stages, seasons, and graces. Our audience clapped, laughed, and cheered for a wonderfully long time. Our community, our cast, and our corner of the world was made both larger and smaller, as well as a better place, through hearing our cast’s stories. We heard from people we would never have otherwise met. We knew our show would be magic, and it was! The pride, unity, love, and connection that our cast felt for each other, and the same feelings going out to our audience, was something we knew our cast would come to see for themselves. LTYM Milwaukee wants to thank our national and local sponsors for what their generous support has allowed, and that is a place […]

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It’s All in the Listen To Your Mother Family!

April 26, 2014

Two Milwaukee area women were searching for something that would build community and provide opportunity to share and hear local writers speak on stories that represented diverse walks of life, but that unified with the voice of motherhood. They found Listen To Your Mother Shows, and have been on an electrifying journey that has turned their life on its head. Both Alexandra Rosas and Jennifer Pody Gaskell read in two separarate LTYM shows, felt the spark of something that would leave them forever changed, and wanted to be able to light this same fire for others. Now, they are the co-producer and co-directors of Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee and have joined a family of 80 other women bringing shows to 32 cities. “When I read for the Listen To Your Mother in Madison three years ago, it changed my life by encouraging me to do things I thought I could never do, but […]

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About LTYM Milwaukee’s Venue

April 22, 2014

  We are only days away from our 2nd annual Listen To Your Mother Show Milwaukee! We are buzzing with excitement and completing final last-minute tasks. We know our show will be a triumph and a success. Last year, we were astounded at the talent we were fortunate to find. And, again this year, our cast takes the art of the personal narrative to new heights. This Sunday, April 27, at 3PM at Alverno College’s intimate Wehr Hall, we will proudly introduce Milwaukee to ten amazing storytellers. Each one with a story that was meant to be shared and heard.  Alverno College’s Wehr Hall is a dream venue for LTYM. The space, which seats 360, feels like an intimate gathering, and yet, the theatre is located right in the heart of the city of Milwaukee on a women’s college campus.  Jen and I had this location in mind from the very beginning of our first year, and […]

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