ltym video pic 2015

We have for your listening and viewing entertainment

Listen To Your Mother North Jersey 2015 !!

Like french fries, it’s virtually impossible to stop at one, so we recommend you take a much deserved break for yourself and perhaps a few friends and watch a few at a time – or all of them – or readings from ALL 39 CITIES!!

Here are the 13 North Jersey cast members reading their stories:

You can see more phenomenal readings on the Listen To Your Mother YouTube channel or select individual cities here:

Albuquerque • Anderson • Atlanta • Austin • Baltimore • Bangor • Baton Rouge • Boston • Boulder • Charleston • Chicago • DC • Evansville • Indianapolis •Lehigh ValleyLittle Rock • Madison • Metro Detroit • Milwaukee • Nashville • Northern Utah • NW Indiana • Oklahoma City • Orange County •PittsburghPlumas County • Portland • Providence • Raleigh-Durham • Rochester •San Francisco • Seattle • Southeast Texas • Southwest Michigan • Spokane • St. Louis • Twin Cities

We are so very grateful to our fantastic Local Sponsors and to our National Sponsors Luvs, and SheKnows Media #BlogHer15 who made this fantastic show possible.

Congratulations LTYM North Jersey Cast of 2015 – and thank you for sharing your stories with us all!!

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We Hit it Out of the Park

by deborah on June 2, 2015

We’re still coming down off the high of watching 13 ladies bear their truths before a live audience in the second annual Listen to Your Mother North Jersey show.

Listen to Your Mother is a staged reading event where people share experiences about motherhood in all its forms. It started out as the brainchild of blogger Ann Imig with one show in Madison, Wisconsin and has now become a national movement– performed in 39 cities across the U.S. this year.

The audition process was fascinating and humbling. Over 70 people read their stories, and we had the daunting task of choosing just 13 for the show.

LTYM final order

Aligning with the LTYM edict, we tried to find pieces with a unique voice, but a universal message about motherhood. If you’ve seen the show, you know it’s an emotional journey, so it was also important we have balance, with thought-provoking stories that would make an audience laugh and cry.

Thirteen people earned the coveted spots with their original, beautiful words. While several are career writers and/or bloggers, some have only dabbled in writing while keeping day jobs, or just had an important story to tell.

The age range ran from 30s to 50s, with topics ranging from foster care, parenting special needs children, divorce, racism, and gender stereotypes to cooking in the kitchen with mom and sending kids to summer camp. Each story had relatable elements, even if the experience described was completely new.

After a successful 2014 show, tickets went quickly for the scheduled 5pm show at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. When the show sold out, we got ballsy and added a second show at 2pm. We almost filled the theater for the second show and the cast got to read twice. As a reader last year, I remember being so sad when it was over, I wished I could start the show again, and this year’s cast got that chance.

We only rehearsed twice before show day but these ladies were ready. They came prepared with polished pieces, and open ears for fellow castmates. This year’s show was more emotionally charged than 2014, and the box of tissues made the rounds at rehearsal.

LTYM rehearsal

Although most of the ladies had not met before, they formed an instant connection, held together by respect and trust that carried them through performance day.

On the day of the show, there were a few butterflies but those tough broads laughed in the face of stage fright. The audiences were engaged, responsive, and enthusiastic. They laughed in all the right places and listened intently and reverentially to the cast share their intimate tales.

LTYM collage 2015

There were many hugs and promises to see each other soon as we parted to celebrate with family and friends after the second show. The following 48 hours were filled with praise online and in person from those who saw it. A few people told us the show was now officially part of their annual Mother’s Day weekend routine.

An email chain with all cast and producers continued through Mother’s Day as everyone reflected on the extraordinary adventure. I ran into one cast mate in town the night after the show and we ran into each other’s arms like old Army buddies separated by years, when really it had only been a day.

We are bonded forever by this meaningful experience.

We remain in awe of people willing to make themselves vulnerable by sharing deeply personal stories and exploring their feelings on a stage in front of 450 people. It takes a certain kind of courage and trust, and we producers were so grateful to each reader for their bravery and willingness to open their hearts.

As Sandy told the cast in the few exciting moments before they took the stage, you never know who in the audience needs to hear your story, needs to laugh or cry, or will be called to action. Words are powerful, especially when expressed with authenticity. That’s what makes LTYM work.

Maybe you have a story to tell about having a mother or being one. Write it down!  LTYM NJ 2016 is not that far away…..

You can read more amazing stories in the new anthology: Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now.

Post by Brooke Lefferts


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Meet Cast Member Beatriz Leon Campbell

May 6, 2015

Beatriz Leon Campbell is originally a Florida native (via Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela) but has been living in the Tri-State area for the last 16 years. During her time here she has been: an advertising copywriter, an amateur actress, an informal bartender, an editor, a student, a marketer, and most recently, a wife and mother. She’s still trying to decide what to be when she grows up, but in the meantime, is telling her inner critic to relax and enjoy the journey. Betty holds a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing from the University of Miami and an MBA from Boston University. She currently resides in South Orange, NJ with her husband, Macaulay, and 2-year-old son, Max, whom they sometimes affectionately refer to as The Beast. She can be found online on Twitter (@betirosa) and in her soon-to-be-updated blog Bea Composed. by

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Meet Cast Member Lisa Goldstein

May 4, 2015

Lisa Goldstein began writing in earnest in 2013 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her blog initially began as a way to keep family and friends posted on her treatment and quickly evolved into a creative, therapeutic outlet. Lisa describes her writing as a post-traumatic growth experience and recently published two essays on her medical journey. Her Listen to Your Mother performance is her first manuscript that has nothing to do with cancer, and she is very excited about that! Texas born and North Carolina raised, Lisa moved to New York City in 1989. She is a twenty-five year Wall Street veteran and nationally recognized analyst in the not-for-profit healthcare sector. She has a wonderful husband and two terrific children and very much appreciates their good-hearted nature. When Lisa’s not working and not writing, she is packing up her kids for sleep-away camp! Lisa dedicates this performance to her parents, sister and entire family, […]

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Meet Cast Member Marian Opoku-Dakwa

May 1, 2015

Marian Opoku-Dakwa grew up in Ghana climbing trees, playing tag in the streets, running along walls, and doing all the things she would never let her own children do. She has since lived at various times in New York City, Washington DC, Geneva, and Johannesburg. She is mother to two boys (9 and 7) and a 5 year-old girl who respectively have a complete disregard for what anyone else thinks of them, an overdeveloped sense of justice, and an inability to grasp the concept of “hurry up.” Marian has previously worked in the areas of management consulting and international public health. She is currently a cross-cultural trainer and a drumming instructor. According to her husband, she may be the world’s best delegator. In an attempt to stop oversharing with her immediate family, she is looking to create a platform for the voices in her head by writing more. She loves to cook and […]

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