2014 Video Release

by kim on August 5, 2014

photo by damian steel


It is hard to believe that the 2014 Listen To Your Mother season is behind us, and that the video release of 32 cities worth of shows is now live on YouTube.  I was just at Blogher 2014 last week and was so grateful to help out at the Open Mic hosted by Ann Imig – it was this event four years ago that prompted me to apply to co-direct the first San Francisco show in 2012 with Kirsten.  We thank all of you for coming along on this ride with us each year.

We are so grateful to our 2014 cast – each one of them not only talented storytellers but open-hearted, generous people.  We feel lucky to know them and are proud to share the videos of each of their readings here.  If you couldn’t be at our show in May, here is the next best thing!

In the order they presented their words that night:

Christine Canty – “Composite Mothering – who ponders whether motherhood is in her future and decides perhaps it’s the mothers who really need “mothering.”

Thais Derich – “Mom CEO” – who delivers an unfiltered take on mothering boys and how priorities shift when we become parents.

Karen Lynch – “The Road To Kyra” – with a beautiful reminder that there is more than one road to motherhood.

Kim Thompson Steel – “Sliding Down Rainbows” – with a reminder to savor the magic of childhood.

Lisa Orta – “Listen To Your Mother” – about how to mother your child into resilient adulthood.

Steven Friedman – “Lies No More” – who mourns the loss of his relationship with his mother, even when it’s complicated.

Risa Nye- “A Letter To My Grownup Daughter” – who reminds us that we never stop mothering, no matter how old our kids get.

Gina Perkins – “Harder” – who tells her story of unconditionally loving a spirited child.

Tracy Momaical – “Mama’s Backpack of Guilt” – who reminds us that we’re not alone shouldering the hilarious burdens of mothering.

Kirsten Patel – “East Meets West” – who shares that when we marry the loves of our lives, we marry their families too.

Angelisa Russo – “Caledonia” – who sings and speaks her way through the grief of a lost child.

Francie Low – “Cool For A Mom” – who shares that being cool is in the eye of the beholder. Or in the eyes of teenage sons.

Jessica O’Dwyer – “My Mother, The Rockette” – with a touching tribute to her mother who gave her the freedom to choose her own path in life.


And here are links to the videos of the other 32 cities!  So many stories, we urge you to hear each and every one.

Atlanta AustinBaltimoreBostonBoulderCharlestonChicagoDCDenverIndianapolisKansas CityLittle RockMadison Metro DetroitMilwaukeeNashvilleNorth JerseyNorthern Utah Northwest IndianaNYCOklahoma CityPlumas CountyPortlandRaleigh-DurhamSacramentoSan FranciscoSoutheast TexasSpokaneSt. LouisThe OCTwin Cities

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It’s A Wrap!

by Kirsten on May 17, 2014


photo by Damian Steel

On May 3rd, we took the stage at the Brava Theater Center with our 11 brave cast members who charmed the audience with their stories of the joy, heartbreak, and rollercoaster ride of motherhood.

That amazing night would not have been possible without the support of our national LTYM sponsors BlogHer and Chevy, as well as our local sponsors C&H Realty and ITK Culinary.

Our sincere appreciation to Inez Whitlow from Chicks in Crisis for her support of Listen To Your Mother.  10% of ticket proceeds from our well-attended show go to support this great cause. Visit their website to learn more about all the good they are doing to support troubled teens and mothers in the Bay Area and beyond.

We are grateful to our husbands, Jeetil Patel and Damian Steel as well as our kids: Macy, Avery, Anders, and Sophie who keep us laughing (and crying) and provide us with endless material.  Our thanks also go out to LTYM 2012 cast member Rhea St. Julien for her help greeting audience members and calming cast nerves. Joy Latimer, also from the 2012 cast, brought her special brand of magic and served as our stage manager, holding hands and taking deep breaths with cast members right before they took the stage.  Our sisters, Lianne Thompson and Kari Nicholson Paulsey provided heroic support on show day.

As always, we are eternally grateful to Ann Imig, one woman with incredible vision. Because of her grace and graciousness, almost 400 people across the country were able to tell stories that touched hearts. Thank you Ann for trusting us with your vision and gifting us with the opportunity to bring LTYM to San Francisco for our third year.

And last but not least – Kirsten and Kim thank each of our cast members for taking a chance with us.  We are so proud of you for baring your souls just a little so that others can hear your stories.  We are grateful for your friendship, your professionalism and your sense of community.  THANK YOU.

(Stay tuned for one final post with more photos from our 2014 show…..)


photos by Damian Steel


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Cast Spotlight – Jessica O’Dwyer

May 1, 2014

We are back with our last (but certainly not least!) spotlight on cast member Jessica O’Dwyer. Jessica is the mother of two children, ages 12 and 9. She moved to the Bay Area from San Diego in 2001 to marry her husband. Apparently her husband express-mailed her a loaf of hand-baked bread while they were dating long distance…. we’d move in those circumstances too! She is bi-coastal as she grew up at the Jersey shore and also lived for a time in Los Angeles. Jessica’s published memoir, Mamalita, is about the six months she spent in Antigua, Guatemala while adopting her daughter. She says the best gift she has ever given someone is that book, to her parents. She is a member of the writing group, the Write On Mamas, which is where she first heard about LTYM.  (The Write On Mamas have a new anthology just published, to which Jessica contributed some […]

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Cast Spotlight – Francie Low

April 30, 2014

Today we are shining our spotlight on Francie Low. Francie is mom to two boys, 15 year old TJ and 13 year old Alex. She tell us of her boys, “they are complete opposites but both sweet when they need to be.  They are dark like their dad Tony.  Nobody believes I’m their mom.” Francie brought her husband and boys to Listen To Your Mother San Francisco last year and they actually admitted to enjoying the show. Francie moved to the Bay Area from Colorado 25 years ago. She wanted big city life and chose San Francisco because of the wine. Excellent reasoning Francie! Three words she would use to describe herself are upbeat, athletic, and sincere. We would like to have lunch with Francie’s mom and pick her brain for advice.  Francie describes her mom as a planner, witty, and stubborn. She explains, “I am one of seven kids which explains why […]

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Cast Spotlight – Tracy Momaical

April 29, 2014

We are back once again with another cast spotlight. Today we want to get to know more about Tracy Momaical. Tracy is mom to a 7 year old little girl and an almost 4 year old little girl. She tells us, “they are both beautiful, hilarious smart-asses.  And, they come by it honestly as a product of two Type-A, smart-ass parents.” They look fairly harmless to us, but we know looks can be deceiving. Tracy and her family are relatively new to the Bay Area. She says, “we are from wicked fah away by cah – Boston. We moved to beautiful San Francisco almost three years ago. I have been a bit of a vagabond, living in 6 different states and 2 different countries.”  Three words Tracy would use to describe herself are, smart, humorous, and ridiculously overly-sensitive. Three words she would use to describe her own mother are “insanely crazy smart (punctuation varies […]

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