So what happens when you give a mom a microphone?
They bring you on a journey. With that in mind, I signed up to audition for this big, fat, hairy, scary public speaking event called “Listen to Your Mother” (LTYM). Now – after writing a post about the Fear of Public Speaking – I have to put my money where my mouth is. Or maybe my foot.
Often described as the “Ted Talk of Mothers,” LTYM gives moms a microphone and five minutes to share their story with a live audience, which will be videotaped for LTYM’s YouTube channel. But first, you have to audition for one of about a dozen slots available for the show.
“Cast” chosen by event organizers – Emily Horowitz (Brighton), Corrie Spike Carter (Fairport), Sarah Fitzgibbons (Rochester) and Monica Gebell (Brighton) will perform on Friday, May 8, 7:30 p.m at the Memorial Art Gallery Ballroom.
What started as a little idea to give local writers a chance to share their stories aloud in public by stay-at-home-humorist Ann Imig in 2010 has sparked a movement. From its premiere on Mother’s Day 2010 at The Barrymore Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin, LTYM spans 39 cities nationwide and reaches a global audience. Interested moms like Horowitz, Carter, Fitzgibbons, and Gebell wanted to bring LTYM to Rochester.
I spoke to co-producer Carter who said that the Rochester team’s application didn’t get accepted last year, but they persisted and were put on the proverbial mother talk map in 2015.
“We were shocked and really, really, excited,” says Carter. “We were one of ten new cities picked to stage it.“
Carter and the women behind this labor of love not only want another reason to celebrate moms, but also help connect the community with stories.
“Any time you can come together and have a shared experience is a really powerful thing,” says Carter. “You understand each other a little bit more. And I think that’s really important to our community right now. We’re doing this for charities who work with women and children who need extra support.”
Regardless of whether or not I perform in front of others, this will no doubt be a unique and emotional journey. And it’s all about the journey, after all. Isn’t it?
About the show:
+ 90 minute show, no intermission, 3-5 minute piece, 12-13 women and men (yes, men!) read a three to five minute piece
+ Rehearsals are minimum – table read, walk through and dress rehearsal (dates to be determined)
+ Ticket prices are not set yet, however, at least ten percent of money raised will benefit two local organizations that support women and children, including the Society for the Protection and Care of Children and Parenting Village.
About the audition:
+ Auditions are open to both men and women over the age of 18.
+ Sign up online to audition at http://vols.pt/11gzQA or contacting Monica Gebell at Gebell [dot] Monica [at] gmail [dot] com.
+ For those contacting Monica directly, please include your name, contact number, and availability.
+ Appointments will be first-come/first-serve until all slots are filled.
+ Auditions will be held at Writers & Books, 740 University Ave., Rochester, 14607
+ Audition times: Monday, March 2, from 4:00-8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. And Saturday, March 14, from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
+ AUDITION PIECES SHOULD NOT EXCEED 5 MINUTES.
+ Bring a copy of your piece that will not be returned.
+ Arrive at least 10 minutes before your appointment to fill out an audition form.
Tips for getting ready to audition:
+ Look at the videos posted by other cities for the tone of your piece, or to spark an idea. “Keep in mind those universal things that we all experience and that we can connect with”
+ Practice your piece with confidence. Try to enunciate and project your voice and time yourself. “Five minutes could be really short, or really long.”
+ Be authentic. “Don’t try to be anyone that you’re not. We really want to how you felt in that moment that this motherhood story took place.”
+ Speak in your own voice. “Know that when you step up to audition that you are enough, and your story is enough just as it is.”
For more information about LTYM Rochester, visit their website.
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