A small step toward a big dream: my (brief) return to the stage

the Valparaiso, IN cast of "Listen To Your Mother", 2011. Photo, Beth Fletcher Photography

I’ve shared here before that I’m a theater nut. My passion for theater came along after my Solid Gold obsession, in my later years of high school and early adulthood. I performed in a handful of shows when my kids were small, but as they got older and life became busier, those rehearsals became less and less doable. The last time I performed in a production was about ten years ago now, and while I haven’t regretted taking a big step back, yes…I miss it.

That’s why, when I heard that the hilarious, beautiful and inspirational Ann Imig would be bringing her show Listen To Your Mother to Valparaiso, IN, just an hour or so from my house – and that the show would be produced and directed by one of my favorite human beings-slash-mom bloggers, the fabulous Stephanie Precourt – I did a little happy dance.

Knowing that Steph is a dedicated mom of four, I figured the rehearsal schedule would be totally doable. So even though my on-stage skills were rusty, I was doubtful about whether any of my pieces were read-aloud-worthy, and I was more than a little nervous, I took a leap and auditioned.

And I was so glad I did! To my pleasure I was cast in the show, when I saw everybody else rehearse their pieces, I knew I was part of something special. Funny, sad, heartwarming…our cast (pictured above, thanks to the talented Beth Fletcher) covered every emotion.

While it wasn’t exactly acting, taking part in the Valpo Listen To Your Mother allowed me to combine two of my passions: writing about motherhood and performing; and gave me a little taste of being on stage again in the beautiful Memorial Opera House. See what can come of taking a chance and putting yourself out there?

I thought I’d share my performance of my piece “Peace Amid The Poop,” which details some lessons I learned about motherhood by attending mom & baby yoga.

Hope you liked it! I’d love for you to watch the rest of the performances, too – here are links to each video:

  • June Saavedra,”The Sacrifices Moms Make” Hilarious, and so easy to relate: I think we all have our own version of the electric blue velour jumpsuit. Plus, isn’t June gorgeous?
  • Heather Novak, “Reluctant Motherhood” Loved this tale of transition from somebody who wanted life to be all about her, to a mom who managed to find a way to surrender to something greater than herself.
  • Adam Kellogg, “Mom’s Favorite” If any of my boys ever writes an essay like this about me, I’ll won’t be able to choose between sobbing wildly and beaming like a maniac. Adam’s piece is perfection – great writing, great comedic timing and such a heartwarming tribute to a mom’s power to make her kids feel special. I seriously wanted to be a better mother after watching Adam read his piece.
  • Lovelyn Palm,”The Motherless” Get some tissues, and prepare to make room in your heart. This piece is both emotionally wrenching and inspiring.
  • Suzi Ryan,While You Were Sleeping” Hysterical. Suzi’s got a genius for writing comedy and I know you’ll relate to her story about accidentally nodding off…and the mayhem that can occur when little kids know Mom’s snoozing.
  • Kate Pantinas, “Shoes On: A Working Mom’s Guilt” Kate tackles the “to work or not to work” question with grace, thoughtfulness and humility, and comes up with an answer I can get on board with – follow your heart.
  • Sharon Stefankiewicz, “Mama’s Home Now” Wow. Remember those tissues? I hope you kept them out. This one will keep you on the edge of your seat, but the redemption at the end makes the tension totally worthwhile.
  • Elizabeth Chatwell, “Motherhood: Is There Any Extra Credit For This?” Pushing, crying, begging…from the delivery room to college. Loved this honest piece, and Elizabeth’s delivery is so spot on.
  • Megan Summers, “Things I May Have Forgotten To Tell You” Megan may be my mothering hero as she tells this sweet and funny tale of dropping her kids off at college for the first time.
  • Patrick Thornton, “Finding The Humor” 1. I want to be Patrick’s best real-life friend and 2. I want to hang out with his family, ’nuff said.
  • Stephanie Precourt (director/producer) “I Can’t Wait For Bedtime”  Could Steph’s piece be anything but perfection? She perfectly captures the conflict between loving our kids and wanting a little peace and quiet, already.
Would love to hear which was your favorite!
Have a happy weekend, everyone, and I hope you’ll take a small step toward a dream today.
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  1. Ann
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