By Estelle Sobel Erasmus
Tomorrow is the Listen to Your Mother show in NYC, which I’m proud to say I’m a part of.
LTYM is a series of readings (in 10 cities) in celebration of all aspects of motherhood. The mission of each LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER production is to “give voice to motherhood in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor.”
In this third year of the series, nearly 150 authors, writers, bloggers and performers across the country will read their own essays which give voice to the beauty, beast, and barely-rested of motherhood. So says the press release.
All I know is I’ve met the most amazing group of women (and a man) anyone can ever meet. They are actresses, philanthropists, advertisers, copywriters, journalists, editors, but most importantly, many of them are moms. They hail from New Jersey, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Westchester, Upstate New York and even as far away as Boston.
What’s really important: all fifteen of us support each other. We listened to each other speak our pieces in rehearsal, and chuckled when appropriate, found tears in our eyes despite ourselves, and gave a psychic hug to each other when needed (more often on FB, then in the actual rehearsal studio).
I’m also so excited that TV personality, author and blogger Rene Syler, who anchored CBS News’ The Early Show from 2002-2006 will be the host of our show. Since publishing Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting in 2007, Rene (who is a lovely woman) has launched and grown her hugely popular website www.GoodEnoughmother.com, which serves as a forum to discuss a range of topical parenting issues
The NYC show is being directed by Broadway and TV actress, The Huffington Post contributor, and author Amy Wilson, who wrote the 2010 book When Did I Get Like This? The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I’d Never Be. LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER is being produced by Varda Steinhardt with Holly Rosen Fink and Betsy Cadel as Associate Producers.
Amy Wilson found a way to get us to dig deep into ourselves to give a finer, more nuanced performance than before at last week’s rehearsal (our second).
Here’s what she did:
She told us to go into the corner and then read the words of our essays out loud one word at a time. “Read the word at first the regular way, and then repeat it and as you say it feel it deep in your marrow,” she instructed us all-knowingly .
I followed her advice (we all did) and it made a huge difference. The next time I read my piece, I felt as if it was firmly planted in my heart; and I didn’t feel outside of my body for a moment (and that’s a good thing).
Here is my fabulous cast (and me):
The show will feature readings from author Abby Sher (whose memoir, Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Praying was published by Scribner in 2009), former Managing Editor of The New York Observer Una LaMarche, actress, producer and writer Alysia Reiner (who appeared in the Oscar-winning film Sideways and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post), Letters From My Sister author and a frequent performer at The Moth Eve Lederman, writer Howard Margulies (brother of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies), journalist and mothers’ advocate Estelle Sobel Erasmus, writer Kathy Curto (whose essays have been featured on NPR), and bloggers/writers Patty Chang Anker, Deborah Goldstein, Kathy Mayer, Kirsten Piccini, Jonny Schremmer and Ilana Wiles.
LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER NYC will be performed on Sunday, May 6th (tomorrow) at 2pm at The Goldman-Sonnenfeldt Auditorium at The JCC in Manhattan (334 Amsterdam Avenue). Tickets are SOLD OUT.
The NYC production will be donating 10% of proceeds to Room to Grow, a non-profit organization focused on providing developmental services to young children. I love this about the show! It has heart!
We will also be on YouTube, so I’ll post the link after I get it.
For more information, please visit www.ListenToYourMotherShow.com