It was like birthing a baby. Sort of. I expect a full six weeks for proper recovery.
After the show most of the cast walked across the street and filled the bar and just finally relaxed and breathed and enjoyed the thrill of our SOLD OUT SHOW. Two girls came up to me and one said, "You don't know me, but we were at the show and you can not just do this one night a year. You have to do it again. Same cast, same everything. You can charge double. We'll pay it!"
But the nature of this show, at least to me as director/producer, is a one-time thing. Physically, I could not birth a baby two days in a row. I'm exhausted. I need time to heal and to limit visitors and where are the casseroles? These past few days have had me wishing I had a post-show doula. Totally noting this for next year.
The 2012 cast... oh, it makes me so happy to see the email exchanges and interactions on Twitter and Facebook- how most of us didn't even know each other until earlier this year and now we grieve and miss our time together. We can't get enough. We are forever sealed in this magical moment in time. The loudest laughs, the biggest sighs were from the first two rows we filled in the theatre, rooting each reader on as they took the stage and poured out their hearts. This cast- they were the biggest fans there that night.
But what mattered more than all that was the simple act of telling a story. My heart pounded from my chest clear up to my mouth. At one point I really thought I was either going to actually pass out from nerves or fall over from organ failure due to my Spanx being so freaking tight. That was what was going through my mind. I was nervous. My number one goal wasn't that the video was perfect or the photos all got taken or that the show went off smoothly to please the 350 paying ticket holders. It was to deliver each reader safely to their spot on stage, allowing their words to be spoken. As much as those words needed to be heard, they needed to be said.
This year the sponsors rocked our full house. Snapfish by HP was our premium national sponsor and head cheerleader to all ten cities. They also created beautiful products to feature on our sponsor tables and I totally made another photo book- one for Jeff's mom for Mother's Day at the very last minute and she still got it in time! (Mom, I am making one for you, too, but last week was crazy and I needed more time getting my photos together. I knew you'd understand!) Thank you, Snapfish!
BlogHer was the perfect media sponsor, and I'm still trying to finagle my way to this year's conference if only to be at the Listen To Your Mother Open Mic Salon. I was also honored to have a post syndicated at the BlogHer site recently. Thank you, BlogHer!
Valpolife.com was our top local sponsor this year and they had a feature post up after our show: LTYM Celebrates the Joys, Trials of Motherhood - before I even got home that night, I think! They are incredible and make me so happy with their focus on positive news in our community and around the region. Thank you, ValpoLife!
BoyConn printed all our beautiful posters and programs and were such a delight to work with. They were always so encouraging when I would stop in or when they'd email, and were the first to put up a Listen To Your Mother poster. Above all, they do exceptional craftsmanship. Thank you, BoyConn!
Beth Fletcher Photography was the official show photographer and as you can see from the photos, we hit the jackpot. While she specializes in newborns and family photo shoots, we are so grateful to have our Listen To Your Mother show memories captured in such a spectacular fashion. Beth was also in this year's cast, so she was quite busy that night. I don't think I could possibly understand how much pressure she was under, and I don't think I expressed my appreciation for that enough. Thank you, Beth!
Mom to Mom NWI gave their support to LTYM on and off the pages of their awesome local magazine for Northwest Indiana moms. You can find their free issues around the first of every month in many stores, restaurants, and business locations in the area. Thank you, Mom to Mom NWI!
Heart Box Studio is a friend and sponsor, constant morale booster, and LTYM super fan. Her prints, notecards and award winning book The Gift are created from amazing three dimensional paper cut shadow boxes from recycled books and journals. Thank you, Heart Box Studio!
rTrail Collective Edge was the destination for our first cast reading, and also surprised each cast member with a beautiful handcrafted silver necklace. rTrail's owner, Brenda Magnetti Erickson was also in the cast and was a fabulous lifeline spreading the word in downtown Valpo. Thank you, rTrail!
Mothering By Nature provided our dress rehearsal space, and the Northwest Indiana C.H.O.I.C.E.S. group connected with the natural parenting resource center is something I value personally, as they played a huge part in guiding my motherhood journey -- I'm so very thankful!
There are so many more people I should be thanking right here in this spot but I do hope that they all know my gratitude,which is soul deep, and I think they do, and I thank them for giving me the grace to give thanks in this way, again and again. Thank you.
I have yet to hear the final total for ticket sales, but I'll be sure to update how much we were able to give to The Caring Place as soon as I know. Gently used handbags and toiletries were also collected at the door to be distributed to the women in their care. We are so glad to be able to give back to women and families in our community.
The applause roared over my final words on stage Thursday night- I think I was just trying to let them know that all 10 cities will share their shows on the Listen To Your Mother YouTube channel this summer. Be sure to subscribe so that you're first to know when they're up!
We took our bow, and then we were off into the night. It really is a blur from there. I'm still hearing stories of people seeking out that one cast member who told their story, the one they could have written, because they lived that, too. I'm hearing the thank yous- "thank you for sharing your story, thank you for saying what I couldn't say, thank you for finding the words I didn't know I needed to hear, thank you for making me feel like I'm not the only one, thank you, thank you."
It truly is a high, taking a hit off these stories that are inside all of us. I hope you'll share yours- at an audition, open mic, on stage, in a blog post, a handwritten letter, or even if only for yourself, for now. There is no story too small or insignificant. Tell it. We are hungry to hear.
Keep on listening.
Read what our cast has to say about the show:
- There was magic on that stage by Katy Hoagland
- Ditto, Signs, and Song for a fifth child by Carrie Steinweg
- We shined and it is over: The Listen To Your Mother Show by Heather Novak
- I did it! by Stephanie Hauser
- Listen by Beth Fletcher
- Afterthoughts on Afterglow by Judy Miller
- That Moment by June Savaadra
More photos and recaptures of our incredible night to come...
[cross posted at Listen To Your Mother Northwest Indiana]