Wearing my signature linen and denim, I summoned the courage to read one of my essays out loud. I was auditioning for an opportunity to present my essay live, in front of an audience. (To be further immortalized on YouTube.) This is not my usual m.o. I am typically the queen of dodging the spotlight, ducking from cameras, and religiously shunning all videos of myself. Why I felt so strongly about doing this I'm still not entirely sure. --Other than the fact that my friend DeNae thought it was a good idea. And I have allowed her to drag me into all kinds of good things, none of which I've regretted. (Most recently a class on personal essay writing, taught by the amazing Victoria Zackheim.)
Then the first rehearsal happened. The event is going to be far more amazing then I ever imagined. The other stories are honest, raw, funny, powerful and sweet. And they all celebrate motherhood. Each presents a unique angle in honoring that most noble profession. I realized how much impact this can have on women everywhere. On motherhood, period. To give twelve mothers a microphone for one night. I am honored to be a participant.
Suddenly I knew my piece was all wrong for this program. Minus the riff on toy names, I realized that the sentiment, the surprises, the emotions and the humor I'd written could all be found in bits and pieces of the other presenters' essays. But there was something missing.
I needed to read a completely different essay. The one I had taken to the audition, and left face-down on the table, too shy to assert that I had one more for them to consider. This time I couldn't ignore the feeling. I told the director I was changing my monologue. She said there was no way that was going to happen. But I was adamant in a way that felt foreign to me. She relented enough to allow me to send it to her. And she loved it.
So. I'm reading a completely different piece from the one I auditioned. I'm reading the one that is not safe, or cute, or clever. I'm reading the one that unleashes all my vulnerability. And you'll have to show up to find out what it is.
The Listen To Your Mother Show, Northern Utah
Tuesday, April 29, 7-9pm
University of Utah, Union Building
You can purchase tickets here.
(the proceeds go to support women's and children's charities.)
So come. It might be a little awkward. But come!