|What a sight -- our awe inspiring cast|
It takes strength and a belief that your words matter, to stand on stage. Something that many of our readers have never done before. Some of our cast readers have never even written before and LTYM is the first time they've put their thoughts to paper... determined to speak them before an audience and to be heard.
Throughout my life, I have been quiet. I didn't start out this self conscious. When I was little, I laughed raucously when it felt good and loud and freeing to do so. I said the things that came to my mind when they came to my mind and I remember asking the questions that I wanted answered. But then I started school and children poked fun at my accent, my name, the way my hair curled and the kind of lunches my Abuela would pack for me. I learned that if I was quiet, I'd escape notice. And so I did, I was as invisible as I could make myself. But with every year that passed, I felt stories -- my words -- welling up inside and I was running out of room from holding them in. I began writing them down, first on the inside blank back of coloring books, and later on the half empty notebooks left over at school year's end.
The urge to be heard and share what is my life has never left me... it's why I have read for Listen To Your Mother Shows, and why I now help produce and direct LTYM shows in Milwaukee. I want to be part of the movement that gives our life stories a safe place to be spoken and be received.
Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee alone has thus far in two years time, helped 24 women share their story, with a podium, under lights, and out into the world via microphone. And there are 32 cities across America, right now, giving motherhood a voice in celebration of Mother's Day.
It has been a privilege to be part of this empowering process that gives motherhood a microphone. I have worked with and gotten to know some of the finest people I would have never known otherwise.
Through hearing live LTYM shows and watching the videos of other cities and their shows, I see how each of our voices is valuable. The best asset a community can have is support, and a community needs all of its voices. Voices to help us with life's pressures and doubts just by being there to say, "You're not alone." Even on any bad days, if we know we have been heard and that someone has listened, then we become a part of something larger than only ourselves.
Strength and character, that's what a Listen To Your Mother Story Warrior is. How I love each and every one of you LTYM readers across America. And I thank the creator and national director, Ann Imig, for what she has brought into the lives of over 500 LTYM readers and 80 LTYM producers/directors.
I am so proud of you, Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee cast of 2014:
Nancy Ellen Martin
I also want to say that you are stronger than you ever imagined, and your day of sharing your story, makes you part of the LTYM family forever.
**special thanks and appreciation to Milwaukee LTYM co-producer Jennifer Gaskell.
If you'd like to learn more about LTYM, please click here.
"Listen To Your Mother is a series of live staged readings in 32 cities nationwide in celebration of Mother’s Day. The mission of each LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER production is to take the audience on a well-crafted journey that celebrates and validates mothering through giving voice to motherhood–in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor–in the form of original readings performed live on-stage by their authors."
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