Listen to Your Mother – New Orleans

22 03 2016

I’ve heard that if a TED Talk married the Vagina Monologues that it’s offspring would be Listen to Your Mother. Listen to Your Mother (LTYM) is a performance about motherhood and LTYM performances will be held in 41 cities across North America around Mother’s Day. Each performance is unique to the city that births it and yet all are related by the same theme. Each cast member reads an essay that they have written. One does not have to be a writer, or a performer, or a woman to be in the cast. The only requirement is that your story be about motherhood. The inaugural New Orleans performance is Mother’s Day weekend. Click here for details.  All past performances can be found on the LYTM website.

LTYM

The Big City
My Dad always referred to New Orleans as the Big City. Baton Rouge is only 80 miles away. I love my hometown, but it’ll always be a country cousin to that big city down river. I remember going there only once in my childhood. I still remember how exotic it felt. There were giant palm trees in the medians of major boulevards downtown. Only the medians were called the neutral ground. There were buildings taller than any in my hometown, wrought iron balconies, and lots of people were out walking the broad sidewalks of those busy city streets. The homes were narrow, and had tiny yards, and were called shotguns. Even inside, the ceilings were higher than what I was used to. People rode streetcars and buses to get to places. It was so different from the small, comfortable world I knew.

As an adult, New Orleans still has the same exotic feel to me. I’ve loved it since that first visit. When I saw someone in a blogging group I’m in was going to produce the first LTYM in my favorite city, I immediately asked her to let me know when it would be because I wanted to attend. When she asked why don’t I audition, I thought about it for a day and said, why not!? I became the first to sign up. Before I knew it, I was reading the story I had written to the producers. And I was chosen for the cast.

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I knew deep down that my story had the right spice for New Orleans. And speaking of spice, every trip to the big city during this adventure has involved experiencing another landmark restaurant. It really is the best foodie city in the world. I could almost live on the bread, coffee and Bloody Marys alone.

Gumbo
I sat and listened to my cast mates stories at the first read through and got a taste of what the performance would become. Like the best gumbo there were the unique elements that gave each story it’s own flavor. Most people say that their mama makes the best gumbo. Together the dozen in the New Orleans cast created an extraordinary gumbo that only stories about motherhood could make. I am trembling with excitement (and a little fear) while I wait for this performance to be served to its audience on Mother’s Day weekend. 

Between the first practice and the performance, I will turn 59. I made a conscious decision when I entered my 50’s to do things that moved me outside my comfort zone. I entered my 50’s by jumping out of a plane and on the eve of my 60’s it feels appropriate that I’m taking center stage. I can now confidently say, “listen to this mother!”

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11 responses

22 03 2016
terrinorthwind

Congratulations Connie! I too auditioned and was chosen for the Baltimore cast of LTYM this year! And yes, the stories weave together like the best gumbo. We visited New Orleans in 1996 and that city is still under my skin, it was a magical four days. Best of wishes for your show!

22 03 2016
conniemcleod

Congratulations back at cha! New Orleans is a magical city. I’ve only stopped for lunch in Baltimore on a Girl Scout trip from DC to NYC years ago. But I can say that I’ve had the famous Baltimore crab cakes! It does feel that there’s a LTYM family, so we’re now related!

22 03 2016
terrinorthwind

Delighted to have you as a sister!

22 03 2016
Risa

Good on you!! I was in the San Francisco show a couple of years ago. Such an amazing experience! Congratulations!

22 03 2016
conniemcleod

Risa, Thanks! I’ve come to realize there’s a family feel connected to LTYM. It’s been a great adventure so far!

22 03 2016
Bonnie K. Frogma

Sounds terrific! Any chance there’ll be a video of your bit?

ps – finally got to answering your question about oystercatchers in LA over on Frogma but in case you don’t wander back that way, the answer is yes!

23 03 2016
conniemcleod

All the LTYM performances will be online sometime this summer on the national site.

23 03 2016
Kathy (Oriana)

How AWESOME!!! So wish I could be there. Looking forward to hearing/seeing the show on-line. Please send a reminder to all of us when it up and available. Sending much love, Kathy

23 03 2016
conniemcleod

Kathy, that first trip to New Orleans was with you and your dad! It’s a vague and distant memory, but I remember going to your grandparents apartment or home and it felt very grand. Sending hugs to you!

25 03 2016
Lisa Garon Froman

Love, love, love! I can’t wait to see it…and I know you’ll make your Moma proud in spirit, in your proper place, on center stage. XO

25 03 2016
conniemcleod

Oh she’s with me, every step of the way!!

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