I like new experiences. I will try (almost) anything once. So when I was asked to stage manage this years San Francisco Listen To Your Mother Show - I jumped at the chance. No matter that I have absolutely no experience as a stage manager.
If you were reading here last year - you will know that I was a cast member in 2012, reading The Letter. It was a life highlight for so many reasons. Transformative in fact.
As I knew reading is pretty much a one shot deal, taking part in this year's show, in any way, was a good way of staying connected.
I didn't know any of this cast. I met them as they arrived for the tech rehearsal. Their giddy buzz was infectious. Their camaraderie strong and endearing. An hour in that green room will fill you up in so many ways. LTYM is a genius idea. Take a group of strangers, encourage them to tell their stories and see how it opens them up to community and sisterhood. It takes an enormous amount of courage to be vulnerable. Some of the stories are breathtaking in their bravery. You can watch hearts burst open. It's something you won't ever forget and a gift that keeps giving.
Then there's the audience - they too get to share an experience that is unique only to those in the room. You see the recognition, the knowing, the connection. You feel lucky to have been there - to be a part of something so magical.
In this disconnected culture we live in this kind of experience breathes life into us. Sure it can be funny and entertaining - it's a great night out but it is something so much more. It is a reminder that we all walk the same road and that on the way we hope for friends, support, laughter and a sense of belonging.
LTYM is playing 24 cities across the US this year - how many next year?
Audition or attend - take part - it will revive you, inspire you, excite you. Who doesn't need some of that in their lives?
You will be able to see this year's performances on YouTube in a few weeks - I will post links.