You know, I kinda thought I had it in the bag. It all started when I saw on Facebook that a bloggy pal of mine was helping to host a national series of live reading called Listen To Your Mother. It’s where you get up before a crowd and read something you’ve written about motherhood. You don’t have to be a mom to do it, you just have to have a mom.

Anyway, on a whim I signed up to audition. Right after I signed up, I thought egad, what in the hell did I just do? About 10 days before my audition, I realized that I still had to write something for this Listen To Your Mother thing.

I had no idea what I’d say. The next morning, at 3:30 a.m. my little Ethan awoke and woke me. I tried to calm him back down but all he wanted to do was laugh and play. We went into the living room where he laughed and played and I just laid, semiconscious on the floor, positioning my body as a baby gate just in case he were to make a break for the kitchen, the home of deadly chemicals and knives.

I was clawed to lucidity as he tried to climb up my face and I got a germ of an idea on what to write for LTYM. Grabbing the nearest writing utensil and paper, (a gnarly red crayon and drawing paper) I began to write my piece.

After a short while I took a break, during which Ethan and I fell back asleep. When I woke up, I thought of where to take the piece next. Again I grabbed the nearest writing utensil, this time it was a stubby pencil. And that’s how my piece came together. I’d realize I had a few minutes free, and then start scrawling away. Its creation was quintessential motherhood.

My hand-scrawled piece

I performed the piece for my husband, a handful of friends, and my TTYL girls. They laughed and cried, which I thought was a winning combination. Together we tweaked and honed my piece.

Then came the night of my audition. We got a babysitter so Hubby could come. On the way into the city it was clear Hubby was more nervous than me. He asked me: “Did you bring bottled water? You might want to have some on you in case you get thirsty.” Then there was the “Are you hungry? You haven’t eaten dinner yet…” I love him to death, but it was largely unhelpful.

Finally nervousness aside, we sat at the bar waiting for my turn and one of my TTYL girls showed up to support. I did a walk-thru at the bar, just to get the nerves out and then we went into the backroom.

I started my piece before the judges. They laughed and smiled in all the appropriate parts. I delivered all the lines exactly the way I’d hoped. I finished and my confidence soared. I felt that I’d nailed it.

I looked at Hubby for validation, he beamed and then pointed behind me. I turned around and saw one of my dearest friends. But I was so surprised, I screamed this blood-curdling, Freddy-Kruger-is-gonna-git-me scream.  Then I was embarrassed.

Sometimes I think I’m a little too impulsive with my emotions, especially when I’m enthusiastic, but it can’t be helped. I didn’t know if my friend was going to be able to attend, but she left an Oscar party to come out and support, which was pretty cool.

We rounded out the evening with a round at the bar, my girls left and Hubby and I had dinner.

Fast-forward several days and as time marched on, I realized how much I wanted this. What started out as a whim turned into something more. And then I got the e-mail.

Thanks for auditioning, blah blah blah. Then, “Unfortunately we did not feel that your piece…”

My heart sank. What? I didn’t get it? I kinda thought I had it in the bag. But the email continued to say that it wasn’t a statement on the quality of the work, it just wasn’t a good fit for where they were trying to go with the show. I know, it sounds like the lame, It’s-Not-You-It’s-Me routine, but these ladies are the real deal Holyfield and I do believe them.

I checked out the lineup of the show, and there’s some fantastic writers. Without a doubt it’s going to be an excellent show. I’m so proud of the ladies for bringing LTYM to Chicago.

As for me, I’m a bit bummed about not performing, but it’s one of those things where it is all about the journey and this, my friends, was a fun ride.



Listen To Your Mother: My Audition — 14 Comments

  1. So proud of you for taking this leap (and very inspired)! As you, I’m learning that the journey is sometimes the best part….Hugs to you!!!

    • Thanks! It was fun, much fun and who knows, I’ll probably try for some other speaking thing because I’m quite comfortable in front of a crowd. I need to catch up with you to see how the bellydancing is coming along!!! 🙂

  2. How cool, Melanie! Yeah, you’d left us hangin’ (…on FB) with the “audition” thing! That sounds like a total adventure & it’s so cool that you went for it! Good job! You’ve got some balls! 😉

  3. I am directing the dc show and I can promise you that choosing our cast was the most difficult thing! It’s eager breaking to send those “no thank you” emails when you know how incredibly brave everyone was to audition.
    I’d love to read your piece. You should post it!

    • You gotta love autocorrect. Honestly I wouldn’t want to be the one who has to decide who can be in the show and who can’t. Excited to hear how the DC show goes, I’m sure it’ll be a smashing success, it’s such an awesome purpose. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Nuggets of Truth in Samantha Brick’s ‘Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful’ | She's Write

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