Last summer, I experienced a rare night of comfy couch-sitting and connected conversation. I say rare because have you met my three wonderful children?
We'd heard these stories many times. I'd heard them first, in the auditions. The selected cast had heard them at rehearsals. We'd heard them again on show day, as we waited backstage for our individual turns at the microphone, under the lights, before the packed-house audience. But there was something even more powerful about watching them together in such a relaxed setting with wine and snacks and the kids upstairs in bed.
It took us at least three hours to watch about an hour's worth of videos. We kept hitting pause, talking, sharing and connecting between each one. We openly talked about our relationships with our children and our parents. We talked about cancer and survival. We talked about all the ways we feel uncertain, and wise.
I felt wrapped up in the blanket of love and energy that filled the room that night.
I woke up the next morning feeling more lifted than I'd felt in a while. Happy. Joyous. This kind of social gathering is by far my favorite, and it sustained me for days afterward.
I've said it a million times before. It's worth repeating. Stories do that. Sharing our stories has that effect on people. Stories have an immeasurable power to bring us together. It depends, of course, on the motive in telling those stories. But if the intention is to give voice to our experiences, and to create connection, it will happen.
So if you're seeking connection, please, tell us your story.
If you want to make a difference, tell us your story. (tweet that)
And, listen to others when they tell theirs.
I'm happy to be the Director and Producer of the Charleston production of Listen To Your Mother again this year. Auditions are being scheduled now. To learn more visit listentoyourmothershow.com/charleston
Many thanks to 2014 Charleston cast member Anna Hartman for snapping the photos in this blog post.
To watch my reading in last year's show click here, or press play below. It's called "Ready", and it's the story of how the motherhood journey has changed me and what it has taught me.
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