Testing. Testing. Is this thing on?
Oh, hi. Hello there. It's been a while, hasn't it? I've missed you. So much has happened over the past month, and I feel like this photo captures it:
Listen To Your Mother cast member Anna Hartman snapped this from behind the curtain, moments after the show began. She shared it on Facebook with the caption, "This is happening right now..."
And I know it happened, because I was there. I couldn't see a darn thing, but I could feel the energy of the audience. I could hear my voice floating across the theater.
In the days leading up to the show, I only had one anxiety dream. In the dream, I was late. When I walked into the theater, everyone in the audience was talking and not listening to the show that had clearly started without me. It was a relief to finally wake up and realize that I hadn't missed anything. I still had time.
But show day did come. Fast and steady, the days and hours leading up to it didn't care that my to-do list seemed longer than the time I had left. But somehow (or, because I stopped cleaning the house and feeding my family, and, with a lot of help) I got it all done: programs printed, cast gifts prepared, volunteers assembled.
Two days before the show, I was in a dressing room of a boutique looking for something to wear. I found what felt like the perfect dress, but it needed some alterations. It's prom season and wedding season, and yet I managed to find a seamstress to fix my dress. She rolled her eyes and sighed and asked herself out loud why she was taking my last minute order. "Pick it up tomorrow at 12:30. Don't be late!" she barked as she handed me my receipt. I nodded and said yes ma'am and thank you and got the heck out of there.
The next day, I picked up Abby from the airport. My writer/blogger friend Abby... the one from Baltimore... the one who encouraged me to bring the Listen To Your Mother show to Charleston... that Abby flew down just to see the show, AND to meet me in person for the very first time. After I got my disgusting car washed and picked up my dress, we spent the rest of the day visiting some of my favorite spots in Charleston.
And before I knew it, it was Sunday. SHOW TIME. I was unloading my car, and meeting cast members in the theater lobby, and going through tech rehearsal. And then the music from the carefully selected pre-show playlist was pumping through the speakers, and then the theater doors opened. And then we peeked, and oh my goodness, people came, people came!
And through all of it, I learned so much about being the moment, being present, being alive.
I was conscious of every feeling, every sound, taking mental snapshots and pressing record in my mind.
In all of it, I was there. I was so fully there. I felt the right now vibrating through my being. I can still hear the click of my heels as I paced backstage. I see myself primping in front of the dressing room mirror, hugging cast members, whispering words of gratitude and encouragement in their ears.
I love them all. I love that they took a chance. They opened their hearts. They gave of themselves. They made themselves vulnerable to tell their stories. They made us laugh, cry, think.
Directing and Producing Charleston's Listen To Your Mother show was one of the greatest things, next to childbirth and my wedding, that I've experienced so far. That feels like a grand statement, but it also feels true.
So I end this post with a request... please take a moment to watch how a group of strangers came together and made magic. When the show ended and the audience leaped to its feet and showered us with applause... we all sensed that it wasn't the end. The curtain call was beginning.. the first step towards whatever is next.
Many thanks to our show photographer Jody Mack for capturing these images and creating this slideshow