Listen To Your Mother Audition

Fear. Shame. Perfectionism. Wholeheartedness.

I’ve been thinking about these things lately. Or rather, these things have been smacking me upside the head lately.

Last Friday I auditioned for Listen To Your Mother in Austin. It was an incredible experience. I’ve heard other people say that; you probably have, as well. I didn’t fully understand until I experienced it. Gigi talks about her audition here, and The Empress tells her story here. Their words ring true for me, too.

I started writing for real – and by for real, I mean publicly and with commitment – almost a year ago. Before that I was a Writer-In-Hiding. Afraid I wasn’t good enough, afraid of rejection, afraid of hurting someone I love. So putting myself out there, standing on a stage, reading something I wrote was exhilarating and terrifying and validating.

Going in I was simply excited to meet two women I admire, Wendi Aarons and Jennifer Sutton (@thesearenewdays). Walking out I realized it was a bit more than that.

Understatement of the year.

I walked in overtired and raw. How fitting, as I was there to audition for a show about the trenches of motherhood. I spent most of last week wallowing in those trenches, taking care of sick kids and juggling the myriad other tasks and obligations on our calendar. After several near-sleepless nights, I was edgy. Exhausted.

It was also fitting that I was there to read a story about my oldest, about his heartbreak and my heartache. Friday happened to be the day of his fifth birthday party. It was divine, I thought, that on a day when we were to celebrate him, I was telling a piece of our story. His and mine. Together. Almost exactly five years to the day from when our story began, I was celebrating our life together though story. And through birthday cake.

As of this writing I don’t know the results of the auditions. Ann Imig, LTYM creator and director of the Madison show, explains the casting process from a director’s point of view. It’s not cut and dried. I have few expectations. Don’t get me wrong, there will be one hell of a happy dance if I’m in the cast. But if I’m not, that’s okay, too.

It will be okay, because I left feeling bouyed. Feeling challenged. Wendi and Jennifer looked me in the eye and said (I’m paraphrasing here, as I didn’t take my little reporter’s notebook and tape recorder with me to the audition), Get out there. Submit your writing. What do you have to lose?

My story, validated. My writing, encouraged.

And I am so grateful for that experience.

As I walked away, I had what you might call an aha moment. I tend to think of them more as Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. moments. So there’s more to this story, and you can read about it here, on the Studio 30Plus Magazine. (Like how I did that? Subtle, right?)

A note:

I wrote this post, and the one for Studio 30Plus, over the weekend. Last night, Sunday, I picked up Brene´ Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, and sat there with my mouth open.

I’ve heard Ms. Brown speak before. You may remember that her talk is where a lot of my energy around kicking fear to the curb, and embracing authenticity, came from. The book goes into depth about what it means to embrace Wholeheartedness. It talks about why doing things like auditioning for LTYM is key to accepting ourselves.

It’s good stuff. I once again recommend that you read and watch Ms. Brown.

I wonder…

:: Do you have a story about a time you kicked fear to the curb?

:: Have you ever stepped outside yourself and done something uncomfortable? What was the result?


  1. ..this is the only way I know to personal growth.

    You did it, girl.

    And you will never be the same.


  2. I didn’t know until a couple days ago that you were doing this, but I think it’s so, so awesome that you did! What was it like being up at the podium, telling your story?

    Good for you for doing it!

  3. I love that you and Gigi did this! And what the heck, what did you really have to lose? An afternoon when you could have done nothing, had a cup of tea, or done laundry for God’s sake?!

    I have a hard time pushing myself out of my “zone” but when I do? The rewards are awesome.

    Fingers are crossed for you!

  4. I thank you so much for putting yourself out there — your writing, your LTYM audition, and this great post.

    Yes–moving toward vulnerability does in fact bring Joy (Brene Brown).

    Taking this show so big so fast and trusting the process (LETTING GO) has been a huge leap for me.


  5. Good for you for stepping out and speaking out. What you have to say is important. Don’t ever doubt that for a second.
    I’ll do a happy dance for you too :)

  6. I don’t fear rejection from writing. Talking in front of people? I’m terrified.

    Good for you taking life by the balls or what have you!

  7. Sometimes I want to shake you and pound into your beautiful red head how great you are. :) I couldn’t have been happier to see you there auditioning. I think we both realize that it was a win to just get up there and do it :)


  8. It was an absolute honor to hear your audition and I’m immeasurably moved to read your account of it. But not surprised to hear it written it so well and so touchingly.

  9. Found you through StudioThirty, and I am so glad I did. I am pushing myself completely outside my comfort zone, and restarting my life at 33. I am pushing all my boundries, but am still a writer-in-hiding. Thanks for the little push.

  10. I auditioned too, and it took a little convincing. Specifically, it took Wendi yelling at me (“Just submit something, you big baby.”) Reading was terrifying, and the thought of reading AGAIN in the same theater but with less-empty seats the next time was even MORE terrifying. I’m not sure which is scarier – making the cut, or NOT making the cut. Either way, it was a super nice experience and I can’t think of two people I’d rather open myself up to like that than Wendi and Jennifer.

    I’m so glad you did it, too!

  11. I’m so excited for you that you went on the audition and that you’re in a place where you’re being true to you. I am truly my own worst enemy in some ways. I hold myself back all the time. You’re an inspiration!

  12. You are an awesome writer! Love getting to read your posts. You have a real gift….pen

  13. You got to meet THE Wendi Aarons? I’m so jealous. Sounds like you rocked the audition – what a brave lady you are! Fingers crossed.

  14. I have a friend that prides herself on the number of rejections she collects. It means that she is submitting her work and putting herself out there. She is trying. And you know what, it worked for her. She has now published over 60 articles. I am certain you did well and proud of you for trying.

  15. I am so excited for you! Love how you are going after something you believe in….Good luck to you. I am routing for you!


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