Don’t you just love a mischievous smile? I know they always make me curious about what the person is up to. Well, there are exciting things happening at Tales from the Canvas! Shortly after I launched the blog, a neighbor sent me an email with a writing contest link suggesting I enter my writing into a showcase that allows you to perform a creative piece about motherhood. I immediately went from excitement to fear. So, I decided within ten minutes of receiving her email to submit one of my stories before I had fifty reasons to tell myself not to do it. Two weeks ago, I received an invitation to an in-person audition. I will basically be doing a dramatic reading of the first piece I published on my blog – Germaphobe. (Yes, “germaphobe” is still showing up with my spell check as incorrect, but I am choosing to move forward with it nonetheless.)
The performance series I am auditioning for is the Austin production of Listen to your Mother. This is its eighth and final season in its original format. Listen to your Mother is described as featuring “live readings by local writers on the beauty, the beast, and the barely-rested of motherhood, in staged community shows celebrating Mother’s Day. Born of the creative work of mothers who publish on-line, each production is directed, produced, and performed by local communities, for local communities.” In the past eight seasons, Listen to your Mother has presented “a collection of personal stories celebrating motherhood featuring many best-selling and notable writers.” Just below that description, the site lists the names of fifty or so awesome bloggers and authors.
You might be wondering why I am choosing to blog about this today. Well, after keeping this audition a closely guarded secret and clicking on every link and video of past performances on their site, I am starting to feel some fear and insecurity as the Saturday morning audition approaches. Posting this blog will keep me from finding an excuse to not go because I am really close to making that choice. My honest nature forces me to admit that I am not a professional writer. Shocking, I know. I barely even know how to post my blogs, much less write them! I dared myself to submit my piece with entering itself being the reward. That was something I would not have done six months ago. Now that I have an actual audition, I’m a bit freaked out. I’ve never auditioned for a thing in my life. My only performance credit is hopping on the stage in the school cafeteria wearing paper bunny ears in the first grade musical performance of “Little Bunny Foo Foo.” That is my greatest stage moment!
From what I understand, they just want you to be yourself and read your piece. I do know how to read, so I am partially there. The Germaphobe story is a true story. Those were some pretty dramatic moments and deserve to be properly portrayed. Do I take the iPod referenced in the story and lick it, as I did during the salmonella drama? I don’t really know how I feel about licking technology devices in front of large or small groups of strangers. I’ve never actually pondered that, but I am thinking it is a little weird but necessary for this audition. (If you have no idea what I am talking about, you need to scroll down to the first piece I published and get caught up!)
I did clean up the language a bit in Germaphobe. I referenced turtle crap at the end, but in real life it was actually a word that began with “s,” and the real version is what I submitted. Can I say that on a stage? What would that feel like? Is turtle crap even funny? Maybe it is just gross, and I should never talk about turtle crap. Some readers share truly moving stories about motherhood in these performances. What if the person ahead of me shares the heart-warming story of how her one-legged mother carried her on her back as they escaped their oppressive home country through the mountainous terrain, surviving only on water from the rain-soaked leaves they pulled as they walked? What if she shares her struggles and triumphs making a good life for herself in her new country and ends her story saying that, as her mother lay dying in her arms in the comfort of the home they had built together, her mother weakly pulled a dried leaf she had saved from the journey from her pocket and they each let their tears fill the leaf as they said good-bye forever, making it look just like the leaf that sustained them all those decades ago. She then buries her mother with the leaf in her pocket and from the grave sprouted the tree of their native country that grows and blooms to this day. When she finishes, I can then get on stage and talk about turtle crap and lick an iPod. Do you see where I am going with this? I am equal parts scared and excited, but guess what? Insecurity will not win. I’m going for it. Now that I have admitted to the world that I will possibly be licking an iPod and saying the “s” word on a stage in front of what could be many, many people, there is no turning back.
I can’t possibly know how this will turn out. Taking a leap is frightening and fun all at once. What is the worst things that could happen? If I don’t get chosen, at least I was selected to try. For someone who only started sharing her writing two months ago, that is pretty darn awesome. I want my kids to try things that challenge them but will help them learn and grow. This will give me an opportunity to be an example for them.
I hope YOU find yourself facing something new that gives you the opportunity to be scared and excited and that you try anyway. This is how we step outside our comfort zone and stretch our personal growth muscles and quit taking ourselves so darn seriously. (Not to mention, it gives us great dinner party stories to share.) Team Turtle Crap, that is the name of our new club you have joined just by reading this, I’m going for it. I’ll update the Facebook page after the audition and let you know how it goes. To learn more about the Listen To Your Mother series, visit www.listentoyourmothershow.com.
Get social with Tales from the Canvas! Follow the Facebook link and click “like” to stay in the know! http://www.facebook.com/talesfromthecanvas/
*photo by terrihinojosa.com