I have written at length about LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER here, naturally, because it’s a huge part of my life. (Especially this week, OMG the Chicago show is in five days and wheeeeee!) The 32-city national series of shows that feature local writers reading their original essays about the “beauty, the beast, and the barely rested that is motherhood” is an extremely impactful experience no matter if you’re in the audience, a member of the cast, or a member of the production team.
The stories and the people reading them, of course, are the stars of the show. When people think about LTYM shows, that’s what comes to mind: identifying with a story or two (or three, or four…). That’s the point. The “Me Too” effect that LTYM spreads far and wide every May is a phenomenon that even us veterans are awed by each and every time.
For those of us who produce shows, the “Me Too” effect extends way beyond the stories and deeply into the sisterhood to which we local producers and directors belong. Especially in the weeks leading up to the magical two-week period ahead of Mother’s Day–that’s when all 32 shows take place!), our private Facebook group is filled to the rim with posts about nerves, unexpected issues, and yes, even wardrobe choices. Every single post gets comments like, “Oh, that happened to us, too! Here’s how we dealt with it,” or “I am feeling the same way!!” The support between teams is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
That’s why it’s a LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER tradition for producers and directors to support their LTYM sisters by traveling to see other shows when possible. I will never forget how Becky Sewell from Madison’s show and Stephanie Precourt, then of the NW Indiana show (and now on the LTYM National Team), came to be in the audience of our inaugural show in 2012, and how Lovelyn Palm of NW Indiana came to our show last year. Their support meant so much to me. And so I like to pay it forward. For us, traveling to another show isn’t just about hearing an additional fifteen or so stories above and beyond what we cast in our own show*; it’s about being there to lend moral support to ladies who have had the same struggles and triumphs as we have on the journey from page to stage.
When I got the news that Chevrolet had decided to sponsor our shows nationally, I couldn’t have been happier about it. I have worked with Chevy for several years and am very well-acquainted with their commitment to the American family and even moms in particular. (Ahem, remember when I wrote about the Malibu Moms? MOMS! MOTHERHOOD! LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!) Chevrolet’s current slogan, “Find New Roads” is all about the freedom to find new roads as we build our lives and chase our dreams. It’s about being ourselves, being unique, and knowing that there’s more than one way to get to where we’re going.
Coincidentally, LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER is all about that too, which is why this partnership with Chevrolet couldn’t be more perfect. LTYM prides itself on giving motherhood a microphone and embraces ALL of the stories, unique stories all with one common thread: motherhood.
Tracey and I are finding new roads this season with Chevrolet’s help: we were loaned a Chevrolet Volt for a road trip to support Alexandra and Jenny at their Milwaukee show, and the week after next we’ll be taking another vehicle to two more shows.
I was pretty excited to finally drive a Volt, as it’s one of the few Chevrolet models with which I had no previous experience. To me, the Volt is intriguing. It’s an electric car that runs on a battery until the battery uses up all of its charge and then it switches to the gas tank. When it’s completely charged, you can drive approximately 38 miles, gasoline-free. (And you just plug it into any wall outlet at home!)
The space-age dashboard was pretty cool, and a great conversation starter when I posted a picture of it on Facebook with this caption:
“I only hope that @tracey76becker knows my family’s rule about how the driver ALWAYS gets to pick the music. It’s gonna be a fun @chevylife road trip to @LTYMshow MKE on Sunday; helping Tracey #findnewroads in music. Heh. #ad”
See, here’s the thing. Tracey and I agree on a lot of things. MOST things, actually. Except music. I can’t even explain how we disagree except to say that we just don’t enjoy lots of the same songs/genres/groups. She says it’s because of our age difference. Ahem.
Anyway, I was prepared to make some concessions while driving us up to America’s Dairyland: I told her we’d mostly listen to the 80’s channel, because that is a category we both enjoy.
When we left my house, I played the soundtrack we made for our upcoming show through the Bluetooth connection between the car and my phone. We spent the time eagerly talking about the show we were about to see, our own show this Sunday, and, of course, lots of other things.
Tracey, being the passenger and the thereby only one who could do it safely, was our Designated Tweeter. While she did that I busied myself with singing along to the radio. It’s not something I typically do above a whisper when I’m not alone in the car, but for some reason the occasion just lent itself to singing.
Um, and rapping. My ability to keep up with Vanilla Ice and Kanye West blew her away. I think. I mean, she SEEMED impressed, don’t you think?
Along the way we made a stop at the Mars Cheese Castle, because you can’t go to Wisconsin via I-94 and NOT stop for cheese curds. Tracey hadn’t been there since they tore down the original, non-castle-like building and put up an actual castle. I loved showing that to her.
Before we knew it, we had arrived at Milwaukee’s Alverno College, where we met up with some of our LTYM Chicago family members and Founder/National Director Ann Imig. We decided that we needed an #OscarSelfie to mark the occasion.
LTYM Milwaukee’s photographer took some pro photos of us and I can’t wait to see those, but the selfie really marked the spirit of the occasion. Supporting shows in other cities is SUPER FUN.
The show began and we sat in awe of the eleven stories that were told. It was just wonderful. Just like all the other LTYM shows, there were funny stories and sad stories and stories that made you think, all having motherhood as the binding agent. Would you believe that I took this picture after doing a mad, last-minute search for my phone in my bag, and got this in one shot? It was a LTYM miracle.
We were thrilled for the success of Alexandra, Jenny, and their cast (including my lovely friend Colleen! Whoomp whoomp!) and now we’re in a state of high anticipation regarding our own show. We’re so excited that Alexandra, Jenny, and Colleen (and another cast member or two) are making the trek to see our show, as is Ann.
Before we drove over to the restaurant to celebrate the show with everybody, Tracey, Ann and I took some Volt selfies. Do Ann and me a favor and focus on Tracey in this picture. Ann thinks she has crazy eyes (even though she doesn’t) and I obviously have something going on with my hair (true story). Isn’t Tracey cute???
At the end of the day, Tracey climbed back into our trusty Chevrolet Volt and headed home…but our adventures didn’t end that night! Follow us on our next adventure Thursday May 8 as we Find New Roads to Valparaiso, Indiana for Lovelyn’s show! (Buy tickets here, and come and say hi!) and then I’m headed up to support Ann and her team at Madison’s 5th annual show on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 11 (Buy tickets here!)!
Thanks again, so much, to Chevrolet for partnering with LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER this year, and for helping us support each other on this magical, mystical journey. We are positively overjoyed to work with you, and we are excited to Find New Roads, together!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chevrolet as part of their sponsorship of the Listen to Your Mother Show 2014 Season. Learn more about their sponsorship at the Listen To Your Mother Show website.
*In my case this year I’ll personally be hearing THIRTY-SIX stories live, in addition to Chicago’s fifteen! Whoa.
**Need tickets to this Sunday’s Chicago show? All the info you need is HERE.