After six amazing years, the Listen To Your Mother (LTYM) San Francisco Show will be closing its curtains for a final time.
When I received the email last year from our Founder, Ann Imig, informing all directors and producers across the country that 2017 would be that last year, I had to take a moment to process that. Not because I didn’t understand why she was bringing her smash-success, nationwide storytelling series about motherhood to a close. Lord knows, I’m exhausted after a half-hour storytelling series to my own children, so I fully get the logic of this beautiful movement coming to its natural conclusion after eight years of hard work and love.
No. I had to take a moment to process the news of this grand finale season, because it was the end to a big chapter of my life. Started in the heyday of blogging (remember blogging? remember blog-hops and posting comments? remember actually subscribing to blogs? no? just me?), the Listen To Your Mother Show grew out of the blogging community and into real-life communities. Feeling completely adrift after becoming a mother, blogging - also called, wait for it...writing (hey, legitimacy!) gave me purpose and connection to like-minded souls. But purpose to what end? I still felt like I was treading water. When LTYM came on the San Francisco scene in 2012, it was a buoy in the chop.
This show kept me company for almost all of my mothering life, something indeed to process. Being first a cast member in 2013 and then the San Francisco co-director and producer in 2016 and 2017, LTYM brought countless opportunities and, most importantly, career direction: a shape to my goals and dreams.
So how, exactly, does one bring a community mainstay of Mother’s Day weekend to a proper close? With a bang, obviously! My co-director, Janine Kovac, and I are thrilled to report that this final show will be our best yet. We’ve booked a bigger theater to accommodate friends, family, fans, community and sponsors, the excitement is palpable, and yet...as the political landscape of our country has changed, so has the emotional landscape.
From social media to print media to conversation with friends and strangers alike, there is a veering away from what is perceived as “less important issues.” There is an activism today that wasn’t there before, and whatever your beliefs, I think that’s a good thing. Let me also tell you that motherhood never has and never will be one of the less important issues in this country or in the world. Just today, I received an email from The New York Times asking their readers to submit their personal stories about motherhood. Why? Because stories help us to learn and storytelling is a part of who we are.
You know in the movie “Moana” (don’t pretend like you don’t) when she runs out of the cave upon discovering the truth of her ancestors, “We were explorers! We were explorers!” Yes, the truth of our ancestors is this: from ancient cave drawings to hieroglyphics to the lyric bard Homer, who relayed his epic poems orally - We were storytellers! We were storytellers!
Do you see where I’m going with this? The oral tradition of storytelling is powerful. Listen To Your Mother is not a one-dimensional collection of trite observances about diapers and exhaustion (although I could write a one-woman musical about exhaustion if I weren’t so tired); it is a form of activism.
LTYM bridges gaps, instigates change, and raises up voices that wouldn’t otherwise be heard: the Republican mother in Mill Valley, the young refugee in the East Bay, those who need food stamps, those who are mentally ill, those who suffer from infertility, and yes, even - and especially - those who make us laugh.
This final year of Listen To Your Mother feels especially important. We invite you all take a moment to celebrate the diversity of motherhood stories right here in your community and from all over the Bay Area. Our show will be on Saturday, May 13th at 7pm at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, emceed by A'Driane Nieves, and with 10% of all proceeds going to The Homeless Prenatal Program.
To purchase tickets, please visit here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2915244