Tag Archives: performance

It Was Just A Dream …

A Dream

I haven’t had very lucid dreams for a while, but I had one the other day that has me examining my subconscious quite closely.  What could it mean? What am I trying to tell myself? Did I eat too much chocolate before I fell asleep? The answers elude me, but maybe they’ll come to you.

So, I was at a Hollywood awards show in what was essentially a large high school auditorium…(I know, right?) Just like in high school, I was seated towards the back for a quick an easy escape. Also, to avoid eye contact with any and all persons of authority.  I see a host cracking jokes on stage and making introductions. Shortly after his monologue, I realize it’s a show specifically for the cast of This Is Us.

While I’m sitting in the audience, it appears there’s a special song or performance for each of the kid characters – Randall, Kate and Kevin. They also have one for the mother, Rebecca, but none for the father, Jack. Maybe because he’s dead on the show so he was dead in my dream? I don’t know. Regardless, Many Moore was there with Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley and the kid actors playing their youthful counterparts, and for some reason Milo Ventimiglia wasn’t there.

Chrissy was first, and I can’t remember if she sang or if someone sang for her and she was just part of the dance routine with the bluish white spotlight overhead, but the kid actress Kate was with her throughout the song. At one point a group of rather well-built men in tuxedos were lifting her and carrying her all over the stage. It was very Broadway showstopper, if you will.

Next up was Mandy Moore. They called her to the stage to celebrate Rebecca and requested all of her “kids” come up, too, while the performers sing about what a great mother she is. This is where it gets interesting. When they call all the kids to the stage, I get out of my seat and walk there as well. Apparently, I’ve been on This Is Us the entire time! I’m one of the stars! For a while I can’t tell if I’m a 4th kid or if I’ve suddenly been like “Freaky Fridayed” inside Chrissy Metz…. Turns out, I’m a 4th kid! I’m a Hollywood actress and didn’t even know it.

So, there I am, participating with my onscreen siblings in a celebration of our wonderful onscreen mom. At some point, we’re all lying on stage with our feet in the center and flapping our arms like snow angels, making a gloriously choreographed pinwheel from above (again, very Rockettes/Broadway showstopper … or synchronized swimmers?), and Mandy Moore is next to me. She grabs my hand and squeezes it while looking at me and smiling. I squeeze her hand and smile back while mouthing (because there’s a musical performance going on) “I love you, Mom”. And she’s tearing up and I’m tearing up and then when we’re up off the floor. We hug, and then she hugs all her other fake kids, and it’s this big giant love fest. Of course, I’m still processing that I’m one of the kids on This Is Us!!!!

As the lights change to tell the next child’s story, and people are exiting the stage, I learn IT’S MY STORY! The music fades in; I begin doing this solo dance (very Sutton Foster ballet-esque) and the music is softer and quieter than before. It’s just this beautiful moment of me dancing on stage. While the other performances were more loud and celebratory, my performance was not that. It was serene. The next thing I know, kid actor Kevin walks onto the stage, takes my hand and whispers, ” you’re my favorite sister.” But the crowd hears him and goes “awww“. I smile at him and grab his hands and we start dancing together (you know, like how you would dance with a kid, not like at a junior high dance because — ew). We start twirling around on stage to the music, getting better and bit more Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, but like an awkward version because he’s a kid and I still really have no rhythm.

Anyway, we keep dancing across the stage and down the stairs (the blue spotlight follows us) and out into the audience while the orchestra ends their tune. Then the crowd applauds and we take our seats. Me with whomever I was there with and he with his parents who mouth “Thank you!” while they beam at me. I squeeze his hand one more time before he goes. And then all I can think about is how I need to change my profile pic and my social media handle to my real name so I can get verified and start promoting the shit out of the show I’m on, as well as promoting me so the world realizes I’m on it. I’m the other kid on the show! I have to let people know so my Twitter followers can start engaging with me and kissing my ass.

Then I wake up.


Throw-Back-Monday: I Had An Uderstudy

Remember those primary school musical extravaganzas? There was usually one in the winter and one in the spring… You would attend music class maybe once or twice a week throughout the year. You supposedly learned to sing. Your class partnered with other classes to pull off a 90 minute concert wherein you awkwardly demonstrated your music prowess, or lack thereof, for an array of family and friends sitting obligatorily (and rather uncomfortably) in the bleachers of the school gym. Yeah, I wasn’t really a fan of those events, either. Continue reading


LYTM Experience Continued: The Rehearsals

Listen To Your Mother: Atlanta at the Strand Theater in Marietta

Listen To Your Mother: Atlanta at the Strand Theater in Marietta (photo by Miranda Wicker http://www.findingwalden.com/)

Is it over yet? Has the fat lady sung? What the hell was I thinking? Don’t get me wrong, I  am SO excited to be cast in LTYM: Atlanta, but these were the thoughts I had as I walked into Taco Mac one cool spring evening a couple of weeks back. I’d missed the first rehearsal because I was away on business. That means the cast got together without me. That also means everybody already knows everyone and I am officially the last kid picked at the next kickball game.

The producers had taken pity on my plight and were willing to set up an independent read-through with me. I was thankful for their pity and grateful when I found out that someone else had missed the rehearsal, too. Now there would be another who would duke it out with me for that second to last spot on the field (because being the last man standing when being cherry picked by your peers is never a desirable result).

I walked in and there was Shelly Davis. She peeked around the first booth in the joint. “Are you Libby?” I smiled. She had my hair. Everything was going to be ok.

Miranda Wicker (producer #1) slid in the booth right behind me. We cajoled, ordered beers, and eventually got down to brass tax. After I read my composition, I felt calm. After Shelly read her work, I felt even more at peace. After Miranda shared her essay, I felt this was going to be good. This was going to be really good. If their pieces were indicative of the rest of the casts’ caliber, it’s not going to be really good – it’s going to be incredible.

A second rehearsal was just around the corner. I was finally going to meet the rest of my teammates.  I strolled into Panera, ordered my sweet tea and headed to the conference room (by the way, am I the only one who didn’t know Panera has a conference room?).

The first person I saw in the room was familiar at least – Jana Anthoine (producer #2). As everyone gathered, sharing their hellos and making small talk, all I could do was smile. Whatever I’d gotten myself into, there were thirteen others in it with me. And I was about to find out they were thirteen totally amazing others.

I listened to everyone’s stories. I was in awe of the pure talent that was before me. And to think, I’d actually be sharing a stage with these people in about two weeks’ time (as Wayne and Garth might lament – so not worthy!)  Each was a personal portrait of their reflections on or their experience with motherhood told in a way that had me laughing, crying, and at times almost wishing I was a mother (and you know that would take some pretty heavy convincing).

I sat in that back room of Panera Bread inspired and thankful and totally indebted to my producers for seeing something in my work I clearly didn’t see. I love all of these people who have offered up bits and pieces of themselves in order to celebrate motherhood (and I only met them like five minutes ago!). I was having one of the best kinds of no-take-backs there are: the warm and fuzzy kind.

Jana Anthoine (totally awesome producer)
Miranda Wicker (totally awesome producer)
Benjamin Carr (totally awesome castmate)
Robin Dance (totally awesome castmate)
Shelly Davis (totally awesome castmate)
Tracy Kistler (totally awesome castmate)
Leslie Marinelli (totally awesome castmate)
Denise Des Soye Mount (totally awesome castmate)
Sarah Beth Nelson (totally awesome castmate)
Ashley Robinson (totally awesome castmate)
Renee J. Ross (totally awesome castmate)
Lyssa Sahadevan (totally awesome castmate)
Katherine Stone (totally awesome castmate)

These people have put themselves out there, just like me, and are finding a powerful return on their investment. The more you put out, the more you get back, people. It’s that simple. So why not make it a warm and fuzzy no-take-back week for yourself? And if you are in the Atlanta area this Saturday night, come and join us for Listen To Your Mother.


I Auditioned For Something (No Really, I Did)

Not a Throw-Back-Monday this week, but a big No-Take-Back.

I auditioned for something! Yeah. Me. I auditioned. I’m not the theater chick in the family, either. In fact, quite the contrary. Pretty much every production I’ve ever been in has ended in me doing something really stupid in front of the entire audience.

Cases in point:

Christmas pageant – I messed up the words to basically every song while singing loudly and extremely off key.

choir girl

I was no angel. I was murdering those songs.


Men In Black Senior Pep Rally Dance – I forgot the choreography in the middle of the song.

men in black

I guess maybe I did look like a blind KD Lang dancing to her own drum …?

Church talent show – again, I forgot the choreography, this time actually stopping and smacking my forehead so loudly it could be heard above the cassette music while heartily resonating throughout the sanctuary for all to hear.

talent show

Slapping the forehead – my infamous move.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly dramatic, and I do thrive on congratulatory offerings from my peers, but performing in any way shape or form in front of a live audience was traumatic enough in my formative years, let alone at 34 years of age.

So here’s what happened. I wrote a post that reconnected me with a girl I met for just three hours over 16 years ago. Her name is Lovelyn Palm. In the course of our reconnection, she told me about a show that was coming to Atlanta – Listen To Your Mother. The sign up for auditions ended that very evening. I thanked her for sharing and of course checked it out. It looked really cool. There was also not a snowball’s chance of me signing up for that audition. It was already like 9PM and who knows if the sign up really went to midnight anyway?

But right when I was about to file it away into the “cool things I’d never attempt to do” folder, I had that feeling. Deep in the pit of my ever expanding stomach, I knew that if I didn’t at least put my name on that sign up, my entire blog would be a lie. This was the perfect example of doing something I’d never ordinarily do. This was a No-Take-Backs moment of epic proportions. I added my name.

Then – I had an audition. I had to write an essay for it regarding motherhood. I’m childless. The situation just went from bad to worse. It could be about any aspect of motherhood, but I was hardly an expert on the topic, but I wrote one anyway.

I got to choose my audition slot. It was at 9:45 AM. I was nervous. I wasn’t just reading other people’s words with feeling, I was having to read my words with feeling and in front of the co-producers: Jana Anthoine and Miranda Wicker.

It was my time. I walked in and it was like a scene from a hilarious yet awkward movie. There in front of me sat seriously the longest conference table I’d ever seen in my life. And yes, the producers were all the way at the other end. I actually asked if I needed to read from there and they said “No! No! Come on down!” with smiles. Whew. At least there were smiles.

Conference Table


So I sat across from them and read my piece. Jana and Miranda made it the most comfortable experience it could possibly be for the eight and a half minutes I was there. I appreciated that. We shared a laugh or two (they were so sweet). Then they thanked me and said they’d be in touch.

As I headed to the parking lot, I was so proud of what I’d done. I had put myself out there in an extremely unnerving scenario and lived to tell the tale. I’d done it. I had auditioned for something. One of the most exciting no-take-backs yet. You may not believe it, but this was a hard one for me, folks.

And the best part? I got cast.

You can check it out here. Buy a seat and come see me in April!