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.