This weekend, I attended an audition. My first. Or, well, my first since my tryout for the college chorus.
I was late. It was raining. The subway was at a crawl for the last four stops. Not exactly how I’d like to show up for an audition: breathless, damp and sweaty, apologetic.
I kind of laughed when I walked into the audition room, because there sat four women I know, at increasing levels of intimacy: Dusty, Amy, Holly and dear friend Varda. I had not been expecting to know everyone there. But of course I should have expected that. I was auditioning for the Listen To Your Mother show, after all, an idea spurred by BlogHer (my place of employ, but more than that: a longtime home for me) and ushered into being by the fabulous Ann Imig.
A set up my piece on the music stand (which I wasn’t expecting to have — so helpful!), took a moment to give Varda a long sympathy hug (as she recently lost her mother, too soon after losing her father), and said to Varda, “I’m sorry, but I’ll be reading about my mom’s death, of course.”
And off I went—”My mother had refused to speak to me for three days…”—disappearing into my piece and feeling only the words that I had written and all the notions and images I had corralled for one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written.
When it was finished, I may have taken a bow (excess adrenalin, that’s what I blame), and I definitely ran to give Varda another, longer hug. And then I waved and scooted out the door.
Truth is, I don’t even need to be picked as a performer for the show. (Though of course I would like to be.) But that singular experience of standing up and reading a piece about my mother, about me, about life and its gorgeous mishaps and mystical lessons, was rewarding enough.
Sharing who we are: it’s such a wonderful potion, a dose of concentrated humanity.
We can all hope nothing more than to be witnessed for who we are—which, of course, was what my piece was about. And for that experience this weekend, I thank LTYM, BlogHer and all the many, many deep, true friends I’ve made in the ether of the internet.