In college, I took an introductory acting class with some teacher who was supposedly known for her coaching. For me, it fulfilled a General Ed requirement, didn’t start until the afternoon, and was near my dormitory – the holy trifecta of the class schedule. After the first class where we spent 90 minutes practicing breathing, I decided that acting was a load of bull and that I’d never make a career out of it. My decision was confirmed when the next class was spent pretending to be an animal. I pretended to be a cat; curled up and asleep in the corner. The class star pretended to be a whale. Acting, clearly, wasn’t for me. I much prefer to be my authentic self than try to play a role of somebody else.
When I first heard of Listen to Your Mother coming to San Francisco, I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of it. Real people reciting their original writing? That’s authenticity. That’s courage. That’s me.
Driving to the audition in Fort Mason on a Saturday morning without kids in tow was almost as good as getting to read the Sunday paper without any interruptions – something I haven’t done in the nearly 8 years I’ve been a mother. Traffic driving up 280 into San Francisco was light. I was just me, my thoughts, and NPR. I thought I would be nervous. I thought I would have anxiety.
The only thing that was anxiety ridden was finding a parking spot in a tiny lot.
Reading out loud my piece on motherhood was like second nature. Perhaps it was because it was my own experience. Perhaps those public speaking courses when I first entered the corporate world helped. Perhaps it was because it was my time. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t asked to role play as a pet.
Waiting the two weeks to hear the whether or not I made it into the cast wasn’t as nerve wracking as I thought it would be. I knew that I had read well. I knew that I had shared a part of me. I wasn’t afraid of winning or losing. I had tried my best, told my story, and that was all that mattered.
I’m thrilled to say that I am a member of the cast. Listen to Your Mother will play one night only on Thursday, May 10 at the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center.