Thursday, April 23, 2015

Yes, but No Vagina

When I was in high school, I had a humor column in our school newspaper called "Outer Leemits." It was obnoxious in that way where teenagers think they are the sharpest, most original, hi-larious people to ever walk the earth and everyone else is just standing behind them hoping not get a muscle strain from rolling their eyes. I only mention "Outer Leemits" here (seriously, I thought that was a funny title, like "limits" but instead LEEmits, like my name.. ha? ha? oh god) I only mention it here because it's the only other time in my life I've ever put my writing out there for anyone outside of my inner circle of maybe two dozen people. (I have one of those tickers on the side of the blog page here that tells me how many followers I have and I think at one point we were at a high of twenty-seven. It was a heady time).

But then earlier this spring, I got a wild hair and sent a submission to Listen To Your Mother.  I was called in for an audition, that I purposefully left out any mention of on here or Facefart or anywhere else. Because is it really failure if no one else knows you failed? Then I made the show. Boom.

After the cast announcement, I did finally post something about it, but to be honest, not a lot of my friends knew exactly what the show is. They'd heard of it, but they weren't exactly sure what all it entails. So, I'm trying to explain this to a friend of mine:

Me: There's a group of writers and we all read our essays talking about different aspects of motherhood.
Friend: like a podcast?
Me: no, like in person
Friend: to each other?
Me: to an audience.....
Silence
Me: of people
Silence
Me: on a stage
Friend:  So it's like the Vagina Monologues?
Me: YES!  but no Vagina.

Since being cast in the show I've gotten to know some of the other cast members. Everyone's a writer, even if they don't do it for a living.  We're all really different--different ages, different backgrounds, but we're all moms and, listening to each other's stories has had, I think, a similar effect on all of us.  We're all so, SO glad to be a part of this group but simultaneously all feel like maybe we don't deserve it this good.  Because being around this group of women makes you feel like a REAL writer. Like your experience as a mom is something other moms can relate to. Being around them makes me feel like I have thirteen new friends.   While that may not seem like much, I can tell you that those kinds of things can lift you up on a day that you don't feel that great because the stores are inundated with 800 million Mother's Day cards and signs and you're remembering  how you spent last Mother's Day (driving back from your mom's funeral). Those things can wrap your heart in a protective hug of support when you're feeling like shit because you maybe yelled at your son a little too loud when he tried to spray Deep Woods OFF into his brother's mouth (ahem). Plus, with those thirteen people, I feel like hitting 40 followers is almost within reach (it could happen).

And now that I've been to at least two read-throughs with the rest of the cast, I can't say enough great things about the show and I'd love for you see it .  I can tell you that there is a lot of damn good writing, some laughter, a whooooooole lot of tears, some redemption, even some Lil Wayne, but sadly, no Vagina.

4 comments:

Shelley said...

Literally laughed out loud at your trying to explain the show to people who don't know about the show. I had the hardest time explaining it to my people too.

And... I really like you and am honored to share a stage a friendship with you.

Hip-Baby Mama said...

I've also described the show as "The Vagina Monologues" but without the vagina part. People pretend to understand, because really who wants to say they don't know what the Vagina Monologues are?

hey said...

Lee - this is fantastic - I wish I could come see the show!
Margaret in Petersburgh

Don Bell said...

Leemet, Your Uncle Donald is proud of you. No vagina here, nor motherhood story. But will share a quickie... I always kidded Crystal and Amy when they were disrespectful. "Too bad all our troubles can't come when we are seventeen....when we know everything", I'd say quoting some sage and wiser person like Will Rogers.

The day came when Crystal spouted off to her mom so I went to her bedroom and began packing for her. "What are you doing?" she asked. Oh I'm just getting you ready. You are 17 now and know everything. With each day you will become dumber and dumber. Next year you will 18, and eventually you will end up as stupid as we are. I want only the best for you, so you need to go now while you know EVERYTHING." "OH DAD!"she replied less combatively and with more humility.

When your cousin Amy turned 17, she took it seriously and disappeared for enough time to worry us. While cruising around searching streets and neighborhoods for a body, the cops pulled us over and questioned us for considerable time.

Amy has never really ever come home since.