Are those butterflies or do I have to pee again?
Butterflies in my stomach, sweaty armpits, excited, nervous, proud, intimidated, exhilarated, fearful, am I sure I'm ready to share my story? After all, these are MY moments, MY thoughts, do I really want to put myself out there? What if no one likes it? Do I have to pee?
This was my Sunday, all the way until 4 pm, when I went to my live audition for Listen To Your Mother.
A few weeks ago I submitted an original piece to the show. I had received a call from my friend Misti, one of the producers, that I had made it to the live audition round! I was so excited, I could hardly stand it. And now, here I was, the day of the live audition and I was more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
The mister got me out of the house before my audition. We were determined to shake my jitters, and decided chips, queso, and cervezas would do the trick! We wanted to hit up some great local grub at Mamasita's. However, due to the kitchen being closed for The Lord's day, we ended up at Chili's instead. Normally I would have protested, but quite honestly my mind was elsewhere. J probably recognized that and took this opportunity to enjoy his fave- Chili con Queso. (I am quite certain it comes out of a can and could possibly be made at the same factory as Alpo, but like I said, I was too nervous to care!)
One Presidente Margarita. One Pacifico. Ready.
Smiling faces greeted me at the door, "Would you like some water, tea, coffee? How about a Girl Scout cookie?" All I could think was, is it too much to ask to bother you for a Xanax? Instead, I took the water...and a Girl Scout cookie...or three.
Three eager faces sat staring at me as I gathered my papers and thoughts at the podium. Misti's face was the only familiar one in the crowd, but I was quite certain making eye contact with her would induce either tears or inappropriate laughter. I tried to avoid it.
All I really remember saying was something along the lines of, "So do you say go? Or do I say go? Does anyone say go? Or do I just go?"
They giggled. So I went.
The rest is sort of a blur. But at the end, I felt good. Scratch that, I felt great! I shared my story, they all laughed, Misti cried, and I felt silly for being so nervous.
I hadn't been nervous to stand in front of strangers. I wasn't nervous to speak behind a podium. I have never had a problem with speaking in public or meeting new people. That wasn't it at all. I was nervous because the words being spoken, the stories I was sharing, they were ME, they represented ME. Its what I love about being a writer really. I love sharing myself with others through bits and pieces here and there. The difference is that usually my audience and I are separated by a screen, a notebook, at least a piece of paper. Not this time.
That's the great thing about Listen To You Mother, the show is made of stories people have written, stories that are as close to their hearts as a diary entry. And there is nothing separating the author from the audience. No screen, no paper, just a podium.
Shocked, honored, elated, nervous, proud, this was my Sunday night after I got the phone call, I WAS IN! I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of this cast, this national movement honoring mothers. On Sunday, May 5, at 2 pm, people will gather at Will Roger's Theater here in Oklahoma City to celebrate motherhood, and I will be a part of it.
I can't wait to stand vulnerably behind the podium and share my story with you all.