Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Stories

When I was in second grade, I danced in my talent show at Woodland Elementary School.  It was a little number that I choreographed on my own to the song Fame by Irene Cara.  It was a simple number.  Me in a light blue leotard and light blue tights.  My mom let me put on some of her blue Mary Kay eyeshadow.  I brought my own prop, the bathroom stool that I used to reach the sink to brush my teeth everyday. The stool was used on stage for my split jumps that I had practiced over and over in my living room.

I remember being so nervous to show the world (my fellow students and their parents) my dance, my art, myself.  It was personal.  It was exciting.  It was scary.

I don't remember every moment of that night back in 1982, but I do remember feeling so alive.

That debut led to a couple opportunities like dancing in the center court of our mall, um hello big time.  And even an appearance on a local children's television show where I performed a dance to the children's classic Michael Jackson's Beat It.

When someone asks about my inner child...which you know, could happen someday.  Okay, if anyone ever asks about my inner child, I will picture the little scared, but very alive, creative girl with the bad hair cut, crooked teeth and blue leotard dancing her guts out to Fame.

I couldn't find any pictures from that magical night, but this is what I looked like circa 1982.  
                                                         
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My math class freshman year of high school was full of kids wearing metal band t-shirts and sporting mullets.  The kid in the back had a cigarette behind his ear and he heckled everyone that walked into the room or grabbed every girl's ass, every day.  The teacher looked defeated from the first day of school.  He stared blankly and I don't remember him speaking.  Yeah, that's right folks, I'm not talking about Calculus.  Or even Pre-Algebra.  I'm talking remedial math.

I fit right in with my ultra short skirts, poofy bangs, bad roots and an impressive disregard for numbers.  Since the class really wasn't about learning math, I spent the time getting to know everyone.  It was like The Breakfast Club everyday.  There was the dumb jock (I won't name names), more than one Judd Nelson-type delinquent and I was a weird combo of the Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy characters.  But just like the movie, I ended up sharing a special connection with all of these rejects.

I don't remember everything we talked about back in 1988, but I remember hearing about parents that didn't care, who was smoking a whole lot of Pot, part time jobs, a lot about cars, girlfriends that were nags, boyfriends that cheated, moms that were sick, dads that had lost jobs, a lot about how detention sucked and more.

As I listened, I felt connected.  I felt compassion.  I felt alive.

Those friends I made stayed my friends.  The guy that heckled people stopped grabbing my ass and actually helped me years later when I locked my keys inside my car (it's always good to have friends that can break into cars, people).  

I didn't learn one thing about math that year, but I did learn about opening my mind and listening to everyone's story.

So if anyone asks me about my inner teenager, and someone might someday, I will picture the girl with the bad roots, short skirt, poofy hair and utter disregard for numbers feeling all full of love and compassion and connection with some bad ass Ratt song playing in the background.
This is more the Molly Ringwold version of me way back when.  Trust me, my poof got a lot higher and my roots a lot darker.  


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These are two huge parts of my story.  Two parts that help explain why I decided to be a part of Listen To Your Mother.  

My damn inner child keeps pushing me to create and be afraid and be vulnerable and feel alive.  My remedial math inner teenager reminds me that every single damn person has a story...a story worth being told and being heard.
Learning to produce a show is pretty glamorous.
Here I am at one of the national webinars. Fancy headphones I stole borrowed from my tween.

I can't wait to hear the stories about motherhood on Sunday, May 4, in Detroit.  My fellow producers and I will start hearing stories in just a couple weeks. (Um by the way my inner child is furreaking out that I just typed "my fellow producers and I.")  Auditions for Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit are on February 1 in Rochester and February 8 in Detroit.  Click here for details and to sign up to audition your story.








5 comments:

  1. It will be amazing!
    I love LTYM. The telling of stories that thread us as women, mothers, wives, sisters, friends, together.

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    1. So true---it is the stories that thread us together!!

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  2. OHMYGOD! You do not have a picture of me in my pajamas sitting in my bedroom on your blog (sort of). Holy crap. That is the last time I open the video feed. (Also, I'm so glad we are doing this "together".)

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    1. LOL!!!! You are so funny. Sorry for the pj pic. I'm so glad we are in this together too. I wish we could have some sort of real-life meet up or reunion.

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