a storytelling playdate for moms

by ck on December 28, 2011

Giving birth taught me three very important things:

1) Don’t eat anything–not even a Cheerio–before going into labor. (No matter how many times your doctor/midwife/friends assures you that it won’t happen to you, or that you’re not the kind of woman who’d accidentally sh*t on her kid, don’t listen to them.)

2) If you can’t laugh about it, you’ll never make it.

3) You will need other moms.

Number three was especially hard for me to grasp because I’m the kind of introvert who can’t do kiddie groups for more than fifteen minues. Mom groups? Forget it. It’s just too much. I struggled a lot during early motherhood until I was  introduced to the world of mommy blogging. Within weeks I learned just how powerful it was to connect with other moms going through similar stages of life. Moms whose kids sucked as much as mine did. Moms who could admit that motherhood wasn’t what they thought it would be, but loved it anyway. Always. Most of the time. Sometimes. Whatever.

Through the encouragement of other mom bloggers, I learned that I had stories worth telling. And through an awesome storytelling group called SpeakeasyDC I learned how to tell them on stage. It was an experience that was hard at first, but one that I’ve grown to cherish. Not just because it’s something I can do with my husband and without our kids, but because it’s a fun place where I can be myself. And the audiences? They’re the kind you dreamed about while belting Vision of Love into a hairbrush in front of a mirror. (Don’t lie Mariah Carey fans. I know you’re still out there.)

So you can imagine how excited I am to share that I’m partnering with SpeakeasyDC for a Mother’s Day show called: Bad Mommy Moments: A Storytelling Playdate for Moms. Mark your calendars and get a babysitter for Saturday, May 12th!

And if you’re a mom who likes to tell stories, also mark January 18th. We’re conducting the first round of auditions on that date, with auditions via Skype for those who can’t attend. We’re looking for moms with stories on any of the following topics: motherhood failures, surprises, tough decisions, “new” bodies, balancing work and kids and life, losing yourself, finding hope…and why it’s all worth it.

You don’t have to be an actor, or someone who’s ever been on the stage before. Just a mom with a story to tell. (Though if you’re a mom who’s also an actor, that’s incredible, email me.) There will be rehearsals before the show, so you can feel confident that your piece will be in fantastic shape before you take the stage. And if you can’t find a babysitter, or you live too far to make it to the rehearsals, we will be conducting rehearsals via Skype as well.

Wondering if your story fits, or how to tell it SpeakeasyDC-style? Here are some guidelines I swiped from their website:

  • Storytelling is an oral art, so we share our stories in front of an audience without notes. It’s a telling, not  not a reading.
  • Our stories are autobiographical which means they are true, original, and first-person. It’s not fiction or folktale.
  • Our stories have a narrative arc which, in a nutshell, means there are characters and a plot.  It is not an essay, a series of jokes, or poetry.

Still with me? If you are, you should consider auditioning. Because the best part? The part that makes it all worth it? The audience. On any given night you’d find them ready to laugh, and generous with their applause. But this audience will be special because our show celebrates them. Moms just like us.

So while I can’t promise you won’t crap on the table the next time you give birth (though I’ll certainly be rooting for you), I can promise that you’ll laugh, you’ll meet other great moms, and your experience on the stage with SpeakeasyDC will be one to remember. Check out the clips below. They aren’t all on a Mother’s Day theme, but they’ll give you a sense of how it all comes together.

PS: Please pass this along to anyone you think might be interested. Thank you!

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To audition, prepare a complete story on one of the above themes and contact Amy Couchoud at coosh(at)speakeasydc(dot)org for an audition time and more details. You can also email me at ck(at) badmommymoments(dot)com if you’d like help putting your story together and preparing for the audition.

Vijai Nathan performing as part of SpeakeasyDC’s Mother’s Day Special 09 from SpeakeasyDC on Vimeo.

Erin Myers tells true story at SpeakeasyDC from SpeakeasyDC on Vimeo.

Eritrea Pitts tells a true story at SpeakeasyDC from SpeakeasyDC on Vimeo.

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