Poem “Hushed” by LTYM: Providence cast member Marian Kent.
Dear LTYM: Providence Cast, or Dearest Truth Tellers,
Over the last several weeks, I’ve had the immense pleasure of getting to know all of you. Each of you has proven to be as smart, kind and fun as I had anticipated. The pleasant surprise has been seeing so much of myself in all of you. Each of us with a unique story to share and yet so very much connected and driven by the same things.
Watching your faces during our first rehearsal was a flashback of my own reactions to hearing your stories for the first time during auditions – pure awe.
Listening to what brought you to Listen To Your Mother: Providence echoed my own reasons – reclaiming my talents after motherhood, celebrating the woman behind the mother, sharing my mama wisdom, for myself, for all mothers, for everyone.
Your joy, pride, insecurity, fear, geeky excitement, stunned disbelief, sense of camaraderie, your holy-shit-I’m-going-to-be-on-stage-in-front-of 306-people-what-have-I-gotten-myself-into – these emotions are my own as well.
I see myself in each of you. I know our audience will no doubt have the same reaction. It’s the “me too” reaction Ann Imig spoke about. Not just because you each are bringing to the table your truth but because you each have the courage to speak as witnesses to the collective experience of motherhood. You are embracing every mother, daughter, grandmother, son, father, everyone who has, is a mother and thinks they stand alone.
I believe you’re all breath-takingly amazing.
Which is why I’m writing you today. I have spoken to many of you individually or collectively and in some capacity you’ve expressed something to this affect –
“There must be some mistake. How did I end up in the company of such talented women?” or
“I have a better piece. The one you heard isn’t my best. I don’t think it stands up to everyone else’s work.”
Ultimately, many of you, myself included, are plagued by not enough syndrome.
My confession. Busy juggling auditions and production responsibilities, choosing my piece to read for the show was last on my list of priorities. I had some ideas before auditions but then everything seemed to already be covered or not up to par. Here’s my confession, I didn’t decide what I would read until I was driving to rehearsals. I had printed out two contenders and pulled the trigger as I pulled into the parking lot. As we gathered to read, I listened to everyone around the table. I laughed. I cried. I cried. I laughed. A voice whispered in my head, “Maybe I should just stick to producing and directing the show. These are some seriously good writers. My super short, rinky dink poem thingy doesn’t hold a candle to anything I’ve heard. I’m totally the weak link. There’s no way I can fake it amongst so much talent.”
The cast member before me finished her piece and I could choose to either read or let everyone know I wasn’t reading. I kid you not, I was on the fence until the words from my piece began to spill from my mouth. I read my piece. I’m reading in the show. You embraced me the way you embraced every story – with love and open hearts. I left that day full and overwhelmingly alive. I made the right choice.
I was reminded of the tremendous power we each have. The power we often neglect and deprive ourselves and the world of.
Shortly after, I read this post from a Listen To Your Mother cast member in another city and realized, like the author did,
“I don’t want to hide anymore. Take me in. Love me. I’m open. I am good enough. That’s right. I. Am. Good. Enough.”
I shared the post with you all and again I was surprised so many of us share the same insecurities. I wanted to let you know you are more than enough. Laura and I welcomed you to the cast because you each floored us with your brilliance. One simple afternoon, in a tiny conference room, with nothing but a few pages of paper and your voice, you blew us away. You stirred emotions in us with your words and it haunted us in the most wonderful way days and weeks later. You dazzled again at rehearsals and left your fellow cast members changed. You will do it again in a few short weeks.
Each of your pieces is perfectly as it should be for our show. We didn’t come to the table with any preconceived notion of what kind of stories we wanted to share with our audience. Then each of you walked through the door and there was no question you belonged.
Laura and I were so honored to bring this show to Providence. We were excited to take on these new roles as producer and director, to explore these unchartered waters all in the name of motherhood and community and womanhood. Then came YOU. And it took on life. YOU deepened the purpose for our production. YOU define this year’s production. YOU. YOU. YOU.
Thank you for believing in this project enough to share your truth, to bare your soul before strangers. Thank you for being vulnerable. Thank you for your brilliance. Thank you for being selfish enough.
With the utmost gratitude,