In October 2010 I got the most exciting phone call of my life. Lindsay Kavet, the producer of Expressing Motherhood had selected me, because of my Dear Baby essay, to be part of Expressing Motherhood in January 2011. As she spoke, I paced the deck in my house across the country in Charlotte, NC, and thought about the irony of being asked to participate in a play in Los Angeles just a few weeks after moving away from the city I spent eighteen years in. Then she threw me a curve ball, she wanted me to write another essay about leaving LA and perform it to an Angelino audience. I was scared and wanted to do it bt told her I’d have to talk it over with my husband because 1) the show ran over two weeks in La and 2) I’d NEVER been away from my daughter, then two-and-a-half-years-old, for more than a night. Could I leave her that long? Who would help him take care of her? Oh, and did I mention that I was trying to get pregnant and take all sorts of make me crazy hormones? My husband, told me there was no way I shouldn’t do it. My mother said the same. And so, for the first time in my mommy life I was being recognized by people who never met me because of my writing. And it felt awesome.
It took a little while to write my new essay. It took me longer to memorize it, I called an actress friend of mine and asked her, “How do you do it????!??!?!?!??” And the most ironic thing was, that although I am a big personality in front of friends and even strangers, when you put me on a stage, point a bright light at me and say, “Go!” my voice leaves me. Jessica Cribbs and Lindsay Kavet had to really push and teach me how to be on stage. With their help and encouragement I did it, along with my cast mates whose stories made me laugh, cry, think, and nod my head in agreement. I made friends backstage. I was inspired to continue writing. I am in awe of the hard work that goes into this production and thankful that Expressing Motherhood exists.
Best of all, I am thrilled to say they are receiving the recognition they deserve. Earlier this week, Maria Shriver, for the NBC Today Show, interviewed Jessica Cribbs and Lindsay Kavet. Here’s what they have to say about it:
To be interviewed by Maria Shriver was amazing. To see our show represented so well is a gift.
Thank you Maria Shriver and the Today Show.
I want you to know these amazing women better and it was fun to turn the tables on them and get the interview:
What made you initially start Expressing Motherhood?
We had both come to LA to pursue our creative passions and then stopped working to become mothers. When my son was 1 1/2 years I wanted to challenge myself to become uncomfortable and doing something creative. I was looking into a writing course at UCLA at night but I was too tired to even go to the class at night. I wanted to write a play but realized I didn’t have the time or even perhaps talent so I thought how about a group collaboration? I called Jessica and she was in and we fine tuned the idea and Expressing Motherhood was born. A platform for people to share their stories about motherhood.
What keeps you going back?
The absolute joy of producing and directing the show. Directing has been my dream since I was a little girl. So this fulfills my dreams really.
How do you go about selecting stories?
Everything was based around the internet.
We literally worked on this while our children napped.
The power has always been in the story, that’s why there are no auditions. I don’t even know what most of the people look like.
Stories are sent to me and they are selected to all fit together like a puzzle.
Tell me everything about being contacted by Maria Shriver’s people?
We were contacted on thursday at 2PM and I think we were both thrilled and scared. I was very concerned that the show would not be represented in the best light. Not because of the Today Show or Maria Shriver but because of my lack of being able to express myself on national TV!
I was very pleased with the outcome.
Did you believe it?
Who turned her onto Expressing Motherhood?
Her producer, a fellow mom, found us somehow and pitched us to Maria. Maria said, done deal. She loved the shows concept.
How many times did you pinch yourself while being interviewed?
I can’t imagine the number of stories you’ll receive now…I’m so glad I got to be a part of Expressing Motherhood in 2011.
How many shows are you producing this year?
Would you ever take the show on the road?
We have taken the show on the road. In 2009 we went to NYC and in 2010 Boston. But we’ve had so many babies we’ve stayed local now for awhile.
What is the biggest surprise about the show?
The success. We had no fear in the beginning because we had nothing to lose or prove. This has been built on passion and just completely taken off.
The biggest reward for putting it on?
The camaraderie and the community the show has built. 100% rewarding.
What story do you remember most?
I remember them all. Honestly they are all very important to me.
What do you want people to take away from the show?
Just a feeling of being normal and being one with one another. Might sound cheesy but it is true.
tickets:click to see Expressing Motherhood THIS MOTHERS DAY