Had A Hoot
by Gina Valley
I was in San Francisco for a rehearsal for a gig in May. We laughed and cried and laughed some more all afternoon. It was a hoot. You should have been there. Hopefully, you can be in May. Bring your mom, too.
It’s called Listen To Your Mother. I auditioned for it after Wendi Aarons mentioned the Austin production and what a great thing it was. Wendi hasn’t steered me wrong yet and makes me laugh all the time, so I decided to go for it.
I auditioned for the San Francisco production because, despite it being produced in 24 cities across the United States this year, there is no Los Angeles production.
As I explained to the other cast members at rehearsal on Sunday, that’s because children in Los Angeles don’t listen to their mothers. I have a house full of children to back up that theory.
The tag to the title of Listen To Your Mother is “Giving Mother’s Day a Microphone.”
Honestly, I think that tag is a bit off (I also think it’s too late for them to fire me. I guess after I hit “publish” on this we’ll find out). It does take place on Mothers’ Day, but it’s more than a voice just for mothers or Mothers’ Day. It’s a voice for everyone who parents, parental status notwithstanding.
Having spent the afternoon running through readings with the other cast members I was reminded about not only the humor and strength of mothers (and fathers), but also of the tremendously valuable and often overlooked parenting by unofficial parents.
None of us “real” parents can cover all of the bases. Step-parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, grandparents, teachers, coaches, friends, daycare providers, nurses, doctors, counselors, and many more all contribute to parenting our children.
Many times parenting is provided full-time by those who aren’t “real” parents (although truly if you’re parenting you are a parent). I have many friends who are the full-time parents for a variety of reasons to nieces, nephews, grandchildren, friends’ children. I know many foster parents who parent strangers’ children with love and care.
Parenting is about choosing to love and care for a child, not about your legal definition.
Listening to the other 13 cast members read their pieces, each one a unique glimpse into a facet of motherhood was a beautiful thing (you know mine is very highbrow, serious stuff. Winky face!). There are anecdotes of tears and stress and exhaustion. And joy. So much joy. Even in the midst of the difficult tales, laughter poked out its head. Just like in life.
Because that’s what parenting is – tearful, stressful, exhausting moments held together by bouts of laughter and sprinkles of joy. Giggles and smiles bursting out at the most surprising, inopportune times reminding us of the great love we have for the children in our care.
Our packs are varied and unique and intermingle and spread the love and grow the pups.
I hope some of you can join me in San Francisco on May 12. I look forward to sharing many laughs with you. Bring your mother or your children or anyone who has ever had a parent. We’ll be giggling all evening.
If you can’t make the San Francisco show, hopefully you can be at one in a city near you.
Trust me – you’ll have a hoot.
Laugh Out Loud!
Do you have a special memory about something unique your mom did? Was there a special non-parent who parented you and helped you grow? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.