First off, thank you all for cheering on my daughter as we waited for the outcome of her audition to the fine arts program. When she got the acceptance email and letter, she was cool as a cucumber about it, but also very, very excited. We’s so proud of her hard work and everything she’s accomplished to get here. We’re also baffled that our youngest is going into high school, because Tim and I still think we’re in our 20’s, so everything is a weird time warp at this point.
This weekend, the auditions keep coming, only this time it’s yours truly.
First, the back story: Two years ago, I made a last-minute decision to go to NYC to attend a conference called BlogHer. The experience was life-changing. I met so many empowering women, and began having deep conversations about a number of issues that I’d cared about in the past, but learned I needed to care harder.
One of the after-hours events was an open mic for a show called “Listen to Your Mother.” The format was simple: select a piece to read and put your name in a fishbowl. I went alone, happy hour glass of wine in hand, and gathered up the nerve to sign up.
As luck would have it, mine was one of the first names called. I took off my shoes because I was so nervous, I didn’t have the balance to toddle up to the stage in heels. When I approached the podium, I realized I had gum in my mouth, and told the crowd, “My mom’s a piano teacher and I can hear her telling me not to have gum in my mouth when I’m on stage,” so I pulled the gum out of my mouth and held it in one hand as I read from my phone in the other. Classy stuff.
Despite my fear of public speaking, when the crowd laughed in just the right places, it was a huge rush. For the first time, I felt what comedians must feel when they have a good night. The laughter embraces you like a giant happy hug, and it leaves you wanting more.
When we returned to Austin, Amy researched more about Listen to Your Mother’s actual show that takes place in different cities around the US, and she encouraged me to apply for an audition for the Austin show. The great thing about our friendship is we established early on that we’re not competing with each other. There are never too many voices to add to the mix.
Yesterday, Amy went to her audition and while she was there, I was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear how it went. I know she did a great job, and I love the idea that more people are getting exposed to her hilarious and great writing. (I’ll let her tell you the story of how she managed to land a plate of bacon before going on stage, because that is so very Amy.)
Today, I’ll head over for my audition. I’m excited about the opportunity to stare my fear of public speaking in the face once again, and will always think about my former CEO who, when I told about my speaking fear, smiled and asked me, “Have you puked yet?” I haven’t puked yet, so maybe the fear isn’t as bad as I originally thought.
I write this post with a wish that YOU think about what makes you so excited you could vomit, and ask that you challenge yourself to do that thing. Unless that thing is trying meth or cozying up to El Chapo, then please reconsider your life choices. The good stuff in life is when we are doing things that make us feel a rush of excitement, and when we channel that rush into something positive.