Um. No. My facial expression was likely reminiscent of my teenage years.
"Don't look at me like that. Your dad is worried. Everyone knows you get lost."
True. But I'm not incompetent. I'm a reasonably intelligent, somewhat independent wife and mother-of-two.
And I'd made a call back for Listen to Your Mother! Oh, yeah.
I could drive to a simple audition by myself. Probably.
I'd leave early.
If I drove alone to the audition for Listen to Your Mother--Northwest Arkansas, I'd get about three hours BY MYSELF. My fantasy life took hold and I dreamed: No crying. No food fights. No one needing me at all. I'd go to my son's soccer game, drive the windy, crooked road through the foothills of the Ozarks, audition for the NW Arkansas show Listen to Your Mother, and return in time to take the kids to a Hot Wheels party.
Yep. This mama was going places.
Giddiness prevailed until I received another email. It was a callback for the inaugural show of Listen to Your Mother--Oklahoma City. My home state. Good news. But my heart fell when I read one little line in the email. I would not be able to audition if I made the NW Arkansas show.
And that made me anxious.
I liked my essay for NW Arkansas. But the piece for Oklahoma City... was my story. I didn't realize how important it was to me until that email told me I might not get the opportunity to share it.
When I saw the amazing cast list for Arkansas, relief flooded me. My name wasn't on it.
I got to tell my story! It might be only once in front of the captive audience of directors and producer, but I. Would. Share. My. Story.
And that made me nervous. Because I wanted to tell everyone.
So, when my mother said, "Do you need me to go with you?" I said, "No."
I didn't need her to go. But it might be nice. "But if you want to spend the day together, I'd love to have you along."
"I'll drive," she said, "so you can practice."
Half an hour into our drive, I read the piece. Only a few lines in, her hand flew off the steering wheel to get my attention. "Stop."
She offered advice. Good advice. Before the audition, I read the piece for her three or four times. She commented and critiqued. The rhythm was familiar--reminding us both of when I was in high school and she'd help me run lines for a show or a competition.
When I walked inside the building for my audition, I didn't feel like a child who'd been driven by her mother. I felt like a woman with a story to tell.
And, boy, I was a wreck. All heart palpitations and nervous chatter. The directors and producers were kind women, willing me to do my best. They wanted to hear my story as much as I wanted to tell it.
Afterward, my mom and I ate, shopped, and headed home. We laughed and talked without life interrupting us until my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number.
It was Heather. One of the directors. She claimed she wanted me to get some sleep and informed me I made the show!
I babbled a response, my emotions busy tumbling over each other for attention. Happiness. Relief. Excitement.
When I hung up the phone, I could tell by the look on my mom's face that she knew.
Sometimes you need to listen to your gut.
Sometimes it's best to listen to your mother.
Come see our show on May 5 at the Will Rogers Theater in Oklahoma City. Tickets are available here. Listen to Your Mother OKC benefits Infant Crisis Services.