Build it And They Will Come
From the time I was a kid I have always loved being on stage. And so, when I got the chance to take the mic at Comic Strip Live a few days ago with some of my favorite mom authors, writers and bloggers, that little skip in my step that I usually get when I'm on to something exciting, completely took hold of me.
You see, I'm actually in the midst of putting together a humor anthology called C://Mom Run: Side-Splitting Essays from the World's Most Harried Blogging Moms and when City Dusk asked me what I kind of event I'd like to host for moms this Mother's Day, readings from my new book popped into my head. And so, within minutes, I fired off emails to my talented team of contributors and within seconds, they all said they wanted to be a part of the night.
In the weeks leading up to the event, I asked everyone to send their essays to me so that I could see how each would flow into the next. Then my good friend, Audrey Pass, who heads up PR for Fox 5 NY suggested that the station's technology reporter and former stand-up comic Brett Larson would make a great emcee. While I would have normally gone with a mom host for the night - Brett turned out to be the perfect choice.
Meanwhile, as I pored over essays about diaper explosions, restaurant nightmares, unorthodox Rosh Hashana memories, naked kids and more, I started to envision how these honest and hilarious stories would play out on stage. Plus, some of the essays that I had been editing came in from some incredibly gifted writers from Chicago and Los Angeles and I decided I wanted to use their stories in the show as well. And so, I did what any connected mom would do - I reached out to Wendy Stetson, a blogger friend and actress and she agreed to read one of the stories. She then brought in another colleague, Katie Firth, an actress and mom and we then combined the two stories and worked to perfect the act on stage.
The night of the event, we asked all our performers to arrive early so they could participate in a video shoot with our title sponsor, Luvs. From there, they asked each of us our personal mantra on motherhood and my response was simple. When you're a mom, you have to accept that you are going to make mistakes - and that's okay. The key to being a good mom is not to lose yourself in the process. Pursue your passion while raising a family and that will not only make you happier, but turn you into a great mom in the process.
From there, we were also interviewed by Traveling Mom founder, Kim Orlando who was on hand with Sony to showcase their new web cams and ask all of us how much we rely on technology when we're traveling. Case in point...I'm writing this article while I'm flying on Virgin America and if the internet were working, I'd be blogging about it right about now.
Traveling Mom also supplied us with a fabulous make-up artist from Beauty Strokes who gave us the star treatment and touched us up in time for the show. And then the doors opened and the crowd starting filing in.
I have to say, the biggest part about events that always gets me nervous is whether or not anyone will show up. I'm always pretty confident that I can deliver the goods - great content, a fun evening, socializing and good food. The question is, will moms take time out of their busy schedules to come out for an evening of entertainment. I'm happy to report, they did! The place was packed and what made me even more excited by the turnout was that we were donating a portion of the ticket sales to the Gal to Gal Foundation, which assists patients and families battling stage IV breast cancer.
Before we knew it, it was time to start the show. I hopped up on stage and started to launch into the story behind the evening. I kind of feel like over the past few years, I've taken the Kevin Costner approach to building my own field of dreams. Build it and they will come. And my dream of bringing writers together for an evening of laughs and inspiration was about to begin.
I introduced Brett Larson and the instant he took to the stage, he had the audience in stitches. You could tell he was having a great time and he was so comfortable with us. Funny, that our anchor for the night was a man but what I've come to realize is that as much as we get caught up in the whole mom humor moment, it's nice to breathe a little testosterone into the air to mix things up a bit.
The performers for the evening included Jen Singer, author of the new book Stop Second Guessing Yourself, blogger and freelance writer Melissa Chapman, Tracy Beckerman, syndicated humor colunist and author of Rebel Without a Minivan, mom blogger Vanessa Druckman; blogger and former TV promotion producer Nancy Friedman; CNN Executive producer and blogger Eden Pontz; actress and blogger Wendy Stetson and actress Katie Firth; blogger and freelance magazine writer Jeanne Muchnick; blogger and author Liz Gumbinner and Abby Peccoriello, author of Crafty Mama and editor in chief of Nickelodeon's Parents Connect.
The evening literally went by in a flash and was peppered with lots of laughter from our audience of moms, dads, husbands, friends and fellow mom bloggers. And the best part about our night in the spotlight was that when it was all over, people came up to me asking when we'd be performing again. With our debut a huge success, it looks like there will be many more Open Mom Nights coming soon. We look forward to working with CityDusk again on creating these laugh out loud events for today's busy parents.
Posted in: Events on 05/13/2009