A microphone stands alone in front of 300 empty seats.
The microphone waits to amplify your voice, shaky or strong, it doesn’t care. The empty seats don’t connect to your story, or laugh at your jokes.
Judgmental things, empty seats.
Writers write because their emotional health demands it. Writing isn’t necessarily the hard part; sending those stories unprotected out into the world of dangling participle bullies? Harder.
Performers give voice to another’s words; talented performers give such good voice that the audience can hear the author.
That empty microphone, those empty seats– I’m not a performer, is this even a performance? I’m not reading someone else’s fictional story; this is MY story, a piece of my nonfiction life.
The strength didn’t come from performing, but from the ripping off a piece of myself and leaving it flopping on a stage for a group of strangers. I owned the words they formed into sentences, but I can’t force a reader to invoke my emotional attachment to them.
The power in participating in Listen To Your Mother didn’t exist alone in the writing, or even in the telling, but rather from the attention of strangers, listening and feeling.
It’s the importance of being heard, amplified.