March of Dimes

Many time Expressing Motherhood performer Rachel Zients Schinderman has emailed me with information on her upcoming walk for the March of Dimes.

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Rachel is so passionate about the cause that she is now the Family Teams Communications Leader. To read more about her walk and/or to donate here is some information from Rachel:

 This year we as a family will again be walking in The March for Babies for The March of Dimes.  Last year we raised over $4000!  I would love to do that again!  And then some.  So this year I would love it if you joined us on April 27th in Exposition Park near downtown LA, even if just in a donation support!

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As many of you know Benjamin and Eli both spent time in the NICU, both for different reasons.  Being so grateful at how well they are doing we are giving back through volunteering for The March of Dimes.  I am now the Family Teams Communications Leader and will be speaking at City Hall as a Mission Mom this week!
Last year we were joined by my cousin Tamara!  This year won’t you join us too?  I will even get super cool The Schindy Boys t-shirts made up for us a group.  How can you resist that? Or if you can not walk with us, please sponsor us!  Pretty please? 🙂
Here is the link to either donate, join our team or both!!
Thank you so very much and apologies in advance for continuing to mention it until the walk in April!!
With love,

Rachel

My Families Weekend Soundtrack

Anne Litt’s show on KCRW  been the soundtrack for my families weekends for a long time now.

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Her show always helps soothes me right when I need it. Around 2PM on a Saturday when my husband I are wondering what to do with the kids the rest of the day.  The music seems to mellow us out and also it really sings to my creative soul.

Today Anne’s show was fabulous.

I had my two little ones in the minivan and she played a song by Rilo Kiley called “Let Me Back In.” It is a love song, Los Angeles.

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Rilo Kiley – Let Me Back In Lyrics

Let it be printed, let it be known
I’m leaving you, I’m going home
And all you can do is just watch me go
I’ve put you down, talked you up
Defended your honor
and then packed in and picked it up
When all you can do is just watch me go
From the Eastern seaboard,
The land-locks Mid-west
The keys, the Alps, the Blackhills and Budapest
With my heart in a sling tail,
Between my legs are swinging
I’m sorry for leaving

But when The palm trees bow their heads
No matter how wrong I’ve been
LA, you always let me back in

And you can bury me
When my body breaks
In the earth that created me in the Golden state
By my momma and her brother, and her momma too
Cause I had a dream I was carried on backs of a thousand green birds
And they carried me to a place without words
And there was nothing, but there was everything
And it sounded like this

But when The palm trees bow their heads
No matter how cruel I’ve been
LA, you always let me back in
And when the ṗalm trees bow their heads
No matter how cruel I’ve been
LA, you always let me back in, in
Oh back in, in, oh back in, in,

[Lyrics to Let Me Back In by Rilo Kiley]

First seen on LyricsPremiere.com

You can listen to it here.

It was a love song that LA deserves. We get picked on just a little. But that’s OK most people I know here don’t take themselves too seriously.  Such a transient place and yet I’m staying here, feet firmly in this very clay like soil and digging my roots.

Loved your show today Anne!

Come to My Door by Jose James sooooo good.

I parked my minivan in the driveway, opened the doors and the kids and this was the last song I was able to catch. Perfect Saturday afternoon.

Medo de Amar by Heidi Vogel.

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A Grant for Parents that Write

Expressing Motherhood performer, Michelle Kholos Brooks, shared an article with me that speaks right to you parents that write. It is about a mom and dad based out of San Francisco who in 2011 decided to start:

Sustainable Arts Foundation (SAF), a nonprofit based in San Francisco that provides unrestricted financial awards to writers and artists across the country with children under the age of eighteen.

I LOVE what the founder have to say on their website:

Too often, creative impulses are set aside to meet the wonderful, but pressing, demands of raising a family. The foundation’s goal is to encourage parents to continue pursuing their creative passion, and to rekindle it in those who may have let it slide.

Tony and Caroline Grant are lucky enough to have an amazing studio where their two young kids can entertain themselves and they can create. They realized that not everyone can afford that and so they started this foundation.

Photo via NYTimes
Photo via NYTimes

To date the organization has provided funding to more than forty individuals, each year handing out ten Foundation Awards of six thousand dollars each and ten Promise Awards of a thousand dollars each. Past winners have included poet Travis Mossotti, novelist Emily Barton, and nonfiction writer William Adler. Despite the impressive pedigrees of some of SAF’s previous winners, the Grants insist that they are open to receiving applications from artists of all kinds. Applications, which are accepted twice annually, in the spring and fall, are entirely portfolio based, and the foundation doesn’t charge an entry fee, a decision that was made to keep the process as open as possible.

To apply simply click here. The deadline is February 28th so don’t delay!

LA Moms, Need Auction Items for Your School Fundraiser?

Spring is the fundraising season for schools around here.

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I love these events as give me a glass of wine and I’m off to silently overbid for goodies.

A lot of which are great! And hey, it’s going towards my kids’ school, why not?

If your schools fundraiser is looking for items to be donated please contact Expressing Motherhood.We have set aside a few tickets just for these types of events. Send your email to lindsay@expressingmotherhood.com

We love supporting LA schools!

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Spotlight on a Sponsor: Out of Print

If you’ve been to one of our shows you know that we often raffle off great items. This upcoming show will prove no different.

We’ve been given some great gear from Out of Print

Here is their mission:

Out of Print celebrates the world’s great stories through fashion. Our products feature iconic and often out of print book covers. Some are classics, some are just curious enough to make great t-shirts, but all are striking works of art.

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We work closely with artists, authors and publishers to license the content that ends up in our collections. Each product is treated to feel soft and worn like a well-read book.

We have a t-shirt, a sweatshirt and a few totes to raffle off. Thanks Out of Print!

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Meet Cast Member Nora Plesent

Nora Plesent will be in our upcoming Mother’s Day run here in Hollywood.

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She has recently moved to LA. Turns out Nora is what you might call a Type A personality.  Not only was she recently awarded the 2012-13 Comerica Bank Best of LA Women’s Business Award for Women in Entrepreneurship, due to her contributions to women in the legal profession but she also has 4 KIDS!

Here is her bio from the company she founded, Lexolution.

  • University of Michigan, B.A., magna cum laude, 1979 The George Washington University Law School, J.D. 1982

  • Nora started as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn. She then litigated white-collar cases at Kostelanetz Ritholz Tigue & Fink and became a partner at the successor firm. She began her legal staffing career in 1996 and is a frequent speaker and consultant on topics relating to part-time and flexible work arrangements in the legal profession.

    We are looking forward to having this dynamic woman on our stage.

Walking the Tightrope: Family Friendly Theatre

I was invited to go see the play “Walking the Tightrope” downtown.

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I was told it was kid friendly, with a suggested starting age of 6. So I booked a babysitter for my two little ones and headed downtown with my 6 year-old boy to the 24th Street Theatre now knowing much about the play.

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Much like other LA peeps, I don’t know downtown that well and when I turned onto 24th street I saw a huge sign that said theatre parking and two young men standing there. I got there early and started talking to them. One of the young men told me how much he loved this theatre, that it was like a second home to him. He lived around the area and used to take a bus to his charter school, in Pacific Palisades!! The young man astounded me. For those of you living outside of LA that means that guy took a bus ride about 1 hour each way to get to a good school.

Turns out 24th Street Theatre serves over 11,000 kids every school year with their Arts Education program. They hold after-school theatre classes for neighborhood kids, assisting them with language development, effective communication skills and building self-confidence.

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I was impressed before the show even began.

They served wine, soda and tamales made from a local.

They even let us eat in the theatre. Bonus for hungry kids.

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Then 24th Street’s Executive Director Jay McAdams introduced the show and he said that the theatre is aiming to create a space that features original, though provoking, stories for people of all ages.  LAb24 pushed the envelope in developing sophisticated new works for young audiences. Lab24 says, “Our work doesn’t look like “traditional children’s theatre” but rather like “adult theatre for kids.”

Sure enough as the lights dimmed all the sudden I realized this was not to be a play put on by Disney. I shifted in my seat peering at my friend and her 6 year-old daughter hoping it was an appropriate choice. I felt comfortable in knowing at least my friend was Danish because I could tell it was not going to be very “American.”

As Director Debbie Devine said in an interview with the LAStage Times, “Around the world, they do really exciting theater for young audiences, about things that are really powerful…death and incest and war. The rest of the world….they are not afraid to put these things on stage. In the US, we’re very reticent to do that. A lot of our family programming is extremely stupid. There’s nothing daring there.”

I've never met her but I like Director Debbie!
I’ve never met her but I like Director Debbie!

I don’t want to ruin the story in case you do go to Walking the Tightrope but essentially it deals with a child learning of a grandparents passing. The theatre was remarkably quiet for so many young people there. I could not believe it in fact.

At one point my son asked me what or who one character represented. I fumbled over my words and then he said to me, “It’s the soul of the grandma.”

OK.

I didn’t even know that my son knew the word soul.

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The play will leave us with a lot to discuss but he already asked about seeing the next show. This was the 3rd out of 4 shows for this season.

At the end of the show I heard my friend silently crying, I had to get the napkin passed between the two kids to get to her. The kids knew she was crying. But that was OK.

Life can be sad. People die. I’m actually more worried about what how my children will handle life’s adversities if I raise them only surrounded by stories that include happy endings.

The acting and set design were wonderful. Really, really well done. The story was beautifully written.

After the show my child and his friend left their thoughts about their favorite part of the show on a board the theatre had created.

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It was a special afternoon and 24th Street Theatre in really onto something.

I’m looking forward to returning to that magical little theatre.

He might not look excited to be with me but I know he was. Deep down.
He might not look excited to be with me but I know he was. Deep down.
Two great friends seeing some great theatre! Smiling sans mom.
Two great friends seeing some great theatre! Smiling sans mom.

 

Tickets can be purchased for Walking the Tightrope at a 10% discount with the password umbrella.

 

OdysseyO And The Visionary Behind It

I love Burbank….most anyone who knows me, knows this fact about me.

I love The Valley…whew.. There, I said it out loud. I love The Valley.

Ok, now, that that’s out of the way, I want to tell you something about Burbank. The skyline of the city is changing this week. The show, Cavalia is back with a new performance called OdysseyO and by Monday afternoon, the 110 foot, 10 story White Big Top will be up and ready for their opening night, Wednesday February 27th.

logo_odysseo_couleurOdysseyO is a show…an amazing show, featuring the connection between horse and man, envisioned by one of the creators of Cirque Du Soleil, Normand Latourelle.

This week, Mr. Latourelle gave me 30 minutes of his time to ask him anything I wanted.

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Normand Latourelle

 

Anything.

So, I looked at all of the press materials for the show and decided I didn’t want to ask him about the details of the show that were all laid out before me. I could read that information anywhere.

I wanted to know about creativity. His inspiration and how it works for him.

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Grand Cavalia

Mr. Latourelle is from Montreal, Quebec and is a visionary leader in the performing arts world in Canada, wrangling up many accomplished accolades. As I mentioned before, he actually helped CREATE Cirque Du Soleil. Even if you’ve never seen a Cirque show, I’m just going to assume you know the awesomeness that I’m talking about.

I asked him where his inspiration comes from and he said “I don’t know. I just get an idea and I do it.” He explained that most of his ideas come while he’s sleeping, kind of like dreams, but somewhere between sleeping and waking.

He explained “When an idea comes back to me over and over, I know I have to do it.”

I get that. I suppose what makes the difference between staying a dreamer and becoming a visionary is acting on those ideas and not letting them stay dreams.

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Les voyageurs III

Let me tell you about OdysseyO for a minute and you can see where the dreamer becomes a visionary:

“OdysseyO will take the audience around the word as 67 horses and an international cast of 45 artists play and demonstrate their intimate bond. The 15,000 square foot stage features a real carousel and an 80,000 gallon lake in front of a stunning video

backdrop the size of 3 IMAX screens.”

“It’s an Odyssey—you’re going to travel throughout the world.” he stated as he explained all of the places you’ll travel in the duration of the show. “(You can have)..nice discussion with the kids after… Where have we been?”
Visionary indeed.

The last time Cavalia was in Los Angeles was in 2010 and he says, “This one is more accomplished. I had the experience of the first one. I’ve created a bigger stage and more sophisticated technical grid that allowed us to do more. We have gone as far as a touring show can go.”

A bigger stage indeed. The main tent is twice the size of the last one we saw here in the same location. The infrastructure is capable of supporting 80 tons, including that full sized merry-go-round as its lowered to the stage during the show.

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“We have a real forest…the stage gets filled with water. We’re not Universal Studios, but its pretty close.” he said chuckling.

When I was asking him about what he’s most proud of in his life, he immediately said his family. Nothing compares to that and as a matter of fact he left Cirque Du Soleil to stay home and help raise his two boys, fully “understanding how important that was.”

Another thing Mr. Latourelle said struck me, something else he’s proud of…
“(It makes me proud) to see how many people are making their life out of my idea…my small ideas and they get good life.”

I love it.

This quite brilliant man said one more thing to me before our conversation was over..quite possibly a new motto I may just have to remind myself of over and over,

“Nothing is more satisfying than bringing happiness to this planet, that’s what creation is all about. If you’ve got something to give…give it.”

Amen to that.

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Nomads

OdysseyO opens Wednesday, February 27th in Downtown Burbank. For all details and how to purchase tickets, visit www.Cavalia.net

Mom 2.0 Summit

Expressing Motherhood will be attending Mom 2.0 Summit in Laguna the first weekend of May.

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The speakers were just announced and a few past Expressing Motherhood performers will be speaking. Women such as:

Liz Gumbinner from our NYC show and Rebecca Woolf from our first show ever here in Venice, CA.

Liz Gumbinner
Liz Gumbinner
Rebecca Woolf
Rebecca Woolf

 

Our room by the ocean at the Ritz has been booked and we look forward to seeing old cast members and meeting new people!