Veteran Expressing Motherhood Performers Shannon Noel & Stacie Burrows Give New Meaning To Labor Of Love…

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Stacie Burrows & Shannon Noel

It’s no secret we love Shannon Noel and Stacie Burrows. These beautiful women met while performing in an Expressing Motherhood show a few years back….and it was love at first sight…comedy love.

They remained friends after the show and continued to come back and submit for subsequent shows, gracing our stage several times. Shannon and Stacie have now grown their comedy love into a big fat comedic genius baby.

 

Mommy Tonk.

tumblr_mtdrwyay2Y1sj1kywo1_1280I sent Shannon and Stacie a list of questions because I wanted to find out a little more about their new project…and also because as a mom of three, I have very little time to actually get out of the house to sit face to face. It’s just so darn hard to coordinate sometimes….

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Shannon and her family

How long have you been married (not to each other ;)) and how many children do you have and ages?

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Stacie’s Boys.

Shannon – I’ve been married to John for like 65 years.  Time flies when you’re…

Stacie: Having fun.

Shannon: Right.  Having fun.  We’ve been ‘having fun’ for 6 years.  We have 2 boys: Booker age 4.5 and Riley age 3.5.  We don’t like to waste time.

Stacie: I married Desmond 14 years ago.

Shannon:  Wow!  You guys have been having fun for a long time!

Stacie: Amen sister. And we also have 2 boys: James, age 8 and Charlie, age 5.

 
Tell me about meeting each other at that first ExMo show…how did you know you’d be friends for freaking ever?

Stacie: Well, I didn’t exactly know what I was getting into when I submitted myself to Expressing Motherhood.  I thought, “Yeah, I can do 7 minutes of comedy on your show, ladies.” Then I attended the first rehearsal and sat through the most heart-wrenching stories of motherhood that ever existed.  I sat there sobbing through one after another piece and thinking, “What am I doing here? I’m a comedian!”  Then Shannon stepped onstage wearing a breast pump and she delivered the most well-written and expertly delivered piece of comedy I’d ever seen.

575373_10151596169322974_292563329_nShannon:  Stop it.

Stacie: No

Shannon: OK.

Stacie:  I laughed so hard I think I might have scared the other cast members.  I knew in an instant that this was my best friend and this was the beginning of something wonderful.

Shannon: Well when Stacie walked out with her baby monitor in hand and then said “she hoped this thing really had a 3 mile range” I peed my pants.  Her piece was irreverent and honest and talked about her love of drinking. It was love at first paragraph.  She was cracking me up for a straight 7 minutes!  Then during the run of the show she talked a lot backstage and kept getting me in trouble with Jessica.

Stacie:  No, no, no.  You are the one that can’t be quiet backstage!

Shannon: I knew that I had met my match!

Stacie: We had a Southern connection too.  She’s from Kentucky and I’m from Texas, so we bonded about grits, bourbon, and chili. She invited me to her son’s first birthday party.

Shannon:  It was kind of stalky of me – but when you are meeting new moms it’s like dating – so you just have to go for it. That party was our first date.  I’m so glad you said YES.
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Stacie: I think I screamed, “YES” before you actually finished inviting me.

Shannon:  You did, you totally did.  You came and didn’t think it was weird at all that I had asked you – that’s when I knew we were sealed.

Stacie:  Six months later I was asked to provide entertainment for a charity event.  They said they wanted an hour & half of comedy.  I had 20 solid minutes, but I took the gig anyway.  I called Shannon immediately and asked if she would be interested in doing her monologues alongside my stand-up comedy.

Shannon: And then I screamed, “YES” before she finished asking me.  I was so excited to be on stage with you again Stace.

Stacie: And in about 3 weeks time, we conceived our show “I’m Not From Here But My Kids Are.”

 

How exactly has Mommy Tonk evolved from an idea into a reality?

Stacie: When preparing for our first show, Shannon and I thought it would be nice to make a playlist of songs to play before our performance and during intermission.  I swear we spent more time picking out those songs than actually rehearsing.  We had the exact same taste in good ole’ fashioned country songs by Merle Haggard, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson. And we sat there at her kitchen table harmonizing to song after song.

1070074_515191095217086_2011206343_nShannon:  I’ll never forget that day.  Booker was not yet 2 and Riley was maybe 6 mos old.  I think Riley was attached to my nipple the whole time we were singing and Stacie was working her mommy magic on a screaming Booker.  This is how our rehearsals went down for the next few weeks!   You really saved me during those early mommy days Stace.

Stacie:  Ahhhh.

Shannon:  Seriously.  I don’t know what I would have done without you.

Stacie:  Are you crying?

Shannon:  Maybe.

Stacie:  OK, well anyway, we did our show and it was well received.  We both said our one dream was to add music to the next show.  One afternoon I had Shannon & her family over to my house.  Our hubbies took the kids to a park and Shannon and I sat in my yard, drank bourbon and collaborated on our first two songs about our dear husbands.  The songwriting came so naturally to both of us and we could not stop laughing at our ridiculous lyrics.  We really weren’t sure how our husbands would react but, thankfully, their sense of humor is just as sharp as ours, so all was well.

Shannon:  I may have had to perform some extra “duties” later that night – but whatever.  I’ll do just about anything in the name of comedy with Stacie.

Stacie:  We submitted our songs to the spring show of Expressing Motherhood in Hollywood and Lindsay and Jessica, once again, took a risk on our irreverent and punchy songs.  We were pleased with the audience’s response.

Shannon – I’m pleased that Stacie doesn’t seem to care that I only know like 3 chords on my guitar.  You really only need G-C-and D anyway.

Stacie:  It works baby!

Shannon:  Totally.

What is your ultimate goal with the new project, Mommy Tonk?

Shannon: Well ultimately we wanna make people laugh.

Stacie: Yes, and to share our comedy and music with every mother in the country.

Shannon: We were both in the church choir as kids – so this just feels like the natural next step.  I mean there are only a few differences between our songs and “This Little Light of Mine” right?   Seriously though, that’s like my favorite children’s church choir song and although I’m pretty sure we aren’t allowed to sing the songs we write in front of stained glass and pulpits, I do think we are shining a big light on…

Stacie:  The stuff that drives moms crazy.  We sing about the stuff that moms get.

Shannon: Next we’re bringing an egg shaker into the act!  We moms have gotta shake whatever eggs we’ve got left!

Stacie: We are going to continue writing songs and recording them in hopes of getting more “gigs.”  We’d love to provide entertainment for BlogHer or Mom Summit or any other mom conference.

Shannon:  Basically we just want to stay in hotels together and empty out the mini bars.

Stacie: I think every woman has her own version of a “happy place.”  My happy place is harmonizing funny songs with Shannon on stage in front of a supportive audience.  There is just nothing like it.  It is perfection for me.

Shannon: I love you.

Stacie:  OK, OK.

Shannon:  Seriously.

Stacie:  I know Shan, me too.  Maybe you should learn another chord or two?

Shannon: I can do that.

What more can you tell me about this!?! 

1000851_515287438540785_678250530_nShannon: Look, if you like to have a good time then you will like us.  If you don’t then we will buy you a drink afterwards and we’ll never speak of it again!

Stacie: And you’ll still have a good time!

Where should people go to keep up with you ladies?

Stacie: Well…we are working on booking our next installment of “I’m Not From Here But My Kids Are” so for sure LIKE our Face Book page to keep up to date on new shows.  Here’s the link: Facebook/I’m-Not-From-Here…
and here on Twitter: @NotFromHereShow and here of course: www.notfromhereshow.com

And here are some links to our other goodies:

Shannon: this is called the LINK section

Stacie: Download our songs here: www.mommytonk.com
*They are not safe for children.  Unless you want to scar them for life.

Shannon: Stacie’s blog lives here: www.stacieburrows.com

Stacie: And Shannon’s blog lives here: www.lullabiesformommy.com

Shannon: And here on Twitter: @lullabies4mommy.  This is called the BLOG section.

Stacie: We hope to see y’all real soon!IMG_8410

Submission and Showtime Info on our next LA Show

Expressing Motherhood is grateful be entering our 7th season in 2014.

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Our fabulous artwork for our second show in Venice by Agnete Oernsholt.

Our next show will be back at the urban Lillian Theatre in Hollywood.

Showtimes will be:

February 7 @8PM ,8 @8PM and 9 @2PM AND 7PM

February 14@8PM, 15@8PM and 16@2PM AND 7PM

Rehearsals will be:
Tuesday 10-2PM at the Lillian
Wednesday 10-2PM at the Lillian
Submissions will Open:
November 10th and close November 16th

We are looking for pieces that are no longer then 6 minutes long. Comedic, dramatic, songs, intrepretive dance, etc. We are open to it all.

 

Please help us spread the word around town!

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Thank you

Our first cast ever in 2008 in Venice.
Our first cast ever in 2008 in Venice.

This Sunday “Mommytonk” to Perform at Flappers

ExMo Alums Shannon Noel and Stacie Burrows have recently had a baby, Mommytonk, is what they’ve named her.

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And they are already up to some good with it.

Come hear Stacie and Shannon sing their song about driving safe at Flappers in Burbank this Sunday at 5PM. Profits go to the Conor Lynch Foundation.

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I have another passion project called Fix The Toaster, I launched a year ago, dedicated to bringing awareness to road safety. Car crashes are the #1 cause of death to kids.

Conor Lynch was a handsome young man running with his cross country team in Sherman Oaks when he was hit by a young woman who was driving distracted. Conor lost his life. He was the oldest of three boys.

His family has launched the Conor Lynch Foundation and my family will be running it on October 27th.

Conor’s mom will be at Flappers this Sunday.

I’m not sure who else is in the line up but you know if Mommytonk is part of it, it will be fabulous.

Plus, what a great cause.

And a great way to kick off National Walk/Bike to School Day coming up this Wednesday.

Hope to see you at Flappers this Sunday.

Follow Up With Chicago Performer Colleen O’Neill

Here is a follow up interview with recent Chicago performer Colleen O’Neill.
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What was it like participating in Expressing Motherhood? What surprised you about being in the show?
It was an amazing experience.  I was surprised to find out that so many of the women had never performed before… never been on a stage.  They were all so good!  I was also blown away by the caliber of of the pieces.  The writing.  The stories.  I was touched by each and every one, and honored to be a part of this group of women.
Had you ever performed before?
As an actor who has been working for a LONG time, I have performed quite a bit and this show was different in so many ways.  It was a very vulnerable experience for me, because I was doing a very personal piece that I had never intended on putting on a stage.  I always intended for it to be a written piece that would allow me to share it while hiding behind a computer screen.  I, typically, perform comedy pieces when they are original, so I was pushed out of my comfort zone.  I am grateful for that, because that is how we grow.  Thank you to Lindsey for asking me to do this piece instead, even though I growled at you behind your back when you first did. 🙂
What projects do you have on the immediate horizon?
I am continuing to produce my fully-improvised web series and first full-length feature “Blind Faith,” for which I am in the throws of securing funding.  I continue to write, audition and perform as my actual day job and I pray every day that I will get to keep doing it for the rest of my life.  I have several projects in the queue. That queue gets longer by the day.
In regards to your piece, what kind of questions were you asked by people? How did your friends respond?
I was so pleasantly surprised that people wanted to really know and understand more about the entire experience that led to that piece.  I was worried that people would be like – UGH! What a downer!  I didn’t want that.  I wanted people to find the positive in a not so positive experience, but mostly, I wanted to send the message that what you see is not always what it seems and sometimes we all need to pay more attention.  We all should ask more questions of ourselves and others.  Not to get to deep. My friends and family were mostly surprised that this was the piece they came to see.  They all expected to laugh and to see something funny from me, because that is what I do – usually.  I didn’t tell them in advance.  I wanted a genuine reaction, which was all very positive.

 

Heading Into Our 7th Season

Expressing Motherhood is headed into it’s 7th Season!

13 shows under our belt. Yes, Chicago was lucky 13.

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I’ve directed around 150 women and men and we’ve sold out around 5,000 seats.

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Pretty fun stats for us.

Our next show will be in Los Angeles, we are currently locking down a theatre. So get your pen to paper ladies and gents. We’ll announce it as soon as we know, which means submissions will probably open up in November.

Thanks for your support as always.