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Thursday, April 24, 2014

What in the heck is a Mamalogue?

If you are my friend or follow me on social media you may have heard this word a lot lately. Mamalogue.  Pronounced Mama- log.  Not to be confused with Mammogram-ologue. It is a creative play on the word Monologue which is a speech given by an actor on stage or screen.
With that said, I cannot take full credit for coming up with the word Mamalogue.  A dear friend of mine suggested it and surprisingly he is a guy, and I went with it.
Last year I had dinner with some girlfriends and we were all sharing stories about motherhood. Hysterical, raw stories about this job we have taken on and were not prepared for despite thinking we were.  I also thought of the times when I had been in down, feeling overwhelmed and where I felt like I couldn't do it anymore.  I turned to my girlfriends then too.  Even friends who do not have kids, were a great support.
On my ride home I thought about how my friend had told a story so hilarious that I wanted to call all my friends and tell them, I wanted to put it on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, bathroom stalls.  But it wasn't my story to tell. It was hers.  But I wanted EVERYONE to hear it because it made me laugh and I knew I couldn't possibly share it with the same flare as she did.
And that is when the concept of the Mamalogues was born.  The very next day I called my friends, and asked (ok told) them that I needed them to participate in a project I was doing. They agreed not knowing what they were getting into.  I found a venue to perform, asked my friends to write out a story. I probably should have considered that most of them weren't writers or actors and some of them weren't even mothers but I was on a mission.  I didn't ask for a specific topic, my only stipulation was that it was true.  Then I told them that they would be performing (reading) it in front of an audience.
Did you notice I left that audience part out until they agreed?  My friends were trepidations to say the least.  They asked if they could self medicate or consume large amounts of alcohol prior. I of course said,"yes" and "yes". 
Within in one week of putting tickets up for sale we had sold out.  To be honest, I wasn't even going to charge at first, but I needed to cover the cost of the venue.  We not only sold out, we sold way out, like out of the venue, we had to add additional seats.

As we sat backstage the night of the performance I looked around at these women who were willing to put themselves out there and be vulnerable in front of strangers just because I asked them to.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude and realized that as women, we often put ourselves out there to help, not only our family but our friends as well. The original cast will always hold a special place in my heart.

You never know how your story may impact another person until you share it. Most women don't have a platform to share their stories, so I created one.

I gave mama's a microphone.

Needless to say it was an enormous success.  Before I could think, I was asked when the next one was.  So 10 months to the day we are having our second one.  Remember the girl who told the funny story? Her name is Kate and she is now the producer. We believe so much in the power of the spoken word that we collaborated to make this Mamalogues even more spectacular.  We changed the cast to offer other woman a chance to share their stories. We have a few from the previous cast only because they add an element of entertainment that we couldn't go without. (Thieneman sisters)

You may have an idea of what to expect but  I can assure you it is so much more. And its not just for women. I know several....ok three men who went to the last one and enjoyed it too. And the fact that they were our husband's is inconsequential.

The next Mamalogues is on July 11 at Legends at Notre Dame. Click here for tickets.

* Since this original publication the second Mamalogues sold out in 2 days and a third performance had to be added. Which sold out in an hour. 

2013 Cast
Alyson Herzig, Julie Flory,  Jessi Loyd,  Kate Knopick Coates,  Maria McKenna,  Becky Cressy, 
Josi Doyle,  Sarah Jollay, Amy Atkinson, Noelle Elliott

2014 Cast 
Sandra Cho, Aimee Carlson, Kate Knopick Coates, Jenn Lechtanski, Steph Patka, Priscilla Jamora, Kelly Blair, Laura Ambrose, Colleen Spano, Carolyn Hunt, Maria McKenna, Sarah Jollay, Megan Michele,  Martha Thieneman, Noelle Elliott

2015 Cast 
Noelle Elliott, Kate Knopick Coates, Alyson Herzig, Beth Ferlic, Becky Cressy,  Robyn Welling, Priscilla Jamora, Elizabeth Carris, Sandy Cho, Martha Theineman, Maria McKenna, Sarah Jollay
Aimee Carlson, Ceci Redmond, Jill Straub , Amy Rasler.  

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