A few weeks ago, Kate Hood, the DC Producer of LTYM and I decided we should get together. After all, DC and Wilmington simply aren’t that far from each other. (Joe Biden used to ride the train every day) So, this weekend I found myself trapped behind the exit of the DC metro because my card wouldn’t let me through, yelling at some woman I assumed was Kate. (It was Kate)
Leaving my own family to roam the streets of DC, I spent 24 hours in the Hood household. Of course, it’s easy to talk to someone when you have something in common. It’s even easier to talk to someone who shares your passion, but it was more than that. Once Kate and I started talking, we didn’t stop. I never once felt like an awkward stranger interloping on their blissful family weekend. Her daughter Eleanor happily showed me every inch of her room, including the antique doll I later made Kate hide in another room because I was too scared to sleep near it. (just because it hasn’t hurt Eleanor doesn’t mean it won’t want to kill me). Eleanor’s twin George argued the merits of eating a heavily frosted St. Patrick’s day cookie with me at 10:30 in the morning. And Oliver, sat famously comfortable in boxers and no pants. And who doesn’t love a friend’s husband who keeps handing you glasses of wine.
It was more than politeness and hospitality. It was the reason LTYM was created and the reason it grows each and every year. It creates not only a sense of community, but a sense of family (the kind of family you want to spend time with). I posted last year that LTYM brought me the best gift in the world: my people. This year, it resonates even deeper. As a director, I feel not just the power of belonging, but the power of creation. And, when I’m meeting with other creators, we don’t compete; we connect.
I’ve always been the girl with one or two best friends. I’ve always been the girl that makes awkward jokes at parties. I’ve always been the girl that watches from the outside. For the most part, I’m fine with that. I don’t like following everyone else’s social norms, but with LTYM, there is no outside. Yes, there is an audition process, but even for audience members; we exist to let you in. We exist to give you stories you need to hear. We exist to tell YOUR story.
My newfound friendship with Kate is an extension of the love and openness LTYM exudes. My comfort at her house and her comfort welcoming me is part of something much bigger than ourselves, and yet, it is what allows us be ourselves— our true selves.
After many compared notes, conversations, meals, glasses of wine, shared blog posts, and laughter, it was time for me to go home with my own family. And even though, it was just 24 hours, I was sad to go. She’d let me into her family, and I wanted one more moment.
This is what we want our shows to be for you—we let you in and you want to take off your shoes, pull up a chair and stick around to see what’s next…