On Sunday, about 25 volunteers and 6 performers of LISTEN gathered together at the Westside JCC.
I have shared in these past few weeks about what an intense time this is for me.
It was my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah that is now behind me.
Then we moved and that too is now behind me.
LISTEN is smack center, right in front of me.
LISTEN is The Advot Project’s first major event.
It is in less than a week.
It is exciting, exhilarating, exhausting, and, a lot of work.
There are so many moving pieces, technical pieces, artistic pieces, getting people to simply show up, getting people to come to listen to what I feel is so incredibly important.
People are talking about it, people know about it.
Of course I could have done more, invited more, but we are a small organization and we are doing the best we can and learning everyday for the next time.
How do I convince people to share my passion?
How do I tell people not to miss this extraordinary event?
All my participants are stressed.
“How many people are there going to be?” they keep asking me.
“Do you think people will really come?”
“Ms., does anybody really want to listen to us?”
“Yes, they do! Yes they do!” I keep saying.
Prying in every language I know that we will fill the house.
I tell them with conviction that there will be people. The truth is that many have bought tickets.
We have reached out to our community partners and they are coming, too.
A special someone just this week sponsored my group from Homeboys.
When a ticket is bought or a donation is made, a message pops up on my laptop. Each time that PayPal logo shows up, I kid you not my heart dances with joy and I let out a little shout!
But, yet, I still worry that it will not be enough, because I want so much for these young women.
I truly believe with every fiber of my being that they deserve to be heard, that their voices need to be heard.
With every ticket bought, I can hear more applause in my head, applause the girls will get when they read their poetry, sing a song or do a dance. I can see a standing ovation, because they are incredible.
We need you, they need you, and I need you.
We need you to come, to purchase tickets or make a donation.
If it is too expensive for you we will give you a discount code, but go online now and get your ticket!
I have been told not to panic, that in Los Angeles people buy tickets just a few days before the show.
I'm not sure how I'm not supposed to panic.
And waiting is not a particular skill set God graced me with.
As I prep the girls for the event, going over their lines and discussing what they want to say one of the girls says to me,
“Ms. I am so stressed out! I don't know what to do!!”
I tell her, “That's okay. When you go out of your comfort zone, that's when you realize that you can change, that you can do and achieve the uncomfortable and that is where change happens.
Get to know your stress,” I say.
“Befriend it, touch it, sit in it, and realize that you can do this even though you're stressed. You can and will do this and you will be more than brilliant.”
I love this one so much.
As I stood in the room at the JCC on Sunday watching my amazing volunteers listen to the performers rehearse, I suddenly realized that it is everyone else who should be worried about missing this performance.
Everyone should be stressed that we sell out and that they (or you) will not be there.
It is incredibly moving, and truly something special!
So, I'm asking you again and telling you, you don’t want to miss this!
Because, it is going to be extraordinary, and because this here is where change begins.
Join me on October 30th. Come and LISTEN!
Go to: advot.eventbrite.com