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Cast Spotlight: Nancy Steinkamp

Nancy Steinkamp is the founder of Wisdom Writing ( following a thirty-year vocation of working with people with disabilities. Encouraged by her husband Doug to follow her passion, Nancy helps others to cultivate wisdom through expressive writing. She believes that everyone has wisdom to share when we pay attention to our life experiences. She loves teaching people to use their personal writing for self-discovery and uncovering family stories. Nancy absolutely adores her three adult children and their spouses and feels very blessed that they live in Rochester. Watching them parent her three beautiful grandchildren and a playful grand puppy is truly a privilege.

What brought you to Listen to Your Mother? I was encouraged by my friend Kris Bruneau (cast member in the 2015 show) to audition. It was the first time that I had ever shared a piece of my writing publicly. I have been writing in a journal since I was ten years old and my personal writing has taken on many forms over the years, but my primary audience was always me—since I wrote for self-awareness, personal growth and to capture my life memories. Entering the world of writers made me feel vulnerable, “would anyone relate to my story?” It has been well worth the risk; however, because I have learned so much from being a part of the LTYM community by auditioning and attending every show since it came to Rochester.

What do you love about Rochester? I moved from the Chicago area to Rochester in 1981. When I re-read my journals from that time, it is interesting to notice that my intuitive voice predicted that I was laying down my roots and creating a lasting home here. I love that Rochester has big city cultural amenities with a small town atmosphere. Its proximity to the Finger Lakes region and recreational opportunities along the Erie Canal make us a fun tourist destination. My sister and her family from Orlando often flee their sweltering heat in the summer to visit us in Fairport and I have proudly shown off our beautiful colors and taken the kids to the Strong Museum of Play. Rochester has been the perfect place to raise a family.

Who inspires you? I am inspired by people who speak their truth with courage and compassion for our humanness. I love Brene Brown’s research on vulnerability because I have often felt exposed when I have been “too honest” about the things that scare me—particularly if my sharing produces a raised eyebrow from one of my adult children. The “strong mom” inside me will question if they really want me to express my vulnerability? However, I learned long ago that raising children creates an emotional state that leaves you naked, sometimes shivering in the cold of self-doubt- -until you learn that you are not alone. That’s why it is so important to hear the stories that LTYM has gathered.

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