I've been telling personal stories onstage for about seven years now, but this Thursday I'm getting extra personal: I'll be reading directly from my childhood diaries for Mortified Live.
I've never directly mined my diaries/journals for source material — especially not anything written before college. I figured it was all boring fluff about who I had a crush on, which community theater production I wanted to star in, and the usual teenage angst about parents just not understanding. The kind of stuff that's nicely expressed by this overdramatic teenage photo of me:
Turns out, to Mortified, all that material is GOLD!
Mortified was created for brave souls to share the embarrassing things they wrote, drew, or otherwise created in their teenage years or earlier. Here's how they describe themselves:
Hailed a “cultural phenomenon” by Newsweek and celebrated by This American Life, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Wired, The AV Club, The Today Show (twice), and beyond, Mortified celebrates stories revealed through the strange and extraordinary things we created as kids.
Witness adults sharing their most embarrassing childhood artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, plays, home movies, art) with others, in order to reveal stories about their lives. Hear grown men and women confront their past with tales of their first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, and reasons they deserved to marry Jon Bon Jovi.
MORTIFIED LIVE is the heart of what we do – a grassroots storytelling event where adults share their childhood writings/art/media in front of total strangers.
I'm so excited to be a part of this, and especially excited to see what everyone else will be sharing. I don't want to give away all my gold, but I can promise a Jonathan Taylor Thomas reference, a "song," and an especially angsty drawing.
Please come out and be embarrassed with me! It's general admission, so get there early if you want to snag a seat, or be cool with standing.
Hope to see you there, looking at me with a whole new perspective!