Over the weekend, I heard a great rerun of an old This American Life titled “Cringe.” It reminded me of another story that I heard recently, I think on NPR, about a group that organizes an event where people get up on stage and read their most embarrassing personal anecdotes to a roof full of total strangers. Color me surprised to check the story suggestions today only to discover that bLA reader has kindly jogged my memory about Mortified:
Mortified stars everyday adults reading aloud their most embarrassing and REAL teenage diary entries, poems, letters, lyrics and locker notes… in front of total strangers.
While it has taken many incarnations — stage, TV, web, etc.– since officially launching in LA in Fall 2002, the core of Mortified has always remained the same. It’s “personal redemption through public humiliation”. After all, where else can you hear grown men and women confront their past with firsthand tales of their… first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, reasons they deserved to marry Bon Jovi, etc? Submissions come from a wide range of participants, from professional performers (comics, celebrities, singers) to total amateurs (soccer moms, ad execs, salesmen). All in the noble pursuit of self-degradation.
Though they started right here in the City of Angels, Mortified has since expanded to NY, SF, Boston and Chicago. In other words, if you want to see them be sure to catch one of the shows going down at King King June 14th and 15th because now that they’re big shots they won’t be back in LA until the fall.