Q: How can I participate in your stage shows?
A: Visit our “Participate” page. We do our best to meet with everyone who submits.
Q: I’m afraid to get on stage. How else can I participate?
A: Good news. There are lots of ways to part of the Mortified community. Help spread the word about The Mortified Podcast, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or even intern/volunteer for our podcast (we always need help transcribing audio) and we hook you up with fun stuff in return. But to be honest, the SIMPLEST way to be part of our community is to simply dig up something from your past and share it with just one person (a roommate, a spouse, a sibling)– not only will you laugh but we promise you will learn a lot about yourself in the process.
Q: Can I launch a Mortified chapter in my city?
A: Since our stage show is curated, the #1 thing we need in order to launch a new city is the resources to train a team of local producers how we curate and offer them ongoing support from afar. That said, we’re a tiny organization with much tinier resources than you’d think, and a lot of work goes into what we do– so we’re careful not to overextend ourselves. Word of mouth from our fans is vital to us, so we’re passionate about ensuring that whenever we put on a show, that it lives us to their expectations.
If you’re interested, read our Beta cities page. The more emails we get about a certain city, the easier it is for us to prioritize that city for our next expansion. Just keep in mind that while we’d love to be in more cities, we don’t always have the resources to be everywhere.
Q: Why is Mortified not open mic?
A: Our show is curated for several reasons. Among those? The reality that 90% of the stuff people wrote as kids is simply not entertaining to strangers. Early on, we learned it’s more effective to have an outsider help select. The last thing we want is for someone to feel bad about baring themselves to a room of strangers– especially since they never wrote this material for a show like this– so we collaborate with every participant (sometimes spending up 10 hours with them in the weeks before an event) to help them comb through their pages and identify material that our audience will love.
Q: Is everything in Mortified real?
A: Yep. Our producers work with each participant to help them select excerpts from their actual childhood writings that reveal a story about their life. That’s the fun. In some ways, we look at it as “urban archeology”, digging up personal artifacts to create portraits of peoples’ pasts. (Or, as one admiring blogger once described what we do, “This is beautiful… in a dead bird kind of way.”)
Q: Are teenagers allows to attend stage shows?
A: We love having teenagers at shows. That said, while we have no age policy, some of our venues do. Some venues are 21+. Some are all ages. If it’s not listed on our ticketing page, the BEST way for you to find out is to contact the venue directly or look for info on their website. One of the main reasons we created our film and podcast was specifically to reach our teenage fans easier.
Q: Are there age ranges for the material shared in Mortified?
A: We feature any material that someone wrote, drew, or recorded when they were young– usually from age 5-21.
Q: I’ve seen the show and would love to attend again. Will it be repeat material?
A: Each event is unique. It’s never the same lineup twice (exception: when there are back-to-back encore performances in the same week). While some participants do return to our stage, we usually a wait at least a year before bringing their material back in the same city.
Q: Is this a literary salon? Standup? Performance art?
A: Mortified is ultimately intended to be a storytelling show— albeit one that uses a very unusual set of tools (Hello Kitty journals, beat-up notebooks, etc.) to convey its tales. The difference between our project and say, a traditional “lit salon” or storytelling event (such as our friends at The Moth), is that we’re using source material that was never created for our project and or to entertain our audience. Think of it as accidental art.
Q: Are you aware of the emergence of other journal-themed stage projects?
A: As Mortified has grown over the years, yes, we’ve noticed a few like-minded concepts sprout up. We’re even fans of some. That said, there are key differences that set Mortified apart. Our show is (a) curated (b) a storytelling project–- each participant shares childhood mementos that reveal a true story (c) the largest and longest-running project of its kind. We think it’s great when people discover similar sources of fun. We merely hope that if others do, that they spend time developing/researching what can make their project distinct from what’s come before. Just as we did when developing Mortified long ago.
Q: Can I do a Mortified-inspired show in my city?
A: You’re welcome to contact us and we’ll always consider it. That said, because our show is curated in a very unique way, we are pretty picky about when/how/where we launch new chapters. Mortified events are not quickly thrown together. Making a show that lives up to the standard that our audience expects takes a lot of work and training. And while we are ambitious, we are ultimately a tiny grassroots organization that has learned to not stretch ourselves too thin. Otherwise, we risk losing the positive word of mouth that brought people like you to us in the first place.
Q: Why do people want to share their childhood writings and art with total strangers?
A: It’s a healthy cocktail of curiosity, catharsis, self-deprecation, cajones and a desire to connect with a room full of strangers.
Q: Wait. I still have more questions!
A: Great. Contact us. We’re nice. We’ll do our best to respond very soon.
Q: Do you like me? Or do you like-like me?
A: We totally like-like you. You are a mega fox to the extreme.