Now Seeking You:
Dust off that diary! Whip out that Trapper Keeper! Mortified Live is always seeking new participants (22 and older) to share the embarrassing stuff they created as kids– journals, letters, poems, lyrics, art, home movies, plays. Become part of the Mortified community by submitting a request to meet with our local curators in cities worldwide. If you don’t see your city listed but plan to visit one of the ones listed, our curators can even meet via Skype (please mention this in your request). Join the largest and longest-running project of its kind, as celebrated by This American Life, Entertainment Weekly, Time, The Guardian, All Things Considered, and Wired.
We’re now seeking participants in Minneapolis, Dallas, Detroit, London, Dublin & Paris (view French-language site). Want to help launch Mortified in other cities? Introducing Beta cities, an initiative designed to help us reach more locations based on their demand.
I want In!:
Request a Producer’s Session
How it Works:
Our Curating Process from Page to Stage
Stuff to Know Before We Meet Up
• Please flag5-8 excerpts that you’re embarrassed to admit you wrote. When we meet up, those will give us a very helpful starting place. That said, we’ll wander around your pages and hear other stuff you brought, too– so bring as much as you can but earmark 5-8 excerpts first.
• Consider these rules of thumb if overwhelmed by what to flag. (1) Look for entries where the author was passionate or dramatic about what they wrote– whether they’re angry or elated. Those tend to be the most embarrassing, or at least the most captivating. (2) Ask yourself, why does this embarrass me to share with strangers? Identifying that context beforehand can help us hear what makes it mortifying.
• Know that some of our best stuff takes a few sessions in order for us to help people find stuff. We don’t reject anyone–it’s merely a matter of finding enough excerpts that work for our needs. If we don’t find enough stuff initially, the door is always open to come back and share more. We’ll even give tips on what to find based on what already seemed to work. Everyone has something– it’s just a question of finding enough.
• Be aware we spend hours and hours working with each participant in the weeks (or months) prior to an event in order to help identify material that our audience will love. It’s a strange but fun process. We’re really good at playing detective and helping you spot the stuff you’re too close to see.
• Remember, there are lots of nuances to what makes the stuff we wrote as kids funny to adults. There are no strict rules for what works.
• No need to make stuff up. The fun of our show is that we’re using excerpts from actual childhood mementos and framing them with a true life backstory. If you want to write something from scratch, there are plenty of other great projects (ie. The Moth, Story League, Backfence) that are much better suited for writing an essay today about a true life experience.
• Don’t sweat it. This is not an audition or a tryout. Our curating process is not about judging your talents– our goal is to simply help you find stuff. When we find enough material that matches our needs, we invite you on stage. When we don’t, we suggest ways to find more and offer to meet again. It’s that simple. As for stage experience, we don’t care if you’re a comedian or a librarian (and if anything, we prefer the latter). Someone’s credits has little bearing on whether our audience will enjoy them. It’s very democratic– which is actually part of the fun.
• For many reasons, we prefer you don’t look for storylines or themes before we meet– just hunt for stuff that you’re embarrassed to admit you wrote. Even if it jumps from topic to topic. We’ll help you find a way to make it all connect as a story AFTER we find excerpts that make strangers laugh. There’s a few reasons for this suggestion. 1. We’ll probably stumble upon a different storyline that you didn’t originally recognize (since you’re so close to the material). 2. We don’t want you to omit funny stuff for sake of a perceived theme. 3. We can always “mine” story from comedic moments but not the other way around.