Mor·ti·fy

[ˈmôrdəˌfī]- To cause to experience shame, humiliation, or wounded pride. (free dictionary)

The show that has been called a “cultural phenomenom”: Mortified– Adults sharing the embarrassing things they created as kids. SHARE THE SHAME. Full confession, I’m obsessed with this show and I have been since the beginning, circa 2002.

So, what is Mortified, exactly? It’s a storytelling show where adults share their childhood journals, letters, poems, lyrics, plays, home movies and art… with us, perfect strangers. The NY Times says, “It will make you blush with secondhand embarrassment.” I’m sure you can imagine. The live show is the heart of what they do, but there is a TV & Film aspect as well as podcast/radio, and there’s a book! But the live show is the place to begin, which could, full disclosure, lead to your future Mortified addiction.

There are shows going up in major cities all over America (NYC, Portland, Denver, Chicago, SF, Baltimore, Twin Cities, etc.) and now, a surprising number of cities abroad (London, Oslo, Paris, Dublin, etc.). Mortified is taking over the world, in the best. possible. way.

Here’s what to expect in Los Angeles (and, probably in general, each city): Arrive earlier than later if a good seat is important to you. The current venue in LA is Wanderlust Hollywood and it’s a big one with festival seating. Don’t worry about being bored when arriving early, there’s a bar where you can grab a drink and/or a snack to keep you occupied. For those that like to to sip, you can bring the beverage to your seat. There’s always a band (in this case, the “Mortified After School Orchestra”) that starts the evening off on the right foot, and plays in-between each act. Typically you’ll hear covers of 80’s and 90’s songs you’ll recognize if not be compelled to join in singing along. Usually there are 6 or so brave storytellers and I’d say they average around 10-15 minutes per person. The people sharing can range from just out of college to late end Gen X. They read straight from their own journals or letters (or whatever it is they are sharing). The piece has been curated by the Mortified team of producers, but it isn’t altered. Edits, yes, alteration, no. The performers could be “professionals” (entertainers, comedians, singers) or “amateurs” (lawyers, police officers, homemakers… you name it) and their stories are real. And rehearsed. It’s not an open mic. The Mortified folks have been doing live shows for maaaany years. They’ve got putting up a good show down to a science. The only painful part of watching this show is how real, truthful, honest and embarrassing it is. Officially it’s an all ages show, but I’d exercise great caution before bringing kids. The themes can be docile and sweet to explicit and shocking, and anywhere in-between.

You can expect to find a nice mix of gender, age, ethnicity and sexual orientation represented on stage in an evening, which is great for obvious reasons. My only beef with the latest LA Mortified show is that it was not as diverse as shows have been in the past. The shows have been going on for many, many years in Los Angeles. I wonder if the submission tap is running a little dry. We can solve this unconfirmed problem right here and now. If a whole slew of Angelinos descend on the next few Mortified shows, there will not doubt be many more people inspired to share their stories to find “personal redemption through public humiliation”, like many brave souls before them.

Mortified: Share the Shame is a unique and enchanting experience everyone should attend at least once. It’s great for a date, with a group of friends, and hits the spot if you just need a laugh. Because you will laugh loud and often. Mortified’s first spark of life came when the (now) founder came across an unsent love letter from his childhood and shared it with his friends. Seeing this show will inspire you to sift through your childhood artifacts… and if you dare, share them, and your humanity, with your community.

Mortified (Los Angeles)

Next show: Sat Aug 11 @ 9:00PM

Wanderlust

1357 Highland Avenue

Cost: $17-$40

All Ages (but adult content)

General Admission and VIP Seating

other cities and tickets: http://getmortified.com


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Laurie Records (Casting Director, CCDA) has been working in the commercial realm since 2004. In 2009, Laurie launched her own company. While she casts all types of commercials, she has broadened her horizons to include casting web content for network television, television hosts, voiceover, industrials, and dabbles in casting features and short films. Recent commercial jobs include: Head & Shoulders, Mercedes, and KMART. She also cast the new Movie Surfers for seasons 16/17, as well as online content for The Muppets.

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