Dean Martin crooned about it in the ‘50s. Ronnie Wood sang it for The Faces in the early ‘70s. And David Nadelberg conceived a stage show incorporating the theme in 2002: “I wish I knew then what I know now.”
Mortified Live exposes the darkest, funniest and strangest adolescent writings by the adults who scribbled in their diaries and journals years earlier.
It’s often hilarious and touching, deeply intimate and universal. And this weekend, it’s finally coming to Dallas with performances Friday and Saturday at the Dallas Comedy House. Back at the onset of the century, Nadelberg unearthed a love letter he’d written to a high school crush but never sent. He shared it with some friends much to their amusement, and Mortified was hatched.
Nadelberg soon began asking people if they’d be willing to share their childhood writings, and the responses have morphed into nearly a dozen chapters across the country with another handful abroad. People of all walks of life gather routinely to share some of the most intimate moments of their upbringing. There was even a 2013 documentary about the event, called Mortified Nation (see trailer above).
Most adults went through awkward years. For some it was middle school. For others maybe is was high school. But the journey into adulthood is wrought with peril.
We all yearn for something we do not yet know how to attain. Be it the affection of another. The love of our parents. The respect of our siblings or peers. Or, as in the case of many of the most hilariously retold stories, sex, sex and more sex.
And now Dallasites can revel in the secret teenage lives of strangers.
Cam Kirkpatrick plans to share some of the ditties he wrote as a teenager when he aspired of becoming a singer/songwriter.
“It's a dream a lot of young people have, especially when televised singing contests are so popular,” Kirkpatrick says. “But I took those hopes to heart and spent a huge majority of my teen years trying to write hit pop songs. I never thought I'd share them in a spoken word format like Mortified. I had hoped that they'd be my vehicle to sold-out tours and triple platinum albums, etc. But it's a fantastic treat to get to relive what I was feeling and thinking when I wrote each song.”
Stephanie Mojonnet is one of the producers for this weekend’s show. She said the Mortified podcast has a strong following here in Dallas, so it only made sense to bring the live show to Deep Ellum.
“When we first looked into all the venues in Dallas, the one venue that just felt right was the Dallas Comedy House,” says Mojonnet. “The venue is intimate and DCH has been so accommodating and helpful with promotion of the show.”
There will be six people sharing their stories Friday night at 7:30 and again Saturday at 7:30, as well. Both shows sold out a few weeks after becoming available, according to DCH owner Amanda Austin.
Austin hopes demand remains high as the next round of Mortified Live shows is set for May 13 and 14 at DCH with plans to hold shows every other month after that.