Second Saturday of every month, 7:30 p.m.
For most people, the idea of reading the contents of their childhood journals is about as appealing as jumping off a cliff without a parachute. But for the intrepid storytellers at Mortified, it’s the main event. At the personal storytelling event, people read actual diaries, letters, song lyrics, and poems from their youth to complete strangers. It’s hilarious. Mortified got its start in the Bay Area in 2005, after founder Scott Lifton borrowed the idea from an event in Los Angeles, which began in the late Nineties. The show now has chapters across the country, and has spawned a documentary film, an offbeat interview series called The Mortified Sessions, two books, and an on-again, off-again web series. The traveling live show comes to The New Parish (1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland) each month. Lifton has called the performance “half comedy show, half group therapy,” because some of the tell-all tales offer poetic lessons, while others will just make you cringe. Personal storytelling events have proliferated in the past few years, but Mortified’s tried-and-true formula proves that the fount of material flowing from our collective early years is a wellspring that never runs dry. - Erin Baldassari