Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mortified on KCRW's Guest DJ Project

Check out the latest episode of KCRW's Guest DJ Project for an interview about the music that inspires Mortified. For those who don't know, KCRW is one of America's most influential public radio stations.

It was beyond flattering to be asked to participate on this radio show, especially given that past guests have included:

Sarah Silverman, Jon Favreau, Neil LaBute, Danny DeVito, Digg's Kevin Rose, Jason Schwartzman, Margaret Cho, Conan O’Brien, Padma Lakshmi, Jason Reitman, Janeane Garafalo, and... the guy who inspired "The Dude" in Big Lebowski.
Music is such a huge part of what makes Mortified, so it was great to get a chance to share some of it with the world. You can hear the interview on-demand whenever you like. Hope you enjoy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

NBC's Last Call gets Mortified

NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly was nice enough to invite me on their TV show recently to discuss Mortified. Having never done a late night talk show before, I was pretty damn psyched. It's somewhat rare for late night TV talk shows to interview non-political authors, let alone people who curate anthologies (or whatever the hell it is that I do). I give Last Call credit for being one of the few TV shows that consistently lays out the welcome mat to emerging artists and oddball media, especially considering that they could just as easily book some daytime soap actor instead.

Luckily, the interview went smooth, Carson was super effusive, and best of all, I was able to give on-air love to people who are such a huge part of our collective project-- Mortified: Love Is a Battlefield cover girl Kim Lombardini, LA contributor Leonard Hyman, and San Fran contributor Laurent Martini (AKA: Live Evil).

For a peek at Mortified's late night fun, we hope you will watch the video.

And if you missed the full episode, be sure to check out the other guest, Bo Burnham. A very talented guy.

- Dave

Monday, August 11, 2008

Entourage Star Gets Mortified

Huge thanks to Mortified superfan Lisa who emailed us to say she spotted our first book, Mortified: Real Words, Real People, Real Pathetic, in the pages of the August 2008 InStyle magazine.

Intrigued, we picked up a copy and sure enough, there it was... displayed on the bookshelf of Entourage actress Constance Zimmer.

We hereby nominate Ms. Zimmer as the newest official member of the Mortified BFF Club.

Also spotted on her shelf? Middlesex (a book about a female teenage outcast) and Ulysses (a book about awkward teenage boys).

Anyone detect a recurring theme?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mortified Alum Writes Something 'Horrible'

Congratulations to Mortified participant Maurissa Tancharoen, who co-wrote the pretty damn awesome new web series, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Mortified fans may know Maurissa from our latest book, Mortified: Love Is a Battlefield. In Maurissa's entry, "Dissed," she shared a diary that revealed her ill-conceived attempt to go from studious Asian girl to sassy, hip hop homegirl.

Dr. Horrible has a pretty great pedigree-- Joss Whedon, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day (who writes a fun series of her own). But the show's secret ingredient is actually its score by Jed Whedon.

Anyway, we think you'll get a huge kick out of the show. Hopefully, if its a hit, it will help to bring more attention to world of online series (like ours, for instance).

Monday, June 30, 2008

Help Save the 1-800-SUICIDE Hotline

Mortified deals with a wide range of issues that teenagers face everyday. From the cute stuff (songs, exams, crushes, bad hair). To the dark stuff (bigotry, depression, addiction, divorce, violence). Even though our project is rooted in comedy, we love to use Mortified to explore the full spectrum of what kids go through. The good and the bad.

Not surprisingly, one topic that we hear a lot of kids write about is suicide. And today, there is a suicide attempt every 42 seconds. Luckily, there's a great nonprofit devoted to helping people of all ages get the privacy and care they need. But as this organization is no longer government funded, they need your help to continue. All we ask is that you watch this video. If it impacts you, perhaps you will visit and donate funds to help 1-800-SUICIDE.

Special thanks to our friend Frank Warren, who runs the fascinating PostSecret project, and who first told us about the hotline. Hope you can help. If not, forward this to a friend.

Swedish People Give Good Angst

Ever wanted to know what Mortified sounds like not in English? Enjoy this TV news story about Skambyran: Mortified Sweden. The first non-English-speaking production of its kind, Mortified's Swedish production features all the same childhood misery and anguish... as told in a whole new language. While we've dabbled with foreign-language pieces in the past, this is our first attempt to build a complete show around it. So far the results have been excellent, and fans have packed the shows.

The bad news? You likely can't understand a word they are saying.

The good news? You can enjoy a sneak peek of Mortified Sweden without having to pay for airfare.

Congrats to Linda Backlund, Mortified Sweden's chief angstologist, who did a kick ass job in her first TV interview.

Friday, June 27, 2008

In Mixtape We Trust

Our friend Jason Bitner from Found Magazine has created a fantastic new project, Cassette from My Ex. The site is a collection of personal essays written about mixtapes that people received while in relationships that are now kaput. In addition to reading about the music, you can even hear it streamed on the site in all its historic glory.

How much does Mortified like it? We contributed to it.

Read this recent mixtape essay by Mortified creator Dave Nadelberg featuring a music that includes everyone from The Pixies to The Replacements to New Order to several bands you wish you could forget.

Many other captivating projects have emerged in recent years devoted to mixtapes, too. However, Cassette from My Ex is among our very faves in that pack, focusing more on stories about people than the the music. Worth checking out.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Doogie Diaries: Life vs. Death

Doogie Howser is truly "the Mortified OG". Every day, the young doctor hung up his lab coat, walked into his bedroom and tirelessly poured his heart into his digital daily journal.

If we could put adult Doogie on stage today, we would. If only Mr. Bochco would let him.

In the meantime, here's a peek a little Doog's private thoughts on life and death.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Great Moments in Mortified History: Blaire Warner Edition

A Pop Culture Peek at Diaries Through the Decades

Fans of Mortified already know that deep within our childhood diaries and notebooks are the secrets to the facts of life.

But lest we forget, many of those same lessons can be found in The Facts of Life. Here's a clip we found that illustrates the dangers of diving into the pages of someone else's life without an invite. A warning to parents: Blaire Warner does utter the phrase "air brained witch."

No Tooties were harmed in the writing of this post.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Awesome Show Alert: Dead Moms Don't Hug

For those of you in Los Angeles in May, Mortified alum Ariane Price has a fascinating show scheduled. The show features Ariane reading aloud passages from both her own teenage journals... as well as the teenage journals of her mother, who passed away when Ariane was a child. If you're a fan of Mortified's mix of pathos and humor, our guess is that this project's darkly funny sensibilities will be up your alley too.

A poignant comedy about figuring out how to become a woman and a mother myself... with out my own mom. From losing my virginity in a converted garage underneath a Whitesnake poster, to the horrors of the Brazilian Bikini wax.

The Groundling's Theater
May 20 & May 27
Runtime: under an hour

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mortified's Naked Nation

You know that dream you have about being back in high school and having to read aloud an essay to your class... but for some reason you forgot your clothes?

Well, this is the reverse. And whether it's a dream or nightmare is up to you.

Recently, we held a secret Mortified show in NYC. It was a private event held in the upstairs room of a respected restaurant. And it had one twist. Everyone in the audience was going to be eating, drinking, laughing... and buck naked.

The event was hosted by Clothing Optional Dinner, a humble nudist society that hosts social gatherings at bars, cafes and clubs around Manhattan. We were both surprised and flattered to be invited to participate.

Given that Mortified explores the notion of exposing oneself, we naturally found the premise of doing an event before an unclothed audience to be a fascinating psychological experiment. We'd be emotionally naked on stage... while our audience would be physically naked at tables. Turns out, the show was a big hit with both performers (Law Tarello, Brandy Barber, Giulia Rozzi, and Anne Altman) and audience members alike.

For those who're curious, when we asked Clothing Optional Dinner if we needed to strip to our skivvies in order to perform, too, they said we had to be either fully dressed or fully nude. No wishy-washy people in bras or boxer shorts. Needless to say, we not only wore clothes, we got all dolled up for the occasion. A truly strange and wonderful night.

Was there a scientific result? Yes. Whether you're male or female, dressed or undressed, being naked in public shows the world you've got balls.

On a strangely related-but-not-related note, NewTeeVee covered the recent outbreak of naked vloggers spreading (pun?) across YouTube.

Which re-ignites a question that Mortified is frequently asked. In an era of populist media, where is the line between positive self-expression vs. icky exhibitionism? We go to great lengths to protect Mortified from veering into the latter category (it's the main reason we're adamant about vetting all material) and hopefully we succeed.

Regardless, the air in the naked nation is getting a wee bit nipply.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mortified Goes Goth

For years, we've collected countless notebook entries, journals and poems from kids who wrote obsessively about... The Cure.

At a recent stage show in LA, those tables turned in the best possible way when Laurence "Lol" Tollhurst, one of the founding members of The Cure (and apparent Mortified superfan), actually joined Mortified on stage.

In addition to sitting in with The Mortified After School Orchestra for the night, Lol also helped performer Kirsten Gronfield bring to life an awkward Cure-inspired song that she wrote at age 15. Lol was a great sport and his latest band Levinhurst is worth checking out.

In related news, The Cure is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. Help celebrate this milestone by wearing lots of black eyeliner to work tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Because Kids Love Portly Middle Aged Men!

Many fans of our first book, Mortified: Real Words Real Pathetic, have expressed fascination with a chapter in which an overweight boy, Steve Scaia, wrote letters to Mr. Belvedere, a sitcom character from the 1980s.

We've always been fascinated with Steve's strange Belv obsession, too. Mostly because it's just kinda weird that a fat, balding, vaguely gay, mustache-ioed, middle-aged man would emerge as a childhood icon.

Fonzie, we get. Mr. T, we totally get. Belv, well, that's just kinda creepy. And yet, the fact remains-- kids truly loved him. For those who crave further proof of this bizarre blip in history, behold this bit of evidence.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mortified's Super Sexy Holiday Hangover Bonus

Last week, the greeting card industry once again got America drunk on the notion that yes indeed, YOU ARE IN LOVE. Did you know that you are? No? Well, you are, whether you like it or not. Congratulations, sexy.

This week, however, we at Mortified are reeling from the annual holiday hangover. And we'd like to help you regain your emotional sobriety without too much pain.

Here's a teaser of our new romantically-challenged book, MORTIFIED: Love Is a Battlefield-- a compilation of people's actual childhood writings (letters, lyrics, journals, poetry, art). All themed to romance.

The following entry was written in 1989 by Colleen Kane, who as a teenager never met a headbanger she didn't like. In this excerpt from her journal, Colleen describes attending the hotbed of teen lust that is... a theme park.

Clearly, those who think Paris is the city of romance have never seen the majestic glow of a mullet on a rollercoaster.

* * * *

September 4, 1989

Oh my gosh! So much has happened since I got a perm! Thursday, I got my perm and was really scared, but it came out looking really nice and I look older now. Friday, I'd been at Denise A's overnight and that day we went to Great Adventure.

Two guys tried to pick us up—real geekaroos. Well one was OK. But the scuzz, Carl, was a showoff, and he tried to start a conversation with us by commenting on my Bon Jovi shirt. He said "Bon Jovi stinks." (LIES!) I turned around and glared at him. His cousin, as I learned he was later, was apologetic. He's like, "I like Bon Jovi." I turned back around. Carl, (no, I bet it's spelled the annoying way, with a K) Karl continued. "No, they really do."

I turned, glanced at his Ozzy Ozbourne t-shirt, and said, "Ozzy sucks." His cousin, Mike, said, I agree, "Ozzy does suck, and Bon Jovi's cool."

I thanked him, and Denise & I went on the Ferris wheel. Then after the ride the guys hooked up with us and came along to the Scream Machine. Embarrassing. What could we say? Go away?

That night we went to the boardwalk. We saw these guys a few times as we walked up and down and one with long brown hair was pretty cute. They said hello once as we passed. Then when waiting for our pictures to come out of the booth, one of the guys that had said hello asked me if I'd like to meet that guy over there and asked my name.

He went over to the long-haired (!) guy and told him, came back and told me his name was Mike, went back, and brought Mike and his friends and we, Denise, Mike & I walked off. We talked basically about music and Bon Jovi. He's really nice and really sweet and cute. Not hot, but cute. So after about an hour, his friends told him they had to go home.

So he had to go, but he asked for my ! He had me write it on the back of a picture he'd won of a naked woman with strategically placed limbs and beer bottle. Classy.

After that, Denise and I freaked! She was so psyched for me! Then we walked to a private part at the boardwalk and she told me about this guy who'd been calling her for awhile and I touched the sand because I hadn't touched it all summer. It was so soft. It was a starless night, as Mike had pointed out. Then we went home.

We've talked on the phone 4x, a record for me. He really likes talking to me. It's a toll call. He wants to spend all his money on calling me! He wants to ride his bike to my house! (He lives 1/2 an hour from Point Pleasant) And-- he told me I'm pretty!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! This is the first time a boy ever has!

Well, as you can imagine, my confidence is really boosted-- one reason that I'm sorta looking forward to school. I think the guys'll notice me this year, if Friday was any indication. Well, I'm gonna go brood over some cookies and milk. Bye.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mortified's 5-Step "Valentine Survival Guide"

Ok. Want to know how to redeem yourself this Valentine's season even though you forgot to buy a gift in time?

Behold, Mortified's 5 step solution to romantic redemption.

1. Go to favorite book/music store
2. Buy Mortified: Love is a Battlefield
3. Buy the greatest hits from Air Supply
4. Give these 2 items to a lonely loved one
5. Commence dry humping

If you have a friend who is lonely and kinda bummed out this Valentine's day, I highly suggest the above 5 steps. They will thank you.

Give the gift of angst.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Mortified Endorses "Cardboard Hillary"

This just in.

Newly unearthed candidate "Cardboard Hillary" announces a running mate. Congratulations to Mortified contributor Leonard Hyman, whose relationship with CH began in the early 1990s.

While Mortified does not officially endorse any political candidate (including the real Hillary Clinton), we do think "Cardboard Hillary" has pretty damn cool taste in both fashion and friends.

Vote for "Cardboard Hillary"/Hyman in 08.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Introducing... The Mortified Shoebox Show

Our baby has arrived. And while sweet and innocent, it already has quite a potty mouth.

Introducing... The Mortified Shoebox Show, the debut online video series from Mortified.

We hope we've done you all proud. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sascha Rothchild Enters the Ninja

Many of our fans may recall Sascha Rothchild. She's being involved in Mortified since show #1 and, over the years, we've mined many of her wonderfully debaucherous journals for our stage show.

One of these pieces (a selection we titled Miami Vices) landed on This American Life's radio show, greatest hits CD and eventually their TV series. It also appears in Mortified's first book, along with another piece that chronicles the summer of her first kiss.

But for those who aren't satisfied simply hearing Sascha's sordid tales of teenage lust... you are in luck. Sascha's tales of adult lust (and other adventures) are now chronicled in LA Weekly, where she is now a rotating columnist.

Her first piece tackles her courtship of an American ninja. While it doesn't feature any underage sex or drug use (or references to Michael Dudikoff for that matter), we think you'll enjoy it just as much.

Congratulations to Sascha. We're envious and proud.