Mortified: Tapping Into the Transformative Nature of Nervous Energy Mortified: Tapping Into the Transformative Nature of Nervous Energy
- Most Read
People Are Mesmerized By This Strange Optical Illusionby Eric Pfeiffer
Georgia Woman Fights For Her Right To Breastfeed In Publicby Tod Perry
Merriam Webster Dictionary Was The Real Winner of the Clinton-Trump Debateby Alexander Besant
Patton Oswalt On Coping With Humor After Wife’s Deathby Leo Shvedsky
French Artist Shows How To Confront Islamophobes In Publicby Tod Perry
Baltimore Elementary School Teaches Meditationby Tod Perry
The Bizarre Debate Conspiracy Theory That’s Spreading In Alt-Right Circlesby Eric Pfeiffer
NASA’s List Of The Best Air-Filtering Houseplantsby Tod Perry
Here’s The Tweet Trump Denied Writing That Proves He Lied During The Debateby Kate Ryan
Mortified: Tapping Into the Transformative Nature of Nervous Energy
I make a living off of nervous energy. As the creator of a stage show, Mortified, where people share their most embarrassing childhood writings in front of total strangers, this topic has gradually become my unusual area of expertise.
In the 10 years since I began shepherding the project, I have had the unique opportunity to witness people's two biggest terrors collide: their fear of public speaking and their memory of their teenage self. This combination has created a petri dish for people's innermost anxieties to flourish. It's been exciting watching their nerves rattle over the years, and I don't say that due to any perverse sense of schadenfreude. I say that because it's simply exciting to watch someone confront something that terrifies them, and transform because of it.
From my vantage point, as a guy standing next to them backstage in the moments before they walk to the mic, I can see the panic set into their eyes. I hear the shortness of breath. I witness the pacing. The anticipation makes them as delirious as it does nauseous, and there's something infectious about that. Thrilling, even.
They range in professions. Some of them are teachers. Others work at law firms or tech startups. Interestingly, the ones who do come from performance backgrounds—singers, stand ups, actors—are often the most freaked out by the process. Ultimately though, none of that ever matters. Because in the minutes before they're finally ready to "share the shame" with an audience of several hundred strangers, their resume inevitably dissolves. All they bring to the mic is their personality and energy. When they walk off stage after their first time, they usually can't recall what just happened. "It was a bit of blur," they say, somewhat intoxicated. "But I think they liked it."
I can't say that these moments have an impact beyond one night for them. But for me, the aggregate of watching this pattern happen all these years has been hugely transformative. I get nervous for them and feel exhilarated when those nerves are rewarded with applause. It's a rush that energizes me, and keeps me fueled for the next.
California Ends Statute Of Limitations For Rape And Child Molestation Cases It forced California to change a major state law
This College Hockey Team's Secret Weapon Is An Autistic Defenseman The biggest challenge for this player on-the-spectrum was learning how to trash talk ”There are high moments and low moments and how you respond to those moments I think defines who you are”
Boys HS Soccer Team Refuses To Play Against Co-Ed Squad, Citing ‘Religious Beliefs’ The only game they’ve lost all season is the one where the girls sat out
People Are Mesmerized By This Strange Optical Illusion ‘You can’t not see it once you see it’
Here’s Why You Really Need To Prepare Like A Survivalist Right Now “People need to be physically prepared for an interruption in their normal lifestyle”
Tecate Proposed A ‘Beer Wall’ During The Presidential Debate ‘The time has come for a wall.’
California Ends Statute Of Limitations For Rape And Child Molestation Cases about 3 hours ago This College Hockey Team's Secret Weapon Is An Autistic Defenseman about 4 hours ago Boys HS Soccer Team Refuses To Play Against Co-Ed Squad, Citing ‘Religious Beliefs’ about 5 hours ago People Are Mesmerized By This Strange Optical Illusion about 5 hours ago Here’s Why You Really Need To Prepare Like A Survivalist Right Now about 6 hours ago Tecate Proposed A ‘Beer Wall’ During The Presidential Debate about 6 hours ago This Father and Daughter’s Beautiful Morning Mantra Is Attracting Attention From All Over The World about 7 hours ago Grandpa Plays Hairdresser In Grandma’s Sweet Selfie about 8 hours ago This App Will Tell You How Long It Will Take To Burn Off All That Junk Food about 8 hours ago Student Surprises Caring Teacher With The Sneakers He’s Wanted Since Childhood about 8 hours ago The Case For A New National Holiday: Election Day about 9 hours ago Cocky Muscle-Man Tries To Show Off In Front of the Wrong Woman about 10 hours ago
The GOOD 100 Meet the remarkable individuals tackling pressing global issues today. The GOOD Guide to Recycling The objects we discard aren’t trash. They’re a resource. The Local Globalists Meet 17 innovators who are changing our future for the better. Project Literacy Building partnerships for a more literate future.
Never miss another
Like us on Facebook.