April 19, 2009

"Wince" at Real Art Ways

I spent Saturday evening at Wince, an open mic / reading event at Real Art Ways.
Wince is an open-mic reading featuring your relics of adolescent embarrassment. Bring your teenage diaries, stories, or anything else that makes you laugh, blush, and wince. Share them during our experiment in collective humiliation.

I attempted to dig up some angsty teenage writings to read, but came up empty (things tend to be spread out in my life, and not well organized) but I felt pulled to attend, I've been too busy with taxes and work and yoga to be social, so I wandered over to RAW.

The first person I ran into was the fabulously talented / styling Anne Cubberly who also professed to not having anything to read, but had signed up anyways to tell an embarassing story. Which was all the encouragement I needed to sign up. All in all, maybe 15-20 readers / speakers, and a good sized crowd of listeners.

First off, the impact of computers and the internets on writing, creative arts, journaling, etc. was evident. The younger set had dug out long forgotten livejournal accounts to pull up their embarassing teenage years. Others had been keeping computerized journals and brought a few pages of text file printouts. Yet there were those (spread across the age spectrum) with real life actual journals - carefully scribed blank books, scribbled notebook paper, pocket calendars with entires cribbed in tiny spaces. It was a healthy mish-mash of media.

I've noted myself how useful my blogs (this one going back to 2005, as well as an earlier one that spanned 2001 - 2004) have been in checking in with my former selves. So to have had a permanent record of my middle school, high school, or college years, would have been pretty amaxing (and/or scary)

Second, amazing how many of the embarassments had to do with music, with performance. Dave M trucked out a bleached denim jacket and a CD of chestnuts from his first band. Anne C told a riotous story of a school recital debacle involving chiffon and self tanning lotion. Another recited lyrics to a song he had written about computer hackers.

And admit, that my story, entitled "Third Shift at McDonald's"was judged to be the prize winner for the evening. I'll post it in a bit. So I walked away with the coveted Hello Kitty diary (complete with rhinestones, lock, and key) - which I am to write in, and return for the winner of the next event.

All in all, a fun (and only slightly uncomfortable) evening.

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