Santa Rosa is quickly emerging as a happy contender in the art and entertainment world, and is the proud home of the newest (and smallest) Mortified chapter, Mortified Sonoma County.

What is Mortified, you ask? The simplest answer: it’s the best show ever. More specifically from their website, Mortified is a show where you can “witness adults sharing their most embarrassing childhood artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, plays, home movies, art) with others, in order to reveal stories about their lives. Hear grown men and women confront their past with tales of their first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, and reasons they deserved to marry Jon Bon Jovi.”

For the record, I’m pretty sure I deserve to marry Jon Bon Jovi, right now.

After much discussion with Mortified founder Dave Nadelberg and Mortified San Francisco and Oakland Producer Scott Lifton, it was agreed that yours truly could bring Mortified to Santa Rosa for a test run…just to see if it would go over or not.

If you weren’t one of the 200+ people packed like sardines into Christy’s on the Square for the first ever Mortified Sonoma County show, then let us just say this: it went over, all right. It went over like a rainbow looking for gold. Weird analogy? Yes. Great show? YES!

Courtesy: Suzanne Karp
Courtesy: Suzanne Karp

Santa Rosa welcomed Mortified with open arms and pulled in neighbors from our surrounding Sonoma County communities to watch the mortification happen. Just as everyone has a story to tell, everyone has an embarrassing story to tell, often from those most awkward years of youth. And sure, not everyone is brave enough to stand on a stage in front of hundreds of strangers describing the first time they got their period or how they did nothing with their time but intricately and angrily rate every Hamburger Helper their mom ever made…but hearing others do so sure is hilarious. And, surprisingly cathartic.

From diaries chronicling being forced to help with mom’s house cleaning business, to letters describing how going back into the closet is much harder than coming out, to the hip hop improv skills of Petaluma’s Opey tha Poet topping off each reader’s awkward confessions with an original, on-the-spot song about their angsty pain…Mortified Sonoma County was a massive success – and we’re ready for more!

In preparation for the next show which will once again be held right here in Santa Rosa, Mortified Sonoma County’s production team is currently meeting with sweaty, nervous everyday people who were lucky enough to keep the embarrassing documentation of their acne-filled, hormonal youth. Want to check it out? If you think you’ve got something to share, go to and click Participate, then find Sonoma County. If you’d like to just come to the shows and witness the revelation of burning crushes, early sexual adventures, exiting of closets, poop accidents, parent hating and so much more, go to Facebook and ‘like’ Mortified Sonoma County to stay updated. To hold you over, there’s a documentary you should definitely watch, called Mortified Nation – it’s on Netflix, people! So easy! You should also subscribe to the Mortified podcast on PRX via itunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Until the next show, remember the Mortified Motto: We are Freaks, We are Fragile, and we all Survived.

Click here to go to the Mortified Sonoma County Facebook page.