“How to know if you’re a pervert.”
“So I put on my coat, and I went and I got the job.”
Outside: “Lordy, Lordy, look who’s forty!” Inside “Most Moms are only 32!!!!!!!!!”
“Candy, candy, candy, candy, candy! I’m thinking about sex.”
All of these phrases are things that were heard tonight. All of these are expressions of youth that were captured in diaries, journals, and class-assignments; and then saved. These pieces of written history were treasured by selves or parents or other loved ones. These, amongst other gems, were performed tonight at GRTTWaK 10 at The Garrison on Dundas St. West.
As Dan Misener said on stage tonight, Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids is just that; adults go on stage and read things that they wrote when they were kids. The definition of kids is loose, but the rules for presenting are set: you must have been the kid that wrote the kid-writing, and your reading must be five minutes or less.
The readers tonight were phenomenal. Their collective (though each unique) style of presenting showed how much they appreciated literature and writing. You could hear the raw foundation of their appreciation and skill in the excerpts they chose from their childhood. They performed. I left tonight feeling, as I think most audience members do after these nights, inspired to dig through my old journals and buckets of writing assignments and scour them for the kind of self-proclaimed prodigious childhood writing that I would love to share with others.
If you haven’t already experienced GRTTWaK, you should. It’s a night that’s funnier than most comedy shows, and more insightful than most lectures. Plus, I’ll be there, and that should be reason enough. You should buy tickets the day they are released because they always sell out and only a minimal number of rush tickets are kept for the door.
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– Brad Wheeler from Globe & Mail writes a great review of the same night. Embedded in this article is a brilliant sound clip from the reading of Heather Phoenix who “always gets the last word” and who “got excellence in gym… which is higher than gold.”
– Jodi Lastman, one of the amazing performers, also tells of her own experience of the event and how she came to choose which pieces to read, and picks apart the psychology of such an experience. She also posts a video of her portion of the event. In her comment section Dan provides a well-referenced commentary on nostalgia and why we feel it.