Event Review: Valentine’s Day “Confessional Culture Variety Show”
We attended a very special Valentine’s Day party on Saturday, hosted by Housing Works Cafe in NYC and featuring performances by PostSecret, Found Magazine, Mortified, Six-Word Memoirs, Cassette from my ex, and music by Michael Hearst of One Ring Zero. The sold-out show brought together a motley crowd of confessors, voyeurs, and a mix of the two – all interested in spending their Valentine’s Day hearing about other people’s love stories, and in turn reminiscing about their own.
One of the most entertaining bits of the night involved the guitar-accompanied singing of strangers’ ‘six-word memoirs’ about their past relationships. Like a haiku encapsulating years of love/heartbreak/loss, the memoirs distilled failed relationships to their essential take-aways (“Thought he was perfect. Small d-ck.”)
PostSecret founder Frank Warren presented the more sentimental side to secret sharing, describing how his confession-gathering art project had not only given strangers an outlet for their most embarrassing stories, but also a way for them to find one another and share in the experience. As PostSecret gained popularity, confessors found solace and companionship in the growing community of confessors and fans, many of whom proudly owned up to their posted secrets and fears and sought others who wanted to do the same.
In all, the night turned out to be a thoughtful, mostly lighthearted tribute to love and all its mysteries. And all bitterness-tinged and jokey anecdotes aside, we left the party more heart-warmed than when we came. All the soul-baring (some half-serious but all still deep-down sincere) was a nice reminder that everyone has a crushing secret or heartbreak to share, and that we shouldn’t be afraid to admit it to one another – and laugh and learn from them all together once in a while.
[image via PostSecret]