Brandon and I first met David Blatt after attending the Mortified Colorado: Doomed Valentines 2017 show. Since then, we've been regulars at every Mortified event, always waking up the following morning with sore stomachs from laughing too hard. Last weekend, we sat down to have coffee with David and talk about Mortified and the upcoming the 2018 Doomed Valentines show. David brought Mortified, a comedy show and podcast that features adults sharing real stories and artifacts (comics, diary entries, school projects, etc.) from adolescence on stage for hundreds of strangers, to Denver after reading pieces of his own adolescent chronicles in San Francisco.
Mortified Colorado has been ongoing bi-monthly for a year now, with regular sold-out shows in Denver's Oriental Theatre. David took some time on a Sunday afternoon to sit down with us and his chihuahua, Bella, over coffee and talk about Mortified and his own creative journey. (And for the curious - David let me humiliate myself by reading my fifth-grade diaries on stage in April, 2017, and I'm still trying to live it down).
How did you become a Coloradan?
I grew up in Colorado, right by Congress Park. I left in '98, after high school, for Oberlin to study Creative Writing. After graduating, I lived in Chicago for about seven years acting and writing plays and singing in a band, and then I was in San Francisco for another seven years, making music and going to acupuncture school.
I decided to come back to Colorado after looking at the long-term picture. I still had family in Denver, a good crew of friends, and affordable housing options (an element of San Francisco that was becoming unsustainable). I wanted to spend more time with my dad, and learned there was no Mortified chapter in Denver, so it was the perfect opportunity to bring the show back to Colorado with me.
How did you first get into Mortified?
A friend wanted to go for his birthday. I thought it might be an awful night, but then laughed harder than I'd laughed in a long time. I went home and dug everything out, the journals, the school essays, letters, the works. I read in the Bay Area shows for five years, and then the idea of bringing Mortified back to Denver tipped the scales on my decision to return home. I went to the training for producers who want to take Mortified to new cities, and on November 4, 2016, we had our first show in Denver and sold out.
It was a charmed start; CPR did a piece on it, and then Jamie Laurie (Jonny5 of Flobots) was a featured reader in our February show, which helped with promotion. We sold out Jamie's shows, and it's grown steadily since then. It also helps having a good relationship with BookBar, which is located close the Oriental Theater. The BookBar staff have helped connect me with local authors and helped grow the Mortified community. Nicole (the owner at BookBar) has been awesome, and it's a fun way to get to know people throughout the city. Readers divulge things they normally wouldn't, so it's kind of a sacred process.
What are your coffee rites?
I enjoy coffee in small amounts, but can usually be found over my laptop with hot tea. On chilly mornings I like to brew something hot and snuggle on the couch with my pup, Bella. Also when I’m working on Mortified edits. And before bed. Throughout the day. I guess I'm never very far from a mug.
If you could have coffee (or tea) with anyone, who would you share it with?
That would have to be my mom, who passed about 12 years ago. I'd love to have another hour together so we could share some stories, and laugh, and she would probably want us to split a huge bag of potato chips.
When not curating readers or selling out tickets, David helps people find relief from pain and experience better health through his acupuncture and massage practice, Evolution Wellness. You can hear his music at ReverbNation.
The next Mortified show is Doomed Valentines on Saturday, February 10th from 8 PM - 10 PM at the Oriental Theater in Denver. Tickets, as you can tell, tend to sell out by day-of-show, so be sure to purchase yours now.
Want to dust off those diaries and be in the show? Visit GetMortified.com/Participate and select the Denver chapter. Brandon and I will be there, so we hope to see you in the audience or on stage!