Everyone has secrets, and millions have felt compelled to write one of their own on a homemade postcard and anonymously send it to Frank Warren. Warren is the founder of PostSecret, a hugely successful blog that began as a community art project.
What is the most common secret people have mailed to Warren? “I pee in the shower” is the winner. But not all of the secrets are funny or lighthearted — the show is a rollercoaster of emotions, as it shares hilarious secrets about farts, pranks, and guilty pleasures alongside tragic admissions about death, suicide, and depression.
The show’s tagline urges you to “Free your secrets and become who you are,” and it gives the audience plenty of opportunities to do just that. Everyone is given a blank postcard with the text from Warren’s original call for secrets, reading “Your secret can be a regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession, or childhood humiliation.” The cards were placed in a mailbox, and in act two, a few of these were included in the show.
Some secrets that have been sent in and posted to the blog have begun larger movements, such as the Please Don’t Jump campaign that began as a response to a secret from someone who expressed wanting to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Others have elicited small acts of kindness among strangers, such as the single mother who wrote PostSecret to say that she was ashamed Santa wouldn’t be bringing her son the gift he desperately wanted.
Covering topics such as religion, death, love, childhood, abuse, and redemption, the show had a very hopeful tone as it shared these slices of humanity that make us all feel a bit more real. As Warren said after the show, “Secrets are the currency of intimacy.” So, if you want to get close to someone, spill your guts.
PostSecret: The Show is presented by the Firehall Arts Centre from January 20 to February 7. For more information, visit firehallartscentre.ca.