COMEDY

Lindsay Ames & Guests Are Open Books at “My Diary”

0 Comments 31 May 2016

lindsay ames

Lindsay Ames talks her monthly live reading series “My Diary,” in which comedians mine old relics for new life.

By Daniel Barron

 

I once wrote, in a piece you can find on this very site, about how I was considered the “designated fart patsy” in my class, beginning in 4th Grade all up thru high school. You laugh, but therapy is expensive! The social ladder is held up by fragile legs in those days, and all it takes is ONE inopportune air biscuit to send you clattering down the rails. My anal blasts, if you believed the hype, were “weapons-grade,” could “peel the paint off of a car” and were true “black magic of the butt.”

Need proof?

 

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Exhibit A

 

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Exhibit B

 

Okay, now you can laugh.

 

But the sour grapes of yesteryear can sometimes ferment into the vintage bottles of our times. That was the philosophy that inspired comedian, writer, and multimedia artist Lindsay Ames a year-and-a-half ago when she founded her monthly live reading series “My Diary.” The first Wednesday of every month, Ames and her lineup of guests emotionally strip down to divulge their most cringeworthy moments for public enjoyment, mined from the paraphenelia of days past. These aren’t just limited to diary entries in a book: phone notes, letters, old notebooks, MySpace and LiveJournal content, and even to-do lists are all fair game for presentation.

Ames recalls: “I kept all my old writing and I just wrote so much in the diaries and knew I couldn’t throw them away. I never planned on having a show like this but am so grateful that it’s come to pass. A lot of people have thrown out diaries, burned them , or destroyed them in one way or another. I have always relished in my idiocy as a human. And these just serve to highlight that idiocy.”

With a concept that urges people to strip down, Ames is proud of how the show challenges both the performer and the audience. “Performers have been sharing REALLY vulnerable things onstage. So it’s a chance for audiences to see a side of their favorite personalities that they would NEVER get to see elsewhere.”

These brave souls have included to date over sixty performers across the comedy and acting spectrums, including Adult Swim’s Eric Andre, Kate Berlant, Nick Thune, Orange Is The New Black‘s Becky Drysdale, author/Bored to Death creator Jonathan Ames. Ames’ at-bat demonstrated that “My Diary” isn’t rigidly married to format, either, beginning his piece with a display of interpretive dance. There are straight diary reads, but also videos and reenactments to complement the stories.

 

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“My Diary” host Lindsay Ames.

 

While Ames and her guests often aim for laughs, honesty is prized above all else. And the truth, it is known, can sting. Ames recalls two particularly harrowing performances: “Anna Akanna read a VERY personal entry about her sister’s suicide which was very brave, and I felt so honored that she shared that at the show. Megan Neuringer also read about her mother’s illness, which was touching and beautiful.”

Rather than alienate attendees, Ames has been pleasantly surprised by the way “My Diary” continues to take on a life of its own and attract an accepting crowd. “I never imagined the show would touch people the way it has. But it is something everyone can understand and relate to. And it makes the comedians/performers so accessible to their fans.”

Because the shards of a broken heart can form the alchemy of comedy gold, get a rich serving of unique LA culture at the next “My Diary” show.

 

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The next “My Diary” event is Wednesday, June 1st at 7pm with a lineup that includes Rosa Salazar, Erin McGathy, Jackie Tohn, Nichole Bagby, and Casey Feigh. Purchase tickets HERE.

Learn more about Lindsay Ames on her website.

Follow Lindsay Ames on Twitter.

Follow “My Diary” on Facebook.

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- who has written 419 posts on Yay! LA | Arts & Culture Magazine.

Rudderless college graduate Daniel Barron founded Yay! LA Magazine on a love of writing, passion for the arts, and a firm belief that people really like talking about themselves. He contributed to a number of publications, including LA Music Blog and the defunct The Site Unscene, before deciding to cover arts and entertainment the way he wanted to read it. He works as a freelance writer and digital PR consultant in his current home of Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter at @YayDanielBarron.

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