I surprised Dawn with a matinee showing of ‘Post Secret The Show’ at Walton Arts Center. I even bought an extra seat so that we could stretch out and be comfortable. That backfired, as it turned out there was an aisle between the seats I purchased. I gave my extra ticket, however, to a group across from us, so several of us had a better time than anticipated.
As I expected, she loved the show.
On such a fine day, it was as if we had been transported to church on a Saturday, filled with strangers as the show began. As it progressed, we all realized that the world is both wide and universal for us all. Many people were teary-eyed and emotional at several points of the show.
I made friends and since I almost always carry index or note cards in my back pocket, I was able to use a version of my “secrets revealed” on the two ladies seated to my left, after they exited their seats during intermission – and returned to find a perfectly balanced index card on their shared armrest with this message:
“I heard one of you say, “I won’t mention THAT secret” earlier. I can’t explain how I know, but I know your secret. #youcrackmeup.”
During their absence, Dawn pointed out that if I kept out my ever-present stack of cards, they’d immediately know it was me. I assumed they would immediately blame the new craziness on me since I was probably the weirdest person on that side of the theater.
I let them wonder who might have left the card for several moments as they fiercely whispered back and forth between themselves and then we exchanged a succession of revelatory commentary. We shared a moment and a few stories, all of which involved initial awkwardness followed by intense laughter. I won’t reveal the secret in question, but it led them to share a hilarious prank and the aftermath of it with me.
They were incredulous that my real name was X, given that we were all at a show based on anonymity. After the show, another lady asked, “Is X really your name?”
Being very familiar with Post Secret, I knew the revelations were going to be both rapid-fire and poignant. I had left one of my own on the bathroom mirror before the show began. Mine was not read during the show, as the show used a small sample from the auditorium mailbox and none from the bathroom.
I also befriended a lady who had accompanied her husband. She had no idea of what Post Secret might encompass. She left the show intensely curious and full of ideas. In the way that so often happens in such situations, I gave her a brief explanation of the Post Secret universe, followed by one which explained my name and my background. We could have talked for an hour, but her husband had sneaked past her and out the main door.
If you ever have the chance to see the show, I highly recommend it, regardless of your temperament. It will be transformative for you.
P.S. In the spirit of this show, book, and website, I’m going to paraphrase and share what I noted on that post-it note in the bathroom:
“I was going to murder my violent dad one night and the only thing which prevented it was that I didn’t know how to load the gun.”
The success and beauty of Post Secret is that my secret is all too common. Some of the secrets read during the show from those in the audience today were filled with pain, love, regret, and hope.
There are no new secrets, only new faces to give them life.
In pain, frailty, laughter and diverse geography, we share the essential.