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Comic Timing: My Teenage Angst readers revisit their innermost thoughts from their ‘tweens, teens and twenties

Megan Nyce reads an excerpt from her high school journal during My Teenage Angst. (Contributed Photo)

Megan Nyce reads an excerpt from her high school journal during My Teenage Angst. (Contributed Photo)

By Erin Vanderberg, Editor

Krista takes a seat on the stage and begins to read, “I don’t want him to slip out of my life like yesterday’s trash, so I gave him my beloved Speedo shirt. When we start to lose touch, he will look at the shirt and call me.” The audience laughs as she lists her goals for the “century” which include “not smoking, getting married, and learning to play Indigo Girls on the guitar.”

This is a typical scene from My Teenage Angst, a comedy show started by Park Hill’s Megan Nyce. The 90-minute show relies on volunteers to read from their old journals – dusty sticker filled notebooks, diaries held together with mini heart shaped locks, covers that say “KEEP OUT!”

The passages were never written to be funny, but they are hilarious when read aloud so many years later. “Teenagers are emotional and intense and everything is a very big deal,” said Megan. “It’s hard to be a teenager, but now it’s just funny.”

Megan Nyce holds a photo of her former teenage self in her current Park Hill living room. Nyce, who has kept all her journals from her high school days in Loveland, started Denver’s My Teenage Angst last January.  (Erin Vanderberg)

Megan Nyce holds a photo of her former teenage self in her current Park Hill living room. Nyce, who has kept all her journals from her high school days in Loveland, started Denver’s My Teenage Angst last January. (Erin Vanderberg)

My Teenage Angst isn’t an original idea. Journal reading shows like this are found all over the US. Megan fell in love with the idea when living in Seattle. When the Loveland native moved back home to Colorado, she decided to start one up here last January.

Megan acts as the show’s emcee. Before the show, she will ask readers where they went to school, how old they were when they wrote the piece, club membership, favorite bands, proudest achievement at that point in time. Then she weaves all these tidbits together for an introduction with maximum entertainment value. Readers are given five minutes and are rewarded with audience laughter and a small prize from Megan’s treasure chest.
The show’s home is The Bar on South Broadway. She jokes that the venue is ideal – a drink helps with the stage fright.

While the shows is currently free, Megan also has plans to sell tickets soon so that she can break even on supplies. “I don’t want to make a profit because it’s not my stuff. I’m just hosting a process and it’s others’ material,” said Megan.

She herself has schlepped old journals from apartment to apartment, and thinks the show is a great way to finally reward that effort.

“You realize you weren’t the only person that felt that way, and you sort of let go,” said Megan. “Readers sometimes start out afraid, and by the end there’s a comfort level, catharsis even.”

Now nine shows in, the audience is generally between 35-50 people. There is a group of regulars forming, forging friendships from the show, and the characters from their journals are starting to become recognizable. One reader had this awful roommate in college and everybody hates that guy now, said Megan. “You just sort of go there with them, and boo the bad guys.”

Megan said she never knows what someone might share and that unpredictability is one of the best things about the show.

Overall, the process has made her especially empathetic to teenagers. “They just hate themselves. And they’re beautiful when they’re young, but they don’t realize it,” said Megan. She is constantly asking people: “Have you hugged a teenager today?”

Megan Nyce lives with her husband, 4-year-old daughter and dog, Marge, on Clermont Street. She’ll host the next My Teenage Angst on January 4 at The Bar, 554 S. Broadway, at 8 p.m. Readers should arrive a half-hour before the show to sign up for a five-minute slot. For more information visit
myteenageangst.com, My Teenage Angst on Facebook or itsthebar.com.


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