Monday, September 16, 2013

I first stumbled upon a PostSecret book when I was at Urban Outfitters in Georgetown, D.C. years ago when the first book came out. I remember looking through the book and the concept of the book forever stayed with me, especially when I saw the address of where the secrets are sent to. Couldn’t believe something so unique was being created so close by to where I live. I thought to myself that it would be so cool to be a part of something utilizing such a creative platform. However, I didn't know how to get myself involved with it. Several years later I tried to see one of Frank’s shows at UMBC and was unable to attend. PostSecret would over the course of eight years, reoccur in my life. More so, recently PostSecret reoccurred as I came up with an idea and realized something of that magnitude already existed. I proceeded to look up PostSecret online to see what it has developed into over the years. Just so happened to check the forum and saw a picnic was to be held about a week or so later at Great Seneca Park. Since, I live not far from there, the spontaneity in me said, “hey, why not”. So, I went, had a great time and had the opportunity to meet Frank. Right off the bat, I enjoyed his energy and it was apparent how much love and respect he has for what he does with PostSecret. He mentioned there were some internship openings available and I jumped at the opportunity to partake in such a special experience. Luckily, Frank offered the internship to me and I gladly accepted.

On the first day, it was surreal to have finally come full circle and see PostSecret from a different point-of-view, not as a reader. One would think being in a room with so many secrets and plenty of them being dark secrets of peoples’ pain that one would be overwhelmed with heaviness; as if you have walked to the vault of darkness. However, I found it be quite the opposite. I see it as the vault of liberation of peoples’ pain, shame, embarrassment, and whatever other emotional release they might have felt after sending in their postcard. It is almost as if it’s a room of indirect connectedness of so many people. As I read through many postcards, some of them I felt an instantaneous bond with the author as I empathized with their words. We’re all more alike than we think we are. It’s just the secrets that we hold within ourselves that may sometimes keep us separated.

From a metaphoric standpoint, I imagine Frank as the male Statue of Liberty safely guarding all the secrets in his arm thus allowing the freedom of people letting go of their secret.

This is what is so special about Frank’s project of collecting secrets is that it brings people together who otherwise wouldn’t have connected on some level. Even if these people who share the same secret never meet, it’s allowed them to feel less alienated in their secret. Not all the secrets are dark. Many of them are lighthearted or downright comical. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the project thus far.

So, may I ask…what is your secret? You already know the addy so send em’ in.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

PostSecret Internship 2013!

I’ve been following PostSecret since 2005 so getting this internship was incredibly exciting for me. It’s been a little over a month now since I started working with Frank and seeing the inner workings of PostSecret. It feels so great to be able to get involved with a project I have loved from afar for so long. I always wondered certain things about PostSecret, such as how many postcards he receives a day and how he chooses the weekly secrets. I remember the first day of the internship I asked him so many questions, I think I drove him a little crazy! Our (the other interns and me) first task was to rebuild the pyramid of secrets because the original pyramid was starting to lose its stability. I did not realize how long this task would actually take! Shifting over half a million secrets is a lot of work. We are almost done with it now and hopefully I will be able to share a picture of it later. We’ve worked really hard to create the best design to keep this pyramid stable for as long as possible and I’m very proud of us. When we aren’t busy working on the pyramid, we spend time choosing Sunday secrets. I don’t know how much I can reveal about how that all works because it’s fun to leave the project a bit of a mystery. I will say though that Harry Potter is my favorite theme among the secrets. I mean, who doesn’t wish Hogwarts was real?? That’s all for now, but I hope to update more soon for you all! -Sarah

Saturday, June 4, 2011

We want to hear your story!

Hey everyone,

Over the weekend I had a run-in with an avid PostSecret follower - I'll call her "Jen." Jen is a delightful woman who has been keeping up with PostSecret for a while now, and she flipped out a little when she found out that I was the head intern (thanks for making me feel cool, Jen!). We got to talking more in-depth about this elaborate art project, and she revealed that, about a year ago, she had read a secret on the blog that she thought must have been written to her. She said she stared at the secret and started to weep. "I couldn't figure out if I was crying because the secret was written for me ... or because it wasn't."

Although she kept the secret private, it was obvious that it touched her very deeply. Her story is not the first I've heard of PostSecret's impact on someone's life. Another woman wrote in to Frank explaining that she had met her boyfriend of three years through the project. Although they lived over 1500 miles apart and had only ever conversed online, he bought her a ticket to one of the PostSecret events, and she drove all the way across the country to meet him. They have been together ever since.

Still other confessions have included emotionally-distant siblings reconnecting over the project, PostSecret community members donating money to a single mother's Christmas funds for her children, and those who have halted their plans of suicide after connecting with another fan. Hearing these stories or reading such secrets gives me goosebumps every time - and in the month that I've been here, the hair on my arms has raised quite a bit.

So what I request from you, faithful secret holders, are your stories. Does anyone have an exceptional tale of how PostSecret has influenced or changed your life? Fans and followers are the ones that make this project so magnificent and heartfelt, and I know there must be some incredible stories out there. If so, please contact me at postsecretintern@gmail.com. The stories will be shared immediately with Frank as well, and may find their way into the new PostSecret play!

Thanks, and I look forward to reading your stories.

Kaitlin

PS: Here is an example of what we're looking for, from an email that Frank received a few days ago.

Dear Frank,

Recently my mother and I attended your speaking event at my college. We've enjoyed PostSecret books together and looking online every week. She revealed to me on our way to this event, that she too had a secret. I didn't think anything of it... we all have secrets, don't we?

We shared many laughs and a few tears while you spoke, but as soon as you invited people to come up to the microphones to share their own stories, the first young lady who got up, told us of how at the age of 18 her abusive boyfriend had forced her to have an abortion and it had opened her eyes to the amount of love a mother has for their child.

I could hear my mother's crying gasp as I turned to her. She was looking up with tears streaming down her face, she whispered, "That's my secret." I couldn't hear anyone else coming to the microphone after that first young lady. We held each other and just cried...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An Intern's First Impressions



Sarah, Michelle, Frank, Ashley, and Kaitlin

Hi everyone, I'm Sarah, the new intern!

Upon first entrance into the top-secret location of the PostSecret Lair, I was overcome with a feeling that can only be correctly expressed in one word—gobsmacked. More than 250,000 secrets were carefully made, comprised of laughter, tears, hopes, dreams, and sadness. All of those secrets were equally as carefully dealt with. Each one was read, digested, sorted and stored. All the individual secrets are stored together to form a giant mountain of secrets. Mt. PostSecret, as I like to call it, is quite impressive, even rivaling some of the mountains I’m used to seeing in my native Colorado (on a slightly different scale of course)!

As an intern, the majority of my time is spent sorting and organizing all the PostSecrets, making bricks to add to the ever-growing Mt. PostSecret. After my first week, I can say there are some similar themes that keep popping up in the secrets. First, it seems everyone is in love with their best friend but is afraid to tell them. This secret is very common; maybe your best friend feels the same way?! Another popular secret is about cheating in a relationship. Whether it is from the person who cheated, or the one that got cheated on, it seems sadness comes from both parties. Other common secrets are about depression and loneliness. I wish there was a way to connect all the lonely people out there because although lonely, they are certainly not alone in their feelings! Maybe one day there will be an app for that?

Another fun task we do as interns is helping Frank translate or decode PostSecrets. I feel like a detective and it is really cool to be able to engage a secret and try to understand its true meaning. From my one week as in intern, I’ve already learned how to read Braille, how awesome is that?

We have some great stuff in the works for this summer; I’m so excited and can’t wait to share it all with you! The PostSecret community is truly amazing and wouldn’t be possible without all the brave people like you who share your secrets! Thanks for allowing us interns to see your secrets, we have bonded over so many of them already!

Until next time,

Sarah

PS: Kaitlin here, encroaching on Sarah's post. I want to reiterate that SERIOUSLY Y'ALL, if you are in love with your best friend, chances are they are in love with you too!! That has to be the secret we get the most! Everyone is diggin' on their BFF. So... maybe you should go for it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Popular Myths About PostSecret


Hey everyone! Recently I came across someone on the Internet spewing false accusations about the truthfulness of PostSecret. While my online battle with him is besides the point (the important thing is that I was victorious), it got me thinking that there are many myths about PostSecret that are swirling around out there. Allow me to address the three main misconceptions that I've heard.

Myth #1: Frank makes all of the postcards himself.
Truth: All I can really say to this is LOL. People actually think that this guy sits around making postcards with different languages, handwritings, and images all day? Besides, even if this had been true, people would have started sending in their own secrets eventually. But no, Frank does not make the postcards. I’m giggling at the thought of him sitting with just a glue stick, glitter and his imagination all day.

Myth #2: Frank doesn’t read all of the secrets or keep all of them.
Truth: Every secret is mailed to Frank’s house. I see him read each secret everyday. He has this same look on his face while he reads them that is simultaneously very serious and thoughtful. He then hands them off to us to organize and archive in the PostSecret lair until he decides how best to use them. He still owns every single postcard that he has ever received, and I’ve heard him refer to it as a “precious archive.”

Myth #3: There’s an online archive of secrets that have appeared on the website in the past.
Truth: There is no official online archive that Frank manages of past website secrets. Frank has mentioned how he wants to build a long-term relationship with the PostSecret fans; if there were an online archive, many people might spend all night reading hundreds of secrets and become burnt out, and perhaps never read PostSecret again. He wants it to be more like a TV show: there's one episode a week, and hopefully it keeps people interested enough to keep coming back for more.

There are more secrets to debunk, but right now this post is getting a bit long, so more will come later! Who else has a myth that they'd like us to address?

-Kaitlin

Friday, May 6, 2011

Decoding


Hey everyone,

We got this postcard yesterday. It has a pattern of numbers on the back. Can anyone figure out if they mean anything? Click on the picture to see a larger version.





-Kaitlin

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Internship Inquiries


Hey everyone, it's Kaitlin.

The internship at PostSecret is one that's not only a lot of fun, but also full of responsibility. Each summer, interns make sure that every secret is handled properly and stored safely, and we take care to ensure that not a single postcard is lost.

We almost have a full team of interns this summer, but we're looking for one more motivated, hard-working PostSecret enthusiast. The unpaid internship takes a lot of effort and if you meet the requirements below and feel that you would be right for the job, please send your resumes to postsecretintern@gmail.com (anything emailed to this address goes to the interns at PostSecret).

Requirements:
-Must live within commuting distance of Germantown, MD.
-Must own a car.
-Must be able to start immediately.
-Must be able to keep the location of the PostSecret Lair confidential! :)

Thanks y'all!