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PostSecret Live event provides space for students to share their secrets

Frank Warren speaks at the PostSecret event on Sept. 11 in Plachta Auditorium.

​Almost every seat in Plachta Auditorium was filled on Sept. 11 for PostSecret Live with Frank Warren, a multimedia event presented by Central Michigan University's Program Board.  

PostSecret is a community art project that allows people to anonymously confess secrets on postcards that are shared with others on Warren, the founder of PostSecret, shared some of the secrets he’s received anonymously and got the audience involved in his presentation.

Some students at the event had no idea what they were about to witness.

“I didn’t know what I was going into or what to expect,” said Petoskey senior Natalie Davenport. “It was so much more than I could have ever imagined. The entire time I was overwhelmed with so many feelings.”

Warren discussed some difficult topics such as suicide, depression, death and anxiety. Aside from being passionate about sharing secrets, he expressed a deep concern for people suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts.

PostSecret has raised a million dollars for suicide prevention over the past 10 years, he said.
Throughout the night, many of the postcards and secrets that he shared with the audience were related to these topics.

“It takes no special training or education to save a life: we can all do that,” Warren said during the presentation.

​Warren shared people’s secrets in a variety of ways. One of the secrets Warren cherishes most is one in which the anonymous sender discusses saving every voicemail that they receive no matter what, because it could possibly be the last time they hear someone's voice. Following this, he played an audio montage of other people’s last voicemails before they died.

“I loved the whole thing so much, but one of my favorite parts definitely had to be when he played the last voicemails. It was so emotional,” said Dani Matthew, a senior from Petoskey.

Of all the personal moments that were delivered to the audience throughout this presentation, one of the most personal for audience members was the last 20 minutes or so when Warren allowed anyone to approach the microphone and share a secret of their own.

“My favorite part of the night was when audience members shared their own secrets,” said Maddie Ward of Petoskey.  

Though many of the people in the audience didn't know each other, some of them opened up and shared their confessions in front of everyone.

“I love what Frank said about the simplest ideas having the greatest impact” said Grand Rapids senior Claire Kupris. “I also love how he made us all feel connected, and I don’t feel so alone in my own problems anymore.”