8/52 Speed Dating
I’ve always wanted to go to a speed dating event. The main reason being that I’d like to go and experiment with different characters. With one person you bring out your incredibly intense side, with another you’re the crazy cat lady and with another person you forget how to speak English. #GeniusActingExercise #StanislavskyAintGotNothingOnMe
However, while researching speed dating events in London I stumbled upon a silent speed dating event which, despite it not matching my initial plan for this task spiked my curiosity.
Now. If I knew what I know now, I would have told myself to stay far away from this event. Miles if possible. But, unfortunately time travel has not yet been invented. Elon, if you’re reading this can ya please get on the case. Cheers!
Anyways, It was weird.
At this point you may be thinking “Yeah duh it was weird Nina. It’s silent speed dating. Like wtf! Why?!”
If you’re an actor you’ll understand. It’s fun to really connect with people by looking them straight in the eyes. This is something we don’t allow ourselves to do often enough in day to day life; really see the person in front of you and let them see you by simply being.
But actors are generally charismatic people. The people at this event. Not so much.
What kind of people I hear you ask?
I hear you saying, “Nina, you’re weird.”
No people. This wasn’t the quirky kind of I collect tea & put on bizarre British accents kind of weird.
It was the proper weirdos we actively try and avoid at all costs kind of weird.
A bit harsh perhaps?
Only trying to be honest.
Now, thank the lord and little baby Jesus and Mary that a friend of mine had tagged along. Here’s to having spontaneous friends who also enjoy a bit of experimentation. Amirite!
We walk into the tackiest of all of Shoreditch venues, sign in, get a number and walk upstairs.
My attention is drawn to the bowls of free candy lying around and I think, If nothing else, at least I get some free Haribo out of this. #Winning
“So, who here is hoping to find true love tonight?” The host of the evening, a middle aged man wearing slippers asks the room, hinting at the fact that the night is about to commence.
One woman raises her hand.
The man continues, “It’s probably best if you let go of that expectation.”
The event was split in two parts; The first half consisted of silent games from walking around the room and shaking peoples hands to playing ninja tag with a partner to some ET dancing exercise.
Don’t even ask.
All I could think was “Please let these peoples' hands be clean.” Which, I’m pretty sure they weren’t.
We ended by playing a version of Never Have I Ever… except I wasn’t allowed to hold my glass of wine while we played.
“And that’s the end of the first half. We’ll take a 15 minute break and then reconvene” The slipper man announces.
I turn to my friend, “Right. Let’s go to the bar.”
As we walk down the stairs we cannot stop laughing. And I think, we are officially bonded for life because of this experience. Bonding with people happens over shared experiences and it reminded me that I want to spend more time with people participating in activities that don’t involve a gig or a pub.
The second half of the evening consisted of staring people in the eyes for 90 seconds. The women would remain seated and the men would make their way round the circle. When the bell rang you’d change seats and either place a cross of tick next to the person’s number.
Spoiler alert: My card had zero ticks. Zero.
Now, it’s actually insane how much you can learn about a person by just looking them in the eyes. Seriously. We pick up so much more than we think from non verbal communication and I ain’t making this up. It’s science.
But let’s face it. When it comes to dating, if we’re not immediately attracted to someone it ain’t gonna happen. And attraction isn’t just physical. Sometimes there’s just a vibe you can’t ignore that pulls you towards someone. It’s all about that vibe.
However, I was having a debate with a friend the other day. Do you inevitably fall in love with people you spend a lot of time with? The more time you spend with someone, the more bonded you feel and perhaps sometimes that can be mistaken for romantic love.
Have you heard of the 36 questions that when followed by 4 minutes of sustained eye contact will make you fall in love? It basically asks 3 sets of questions which are designed to speed up the bonding process. Each set gets more personal than the next. Watch people attempt the experiment HERE.
Anyone keen to experiment? It will most definitely be one of my Project 52 tasks.
Anyways, back to the Shoreditch.
The final bell rang. I hurry to find my friend, “Let’s get out of Here!”. We thanked the hosts because despite their bad jokes, they did do a good job at hosting and I was impressed because they probably made around £1000 plus that night. Love sells.
On the way out the bar, standing in front of the venue was the woman who at the start of the night had raised her hand, admitting she was looking for love. She was making out with one of the other attendees.
I smiled and hoped that they would work out. If anything, let this event have been set up for this woman to have found her true love.
Sometimes, your sole purpose is to act as an extra in someone else’s story.