Last night, I was a research assistant for Dr. Alex at Never Sleep Alone. The show is hosted by a friend of a friend and my friend rounds up folks who don’t mind asking strangers charged questions. When the questions are asked, the clipboard charts filled out, we seat fill and become the rowdy bunch to start off the show right.
We showed up at 10:30 pm and were directed to the dusty-under-construction-probably-filled-with-asbestos dressing room. We put our stuff down and mingled with the other two dozen interns and volunteers. It was great because several of the folks were friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. There were so many of us that we were broken up into groups. Some were sent to give out free champagne, while others were sent to mingle in the crowd and give out personal invites to sexy people to attend the after party. The rest of us were given a three minute orientation, a lab coat, told to make up a fake name, and sent out into the world with a clipboard, different colored masks, and a pocket full of show branded condoms. I named myself “Sam.”
I learned in CPE that it is never really is THAT awkward to walk into a room and ask complete strangers questions about their deepest spiritual fears, hopes, and thoughts. So it was really a piece of cake walking to random (usually inebriated) strangers, some on dates, some with friends, and asking if they’re looking to “make a sexual connection tonight.” The section I covered never really filled up (lots of no-shows) but I did chat with a dozen people or so. Some highlights are below:
- The couple who were on a date where the man was much more into the idea of the show that she was.
- The woman where, after receiving their masks, asked to change colors because she didn’t want to miss out on the fun.
- Talking to the father of one of the musicians from the show who’s English was very bad.
- Talking to that musician’s girlfriend who said she’s seen the show five times but loves answering all the questions and asked me to keep going.
- The old man who had no idea what a ‘hook up’ was.
- And the beautiful gay couple who were obviously on their first date and we’re trying to guess what the other guy wanted to hear.
When the room was covered in masks, we were finished; we dropped our lab coats back in the dressing room, and sat in for the show. I really got a kick out of seeing how the show worked, who did what, and trying to figure out why the show worked. To quote K, the show is the type of show where you get out of it what you put into it – and being a married man with a kidling on the way means I’m not really that into it. But I did clap, sing along, laugh, judge what people were wearing, and felt incredibly old because only a few of us knew the lyrics to the opening song from Nirvana (kids these days!) It was also amazing watching people fall over themselves to get on stage. This article from the NY Times in December hits all the bases. It is STILL amazing that there were no dull spots, no places where no one moves, and no places where someone outright rejected Dr. Alex. The show moves, is funny, and is moving to Saturday nights (which means I can’t intern it anymore). I had a good time though I’m starting to realize that my staying out to 2:30 am (and sleeping through my subway stop) is probably starting to peter out.