What happens when a woman creates an obviously fake OKCupid profile, declaring her love for cats and only cats?
She gets hundreds and hundreds of messages, of course.
This is what sparked the idea for a show called “#DateMe: An OKCupid Experiment“, which I had the pleasure of seeing at UpComedy Club, in Chicago, last weekend. Robyn Lynne Norris (creator/writer/actress of the show) was asked to review a friend’s OKCupid profile for red flags, and “TracyLovesCats” was born. Shortly thereafter, 37 more outrageous characters were conceived and sprinkled across the United States. The rules were simple: these characters would not initiate conversation, would stay in character, and would not meet anyone.
#DateMe explores many of these characters, and gives proper credit to those that messaged them, by displaying their OKCupid handles, and reading/acting the message verbatim. (I bet you can imagine how many messages TracyLovesCats received that referenced her “pussy.”)
You HAVE to see this show. Hop on the next flight to Chicago and go see it RIGHT MEOW. (Maybe not the next flight; it’s playing until July 24, 2016.) If you are single and searching the interwebs for love, you will relate on many levels. You’ll gain a new understanding of online dating, and spruce up that glimmer of hope. If you’re against online dating, this show will confirm your ideology. If you are married, you will be so thankful you missed out on the world of online dating (or have exited that world.)
Not only do you witness the, sometimes horrifying, messages that were sent to these characters, but Robyn also worked with OKCupid founders to give you some really interesting facts about online dating throughout the show. There is an epic photobooth with props galore (see photo above) outside of the theatre, for your selfie-taking pleasure. And, perhaps my favorite part of the show: The cast finds two willing participants in the audience to quiz about their “Six Things I Can’t Do Without”, and then performs a hilarious* improv skit on if these two people were to meet in the real world and fall in love.
*It might not be hilarious – it’s different every show!
I cannot sing this show’s praises enough. (Full disclosure: I was not asked to write about it!) I laughed, I cried, and then I laughed even more. (At one point in the show, it becomes obvious that Robyn became a little bit obsessed with this project – all while not looking for love online. She explains why she became so engrossed with her characters. If her confession doesn’t tug at your heartstrings, something is wrong with you.)
The show reminded me that, while people online dating definitely can be crazy, we are all humans seeking to cure a lonely part of ourselves.
#DateMe: An OKCupid Experiment is a 2 act, 90 minute show, at UpComedy Club (at Second City Theatre — yeah, THAT one..) in Chicago. It is playing until July 24, 2016. It’s a great date night or a girl’s or bro’s night out. You can get tickets at http://www.datemeshow.com.
I also had Robyn on my podcast Nothing In Common to talk about her project — You’ll have to listen about how many men characters she created and which ones got messages. It’s FASCINATING. (I also got a question in about grooming kitties — My cats are invisible, but I think I gave some pretty solid advice.)