Introducing UpDating: the live first date experience involving an interactive audience.
****Originally published in thethirtysomethingman.com so figured I’d share the goods****
Forget everything The Thirty Something Man has taught you about dating. Forget everything he has taught you about Broadway shows. Coincidentally, he’s taught you nothing on both subjects. UpDating is going to change the way people like me go out on first dates.
The creators of Brunch Media bring you their next venture: UpDating. Updating is a first date in front of a live audience. Through the lens of society’s current rewriting of what it actually means to go on a first date, two single New Yorkers are opening up their first date for YOU, the audience, to join the action, ask questions, and interact every step of the way.
To really dive in to what this experience is all about, The Thirty Something Man sat down with Harrison Forman, the brain behind the operation. Here’s what he had to say.
So, how in the hell did you come up with the idea of UpDating?
The idea of dating is just fascinating and interesting to me as well as a lot of friends and New Yorkers in general. Some time ago I decided to Facebook live a lot of what went through a first date- preparation, commuting to the venue, and even a sort of “halftime report” midway through the date when I excused myself.
When I did it for the first time on Facebook live, it was relatable. People consumed it and it caught on. I think it’s because it was different. That’s the thing about sharing content. Even if it’s fire content today, unless you’re a celebrity, it’s not going to be shared to a wide audience. We (my partner & former NBC Page & standup comedian, Brandon Berman) thought, “what could we do different?” And so sharing live experiences of first dates caught on.
What can we expect from the first show?
Constant audience interaction. Before the date begins we’ll have drinks, encourage the audience to share crazy dating stories or even let us know if you are on a first date.
Then the date begins and we’ll see how it goes. The audience will throw in a topic on what to talk about. We have two interesting people that haven’t met before. It’s gonna be interesting.
That’s the thing about dating in New York. There’s no rhyme or reason. We wanna capture the aurora all of that. Maybe they hit it off or maybe they hate each other off the bat. Those are the nuances of dating in general. One might be interested, the other might not be.
About halfway through we’ll stop and have a halftime report. Basically the guy will go off stage and our amazing emcee will ask how she is feeling about it. The audience will offer feedback and advice. After she gives her thoughts, we’ll then do the same for him. It’ll be fun because the audience will have a better understanding of how they feel before the other does.
At the end the audience will vote on whether they should go on a second date. Then we’re gonna wrap it up.
What happens if the audience votes no but the couple want to go on a second date?
It’s tough to stop true love.
What would a first successful show look like?
Great question. [Editor’s note: humble brag by The Thirty Something Man for that question.] I think it’s one that has every emotion involved. It’s hilarious. It can be emotional. The participants are talking about everything from their last first date. Maybe it went well for her and he didn’t have a condom. We went it to be really unfiltered.
But then a great show will have real emotion and they’re talking about dating in New York in general. But we also want the audience to take something as well, almost like a dating lesson. It’s so valuable that when people are leaving, they text their friends and say “I know what I’ve been doing wrong on these first dates.”
It’s successful if it’s authentic, absurd, informative. If we do that then I think we’re on to something.
What’s next for UpDating?
We want to create an experience that’s never been done before. These aren’t actors, these are real life people. Everything is real.
We’re gonna build an exclusive audience for this. We want to create a network and the only way you find out is if your friends have gone. People that go to this first show are members of a community. And that’s why we’re doing this- to change the perception.
We want to do this show once a week. This could go beyond dating too. We could have one in every neighborhood and get liquor brands, clothing brands, all that involved. It’s very exciting.
Are you going to bring a date?
Well I have to do a quick introduction and I want to make sure all the guests are having a good time. My date would probably be upset if I ignored her all night, so I’ll spare her.
Should I [bring a date]?
You should. In fact Sam, I’d be upset if you didn’t.
Speaking of me, I understand that I’m the first alternate for the male lead in this live event should something happen. That being said, am I first in line for the next show as the man?
I’ve only known you for about a month and I can think of no one more suited for the role.
If somebody wants to be one of the two leads, how can they go about signing up?
But we do have a casting call for this. We went through about 50–100 people for this first show. It comes down to the people and the personalities. It takes a certain type of person to do this.
Final question: Who wins in a fight a bear or a gator?
Despite his atrocious gator prediction, Harrison has created something that is truly unique. The first show of UpDating will take place on Thursday, September 13th at 8pm at Zona Tribeca‘s private stage. The Thirty Something Man will be in attendance and will give his own feedback during and after the show.
There are still a few tickets left. If you’d like to attend, you can sign up and buy tickets through this link.