At times, being social for me can feel like a chore. By nature, I am much more of an introvert, maybe even a little shy at times. I suppose I would consider myself a learned extrovert, but it certainly does not come natural to me. My closest friends tend to be much more extroverted, loud, charismatic, and the life of the part. Each place I have lived I have found these best friends (Jess H. Christian P, Renee K, etc.)..and through osmosis I become social, perhaps even charming on a great night. So when I moved to DC at the age of 28…I did not do my very best of getting out and being social. Once the weather got cold I would commence my Costarican hibernation, an unhealthy isolation. Not to say that isolation is always bad, and the winter is a great time to look inward. However a little too much of it can lead to loneliness, depression etc….it’s all about that balance. However, since the new year, things have changed…I began acting on things I have been wanting to do, getting out in the world and allowing my presence to be known. Now, I Show:up.
Last week my friend Damani sent me this link: www.bestdinnerpartyever.com/. When I checked out the link I really didn’t get it. The website was a little vague (perhaps intentionally) and it cost $65 which included dinner, drinks and a show. Perhaps it was not vague, just the concept seemed foreign. Dinner, drinks, and a show seemed simple enough, but it also said to bring an open mind, and that you were part of the show…what kind of show was this exactly? Part of the show?? I could already feel my social anxiety begin to kick in, my amygdala was like…umm no way Jose. However, Damani has not led me astray before, so I decided to go for it.
The location of the show was not disclosed until the day of the show…I don’t know, maybe just to freak me out. On the night of the show, of course there was a snow storm here in DC, which before would have deterred my attendance. Not this time, I laced up my boots and out I went. I meet my friends at a local bar one block from the location of the show. There was four of us , each just as confused as the next…we each had questions, but no one had any answers. We were all comforted by the fact that their would be food and drink, so how bad could it be. So after drinking our glass of courage, we walked one block down a snowy street in Petworth to a little unassuming apartment building. I would not call the building ghetto, but it was in no way fancy either. It was here that we were greeted by a man with a waiver for us to sign. A few other people stood in this tiny lobby who had the same look of…”what the hell is going on” pasted across their face. We were informed that the waiver was simply so they could use the pictures for publicity purposes for their show. Despite my flat hat hair going on, I signed and proceeded to the apartment.
Not going to lie, it was really awkward at first, yet at the same time comfortable. We were greeted like old friends, into this tiny, yet nicely decorated apartment. On the wall was a framed picture of me and my best friend Jess from last year…so now I am a little freaked
. There was a make shift stage, a plate of nachos and some people busy in the kitchen. Another glass of courage was due. We were served a fun orange drink of some tequila concoction. It was at this time I could not tell what was part of the “show” and what was real…were my friends in on all of this? As I begin to settle in with my drink and plate of nachos…a tall, beautiful black woman comes bouncing out to the living room and greets us by our names as if we have been friends for years. Then, she proceeds to sing…it is at this time I have no idea if I should laugh or if this woman is crazy, and pulled this all together to debut her voice. Was this some sort of farce? Was the orange drink spiked with something? ‘Oh well too late now, just go with it’ I told myself.
At one point in the night I was LAUGHING so hard I peeled over to one side and had to hold my stomach to keep my abs from falling on the couch. It was one of the most fun and entertaining shows, unlike any others I have even been too. The food was amazing and kept pouring out of the kitchen. The drink was delicious and had just the right amount of kick. The show was hilarious, dramatic, and even had a little twist! The entire production was laid back, yet professional. There was this surreal feeling like I had known all of these people for ages. At the end, we got a chance to meet the cast who were all so nice and fun! The entire evening was a success, totally worth the $65, and the trek through the SNOW.
I want to say that this is not the type of evening for everyone…but it should be. The show travels to various cities, so if they show up in your town, you should consider grabbing a few friends and having an awesome night out. Get out of your comfort zone, let go, and have some fun. Introspection is awesome and very healthy, but everything in moderation (even moderation). Don’t let fear or social anxiety hold you back. That fearl is a normal feeling, but feelings do not control actions. Get out there and Show:up.