How much can you trust a complete stranger? I pushed myself to embark on my first ever Blind Date, another performance as part of Brisbane Festival. You may have read previous blog posts about my love for self-dates. So I figured a Blind Date should be fun. The only thing is, this Blind Date is not like any other.
This experience from multi-city group – Big One, Little One – was supported by Brisbane Festival. This series of one-on-one dates were amongst one of the first Brisbane Festival shows to sell out, which goes to show that Brisbane is not completely shy to the concept of fringe theatre. Kudos, Brisbane!
This date was above and beyond my expectations. About two weeks before my date, I was asked to complete a personality survey – I guess this is what happens with real ‘blind dates’. I received the personality survey back from my Date. To be honest, this only added anticipation and got me even MORE excited about the Date. A fun touch that almost prolongs the whole experience beyond the performance date.
Prior to the show, I was emailed details about where to rendezvous. How exciting when I learnt that it was outside Harvey’s bistro in trendy James St, Fortitude Valley. I’m given strict instructions to go to this place and just simply close my eyes around the meeting time and then I’ll be blindfolded by a stranger momentarily. It’s a bit weird because I assumed the date has to be watching prior. Had I already walked past them? How long have they been watching? What are the very bustlin’ Sunday-brunching diners at Harvey’s thinking of me? What if I get stood up and no one appears? All these questions in the space of about 5 minutes. I’m anxious. Who is this mysterious person?!
11am. I close my eyes and soak in the lovely morning sun. My date, Bren, arrives and sits next to me. I keep my eyes closed as much as I want to open them and see who my Blind Date is. I’m given a blind fold and tie it over my eyes. I take his hand and we begin our date.
Surprisingly it’s fun to just talk about anything and everything. It’s like my usual inhibitions and awkwardness of meeting with a stranger disappears along with my eyesight. Sort of like I don’t really have to care because I’m blindfolded. Like I’m safe. Safe with a stranger (sorry, Mum). I didn’t even trip or break anything despite my usual clumsiness and initially finding my footing to walk around blindfolded!
I won’t spoil too much about what happened because it’s up to each individual and their date to make up what happens over the 60-80 minutes. I love exploring and adventures, doing it without sight would make me appreciate things I may often forget.
- Swinging on the swings, talking about bush turkeys.
- Sitting on a random driveway/carpark drawing a squirrel with chalk, playing noughts and crosses. I’ve discovered a new talent – blindfolded drawing.
- Listening to music and planting some seeds in the ground – which I haven’t done for many, many months!
- It’s not a “happy highlight” but a guy walking towards us scared the bejesus out of me by screaming “Boo!”. I was so scared all I could do was laugh!
- Writing a letter to a random shop and putting it in their letterbox.
One of the reasons why I initially made a request to take a camera was because I thought it was be really fun to sort of relive my date and extend the whole experience in my own time. I.e. I now know that I draw better blindfolded than not. Which it’s kind of a cool lesson in itself. To trust myself rather than overthink things and to just go with the flow. But I genuinely forgot about it, I was having too much fun and didn’t really want to ruin the spontaneity of the entire date. I like that I have no idea what park I went to, where I planted the seeds or just where I drew my squirrel. A secret. And that was the same principle I felt about not looking at who my Date was (at the beginning I was warned to keep my eyes closes as the blindfold was not entirely opaque). I didn’t want to ruin the magic.
The bizarre thing was majority of the time I was conscious people may be wondering why a stranger is leading me around Fortitude Valley blindfolded – but I just didn’t care. Everything that I was experiencing was between my Date and I. I felt like I had a stupid smile on my face the entire 80 minutes because I was part of something special that no one else was. Something spontaneous, personal, beautiful and heartwarming.
It was such a delight to walk around and chat and share and laugh with a complete stranger. I didn’t even realise how long I had been walking around!
Unfortunately, there is no repeat date for me but follow Big One, Little One on Facebook – they’ve taken this show around Melbourne, Adelaide and Newcastle already! If you ever get a chance, book a Blind Date. It’ll be the best date you’ve ever been on.