Field Report: Clapping on Command edition.

4 Aug

Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to attend a taping of the upcoming syndicated version of Don’t Forget the Lyrics.  It was an all-day affair during which we powered through eight shows, three of which featured cheerleaders from professional sports teams (none of whom should quit her day job…ugh, my ears) and one a celebrity singer.  In between shows, the ADs would shuffle around the audience so it wouldn’t look like the exact same people were there for an entire week of tapings (and wearing the exact same outfits).  That’s the magic of television right there.

If you are a sociable person, tapings are a good opportunity to meet new people.  There is usually a good amount of down time, and since nobody usually knows anybody else, people tend to be more open to talking to strangers than otherwise if you just act friendly.  I hadn’t brought any books or magazines with me, either, so talking to other people was about the only way to save myself from downtime boredom.

In the morning, while we were lined up waiting to have our attendance taken and go through the gate, I ended up standing near two young guys who were hired audience.  They were both tall and pretty well-built in a standard-for-an-aspiring-actor sort of way.  One was a little more attractive than the other and gave off the impression that he was aware of his genetic blessing.  I tried to strike up some conversation with them, starting off with some little quips about waiting in line, but neither guy really bit.  The better-looking guy actually seemed a little irritated.  Fine, dude, sorry I’m not a 10 and you’re as interesting as a stick in the mud.  So much for that.

The rest of the morning was pretty non-descript.  I sat between various teenage girls for the tapings and conserved my energy.

After lunch was when things started to get interesting again.  I was seated next to a young white guy, tall, pleasantly average-looking, on one side and a stocky, pleasant, early 20s-ish Latino guy on the other side.  I found out from Latin Luis that he was with the group of volleyball players that was at the taping.  I was able to make him smile, like when I asked if he was a volleyball groupie, but he was shy and only spoke to me when I directly addressed him.  Definitely one of those guys who has a daily word limit of around 1000 words, so pressing any sort of conversation would have been fruitless.

The young white guy, on the other hand, warmed up to me almost instantly.  I found out that he was a dancer who had been forced into ballet at age 11 by his mother but ended up loving it — and the perk of being the only straight guy in a classroom of girls.  In between the taping portions, we chatted about dancing and music, and the conversation flowed easily.  I tried to convince him to dance battle a black guy who was shakin’ it on the other side of the room, but he refused.  During the tapings, he clapped overly enthusiastically and would glance at me to make sure I saw that he was showing off being silly; I obliged him by elbowing him.  More than once I noticed that as we were sitting next to each other, his upper arm was pressed against mine.

Halfway through the afternoon, Dancer and I moved to a different row, still sitting next to each other, but on my other side was now a large stocky blond with glasses who was working as paid audience and wasn’t very happy about it.  He clapped tepidly and, when I encouraged him to do his job because it was his JOB be more enthusiastic, he complained that his hands hurt.  Herby-looking guy (yes, he was wearing Voldemort’s dreaded khakis) who whines?  I’m not sure he could have done more to DLV himself, but he couldn’t even be properly bitter, so I resigned him to the “mildly amusing” category.

When the taping was over, Dancer asked me and Blondie if he could catch a ride home with one of us.  It was already fairly late, so while I was mulling over the possibility of whether or not I wanted to take a detour to Hollywood, Blondie jumped and said he would take Dancer home.  I then remembered that I had parked in the neighborhood and wasn’t interested in walking back to my car by myself, so I asked if Dancer wouldn’t mind coming with me instead.  Blondie scoffed that the neighborhood wasn’t that bad, but after realizing that his car wasn’t parked too far from mine, decided with Dancer that they would both walk with me.

As we walked back to where I had parked, Blondie and Dancer got on the subject of dinosaurs and immediately began cracking increasingly more herby jokes about dinosaurs.  I walked ahead of them, at this point just wanting to get to the car and regretting that I had even asked for accompaniment.

At my car, Dancer said good-bye, and I gave him a half-second to ask for my number, but all he said was the generic “see you around” line.

At least it was late enough that there wasn’t too much traffic on the way home (by Los Angeles standards, anyway).

30 Responses to “Field Report: Clapping on Command edition.”

  1. Koanic August 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    I have to admit, Haley, I don’t have you figured out yet.

    So what are you? A 5? 6?

    You know, beyond opening it seems you didn’t employ any game, and were simply reactive.

  2. Koanic August 4, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    I’d recommend you read a couple of books by Leil Lowndes. You need to learn to talk to a man about what interests him, and make him feel ten feet tall while doing it.

    Lowndes will get you into the mix. Then you can worry about closing.

  3. Aunt Haley August 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    Does this mean you now feel confident that I’m female?

  4. Lover of Wisdom August 4, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    I have two questions:

    (1) How do you get invited (paid to go) to a show?

    (2) What if you dated Dancer for a while and really liked him but he turns out not to be a Christian (at least to your satisfaction)?

  5. Jesus August 4, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Maybe you ARE ugly.

  6. ThinkingMan August 4, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    Haley, Koanic’s Leil Lowndes’ book suggestion is a very good one. In my studies of body language I’ve found her writings very good, informative.

  7. Koanic August 4, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Given the very small ratio of girls to guys who post things titled “field report,” I wouldn’t say this post is incontrovertible evidence of femaleness.

    However, if you are a female, then I’m charmed by your rational approach.

  8. Koanic August 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Anyway, it’s useless to do anything but play along, isnt it?

  9. Aunt Haley August 5, 2010 at 1:29 am #

    1) Paid audience members are usually booked through a talent agency for extras/background actors.

    2) I would break up with him, but I would probably make that determination fairly early on.

  10. Lover of Wisdom August 5, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    I also have to say that your interaction, Haley, with Dancer pleasantly reminds me of middle school.

  11. Aunt Haley August 5, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Lover of Wisdom, I guess that’s the poetic way of saying “mild flirting.”

  12. Aunt Haley August 5, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Well, I haven’t made any children cry just from looking at them, so I don’t think I have reached the pinnacle of hideousness yet.

  13. Cane Caldo August 6, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    “As we walked back to where I had parked, Blondie and Dancer got on the subject of dinosaurs and immediately began cracking increasingly more herby jokes about dinosaurs. I walked ahead of them, at this point just wanting to get to the car and regretting that I had even asked for accompaniment.

    At my car, Dancer said good-bye, and I gave him a half-second to ask for my number, but all he said was the generic “see you around” line.”

    Why look for the number? You got to see him in a natural surrounding (a happenstance friend) and thought he was a dork. I would notice a girl trying to leave me in the dust, regretting my presence. I wouldn’t ask for her number.

  14. Aunt Haley August 6, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    He still had the opportunity to reframe and re-raise the buying temp. Blondie was basically a cock block, butting in to monopolize Dancer’s attention. I wasn’t so interested in Dancer that I was going to compete with a large, overweight blond guy for talk time.

  15. Cane Caldo August 6, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    When a male ballet dancer is more engaged by the fat blond guy than the girl, the girl should quickly write off the dancer. There are only two probabilities.

    1) He’s gay.
    2) If he’s not gay, he’s hanging out (and touching) with slender, nimble, oh-so-flexible women all the time. I’ve seen some of those lifts…the word “intimate” comes to mind. Can your game beat that?

  16. Aunt Haley August 6, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Clearly I’m an inferior choice to both fat blond guys and female ballet dancers. Ego says ouch!

  17. Cane Caldo August 6, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    I took this post as evidence that your ego was looking for direction. My compass says to head directly away from the guy who spends his so many of his days groping girls that he’d rather tell dinosaur jokes.

  18. ASDF August 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Do you remember any of these dinosaur jokes? I need some clean material for toastmasters, and am wondering how lame jokes could really put someone off.

  19. Aunt Haley August 9, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    It wasn’t so much jokes as really dorky facetiousness. (I mean, they weren’t saying stuff like “A tyrannosaurus, a triceratops, and a velociraptor walk into a bar…”) Have you ever been in the middle of a dorkfest where people are waxing un-edgily, unfunnily sarcastic about a really stupid topic? That was this.

  20. y81 August 19, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Activities like this are a very low-percentage way to meet men.

  21. Aunt Haley August 19, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    What would you suggest as a very high-percentage way to meet men that is not a bar or a club?

  22. ASDF August 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Does your church have mixers?

  23. y81 August 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    1. Gather up with your single girlfriends and have parties to which you invite the single men you know (from work, old friends from school, friends of friends etc.). This is actually the best way to meet men, because the men you meet (i) are from the same socioeconomic stratum as you and (ii) have acquaintances in common, thus enabling both sexes to follow up on promising contacts. If you meet a guy at the sort of activity described in the original post, and if the mood isn’t just right at the moment when he could have asked for a phone number, the situation can’t be retrieved.

    2. Find organized activities that involve both sexes. This is not so easy, because (a) work usually involves both sexes, but dating people from work is sometimes uncomfortable, (b) most classes (e.g., in art appreciation) will be heavily female (heavier than church, even!), and the handful that aren’t (auto mechanics, maybe) are unfeminine. Depending on age and interest, I would suggest (a) alumni organizations and (b) ski trips as two examples that won’t be heavily female and will have socioeconomically compatible men.

    The most important thing is to get away from 60s-inspired “spontaneity.” Very few people have the self-confidence to conduct successful social lives in a “spontaneous” environment. Thus, the men you encounter in such environments will either be players, and not suitable material for long-term relationships, or they won’t follow through.

  24. Cane Caldo August 19, 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    Impressive! This actually sounds like really good advice. Suggestion 1 is really good, and the spontaneity point is good as well.

  25. Aunt Haley August 20, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    y81, these are good suggestions, but (1) presumes that single women (and their single female friends) know a lot of single men who would be willing to mingle and would be attractive to single women. And (2) presumes that single people who are interested in meeting other single people join these groups.

    In general I find that once people are done with college, they tend to settle into small “tribes” and aren’t very motivated to meet new people. Plus, it just becomes difficult to organize any get-togethers because people’s schedules are so packed and people tend not to prioritize hanging out with sort-of strangers to other options.

  26. Aunt Haley August 20, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    No, although it does have a monthly after-service all-church lunch. I would probably die of shock, though, if a single man approached me and my friends for conversation.

  27. Koanic August 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    I hope we never meet then, for fear I might kill you on the spot.

    I must apologize for doubting your identity. It seems I improperly discounted the probability of completely different people independently reaching the same iconoclastic truths. Error has so many variations that writeprint is quite reliable, but truth converges.

  28. Koanic August 20, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Seriously, Leil Lowndes’ book is the answer to your statements beginning “people settle into small ‘tribes’.” I don’t understand why you haven’t read it.

    I do wish you success and happiness. You are by all appearances a virtuous, rational and dedicated Christian woman. The remnant soldiers on despite everything, and this is the greatest source of peace and hope I know of in this world.

  29. y81 August 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    No doubt, people after college settle into “tribes.” But read Rodney Stark’s “The Rise of Christianity” on the maintenance of open networks. He is talking about finding converts, not boyfriends, but the issues are the same. Whatever networks our hostess is in (college girlfriends, sisters and cousins, co-workers, fellow churchgoers, etc.) have some points of contact with other networks, and those are the nodes along which productive action can occur. Remember, the men who aren’t attractive to one woman for various reasons (e.g., co-workers, brothers, old boyfriends) can be attractive to her friends.

    It’s like proselytism: you can stand on the street corner or go door-to-door preaching to strangers, but the number of converts made this way is infinitesimal. People start going to church because a co-worker or a cousin or the girl they’re dating or another Pony Club mom or whatever talks about it, not because of some stranger. And along some already existing network lies our hostess’s next boyfriend. Meeting strange men outside of any existing social network is a very low-percentage enterprise, and, since time is finite, it should be avoided, if one’s goal is establishing some sort of romantic relationship.


  1. Word Around the Campfired – the « Hidden Leaves - August 7, 2010

    […] Haley: Young beta in love uses Facebook to speed the demise of his 2-week relationship., Field Report: Clapping on Command edition., and The stealth date and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: