• Peter

    Another exciting week, and really looking forward to the rest! During this week’s lecture we went over the structure of how to keep a good conversation flowing. Then we made a diagram of our life activities to illustrate that no matter how boring we think we are, we actually have plenty of interesting things to talk about. Then we did a little practice conversation with a partner using the structure we just learned. After that we came up with our own open ended questions based on what topic we seemed most passionate about after the warmup conversation. Then we did an exercise where we would practice saying our openers in varying pitches, tonalities, speeds, etc, to get our voices warmed up and used to not being so monotone. Me especially, this is something I’m not used to. I guess I never noticed it about myself, but I’m monotone and don’t know how to project my voice. So Hector spent a little more time with me trying to get me to learn how to project more. I definitely noticed a huge difference by the end of class, but it’s still something I will need to work on. I’m used to my voice coming from my throat, so when I shout I reach a certain limit and can’t go any louder and my throat just gets sore. I think I have to learn to get my voice coming from deeper in my chest and not my throat. A habit I have to relearn.

    Then for the real fun part, infield. This time we went to the Biergarten in Meatpacking. I believe I approached just as many sets, if not more, as last week, but this time there was a noticeably longer duration that the conversations lasted. I was also touching a lot more, and it felt a lot less awkward for me already which I think made the girls feel more comfortable. I did however get a few sets to say “wow you really like high-fives” because I was high-fiving the whole group within 30 seconds. So maybe I need to be less predictable and mix it up with different touches. Chris said I could do other things as well, at this phase in the interaction you’d just be doing anything you would to friends like high-fives, fist bumps, etc. A couple of girls started initiating friendly high-fives after they seen me doing it so much. One girl, however, I held my hand out for a high-five and she didn’t do anything. I didn’t know what to do and figured it would look bad if I looked dejected so I just high-fived her stationary hand that was down by her side. Her friends thought it was funny, so maybe that was better than just leaving my hand hanging waiting for a return high-five?

    This week I used the same opener I used last week, “What do you guys think of traveling alone?” However, I felt that the girls from last week liked the opener more, maybe the more energetic environment of 230 fifth? This week, I used that opener and the girls wanted to know where I wanted to go so I said Vegas, and pretty much none of the girls agreed with traveling alone to Vegas whereas last week they were mostly all for it. But either way, the opener just got me in the set and I quickly transitioned off. Anyway, I have an opener we mentioned in class that I’m more passionate about that I’m going to use next week and really looking forward to it.

    Chris was pointing out sets for me to approach and would watch my interactions from the sidelines and later give feedback. None were one-sets, so I’m glad I now have the know-how to approach more than one girl at a time. Most were about three girls. At one point, Chris was going to have me approach a two-set but then I saw a huge group of hot girls I wanted to go for. So I went for this 10-set. I’m not sure if it was really ten but it sure felt like ten. So I approached like usual, but only the three girls nearest to me could hear what I said. Now I really see what Chris and Hector were saying about me not projecting my voice. To me, I thought I was shouting, but clearly I wasn’t if the rest couldn’t hear me. However, it ended up working out because the other 7 girls saw me approaching the group and saw the three girls engaged in the conversation and they too became intrigued by what I had to say so they leaned in more toward me. As I pivoted to each girl to get their opinion, one of the girls that was initially on the furthest end of the group naturally broke off somewhat isolated in a conversation with me. So I rotated my body to get her to mirror me and turn her back away from her friends and then we were pretty much isolated a few feet from her friends. She wasn’t my initial target but it was still cool. The conversation didn’t last that long, but I was still proud and ready to do it again.

    There was also a pretty large set of girls sitting down, maybe about 7 of them. So Chris had me approach them. For this approach, I had to go up to their table and sort of kneel down beside them until I thought they were hooked and then sit with them. Hector actually pointed this out to me last week when we saw two guys talking to two girls, one guy was kneeling with his seated target and his wingman was standing next to his seated target. You could clearly see the girl who’s guy was kneeling was much more comfortable and the other girl was uneasy with the guy standing over her. You don’t want to stand if they are sitting, because your height would intimidate them unless you stood back farther. I managed to open them and then scoot a girl over so I could sit with them, but one girl was dominating the whole conversation and then it got stagnant right after she bashed my opener so I left.

    I approached many more smaller sets too. One set I opened and my target kept text messaging. So then I playfully put my arm around her and looked to the other girls and said “wow this is a real social one.” They seemed to like it and she put the phone away. Then I isolated her and I believe Evan winged me on one of the other girls. That still left one girl out by herself just in the middle of us. She seemed kind of bored, but I kept talking to my target. Occasionally she would come into my conversation and eventually they “had to go to the bathroom.” So I figure girls say that when they are bored with you.

    One more set worth mentioning was a 2-set. Both girls were really hot, but then a few minutes into the conversation a 3rd one came. This one was by far the hottest girl of the night so I totally lost interest in her two friends that I was just talking to. By then she must have thought I knew the other girls by how I was playfully touching them as she walked up so I was able to isolate her pretty much instantly. We talked for a while, then she said she had to go get her beer she left on her table. She went but I didn’t want to be left awkwardly waiting alone for her to potentially come back so I started walking back to the guys. But then I realized she really did go get her beer and not just reject me. So then she went to her group of friends and Chris had me re-approach. But I tapped her shoulder and she sorta jumped and it got weird. Maybe I should have reopened the whole group?

    Eventually Hector left and when it was time to go Chris was going to show us a different place if we wanted to continue practicing since most of the guys got bored in the same bar. But everywhere in Meatpacking was packed! So Evan and I ended up going back to Biergarten because we wouldn’t have to wait in line. I approached one more 2-set, Evan winged me for a little bit but then some girls asked him to take a picture of them and he went with that set. My 2-set changed to a 3-set, then one girl left and got a male friend and it became a 4-set. But I pretty much only had 2 of them isolated. One was hot but boring, and the other one was cute but more interesting. So I didn’t really know which one I wanted. I would pivot to one girl but then the other would start playing with her hair and then I would pivot back. I ended up talking to them until Biergarten closed at 2. They said they were going to some other bar. So I met up with Evan again to see how his night went. I ended up going back home and I believe he ended up going to East Village for more! When Evan and I were walking, we saw a few really hot sets on the street, but didn’t really know how to approach them. I believe my opener wouldn’t have worked in that situation, I’d end up looking like I was doing a survey on the street or something. Plus the way we do winging, one guy opens the set and later another comes up and asks if he’s seen someone and then joins in, but I feel that would look way too staged on the street.

    Things I need to work on are definitely my voice. Projecting it and tonality. At home, when I’m alone I’ve been practicing it. It feels weird and my dog looks at me like WTF, but hopefully I can get the hang of it. Also, I completely didn’t move any of the girls. I tried moving them a couple of times but one of the girls from one of the bigger sets said she wanted to stay with her friends. I felt like this environment wasn’t as easy to move girls in. Like it was just a bar, so I couldn’t really tell a girl hey lets move to that side of the bar. Because then if they ask why, then I have no real reason. I didn’t want to move a girl to the bar itself because then she’d think I was buying her a drink. Whereas the last place I would just say hey it’s crowded here let’s move somewhere else.

    Christopher Luna

    For Week #2 you did great! My main objective was to get you to start approach groups, which you did : ) That group of 10 girls you approached was epic!

    Usually girls are not that clingy, unless they’re younger, and my instinct was that they might be in a sorority and in New York for the Summer, maybe doing internships. They clearly wanted to talk to someone, which is why when you went in, the entire group swarmed around you. And yet, they weren’t confident enough to open up and split up into separate conversation and mini groups (they initially did, but it took a while for them to acclimate, which is usually a sign of discomfort).

    At any rate, you did wonderful. In the coming weeks we’re going to spend a lot more time learning about group dynamics, and how to navigate situation like that.

    As to the openers, don’t get too hung up on them. The most important thing to be aware of, is that you’re using, or moving the conversation along with open-ended questions. The quicker that you do this in a large group, the better off you’ll be. Engage everyone one, and then move to the girl that you’re interested in. The more engaged they become, the more a social taboo evolves about interrupting you, or pulling away one of their friends later. Again, we’re going to go into way more detail about this in the coming weeks.

    Beyond all this, focus on the voice stuff. As you know, we have a lot of work to here. It’s more than projection or musicality. It’s about learning to breath properly, and how to put your voice on your breath to fill space, and increase the volume of your presence. Plus, it will make it easier for people to hear you. And you can’t have a conversation with a person (or group of people) that can’t hear you.

    Remember, when you’re breathing in, your shoulders shouldn’t rise that much, instead, your side should expand like the gills of a fish. That’s one of the ways that you know that you’re breathing into your diaphragm.

    Practice some of the voice exercises we talked about at home, and get ready for another epic class ; )

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