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WHAT: Jenna Bean Veatch hosts “The Not-Creepy Gathering for People Who Are Single and Want to Fall in Love”
WHEN: 8:30pm Fri., May 8
WHERE: Honey Moon, 1053 N. State St. (in alley)
COST: Entry is free
INFO: (206) 722-2524 or http://www.honeymoonmeads.com

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

At the last “Vaudevillingham” at the Bellingham Circus Guild’s Cirque Lab, actress, dancer and choreographer Jenna Bean Veatch debuted an in-progress excerpt of a show she’ll be debuting in San Francisco next year called You Are Not Alone.

Being that the work is about the desire for human connection, Veatch says it was important for her to include the audience in the performance. After gifting those in attendance with three giant love notes—starting with acknowledging their beauty, and ending with a “too-fast, too-much” desire to shack up and procreate—she asked them to write their own heartfelt missives. When they were finished, they were directed to trade with someone near them, something they then did a few more times.

The result, Veatch says, was astonishing to watch. Audience members were running across the room to trade love notes, and the mood turned festive and frolicsome. The anonymous handwritten sentiments that were either left behind or shared with her after the show ran the gamut from “fun and playful” to “sincere and beautiful.”

When Veatch facilitates “The Not-Creepy Gathering for People Who Are Single and Want to Fall In Love” Fri., May 8 at Honey Moon, it will again be with intention to create important human connections. While what happens during the night’s activities will differ from what took place onstage last month, Veatch says the event is a literal incarnation of the same ideas.

“It takes the performative elements out of it, and focuses entirely on the participants’ experience,” she says.

While Veatch is hesitant to give away what exactly will be on the roster for those who show up with a desire to find a love connection—whether they’re gay or straight, young or old, black or white, Democrat or Republican—she notes that it will be a structured event involving things like writing exercises, opportunities to talk one-on-one, and chances to present oneself to the entire group. (If you’re coming, you should also be sure to bring along a notebook.)

And, although she’s taking her facilitating role seriously and wants people to get beyond the superficial elements of meeting someone new and all the awkwardness that can entail, Veatch also wants the event to be a fun and positive one, regardless of the outcome.

“If somebody leaves and didn’t meet someone they would like to date, I still want them to have a good time, and to feel inspired to maybe be a little more bold and open in their daily interactions,” she says.

“My most important role is to create a space in which people feel comfortable taking risks—being open and a little vulnerable. Some of the structured activities will probably feel a little bit scary for some people. It’s my job to create a space in which people feel O.K. about that.”

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