(Occasionally Asked Questions)
1. What is this?
“The sudden loneliness gift.” is an immersive, experimental theatre project that is highly curated and specifically customized for each participant. This season will officially run from the middle of June 2017-November 2017. The experience evolves based on your level of engagement and the interactions of the rest of the participants. Seekers will be engaged through telephone calls, emails, text messaging, social media, small group in-person interactions, fully realized experiences – and perhaps other means.
2. Who are Kevin and Jason, anyway?
Kevin and Jason are the husband and husband co-founders of Nocturnal Fandango. They met in 2008 and have been traveling the world looking for good food since. “The sudden loneliness gift.” is, at times, a story about them, their family and friends, their fears and dreams. More importantly, though, it is about each person who wants to understand the gift.
3. Who is behind this?
The Nocturnal Fandango Organizers. Nocturnal Fandango is a Southern California based, non-profit organization. We first produced “Have You Seen Jake?” from September 2016-March 2017, and now continue our mission of exposing audiences to ongoing immersive theatre narratives that are emotionally evocative, challenging and promote themes of inclusivity and social justice. As an educational non profit, we are committed to developing new talent in immersive theater while our net proceeds benefit young performers pursing a future in the arts through direct funding and supporting other like-minded non-profits.
We, too, are seekers.
We are community.
4. How do I get started?
All of Nocturnal Fandango’s projects are by invitation and membership. In order to be a part of “The sudden loneliness gift.” we ask that you submit your request to join one of the three membership tiers and agree to our Terms of Membership and Community Guidelines.
5. What’s the deal with the membership tiers?
Nocturnal Fandango seeks to provide ongoing immersion to its members in a way that best suits their interest level. The first tier, “Actias luna” is free of charge to join, and provides members limited ongoing immersion and access to ticketed events, if availability allows. For members who are interested in more active engagement in ongoing immersion, including invitational pop-up events and other unexpected interactions, we offer two additional tiers, “Petaurus breviceps” and “Tyto alba” that are accompanied by membership fees, which can be paid monthly or by the season. When any of the three membership tiers reach capacity, we will close that tier for the season. Both a monthly payment or season pass are available. Paying monthly is slightly more expensive over our five month run than buying a season pass. Third tier members’ cost for ticketed events will have the added benefit of a 10% reduction.
6. Can anyone join?
You must be at least 18 in order to join “The sudden loneliness gift.” We are located in Southern California, but if you wish to seek the gift from afar, we welcome your involvement – however, know that yours may be a more limited experience, and you would need to travel to attend any in-person experiences.
7. How do I get you to stop once it has started?
The road ahead is both thorny and perilous. We have chosen a safe word – FANDANGO – that, when said or communicated in writing, will end our communication with you (with a final well-wishing email acknowledging your decision.) Please understand, the decision to “dance” is a permanent one. There is no judgment, this experience is not for everyone. For monthly subscribers, you will not be billed for the month following the point you call FANDANGO.
8. Will there be an in-person show?
There will be three ticketed “fully realized experiences” over the course of the season, in addition to various pop-up events and smaller interactions.
9. How intense will the in-person shows be?
Participants will be asked to sign a waiver of liability in order to participate. The fully realized experiences may involve physical contact with participants, disturbing themes, simulated violence, theatrical effects and sexual situations. A safe word will be provided for each of these experiences (which will only end that particular experience, not your overall participation.) Additionally, we work to customize intensity level based on the individual taste of our audience members.
10. There seems to be a lot to keep up with… do I need to participate in online and social media regularly in order to join the search?
Everyone will participate in the experience in his or her own way and at his or her own pace. If you decide to engage only in the fully realized experiences, we welcome your involvement, and ask that you join at the first tier, “Actias luna” in order to have access to tickets.
11. Is this a game/ARG or a mystery to be solved? If so, why do the rules seem to change or sometimes not follow what is expected?
No… this is an experimental immersive experience—a theatrical experience that blurs the lines of theatre and reality—and as such, it doesn’t subscribe to predetermined conceptions of ARGs (we love to say this, but people keep calling it an ARG anyway.)
12. How do I get the most out of this experience?
EXPERIENCE it. Like traditional theater, it requires a certain suspension of disbelief that might be uncomfortable for some—or perhaps is more emotion- and concept-driven than some ARGs you may be familiar with.
As such, this certainly isn’t for everyone, and we expect some may be wanting something different at times. Understand that your role in this narrative and how you experience it will be molded through your interactions. Sometimes you may struggle to allow the story to be what it is… but we hope that in time, regardless of your own conceptions, you will find something beautiful, powerful, enlightening or provocative in your experience. Certainly there are puzzles to solve and many things to figure out, but not everyone will find the same answers. That is an intentional part of this experience.
13. We are meeting a variety of characters through this experience. Are any of them based on real people?
Some are based on real people, but the history in their real lives preceding our current day are not relevant to the story being told. In addition, some actors are portraying fictionalized versions of themselves. Please respect the privacy of the “real life” versions of these individuals portrayed in the meta-narrative. You may imagine yourself to be a good sleuth and be tempted to go dig up social media history prior to Spring 2017 – this will be absolutely irrelevant to your experience. Don’t get distracted by this. Just let the story unfold. All you will need will be revealed to you in time.
14. Finally… What IS the gift?
We were going to ask you the same question.