“A man can have as many diseases as he damn well pleases.”

A while ago, in an apartment with friends in Melbourne. The weather much too rainy. Our souls much too battered. But, happy nonetheless to be together again and to be ‘away’.

These weekends – which don’t happen often enough (but also perhaps happen just exactly when they’re needed) – often turn into talk-fests of the best kind. Guaranteed at least one of us is at some kind of crossroads or needing to shake something up or release something.

I don’t recall exactly but I suspect one of these conversations led to the questions – But, is there a competing or opposite theory to Occam’s Razor? Do I really have to accept that this simplest of explanations for something must necessarily be true?

And lo and behold, Hickam’s Dictum.*

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How did I get here? (Part 1)

One of the things I’ve been thinking about in relation to my PhD candidature and research is how I’m positioned in terms of my relationship to (or within) the case study of Sleep No More and Sleep No More audiences.

It’s a particularly important question now for a few reasons: I’m trying to nut out my methods chapter; I’m aware that this question of my position is going to an important one to keep an eye on throughout my project because of the potential for researcher bias; and because I’m starting to make contact with people about Sleep No More with my ‘researcher’ hat on.

It’s the last part of that that I want to focus on here. It occurs to me that it might be helpful to potential participants to know a little bit more about me and what my intentions are. Of course, as a normal part of the project there are formal participant information sheets and project descriptions but those don’t necessarily leave a lot of room for the ‘story’ of who I am and what I’m bringing with me to the project. I guess I feel as though, if I’m asking people to tell me their stories, it’s not unreasonable to expect that I should share mine.

So, here’s a little story about me and how I ended up doing both a PhD and this particular PhD.

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Sleep No More audience experiences

As part of my PhD research I’ll be exploring the ways audiences engage with the New York City production of Sleep No More. In addition to looking at the material that’s already published online I’m also seeking opinions, insights, memories and stories via a survey and a number of semi-structured interviews.

If you’ve been to Sleep No More or the McKittrick Hotel (or you’re intending to go) would you consider taking part in my research? There are two surveys set-up – one is an actual survey which will ask you questions about your experiences and expectations and the other is an ‘opt-in’ as a potential interview subject. There’s more information (including a fairly comprehensive participant information sheet for the survey) at the following links:

If you’d like to participate but just aren’t sure about any of the above, please feel free to get in touch.