One of my favourite (very loosely) Sleep No More related vimeos:
So this is it. I’m nearing the end of my visit to NYC and I’m alarmed that I still haven’t updated this blog. But, much much more alarming is that tonight is my last visit to Sleep No More. For this trip. Possibly forever.
Part of me wants to head in and try to check-off some of the scenes I haven’t yet seen (e.g. the first prophecy) but I think I’m just going to do my best to chase the magic instead. What is the magic? I think the magic for me are the moments when I feel ‘close’ to the world of the show. Part of that is seeing something new or unexpected but it’s also anytime when I’m being more than I’m thinking about being.
My most recent visit was a double (two shows in one night). At the late show I found it really, really difficult to find moments that would let me into the show. I was either seeing things I’d seen before or, more often, feeling frustrated by the crowds because no matter how many times I tried to avoid the crowds it seemed I could only find a different crowd. But maybe this was exacerbated by my exhaustion and how much I’d loved the early show. Still, I found one or two moments and the whole experience forced me to do something I’d been meaning to try: heading back to the Manderley during the show.
Quick update about where things are at the moment re my PhD research survey/s:
- Responses to the main SNM experience survey keep flooding in. So wonderful. Can’t wait to dive into that. I’ll probably keep the survey open for a good while yet though so there’s still plenty of time to add your voice.
- Responses also coming in to the ‘opt-in’ for interview which is incredibly wonderful. I’ll be starting to contact people in the next week or so re scheduling (particularly those who might be available for a face-to-face interview in NYC in December).
I also know that I’m way overdue in getting to the next installment of my ‘introduction to SNM‘ recap that started here. That’s mainly just a reflection of how busy I’ve been. But, I’ve realised I’m also slightly … intimidated? Why intimidated? Well, for one, so many people have shared their SNM experiences online with such poetry and insight; the bar is high! Also, SNM has pretty literally been a ‘life-changer’ for me. So, attempting to capture that (and fix it in writing) is intimidating.
But, these are the kinds of challenges that I imagine many people writing up SNM recaps might face so, even just as an exercise in feeling first-hand what that might be like, this struggle is really useful. But, I’ve set myself a deadline. Part 2 will be written and up here by this time next week :)
Apologies that you might be giving me some info twice (if you’ve done the main survey as well) – it’s an unavoidable side-effect of keeping the main survey 100% anonymous.
Feeling very grateful for all of the generous people who have been sharing their thoughts and experiences re Sleep No More via my survey and opting-in for an interview. Keep them rolling in!
There are no wrong answers and really very little that would exclude you from being able to have your say. Haven’t been to the McKittrick in a long, long time? No problem! Want to stay completely anonymous? No problem! Actually really didn’t enjoy the experience of Sleep No More (or have gone a bit sour on it)? No problem! The more responses, the more detail of the individual experiences of people who have engaged with it the better :) Bring it on!
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.
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:
- Survey re Sleep No More experiences: https://www.surveymoz.com/s/sleepnomore
- Survey just to collect your contact details as a potential interview participant: https://www.surveymoz.com/s/opt-in
If you’d like to participate but just aren’t sure about any of the above, please feel free to get in touch.