This might come as a surprise to some of you, but I’m actually getting quite into public speaking. While in New York, my friend Zey wanted to go to some kind of writers event, and I found this open mic night at a poetry cafe. Despite being a bit unprepared, I did get a buzz from going on stage and it was definitely something I wanted to do again. So when I found out about Smudged Lipstick’s Color Me Badd Dates event, the opportunity was too good to miss.
Smudged Lipstick is an events company run by former dating blogger Jordi Sinclair that specialises in quirky alternative dating mixers, but they also do a couple of more general events. Following on from the highly successful Diary Days events, the premise of Color Me Badd Dates is simple. It’s an open mic night where attendees can take to the stage and tell the audience about a bad dating experience they have had. Which let’s face it- everyone who is or has been on the dating scene probably has at least one. If you don’t I salute you- and please give me some tips.
Color Me Badd Dates is held at The Book Club in Shoreditch. Sadly there aren’t any events outside London at the moment, but the company is looking to expand so there’s definitely potential for that to happen in the future. The event is held on the lower floor of the venue, which looks a bit like a basement and has a nice cosy feel. There’s a bar that serves drinks, and you can also order food- not sure if you have to order from the bar upstairs but I definitely saw a few waitresses come down with trays to serve people!
The format is simple- you can put your name forward to the organisers to speak at the start, or just watch if you prefer. The event began with a preword from Jordi along with a story of his own about a girl who made him a “happiness box” on their second date… you’ll have to go to the event to hear all the details. After that, he read announced everyone’s name one by one and we heard their “bad date” story.
One woman was seeing someone who ended up appearing on Take Me Out and seeing another girl behind her back. One woman read out some badly-penned erotica a man from a dating app had sent to her. When it came to my turn, I told this story of a charming man who tried to factor in his taxi fare when we agreed to split the bill. I was a bit unsure of how it would go as I’ve never freestyled a post before, but I got a few laughs and Zey told me afterwards I came across as “charismatic”. I usually get described as “pretty”, or “sweet”, or “lovely”, but never “great personality” or “charismatic”, so this was a big deal for me. Perhaps my future is on stage?
The format of the event worked really well; there was an interval halfway through and overall it flowed really nicely and went on for just the right length of time. I thought perhaps the event could double up as a dating mixer, but the audience was mostly female and there wasn’t much opportunity to socialise- although you never know. But I think it’s a great event to go to with a group of mates and commiserate over the struggles of modern dating in a humorous manner. It’s also ideal if you want to get on stage and practice your public speaking skills but aren’t that into slam poetry events or stand-up comedy. So overall a good night all round- plus for only a fiver a ticket it’s a bargain. I”d definitely be up for attending the next event- just need to pick which bad dating story to use!
You can find out about future Color Me Badd Dates events on the Smudged Lipstick website.