Crammed into various bars, bookstores and theatres around the world, Rachman Blake and Elena Gabrielle have been privy to some truly horrific dating stories.
Stories like a Canadian woman who went home with a guy, only to have him open up a spreadsheet which ranked every girl he’s ever slept with (she was told she was in his top five). Or the fact that it doesn’t matter if you live in Beijing, Tel Aviv or Barcelona, dick pics are universal… just so you know.
But when it comes to the origins of Story Party, the tale is less funny. Leaving his corporate job in San Francisco four years ago, Rachman had just broken up with his then-girlfriend. At the time they were still living together but both in an open relationship. Rent in the city was expensive, he explained in he show.
It wasn’t until he left to go travelling that he discovered that his passion for performance and stand up comedy could conveniently double as both a livelihood and as free therapy.
“I realised that a lot of other people also had some messed up dating stories and we started the show as a way for other people to vent about their messed up dating lives and in the end people felt better,” he says.
“You realise my dating life is kinda of crazy, but other people share this ridiculous episode with me. And then other people feel more connected with the folks around them because they have this shared experience.
“That’s one of the true pleasures of doing the show.”
Ever been confused as to what people really mean when they’re on a date? Well we’ve translated it for you.
Elena then joined in 2016.
Rachman met the Australian-born NIDA graduate Elena while travelling in Berlin and what started out as coffee catch ups while sharing dating disasters turned into Story Party. It was one-part comedy show, one-part group therapy and this year alone they’ve done over 160 shows in 33 countries, laughing and learning along the way.
Gathering an anthropological study of worldwide dating habits, Elena and Rachman say when it comes to love, some trends defy geographical boundaries.
“I guess most of the stuff about dating is universal. I think the most interesting thing for me is that sometimes a stereotype of a country can be seen in the dating as well,” says Elena, pointing out that women resent the affliction of dick pics right around the world.