Discover ASMR With Whisperlodge
As a kid, I found that I always enjoyed certain sounds—particularly the sounds my grandmother made when chewing gum or sucking on hard candies while she played Solitaire at the dining room table. I liked these sounds so much, in fact, that when friends would come over to my house, I would offer them gum and candy just so that I could hear those sounds. To this day, the sound of chewing gum still brings pleasure to my ears, but instead of feeling like a total weirdo (which I did for a long time), I finally have a term for what I’ve been experiencing all of these years: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
Also known as ASMR, it is the tingling sensation or relaxation that a person experiences when they hear certain sounds. Not everyone experiences ASMR, and those who do don’t necessarily enjoy the same sounds. While one person might love the sound of gum being chewed, another person may be driven crazy by it. There are endless sound triggers that people who experience ASMR enjoy, but some of the more common ones include tapping, whispering, scratching, eating/chewing, and hair brushing, among others.
Thanks to YouTube, ASMR has experienced a surge in popularity these past few years, with fans and artists around the world connecting via the platform to form their own ASMR community, where they share and watch videos made by one another. I recall thinking not too long ago, ‘How amazing would it be if there was an ASMR spa?’ And then not long after, I heard about Whisperlodge—an intimately-sized immersive theatre performance that offers special individual and group treatments for ASMR fans. Watch the video below to learn more:
Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Whisperlodge Co-Creator Melinda Lauw, who answered some questions and shared more information about the services that they offer:
What inspired the creation of Whisperlodge?
For me, Whisperlodge was created out of my own life-long experience with ASMR and my passion for immersive theater. At the time when I met Andrew Hoepfner (Whisperlodge's Co-Creator) in 2016, we were both curious in combining these two disciplines. For research, we first wanted to go experience it in person, but we couldn't find anywhere that offered it, so I guess we made it ourselves!
How long has Whisperlodge been around?
Whisperlodge started in the spring of 2016 with a few private experiments among friends. We did our first ticketed experiences in September 2016 and since then, we've completed 10 sold-out runs of the show with the 11th show coming up in Los Angeles from March 13 -17, 2019. Along the way, we've also worked with brands like The Wing, Refinery29, and have received lots of media attention from folks like The New York Times, Netflix, Buzzfeed, etc.
Is Whisperlodge only in NYC at the moment?
Nope! Right now Whisperlodge exists in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. We don't have a permanent location and we aim to do one to three runs a year in either of those cities, We're also actively looking to bring Whisperlodge to more cities!
How did you get into ASMR?
I have experienced ASMR for as long as I can remember. I recall feeling the tingles during a coloring exercise in preschool, while watching television at home, while getting haircuts, and going to the optometrist. My early ASMR experiences were all experienced through real-life scenarios, and when I got my own computer as a teenager, that's when I discovered the world of accidental ASMR videos, which led to real ASMR videos and my discovery of the ASMR terminology and community. From then on, it felt so nice to know that there were others who felt the tingles like I did, and I decided to research and make art about it.
What services does Whisperlodge provide?
Whisperlodge creates independent immersive performances inspired by ASMR and the senses. We produce our signature 90-minute Whisperlodge performances a few times a year. Whisperlodge also works with brands and organizations to create ASMR, and multi-sensory experiences for events and retreats. Finally, I also provide one-on-one, customized ASMR appointments called Whispers On Demand.
Any future plans for Whisperlodge?
Yes! We are actively developing new independent performances and we're also hoping to start making ASMR videos on YouTube! We really hope to bring Whisperlodge to more cities and countries, but it's all in the works now so I can’t share more at the moment. If you're a curator/producer interested in bringing us to your city, get in touch!
The next Whisperlodge Los Angeles will take place March 13-17 in Silver Lake. This particular event will also be Deaf accessible. Tickets cost $120-$150, and can be purchased by clicking here. For more information, visit whisperlodge.nyc and follow them on Instagram: @whisperlodge
[Photo by Annie Lesser]
Kamala Kirk is a University of Southern California graduate and has been an editor/writer for more than a decade. She has written for E! Online, Total Beauty, TravelAge West, Malibu Times Magazine, and many more. She resides in Los Angeles and is a proud pug mom. Follow her on Instagram: @kamalakirk