Matthew Schatz and Katerina Papacostas are playing the roles of Aaron and Casey, the nervous, hopeful, at times cynical first date goers in the aptly named musical “First Date,” which is running at the Booth Playhouse through Nov. 20. It’s a hilariously relatable show about the emotions, awkward moments and inner monologues that go into a first date. We’ve all been there, and whether you’re still experiencing it or you reflect on it as a distant, cringe-worthy memory, the show will strike a chord. Pun sort of intended.
In real life, Schatz and Papacostas both have long-term significant others, but they’ve been through their share of dating adventures, like their characters. This means they’ve got plenty of tips on making the process smoother.
We had the two performers on this week’s episode to talk about making a good first impression, doing long distance when they’re on the road touring with a show, and what it’s really like to kiss someone on stage in front of hundreds of people.
On online dating
“I used Tinder for a few months before I met my current girlfriend. All of these tools are very helpful if you’re honest with yourself about why you’re using the app and are honest with the people you’re connecting with about why you’re using the app. Some people want to find love on Tinder, and it’s not really set up that way, but it doesn’t mean you can’t use it that way. You just have to know that’s what you want.”
On making long-distance relationships work
“You have to have somebody who’s willing to work with you. It asks a lot of each other. You also have to be hyper aware and hyper communicative. My boyfriend will be very quiet on the phone. Two or three times per week we’ll have a long conversation, otherwise it’s just checking in. I had to learn not to take that personally or worry that meant we were in dire straits.”
“I would definitely second the fact that communication is absolutely key. Just about every single time one of your friends come to you and says they’re having some sort of problem with their significant other, you end up sitting there going, ‘It sounds like you don’t need to be talking to me about this, you need to be talking to your significant other.’ The other thing that is very helpful is having an end (of the long distance) in sight, even if it’s for a short amount of time. “
Their best piece of first date advice
“Be yourself. If the other person doesn’t like it then what you need to know is that it’s fine. Also, if you’re the person picking what to do for the first date, pick something that’s fun for you. If the other person doesn’t like it, then you know that much more quickly.”
“Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Embrace the nervousness and the awkwardness and don’t be afraid to call yourself or the other person out. Assume they’re as nervous as you are, even if that’s not how they come off, because I don’t know anybody who meets somebody for the first time, whether you’re excited or dreading it or whatever, where you’re not a little bit self-conscious and aware. Let that be what relaxes you. And don’t drink too much!”