Broom sweeps and marble rumblings are just a taste of the sounds that you can enjoy at Whisperlodge, an interactive ASMR performance.
Founded in 2016, Whisperlodge invites guests to experience ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response. Described as a spine tingling sensation, ASMR’s relaxing feeling can be triggered from anything ranging from hand tapping to gentle whispering.
Although ASMR is normally experienced through watching ASMR videos, Whisperlodge’s in-person immersion breaks the barrier between screen and guest, soothing visitors in real time.
“I think most people enjoy ASMR because it helps them relax,” said Whisperlodge’s Artistic Director, Melinda Lauw. “A lot of people especially in New York are super stressed and busy all the time”.
Each 90 minute Whisperlodge session starts with a group performance where guests are blindfolded and taken into an undisclosed apartment. Guests are then treated to sounds of Whisperlodge guides stroking tennis rackets, brooms and marbles.
From there, the guides split the group into different rooms, each with their own ASMR activity. There’s a red room where brushwork is done on guest’s faces and hands, a cranial nerve exam role play session that uses a humming tuning fork and a playroom scene where sounds of crinkling construction paper accompany hand drawing.
Lauw notes that it is this real physical touch that makes Whisperlodge such a treat for ASMR lovers and stressed out New Yorkers.
“Experiencing ASMR in-person is so different from video because we can actually touch you,” explains Lauw. “I think people forget how powerful touch can be.”
Almost like a cross between a spa experience and a theatrical performance, Whisperlodge’s aesthetically pleasing visuals and sounds attract a wide audience.
“For the first one or two years, most of our audience members were people who loved immersive theater,” explained Lauw. “2017, 2018.That was when we noticed a lot more ASMR fans coming through and a lot more people who...want to try something interesting.”
Looking forward, Lauw hopes to make Whisperlodge and the love of ASMR more accessible through offering more financially affordable performances, curating ASMR audio recordings and uploading Whisperlodge videos on multiple platforms.