There is a scene in the movie version of the The Last Five Years, where Cathy, a musical theatre actor, is waiting for an audition. As the camera pulls out, we see that the waiting area is lined with other hopefuls who are similar in appearance to Cathy, and every single one is wearing an almost-identical red dress. As an actor, I saw this scene and thought, "Yep, that's about right." My (non-actor) boyfriend said, "That actually happens?! That's your life?"
Yes, friends, welcome to my life. Or what was my life. After hours of mulling over how I can be more memorable in the audition room, I finally had an epiphany. Stop wearing the red dress, Rebecca! And thus, this experiment was born.
So, what is the experiment?
For one year, I'll consciously choose what I want to wear, over what I should wear. Theatre and life are full of rules of attire, mostly all geared toward women. I follow these rules, plus more that over the years I've just made up, and they've gotten me nowhere, except farther from an accurate representation of myself.
So, I'm spending a year not wearing the red dress. I am spending a year wearing whatever I feel kick-ass in to an audition, to a brunch, on date night, and documenting it as I go. Following the rules isn't getting me anywhere, so what will happen when I break them?
how it all works
The experiment is structured into three categories:
1. In the Lab: In the Lab posts are full-on experiment time. I'm breaking a specific rule and going to a specific event. This category has the highest stakes.
2. Mini Lab: Mini Labs are constructed around smaller changes. A specific rule is still being broken, but there may not be a specific event involved. This category has lower stakes.
3. Control Group: Control Group posts are breaking no rules, but are centered around a specific event. This category has the lowest stakes.