Nick Gray | Museum Hacker and COCKTAIL PARTY MASTER
Sketch Comedy Podcast Show
Nick Gray | Museum Hacker and COCKTAIL PARTY MASTER
November 15, 2022
Nick Gray is the founder of Museum Hack and is currently on a mission to get 500 people to have 2-hour cocktail parties.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Nick Gray likes to optimize things. He made small airplanes safer with his company Flight Display Systems and boring museum trips into must-do events with his company Museum Hack. Now, Nick has his sights on making everyone the perfect party planner in his new book “The 2-Hour Cocktail Party” (https://amzn.to/3g7TnNe) which I completely enjoyed reading and am using to make tonight’s party a banger (for 2 hours).

Real quick, if you are in the Denver area and would like to attend one of these parties with me, shoot your info to sketchcomedypodcastshow@gmail.com and I will make sure to invite you to the next one!

This episode’s sketch: “Cocktail Party in a Party in a Party in a Party”

For more episodes, information, and apply to be on the show, visit: http://sketchcomedypodcastshow.com

Sketch Comedy Podcast Show is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

© Copyright 2022 Stuart Rice

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MORE ABOUT THE GUEST

Nick Gray is an entrepreneur and author living in Austin, Texas. He started and sold two successful companies: Flight Display Systems and Museum Hack. Nick is the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, a step-by-step handbook that teaches you how to build big relationships by hosting small gatherings. Over 75,000 people have watched his TEDx talk about why he hates most museums. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine called him a host of “culturally significant parties.”

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TRANSCRIPT
[00:00:00] Stuart: in this episode to our cocktail parties are nick gray and I came up with a few sketch ideas. What if it was 1000 visits to like the world's largest ball of twine? How would you go about making the world's largest ball of twine? A really interesting tour.

[00:00:17] Nick Gray: Well, I like to know how much things cost for myself and so I would want to try to, you know, put it up on auction for Ebay.

[00:00:25] Stuart: You're doing this uh, the two hour cocktail party and then within that party you decide, oh, I need to have another party. So you have another party within the party and it's just like part deception.

[00:00:38] Nick Gray: I love that idea because I often talk about the concept of a party within a party.

[00:00:42] Stuart: What would be the most uncomfortable icebreakers you could come up with at a party that would get people not only to slow down, but like genuinely like freak out. I

[00:00:53] Nick Gray: like that idea, but I have to veto that idea because for any listeners, they're always worried about what can go wrong with our party

[00:01:00] Stuart: and I want to think what could

[00:01:01] Nick Gray: go right,

[00:01:02] Stuart: which one did we pick you? Well, it's not the last one. You'll find out on this episode of, it's a sketch comedy show. Welcome back to sketch comedy podcast show, The one of a kind show where I Stewart rice, invite interesting people to have intriguing conversations and then improvise a comedy sketch based on what we talked about and this episode is a special episode because while you're listening to this, I am currently panicking and running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get my house in order to host a two hour cocktail party. I made the commitment here on this show with Nick and this is going to be the night that I do it to it. Nick Gray likes to optimize things. He made small airplanes, safer with his company flight display systems and boring museum trips into must do events with his company. Museum hack. Now Nick has his sights on making everyone the perfect party planner in his new book, the two hour cocktail party, which I completely enjoyed reading and I'm using to make tonight's party a banger. Well for two hours real quick if you are in the Denver area and would like to attend one of these parties with me, shoot your info over to sketch comedy podcast show at gmail dot com and I will make sure to invite you to the next one and now my conversation with Nick Gray hacker of museums and cocktail party master Nick. Thanks for joining us today.

[00:02:43] Nick Gray: Thanks. I'm happy to be

[00:02:44] Stuart: here. I'm glad you're here too. Hey, I've got a really quick question for you. What makes you interesting.

[00:02:51] Nick Gray: I am obsessed with name tags and I've hosted hundreds of parties also in my past life, I've been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art more than 1000 times.

[00:03:01] Stuart: Did you miss something there or what was the reason for going for 1000 times?

[00:03:07] Nick Gray: I used to have a business called museum hack and we did renegade museum tours where we would hire people like stand up comedians and broadway actors to lead these museum tours. And I was the first tour guide myself. So in the first years of starting the business, I was there almost every single day.

[00:03:25] Stuart: So you would you, why, why? What's wrong with the tours that people had? What's wrong with the Metropolitans normal tour?

[00:03:33] Nick Gray: You know what? For a free museum tour, they do a really good job, but they are also led by volunteers and they tend to be more focused on the narratives of art history that maybe the average tourist doesn't really care about. And so my company, we would tell people the juicy gossip about the art, how it was acquired, how much things cost all the stuff that you wouldn't hear from the official museum tour,

[00:03:57] Stuart: the things you actually want to know so that you can go and have, like if you would go to a cocktail party afterwards, for instance, you could actually have a conversation about it and bring up something interesting that nobody had maybe heard before

[00:04:08] Nick Gray: exactly like that. The stuff that you would tell your friends.

[00:04:11] Stuart: Okay, All right, that's cool. That's cool. And why? Why did you do

[00:04:14] Nick Gray: that? Um, I started to go to the museum. You know, I live in austin texas now. Where are you based out of

[00:04:21] Stuart: Denver? Colorado

[00:04:22] Nick Gray: Nice. Denver is awesome. My sister and my parents live up there, that's

[00:04:26] Stuart: pretty cool.

[00:04:28] Nick Gray: I moved to new york and I was going, I lived in Brooklyn at the time and you know, I didn't know a lot of people, I didn't have many friends and I went, somebody brought me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This woman brought me there on a date and I was like, oh, this place is amazing. I feel like I moved to new york for stuff like this, I should hang out here more. Um and so I started to go there and then I went there a lot and when friends would come to visit, I would bring them there and I'd give them little tours just to show them like cool stuff I found and it became something I really loved and I did it as a hobby. And then you know what a blog wrote about us called Daily Candy. That was real big. Um and said it was the best thing to do in new york city that my secret tours were like the best thing in new york. And literally overnight 1300 people emailed me wanting to join one of the tours and I was like, oh God, I, this is big, so that's kind of how I started,

[00:05:23] Stuart: that's, that's how I feel about this podcast, is that, you know, a couple people listened and then they told nobody, but anyway um it was, it was the whole idea was hopefully people talk anyway. Um

[00:05:38] Nick Gray: That's

[00:05:39] Stuart: awesome. And is it just in new york or is it other places as well?

[00:05:44] Nick Gray: So I started the business in about 2013 officially. But I've been doing it for two years as a hobby. And then we, we branched out to more major museums all around America. So the Metropolitan Museum were in the National gallery in D. C. We're at the Getty in Los Angeles um grew to about five or six cities. I sold the company in 2019 and they've gone through some changes through the group tour plans scheduling and lockdowns and covid and things like that. But it really is, it's an awesome business.

[00:06:16] Stuart: Yeah it sounds, I wish I lived in a city that had one because I would love to go. But it gives me a reason to go to L. A. I guess there's really no other reason but

[00:06:24] Nick Gray: there's a museum out in Denver, there's the Denver Art Museum,

[00:06:28] Stuart: Denver Art Museum

[00:06:29] Nick Gray: Collection. And then I think in Denver, is there like a natural history museum with some cool dinosaur stuff. I think I went to that, I don't

[00:06:38] Stuart: know if that's here in Utah. I haven't been around. I'm relatively new to Denver. I'm actually from Portland but

[00:06:43] Nick Gray: I think you might be right. I think it might be in Utah.

[00:06:45] Stuart: Yeah but same same. Yeah. Um And was the museum thing like that was what you obviously started a business off of just kind of like a gag thing that you were doing right. Um, was that your first business that you ever started?

[00:07:03] Nick Gray: I actually, I, I grew up in a very entrepreneurial household. My dad was always like a mad scientist trying to come up with these crazy ideas. And so I had, I think my first business was a lawn care service company. What what young man doesn't start a long care service company that has the itch for entrepreneurship. I washed

[00:07:23] Stuart: windows. Wo

[00:07:25] Nick Gray: really? How, how, how would you do?

[00:07:27] Stuart: Oh, I went to people's houses. Hey, would you like your windows washed?

[00:07:31] Nick Gray: That's pretty cool.

[00:07:33] Stuart: I did that for a couple of years.

[00:07:34] Nick Gray: That's nice. Would you ever climb up on ladders to do

[00:07:37] Stuart: like I would, which was foolish. Yeah, a lot of spiders. A lot of wasps. That's what I'll

[00:07:43] Nick Gray: say. I've never met somebody who's done a window washing company, but I think it's genius because everybody has the other stuff, but nobody's going to jump up to wash their windows on the second floor, things like

[00:07:54] Stuart: that.

[00:07:55] Nick Gray: Um, I had a web hosting company in high, in high school in college. I tried to start a software company. That was a big failure. But yeah, I always, I've been noodling on this stuff for a long time.

[00:08:07] Stuart: Oh, that's cool. Um, and you said your, your family, your dad was big into entrepreneurship. Um, and that was, if I'm not mistaken, you did something with airplanes, correct?

[00:08:19] Nick Gray: Yes, yes. He started in the basement of our house, a business that had it made that map. You know, that shows where the plane is flying across the world. He made that for small jets because you could buy it, but it was for like Delta Airlines and things like that. And he's like, oh, I think I can take a computer and some software and build this for small planes. Um, and so he made that happen and my mom joined and then I joined after college and helped them hire some of their first employees. I did their marketing and their sales. And we really grew the business together to about almost 80 employees before selling that in 2014.

[00:09:00] Stuart: That's awesome. All right, well, um now all you want to do is party? Right, Well, I don't think it's going to take much convincing because I, after reading a little bit about what you were talking about, it became fascinating. It's actually the reason I have you on the show is because I think it's such a good idea that I want to get, I want to get ears of other people. So What, what is a 2-hour cocktail party and why is it a necessity for us a

[00:09:32] Nick Gray: two hour cocktail party? All right, so what's the gist of it? Let me think about this for your listeners that maybe have never hosted before or only host birthday parties or something like that. Think about how your life would be different if you had a full social calendar, if you had people inviting you to fund things, if you had a rich and robust network of acquaintances that really set up new introductions for you. So what if instead of trying to meet new people, people were just coming into your life with ease when you start to host parties? That's what life can be like. Um that's what I learned from moving to new york. I didn't really know many people. I wasn't successful going out to clubs or networking events and so I decided to bring the party to me and through hosting hundreds and hundreds of parties and teaching over 100 people how to host their own well run event. We found like a formula if you will, that could make a party successful and it might not be what you think so, because sometimes the advice is counterintuitive, but I'll pause to ask you first anything resonate. And then there, have you hosted anything recently? And what went well about it?

[00:10:44] Stuart: Yeah, recently I haven't, now I used to do parties and I used to do uh for, for my job, I would host events and do all that and I mean, I don't know if there's an X factor because I didn't read the book, but There were certain things that I always tried to have going on in the party to make sure it was very interesting. I think the last one I the last major one I did was actually my own funeral when I yeah, so for my 40th birthday I decided to host a funeral as opposed to a party because it was like the death of my youth, right? Like that. I felt like I was transitioning. So I got a coffin in in Portland. They have a place called voodoo donuts, you could get a coffin, they custom made a coffin filled with donuts. So instead of cake I did that and then I had people come and eulogize me and it was great. It was it was it was an interesting take on a birthday party and people seem to really like it. So I know that there's always that little bit of an X factor, but it's hard to figure out what that X factor is. Like what is it that's going to get people engaged in the party mixed together, do something together and it sounds like you maybe have figured it out. And I think that that's, I mean take the easy route by the book, right?

[00:12:01] Nick Gray: Yeah, yeah. I found one formula that works. I love with your funeral that you had your friends eulogized you. I read something that said that we shouldn't wait for funerals to read eulogies for our friends. You know,

[00:12:14] Stuart: my daughter roasted me so hard. She had built a power point presentation to just destroy me. It was wonderful.

[00:12:22] Nick Gray: That's pretty funny that she roasted you.

[00:12:25] Stuart: Oh totally.

[00:12:26] Nick Gray: Can you imagine if you actually died and she was like roasting you at the actual funeral that my

[00:12:32] Stuart: hope is that that is exactly what happens. That would be the best thing possible.

[00:12:36] Nick Gray: That would be amazing. Yeah. What what worked well with that event that you hosted. It sounds like it was truly something special and you were celebrating a major life event with a major life party and you probably spent a lot of money and people spend a lot of time planning and preparing for that. And I think those parties are great and fantastic. They also however prohibit us from hosting regularly because the the biggest benefits come when you can learn how to make hosting a habit. Something that you do regularly where you always have your next event on the calendar, imagine you're in Denver and you meet somebody interesting at the park at the grocery store out of the stand up event. Whatever you can invite them to your next party. It's the, it's the easiest thing to just say, hey I'm hosting a cocktail party, can I invite you to it or send you the information? So I have a very simple formula and if it's easy to think about it like with my name because my name is nick, N. I. C. K. And so all the letters, can I say what all the letters are and stands for name tags, everyone at the party has a name tag, this is a hill that I will die on. I think even if you think they sound formal, try to convince you why they're helpful even for a party in the neighborhood with your friends that you think know each other. I stands for ice breakers, you lead to 2.5 ice breakers at your party. And those are meant just to encourage new conversations. It's not about what people say during the ice breakers, that's what they say after the ice breakers. Uh C stands for cocktails only. So no dinner. And even if you don't drink alcohol, I don't drink. But the idea of a cocktail party is a lightweight social gathering. So no dinner that's important. No dinner and then K. Stands for kick them out at the end. It's only a two hour party and I can talk about how you can actually kick people out at the end. But that's important. This is only two hours long and you're gonna host it on a monday Tuesday or Wednesday night. That's really important. So that's the gist. It's an easy lightweight, very efficient social gathering that I found can really help. It's how I launch my last business. It's how I launched my book by building up this network of relationships because we find out about some of the best things in life whether it's new podcast guests, new business opportunities, New relationships, not through our very best friends, but through our network of acquaintances, weak ties, loose connections. That's what these parties are all about,

[00:15:11] Stuart: acquaintances seem to be like. That seems to be the go to relationship that most people have with other people,

[00:15:17] Nick Gray: like most

[00:15:18] Stuart: people are just acquaintances. Right? Well, because you can't have close friends with everybody. Um, and why are, how do we make acquaintances more important for ourselves? Because obviously we're going to gain some by doing these to our cocktail parties, but like why are they important to have,

[00:15:39] Nick Gray: I like acquaintances because I think they are easy connections to get to know somebody to see if you want to develop a deeper relationship. And so I talk in my book about building big relationships and you have to remember that you can't go from stranger to best friend. There's a, there's a friendship funnel, so to speak that you would go through and it's from being a stranger to knowing someone to having a conversation, to becoming an acquaintance and then through a couple hangouts, maybe you can become friends. And oftentimes if you meet somebody and you're like, oh, I want to get to know this person, what's your default? They're like if you meet somebody interesting and want to get to know them, what do you do now?

[00:16:22] Stuart: Oh yeah, well, I usually, I'm so unique in that I'm like, hey, let's go get coffee? Uh, you know, or hey, is there a band coming to town. Do you want to go see them or something along those lines? But yeah, that's usually some sort of a go someplace and meet someplace and do something because

[00:16:42] Nick Gray: I like what you do with the band there where you can invite someone to something interesting. Oftentimes, you know, especially for busy people, it can be very hard for us to schedule to meet up one on one to go have coffee with someone. You may think it's only a 30 minute coffee, but when you consider drive and commute and scheduling, it works out to being about one or two hours from an individual's time calendar. I found that hosting a cocktail party was an easy, efficient way that I could add value to someone. Right? So I can give them something first and what am I giving them? I'm giving them an invitation and an opportunity to meet a ton of new folks. And so that's how I would lead if I'm trying to make a connection. I say, hey, I host these cocktail parties where I bring together half people I know and half new, interesting people that I've met here in town. Would you like to come sometime? And that's exciting, right? Because most adults don't make new friends as we get older. It's so much harder. It's

[00:17:41] Stuart: impossible. Why is it so difficult to meet new people as an adult, like as a, as a kid on the playground, you just kind of go up and go, hi, my name's Stewie. Like, you know, like let's go play on the slide and then all of a sudden that's your best friend for the day. We don't get that now. Yeah. Why

[00:17:58] Nick Gray: can't life be like, hey, look at this cool rock. I found it looks like a potato, Can we be friends? Yeah, I wanna

[00:18:05] Stuart: try that too. Right? Just carry around a potato rock

[00:18:10] Nick Gray: for many people, you know, their, their number of friendships and connections really peaked when they were in college or university and it tends to go down after that as we move friendships become like a game of attrition. We get older, we have kids, we get a job, we move out to the suburbs and it's just harder to meet people. Which is funny because we need those relationships more as we get older and I don't exactly know the why behind it, but I can tell you that Most Americans haven't made a new friend in over three years and that especially among men, there is a bit of a loneliness problem. I read a stat that said that like 17% of men say they don't have a single close friendship, which is crazy and it's wild and it's the reason that I wanted to share my book was just to help people make more friends and build these relationships because I got so much value from it. It changed my life. I think it could change anyone.

[00:19:05] Stuart: Oh, I absolutely agree with you. Actually. I've had, I think even on the show, we've had discussions about how men don't have good close relationships and this is a big issue for men. So yeah,

[00:19:16] Nick Gray: Why is that? What do you think?

[00:19:18] Stuart: I think it's because there is a we get uncomfortable when we start to like pull down the facades and it's really uncomfortable and traditionally, especially maybe specifically here in America. I don't know, I don't have an experience anywhere else. But I think that we associate like sensitivity to intimacy and that

[00:19:41] Nick Gray: that's more

[00:19:42] Stuart: of a female trade and so that we tend to as guys, we tend to shy away from those things. And so what ends up happening is with with relationships with other men. It's just it's such a surface thing that once you get past that it's like, all right now, what? I don't know, let's go, let's go to a football game. You know, that's kind of bond around football, sports, things like that nature. But if you talk to women and or you're around women that have conversations, they don't talk about things like that. I mean they'll talk about our dicks, but like they'll talk about other things as well. Like they'll talk about feelings and whatnot. It's interesting how we we definitely do different things as gender.

[00:20:22] Nick Gray: There was a sales guy who I used to work with. He was a huge mentor to me and we were. Talking about friendships and things like that. And he said yes, some of my best friends now that I think about it, you know, these these guys that he rides motorcycles with every weekend. He said, I don't even know their last names. I couldn't tell you very much about their personal lives, but I'd say there's some of my best friends and I think that it is kind of interesting. I hear from people like my parents, I made them read my book right? Because it's like there's something I have

[00:20:52] Stuart: to, I tried to make my parents read my book and they set it on the coffee table. I don't

[00:20:59] Nick Gray: even know if my parents read all of my book, but I made him read my book and now I'm on this mission to get 500 people to read my book and and host a party for their friends and neighbors. And I count every single one. I try to talk to them the day after the party and my parents hosted one for their neighbors and they said, look, we

[00:21:17] Stuart: it's

[00:21:18] Nick Gray: so funny. We walk around the neighborhood and you have these little two minute conversations with the neighbors and you say, oh, we should go out, we should have dinner. But you know, as life works out, we usually don't. And they got to meet so many of their neighbors beyond just having that simple little conversation and they got to do something generous by bringing them over to their home, inviting them inside and having a drink and some snacks that they bought it at walmart or Costco or

[00:21:44] Stuart: something.

[00:21:45] Nick Gray: Yeah.

[00:21:47] Stuart: Right. Yeah.

[00:21:48] Nick Gray: It's not about your house by the way for for any listeners that are like, oh I don't have a nice house. I live too far away. My apartment's small. I hosted hundreds of these parties in my tiny studio apartment in new york city. Sometimes the smaller space is actually better because the energy is electric. This guy Noah who lives in Chicago. He's 28. He read my book and he has like a 400 square foot apartment And he hosted, he had 28 people inside which is crazy. The perfect number that I found is between 15 and 20 for a first time or a new host. That's really the number that you want to have.

[00:22:24] Stuart: And then when when you're in this party do you? Is it your job as the host to like go around and mingle? Is that is that what you're supposed to do?

[00:22:32] Nick Gray: Generally you as the host have a couple of duties? Number one is you're gonna make sure everybody has a name tag. So your 1st 10 or 20 minutes is everybody's arriving, you're welcoming them and you're giving them a name tag. Your other major duty as a host is to run 2.5 rounds of icebreakers and those icebreakers are very easy, but you do have to do a little bit of public speaking because you have everybody stopped the party which can be intimidating. So I coach people how to do that.

[00:23:01] Stuart: Do you have like a record scratch that you just play everybody you're

[00:23:08] Nick Gray: gonna laugh at me. But I actually use a small harmonica. I'm looking around my desk, I don't have one and I make a little tone, I don't play, I don't know how to play it, but I just blow out similar to using like a train whistle to make a noise as I turn the music down and I have helped so many people host their first party and I can't tell you of all my party formula, it's the one that gets ridiculed and made fun of the most on one hand. And then after the first party people are like why did I not get the harmonica? It's genius because it's such a quirky, cute little sound instead of yelling at everybody. Hey everybody,

[00:23:47] Stuart: everybody be

[00:23:48] Nick Gray: quiet

[00:23:50] Stuart: and not everybody has a triangle that they can hit or like one of those little tone things,

[00:23:54] Nick Gray: you know.

[00:23:55] Stuart: Yeah. Gong would be kind of cool though, that would definitely get some attention

[00:24:00] Nick Gray: right. But anyhow your job as the host is just to lead these little rounds icebreakers. And what you do is you ask everybody to say their name, to say what they do for work. If they don't want to talk about work, they can talk about a hobby and then you ask them an icebreaker question and the question that I like that I recommend everybody uses at the start of a party is what I call a green level icebreaker. And that's because there's no rapport built up. People are not loose there, there's still rigid. So a green level icebreaker is a fast one that doesn't require a lot of thought or judgment. The one that I like is what is one of your favorite things to eat for breakfast? What's your go to that you do more often than not? And I like that because there's no judgment about it. I'm not asking people, Oh, say an interesting fact about yourself and not putting people on the spot hopefully. And so that's a good one that works 100% of the time.

[00:24:53] Stuart: And who doesn't eat breakfast occasionally or wish they could eat breakfast occasionally. Right, right,

[00:24:58] Nick Gray: right, right. Or if they skip breakfast, if they do intermittent fasting, then just say about that. I hosted a party a couple of years ago in new york. And there was this woman there dressed in all black, tall, skinny, she was older, she looked like she was like raised by street rats. Um, and she came to my party and she's like, my name is Diane, I'm a writer and for breakfast, I like to have cigarettes and it just broke the ice. And everybody, it was very funny. It was very funny and it just kind of put things in perspective

[00:25:31] Stuart: and memorable too. Like, that's a that's a memorable response to that question. Like, what do you like for breakfast cigarettes? You know, like, that's great. Yeah,

[00:25:40] Nick Gray: it was great.

[00:25:41] Stuart: Yeah. So I start this show with a very uncomfortable question. Like I said, I told you I was gonna ask you, that's probably not a very good opening question for a cocktail party, correct.

[00:25:55] Nick Gray: What makes you interesting is a great question. I like that you use it in thinking about a social situation, you know, you're having high profile people who who come on the podcast and you want to capture your listeners attention right away. If I were to bring somebody into my home. I often think about what that experience is like for those that are socially awkward, have a little bit of anxiety or aren't like an extrovert maybe like you and I, and so I'm trying to create just a welcome, easy environment to warm people up for that two hour journey.

[00:26:29] Stuart: Yeah, I I think it's brilliant. Um yeah, in business we use, I was a sales guy for a very long time. And so, like, icebreakers are like, it's a, it's a lifeboat really, because like, there are times when you're in a situation, like, I need to get everybody engaged. I need to get everybody started to talk to each other. How do I do that? And icebreakers are great. And you always get the one jokester that's gonna, you know, do their own thing. And it's kind of wonderful because then it takes a lot of the heat off of you as far as making sure things are, things are going. So um All right, so it sounds like everybody needs to to host a cocktail party um up on the screen.

[00:27:08] Nick Gray: That's

[00:27:08] Stuart: where you can go to get the book. And I think people should definitely do that now besides hosting parties and doing those types of things. What what are the types of things are you into?

[00:27:21] Nick Gray: Um For fun. I live in austin texas and we have this weird thing here called Barton Springs Pool. It's a natural spring fed aquifer pool. I don't know how to describe it because there's no lanes, but it's just enormous. It's like three acres and I like to swim in that. I live about five minutes from it, so

[00:27:41] Stuart: that's something to

[00:27:42] Nick Gray: do. Yeah. And then I I live a lot of my life online. So I have a blog. I do social media. I've been blogging for 20 plus years. And so I actually get so much fun and joy out of writing. Like I have this thing called my friends newsletter where I send a newsletter to my friends and just cool movies I've seen, or fun stuff. I've read cool links memes, things like that. So that really does make me happy. I like to do that.

[00:28:11] Stuart: Yeah. That's um, did you do a lot of social media? Is that

[00:28:15] Nick Gray: tons, tons

[00:28:16] Stuart: of social media?

[00:28:17] Nick Gray: Yeah.

[00:28:18] Stuart: Is there, is there a particular social media that you like really kind of gravitate to or do you try to just equally split your time between them? Um,

[00:28:25] Nick Gray: these days at the time of this recording, I'm spending more time thinking about growing an audience on Tiktok. So I hired a firm to help me with that. Um, I do my own twitter instagram. I do a lot on instagram stories because it's, it's easy and it's a throwaway. So for me, I'd say, yeah, that's the one I do the most.

[00:28:45] Stuart: Okay. Alright. And then, um, obviously you had, was it Donna eight? The cigarettes in the morning? Had cigarettes in the morning. Okay. So obviously it worked right. Was there, um, have you ever had a party that didn't go as well as you had hoped? Is there, is there a situation where that's happened?

[00:29:03] Nick Gray: Yeah, huge. Um, 11 that I can think about was one where I think it was a monday night and I decided I'm like, let's have friends over on Wednesday or thursday. And I didn't give myself enough planning what I call the party runway and I just mass message, you know, 20 or 30 people. Hey everybody. I'm having people over come by any time from 5 to 10 p.m. And I did a couple things wrong there. One, I didn't give people enough notice to, I didn't do individualized invitations, nobody felt special. And three I left this awkward enormous time block show up, right, right swing by any time. Has that ever happened? You get invited to a barbecue on a saturday at four and you're like, okay, well they said four, so I guess I'll show up at five, but the hosts are, you know, from this place. So actually they want to show up two hours, you do this mental sort of calculus or what time to actually arrive. And that's one major thing that I'd say for your listeners is that doing that two hour time block gets people to show up on time and boost your attendance rate because people know that, look, this is a tight time. I don't have to stay too late if I want to leave and it gives them an excuse to leave. People love the excuse to leave by the way.

[00:30:19] Stuart: Oh yeah, well I'm, I'm a huge fan of the irish goodbye, which is like you just kind of throw down the batman, you know smoke pill and leave and nobody knows that we're there. No one knows. I am a huge fan of it and I absolutely hate the like long goodbyes and at a party, it's like I've got to go say goodbye to. So and so and so and so and it's like you just met that like, just leave, get out. I don't

[00:30:44] Nick Gray: totally agree.

[00:30:45] Stuart: Yeah. And I'm also a big fan of name tags. I think that that is, it cuts down the amount of mental bandwidth people have to deal with when they, when they don't have to remember your name, they can just look at

[00:30:56] Nick Gray: your, your

[00:30:57] Stuart: tag and just know who you are. It's great. It's

[00:31:02] Nick Gray: super

[00:31:02] Stuart: easy. I'd

[00:31:03] Nick Gray: rather feel a little uncomfortable asking someone to wear a name tag than feel uncomfortable all night long forgetting their name. So that's why I do it. I also think it's more inclusive. I mean, I don't want to sound super woke, but think about what the experience is like for a significant other or for a plus one, you have a best friend, He just starts dating someone and he brings her along to the party. She doesn't know anybody, she doesn't know your friend group. And when you do name tags, it just makes everybody feel a little more included.

[00:31:32] Stuart: Absolutely, absolutely. Um well this has been great. Um I mean I'm excited about hosting a party. I will definitely.

[00:31:43] Nick Gray: So are you going to do it? Can I

[00:31:45] Stuart: don't know. You can count on me to do it. I will buy the book today.

[00:31:49] Nick Gray: We're gonna send, I'm gonna send you a copy of the book

[00:31:52] Stuart: and

[00:31:52] Nick Gray: then too, while we're on the call now, I want to, I guess we could wait if you want to, but I want you to look at your calendar and I want you to choose a monday Tuesday Wednesday night. That is ideally four or more weeks away now because it may take me a week to send you the book. Maybe choose five because we don't want to butt up against uh Halloween. Halloween is what I call a red level day. You don't want to host around major holidays events, three day weekends, those are red level. And why? Why do we do monday or Tuesday Wednesday night because people are available. And the number one success is if you can have a full list of attendees, number one fear someone has this, nobody will show up. And when you host on a monday or Tuesday or Wednesday night. So what day do you think would be good,

[00:32:40] Stuart: november 1st,

[00:32:41] Nick Gray: November one. I love Tuesday. That's a Tuesday. It's the day after Halloween. So do you think that that's okay.

[00:32:47] Stuart: Is that too much? Is that too close?

[00:32:49] Nick Gray: I don't know. I

[00:32:50] Stuart: don't know. Let's do that Wednesday

[00:32:52] Nick Gray: Wednesday Wednesday the second. So the next thing to think about is what two hour time block would you do? 6 to 87 to 95.

[00:33:01] Stuart: Yeah, probably that 6-8

[00:33:03] Nick Gray: 68. Great. The next thing is that think about which five people you would invite. That's part of what I call your core group. These are your close friends, people that if only they showed up, you'd be happy. So I want you to think about who those five are. And when we get off this recording, you're gonna text those five people and say, hey, I'm thinking I just had this guest on, I'm thinking of hosting this thing called a two hour cocktail party on Wednesday november 2nd from 68 P. M. And here's the thing you'll say if I do it, would you come? Ok? And your your goal is to get five people who will say yes, okay. And so you'll text people until you get those five yeses, you may hear from them. Oh no, no, no, that's too close to Halloween, I can't do it, you know? And so then if that happens and just move your date right, just like choose it another week afterwards and you send the same message you're gonna hunt for those five yeses and I have a feeling for you. It'll be pretty easy. And when you get those five yeses, then your party's happening, we'll make a simple page online to collect their RSVPs, my book will tell you exactly what to write and all that. All the scripts exactly how to invite more people and then it'll be a success. All you have to do is like one or two hours of work at the beginning and then your party will be a huge success. I

[00:34:26] Stuart: love it. I cannot wait. I'm actually very excited about it because you know, I'm new to Denver, I've been here just I've been here over a year, but I guess it's not overly new, but I still don't know tons and tons of people because Covid kind of screwed us up as far as like meeting people. I think,

[00:34:42] Nick Gray: I think you're exactly right. It's made it hard and people are a little more awkward. So number one, they appreciate an invite to something like this where you're gonna bring different groups Stewart from, from this social group. I'll bring a couple of people from this, this this and then uh basically they also need guidelines. They need guardrails to have a little social interaction. Love

[00:35:05] Stuart: it. Love it. All right, well we've got this planned. I'm very excited about that. We do have to record a sketch though. If you are one of those awkward people that have a hard time meeting people, this is exactly your remedy. Go have a cocktail party, Nick what's the easiest way for people to get more information about running their own cocktail party in two hours.

[00:35:31] Nick Gray: My name is Nick ray. I have a book called the two hour cocktail party. It has over 230 reviews on amazon and it sounds like I'm selling something, but I'm just trying to get people to make more free and if you check out my book, I'll give you a satisfaction guarantee if you don't like it. You can Venmo request me for a refund. I think the book is packed with actionable tips and a step by step guide, including the scripts, exactly what to say in a minute by minute breakdown of what to do at your party. I think we can all use a new friend, so check it out and stay in touch,

[00:36:04] Stuart: Understand staying in touch, but I can't possibly imagine that you're not going to love this book. It is one of those things that can literally change your life in two hours and now our sketch cocktail party in a party, in a party, in a party in 32.

[00:36:28] Nick Gray: Welcome everybody, administrative announcement, Welcome to my cocktail party. I'm so glad wow, we have 15 or 20 people here. I just moved to Denver, so it's great to meet everybody and we're gonna go around the room, we're gonna do a quick icebreaker, say your name, say what you do for work or something fun and then one of your favorite things to eat for breakfast Stewart, would you be willing to go first? Oh,

[00:36:51] Stuart: uh yeah, yeah, sure, of course. I'll go first. Um I guess my name is Stuart um and I host this silly podcast thing that I like to do um and then for for breakfast, I really actually like eggs Benedict is my favorite, but I don't get it as often as I'd like, but I love eggs. Benedict,

[00:37:12] Nick Gray: I love eggs. Benedict. I also like hollandaise sauce. Hey, that gives me an idea if you like eggs Benedict or if you've ever bathed in hollandaise sauce, like Stuart and I come and meet us in this corner over here, we're gonna do a V. I. P. Hollandaise meet up. So check us out afterwards. No, but I

[00:37:33] Stuart: don't.

[00:37:38] Nick Gray: All right, listen up, this is the hollandaise meet up group. And I was looking around at this party and these other chums don't know the benefits of eggs Benedict. So I thought we'd have a little V. I. P. Hollandaise party within the party. What do you guys think about that?

[00:37:53] Stuart: I don't understand why anybody doesn't love eggs Benedict. It's amazing that there were six of us that actually came out and said for breakfast, it was eggs Benedict. It was the thing, I think it's really cool that all of us like joined up like this.

[00:38:07] Nick Gray: These six of us really are the V. I. P. Party within the party? I think it's so cool that actually Randall. You happen to have brought hollandaise sauce with you. Do you guys want to take a shot of hollandaise sauce? I'll go get some shot glasses.

[00:38:20] Stuart: Yeah, I never leave home without it.

[00:38:21] Nick Gray: Any volunteers who would make a toast to hollandaise sauce. Anyone want to say what they love most about either eggs Benedict or holidays or just a favorite memory that you've had with hollandaise sauce.

[00:38:33] Stuart: My name is nancy. I guess if it's okay, I would love to share my story about eggs. Benedict. Yeah,

[00:38:41] Nick Gray: nancy. Please, can we get a round of applause for nancy willing to step up and share her holidays, testimony on nancy. The stage is yours.

[00:38:50] Stuart: So when I was a little girl, my, my parents actually were like fundamental christians and they didn't believe in hollandaise sauce. And so when I was older I had a friend, I stayed the night and then the next day we went to Denny's for breakfast and I saw that they had hollandaise sauce on the eggs Benedict and I got it and it was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten. It was like the forbidden fruit of breakfast

[00:39:18] Nick Gray: baptized by hollandaise who among us has not had that moment. I think that's really cool. By the way, if you have been baptized by hollandaise sauce, meet us over in this other corner because we're gonna do a V. I. P. Of the V. I. P. So I'll see you over there. All right, welcome to the Church of hollandaise. Uh, I'm curious can we do another round of icebreakers? Maybe someone here would volunteer to say your name and I guess just something that you dream about. I'd love to hear that

[00:40:01] Stuart: hank you met me earlier. You know, I was, I was talking about how I go and work out a lot.

[00:40:06] Nick Gray: You said that you liked eggs. Benedict cause you'll get in a heavy lift day and then you'll just pound about £10, I think you said of eggs and then just to break it up a little, you had the hollandaise. I don't know, I just love to hear. What do you like? What do you dream about?

[00:40:20] Stuart: Well, I don't actually like dream at night. I take these pills to help me sleep, so I guess I'm not really the right person to talk to about this.

[00:40:29] Nick Gray: Right? Yeah, that's fair, that's fair. I remember you handing those pills out a few minutes ago and I cautioned you against doing that and I'm glad that we're all here to think about our dreams as it relates to church or hollandaise sauce or just eggs Benedict. We all celebrate that.

[00:40:44] Stuart: Hey, it's Stuart again, I do have a dream if it's okay, if I interject

[00:40:49] Nick Gray: Oh yeah, please Stuart, let's hear it.

[00:40:51] Stuart: Okay? So my dream is that I can quit my day job and just do my podcast on a daily basis. Like that's kind of my dream,

[00:41:01] Nick Gray: we can help you achieve that dream. And I love that dream too, is that if you like the sketch comedy podcast show, if you'll leave a review because every review helps Stewart get a little bit closer to him dreams and that's really what it's all about, right, following our dreams, you know, one other idea would be, if we could get a hollandaise brand to actually sponsor this show. I think that'd be amazing.

[00:41:24] Stuart: That would be amazing

[00:41:25] Nick Gray: if you have a podcast. Um go and chat there with Stewart. But if you don't have a podcast, go over to this area and we're gonna do actually a V. I. P within the V. I. P within the V. I. P. So meet me over there in a minute. I'll see you there. Are you competing with me right now? Probably talk Alright, welcome. Welcome everybody. Well, you've arrived here because of life decisions. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

[00:41:57] Stuart: My name is Earl. I know like the tv show, I don't have a podcast. I don't, I don't really have a lot of friends. I don't really have a lot going on in my life, but I appreciate you bringing me to this party.

[00:42:09] Nick Gray: Earl welcome. It is so great to meet you. I remember seeing you in the neighborhood and I invited you to come over. You are welcome here. And it's, it's helpful that we all have name tags so we can make some new friends. Uh, what is your dream, Earl? Do you have a dream? Is there something that you want to do or accomplish in life?

[00:42:28] Stuart: My dream is to help others really find their internal like drive and and move forward in their life and, and, and just be very, very successful.

[00:42:43] Nick Gray: Your dream is to help people be more successful and find their internal compass, their, their north star of sorts. I like that. What would you say is a good way to do that.

[00:42:55] Stuart: Have you ever heard of Amway? Thank you so much for joining us for sketch comedy podcast show. We hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. Make sure to head over to sketch comedy podcast show dot com there. You can subscribe to the show. Head over to Youtube and watch some of the videos and sketches we've done there. Maybe head over to Patreon and become a patron to the show. That would be so much appreciated or you can leave a review someplace or if you're feeling really saucy apply to be on the show. I appreciate every single one of you that listens to the show and I would love to hear more from you. Now I've got to get this out of the way sketch comedy podcast show is protected under a creative commons attribution no derivatives four point oh international license. Which means that if you would like to reproduce anything in the show, please contact the show so that I can get you the right material for it. And also this show is copyright 2022 Stuart rice every day we are given a choice. Can we do the funny thing or the not so funny thing. I'm going to urge you to do the funny thing today and create an improvised comedy adventure of your own. Take care. See you next episode