Antonia Kasper is fed-up and overly-caffeinated!
Her book “45 Coffee Dates” is an uproarious account of her pursuit for Mr. Right through a sea of Mr. Right-For-Anyone-Else. Making Starbucks her nerve-center, Antonia created thirty-eight year old New Yorker, Rachel Yardley, and began notating her crusade along the dusty trails of the internet and online dating.
Watch some excerpts from 45 COFFEE DATES [CLICK HERE]
The book and the play are about to explode onto New York so we wanted to grab her while she could still be grabbed.
Tell us about yourself … how did you get here?
I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma then graduated from Tulane University with a BA in Theatre Arts/ English. Originally, my dream was to be in musicals on Broadway. I did a lot of regional theatre and decided to create my own work. That’s when I discovered the Stand-Up Comedy circuit. Making people laugh was addictive and that’s where I really learned how to write. Writing a simple joke was probably the most difficult writing I had experienced. But it really taught me about comedy.
What’s the book and the play about?
“45 Coffee Dates –In search of my soulmate through cyber-space and beyond!” is about my real life online experiences when my sister dared me to meet 50 men in 90 days through the internet and over a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I was in my late 30’s and suddenly realized I wanted to get married and possibly have a child (if it wasn’t too late). The book and the show are about my own personal journey and how meeting all kinds of men (even the worst of the worst) had a positive take away for me. It was a path of self-discovery and what I learned about improving my own flaws and beliefs by changing my outlook on life. Fake it til you make it…real. I wrote the book mainly as an inspiration to other women of all ages that: “It’s never too late for self-discovery…or love!”
What did you learn about yourself during your journey?
I learned that I was actually a catch in the city and deserved a great guy. (Even if I wasn’t filthy rich, super young or drop dead gorgeous). I realized you are who you make people think you are. And you are what you make people think you are. Yes, I was still a catch in this competitive city of New York because I was a decent person with a big heart, a good mind and a great sense of humor. Becoming what you want to attract is so important. The man I wanted had to encompass the same down-to-earth qualities: integrity, honest, funny, chemistry. I had to continue to exercise those qualities in myself, empower myself, in order to attract a similar minded mate. Finding your basic important priorities and attracting the same. Even through all my “bad dates” I not only learned about myself as a person but learned what I REALLY wanted in a companion…what really mattered to me. Priorities are different for everyone and online dating is a great way for women and men to write down what they really want in a mate. Discovering your “deal breakers” in a potential partner. I also learned how to forgive my father and move on from a somewhat traumatic childhood in order to find the right man for me. Role models play such an important part in our search for a companion. But bad role models or a dysfunctional childhood or devastating history shouldn’t stop us from finding a healthy happy relationship.
How has the dating scene changed?
Well, now it’s very tech driven for online dating. (Apps/Texting/IMing etc/Google Searching/Facebook) and the personal touch and discovering people and who they really can be very misleading or no longer mysterious. Who wants to meet and get to know someone when they think they know everything about them on Facebook. So in that way, people could be missing out on a really great connection. We are so “computer connected” and quick to judge that men and women aren’t socializing the natural way. Depending on where you are in your life (or what you are looking for) that still varies. I think today’s women are okay with “hooking up” and having casual sexual partners without any traditional sense of commitment–(and that’s okay…it’s about time that women aren’t judged so harshly for having casual sex) I believe today’s 20-30 year old females are focused on their career and handle casual dating more unemotionally. Twenty years ago (even 10 years ago) those women were judged differently even though many men were so casual with women and that was okay. Anyway, I think if you are in that place of fleeting encounters it’s fine only if that is what both individuals want. But for me, I was no longer in that mindset. I wanted something real, committed, healthy, happy, long-term…a family of my own.
Relationships and finding a great person is still the same…difficult for many. In my situation, I was longing to be courted in the old fashion sense so I actually pretended to be a modern day princess but with very old fashioned values and actions. It’s different for everyone. I believe it can be even more difficult in New York City and other cosmopolitan areas because everyone is so busy with their careers and/or “hooking up” or hanging out as buds. Mainly because there are so many options of men and women. With so many types of people in the rat race, and the grass looking greener on the other side of the fence…(In NYC there are tons of lawns)when you are looking for a committed relationship it can be difficult in the dating arena deciphering someone’s true intention.
What’s it like being a woman entrepreneur in NY?
I’m not only a writer/producer/performer (Kasper Productions) but I also own and run a rapidly growing on-site corporate chair massage company called StressbustersNYC (www.stressbustersnyc.com). It can be challenging sometimes but I’m not sure if I hit roadblocks because I’m a woman or because every entrepreneur has small mountains to climb. Because there are more women entrepreneurs nowadays, when dealing with female clients I find there is a common bond especially when closing the deal. I close more deals with women than men in my experience and I don’t think that’s just a coincidence. Strong women helping and believing in other strong women. Girl Power and all that jazz. But when it comes to being taken seriously as a business owner or in the arts/producer, I think it is still perceived that men are the better, more successful business owners. As in my book, women have a fine line to balance. I talk about how it’s difficult to celebrate your femininity without being “a feminist” but still be ballsy, as an entrepreneur, in the workplace, AND in dating. However, with today’s current climate of women (standing up for ourselves)and finally being taken more seriously in the workplace (and the world) for our brains, our strengths, and not just noticed for our looks, I’m hopeful that now is finally the time: for not only a women’s revolution but a woman’s revelation–We as women are just as important and deserve the same admiration and respect as men when it comes to business, politics, the arts, and social equality.
45 COFFEE DATES
written and performed by Antonia Kasper
(based on her book currently on sale)
Directed by Katherine Elliot
April 6 & 7; 14, 19 & 20; 28 @ 7pm
April.15 & 29 @ 2:00 pm
The Players Theater
115 Macdougal St
New York City