Alexi Wasser’s latest project–a night of female friendship, bonding and togetherness–makes a great case for staying in.
In May, our friend Alexi Wasser–writer, actress, comedian, podcaster and general female hero–saw a need for female togetherness, for a safe space where girls can meet and share their experiences, be it dating nightmares, struggles with insecurity or just how they’re coming up in the world–and also to just plain chill. In 2017, it seems the need for the kind of unity Alexi brings on in her monthly Girls Night In–a gathering of incredible, like-minded women at a different, secret spot each time–is more important now than ever before. We made our way into one of these nights last month (aka, a pillow-laden tattoo parlor in Eagle Rock) and listened to women come together, open up, and find solace and safety in the fact that we’re all in this crazy life together. We spoke to Alexi on how it all came together, why it’s important to be heard, and putting your damn phone away and being present.
Tell me about how you started Girls Night In? You modeled it after a 90210 episode!
I actually didn’t model it after that, but later, when people ask me to describe it I would make a joke that it’s in the spirit of Brenda Walshe’s slumber party from the original 90210 when Brenda was throwing a slumber party but kept referring to it as “a night of female bonding.”
Why did you feel like you needed a night like this?
I guess I saw a need for it. It was instinctual. It was something I wanted for myself. To throw a cozy get together where girls could meet irl, make new friends, feel safe, heard and share whatever it is they wanted to share or whatever it is they were spiraling about (because I have a tendency to emotionally spiral in my head) and feel less alone.
Give us a little bit of a rundown at what happens at Girls Night In?
Well, the girls buy a ticket to secure their spot and a couple days before the event I send out a super special top secret email with the location of the pop up and a loose schedule of the order of the night and what to bring. I provide snacks and alcohol and non alcoholic options, but I encourage the girls to bring whatever it is that would make them even more comfortable, as well as a pillow to sit on because we all end up sitting in a circle later; chatting and sharing.
“It really does make you feel less alone to be surrounded by only other women. To talk about your insecurities and what you’re struggling with and coming up against in the world (misogyny, racism, inequality, etc.) is really cathartic.”
It’s from about 8 PM to 2 AM. Girls of all different ages, shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds get to the private residence the night is taking place in that month (it’s a pop up), they make themselves a drink, mingle mix chat with all the other girls and after about an hour or an hour and a half of that, we sit in a circle and each girl gets their chance to be heard and share a little bit about themselves and what they’re noticing and want to vent about.
Why do you think other women need a night like this?
I think other women need a night like this because it really does make you feel less alone to be surrounded by only other women. To talk about your insecurities and what you’re struggling with and coming up against in the world (misogyny, racism, inequality, etc.) is really cathartic. But what’s even more special is how all the girls are so supportive and loving. And sometimes it’s enough to just listen to all the other girls stories. And sometimes when the girls share, they aren’t necessarily looking for advice. It’s enough for them to just be heard. It makes you feel some sort of release. And the girls are all so accepting and kind. It’s a nice reminder that people are good and have big hearts. It’s just a really magical night. I had no idea how magical and special these nights would be. I just thought it would be a fun all girl party gossip sesh; and it’s morphed into this!
“Now more than ever, women need to be kind to one another and support one another and use each other as sounding boards and give each other emotional support and confidence.”
Female bonding–is it more important now than ever?
I think it’s always been important. But yeah, maybe so. So much is coming to the surface now in this political climate and we’re being shaken up and waking up. Now more than ever, women need to be kind to one another and support one another and use each other as sounding boards and give each other emotional support and confidence. And just being together is powerful and therapeutic because we’re all going through the same things. I can’t stress enough how it just makes all the girls feel less alone and stronger.
Tell us about the best experience at one of these events so far? Anything enlightening?
They’ve only been getting better and better. I think the best experience so far has been how open all the girls are. Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of “I’ve never shared this before in my entire life, but I feel safe to share right now.” And there’s lots of laughing and tears and drinking rosé and it’s just a cathartic wonderful blast. All the girls exchange information and become friends and maintain those friendships and that’s a beautiful thing. Especially for a lot of girls who are new Los Angeles and don’t have any friends, this helps them build a friendship base.
For me, my favorite part is: putting my phone away, being present, and listening to everyone’s story. It’s so interesting to hear people’s stories.
Where do you want to take this in the future–any plans to make it grow?
I just want to keep doing them every month and get the word out so girls have the option and opportunity to go to something like this (an all girls safe haven that’s fun and inspiring) if they’re feeling a need to connect with other women and share and make new friends and have fun and talk and recharge. I want to continue doing it monthly and find sponsors and nice houses to host the event in. It’s a lot of energy and work, but it’s so worth it. I def want to keep doing it and growing it and maybe take it to other cities.