Libby Copeland lives in Westchester, NY, USA and has a BA degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA.
She has been a staff reporter, editor, and/or writer for The Washington Post, Slate, New York Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Glamour, as well as, made appearances on MSNBC, CNN, and NPR.
Libby also has a strong interest in ASMR.
She recently traveled to Brooklyn, NY to experience one of the first live, in-person, professional ASMR services called Whisperlodge, and then wrote about it for New York Magazine.
In my interview with Libby she describes her own ASMR sensations, her experience at Whisperlodge, her curiosities about ASMR, and more.
Below are my questions in bold, her replies in italics, a link to her article about Whisperlodge in New York Magazine, and additional links about her.
How long have you been interested in ASMR?
Libby, “I can remember experiencing a particular trance-like state when I was a kid. When this one friend of mine would talk, I’d zone out and get this lovely, relaxed feeling. A few years ago, while listening to a massage video to help me sleep, I stumbled on an ASMR video and started reading everything I could about it.
For the record, I don’t get the tingles down the head and spine that are considered the classic ASMR experience, though I do occasionally get this tender feeling in my feet. Yeah, that’s weird.”
What inspired you to write an article about Whisperlodge?
Libby, “I have a google alert set to “ASMR.” I picked up something about the Whisperlodge event, even though it hadn’t been written about much. It may have been a mention of tickets for sale.”
How would you describe your experience at Whisperlodge?
Libby, “Whisperlodge is one of the first attempts of this kind, and I found it fun and fascinating — part theater, part spa, part playful experiment. It’s done in the style of what’s called immersive theater, so the attendees are the audience, but they’re also participating in the show, with the so-called fourth wall erased.
You’re taken through a series of rooms or parts of rooms. Following on the style of ASMR videos on YouTube, some rooms are role-play (a tailor, for instance, fits you for an outfit), and some are personal attention, etc.
It’s very mysterious and intimate, even from the beginning, when a stranger comes and finds you where you’ve been told to wait on a street corner, blindfolds you, and leads you to brownstone where the show takes place. I write about the experience in a more in-depth fashion in my article.”
What did you enjoy the most, what do you think could be improved?
Libby, “I enjoyed the room where one of the guides pulled out makeup brushes and brushed my face and hands. It’s very relaxing. Of course, there were rooms where the triggers weren’t quite right for me – everyone likes something different, after all. It’s not supposed to be customized for each attendee, but the artists creating Whisperlodge told me they’d like one day soon to create something like that. A kind of spa where you could walk in and order specific services.”
Do you have any interest in or plans for writing more articles about ASMR?
Libby, “I do! I have something I’m looking into now, and I’m for sure sharing it with you if it becomes a story. I think you and I first started talking about ASMR two years ago! You’re the clearinghouse for everything on the topic.”
What do you see as the biggest mystery about ASMR that you would like science and research to answer for you?
Libby, “Like most people interested in the topic, I’d like to understand what’s happening in the brain and in the nerves when people experience ASMR, and what other biological function ASMR might be piggybacking on.
You’ve suggested ASMR may be linked to primal experiences involving love and social-emotional bonds, and I’d like to understand better exactly how videos on YouTube, of all things, may tap into something so basic to us as human beings.
On a personal note, I’d love to know what it feels like to have the classic head-and-spine tingles that most people associate with ASMR. Why do some people experience that and others don’t?”
What else keeps you busy besides thinking, experiencing, and writing about ASMR?
Libby, “Questions about human behavior and culture are fascinating to me. I love to interview people who study neuroscience and psychology and try to answer questions about why we do what we do.”
Discover more about Libby Copeland, her ASMR experiences, and her other writings at these links:
- Libby Copeland’s ASMR article in New York Magazine: “You Can Now Get Your ASMR Fix in Person”
- Libby Copeland’s website, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin
Read more about ASMR spas and live ASMR:
- Whisperlodge, a new live ASMR spa-type experience
- Some spas are now offering ASMR sessions
- What would you want in a real world ASMR spa?
- Emma WhispersRed performs live ASMR session
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This post brought to you by ASMR University. A site with the mission of increasing the awareness, understanding, and research of the Art and Science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.