Ever see that clickbait ad that says, “Hot Singles in Your Area Want to Talk to You?” Imagine that ad coming to life. Oh, you didn’t ask for that? Well, that’s because you didn’t know it could be so entertaining. Luckily, multi-hyphenate and expert Tinder swiper Lane Moore knew. And boy, are we glad.
As a child, the lifelong entertainer amused family and friends with impressions, short films, plays, and singing. As an adult, these skills and ideas parlayed her into someone who was destined to bring originality to a stage. Her fun-loving “cool chick from next door” vibe and monster motivation also made her perfect for sharing her findings, albeit compassionate or hilarious, to the masses in a relatable way. From her band, It Was Romance, being named one of the year’s best by Bust Magazine to her acclaimed book, How To Be Alone, to receiving a GLAAD Media Award for her work with Cosmopolitan on LGBTQ coverage, Moore seems to know just what an audience wants.
Moore’s connection to her audience now is evident, but when she was younger, finding those bonds didn’t come simply. She grew up mostly parentless and ended up living in a car as a teen. “Meeting people and finding connections was something I was interested in ever since I was little,” Moore told us. “I didn’t have that so I was always looking for it.”
As an adult, connecting with others remains important to her and still carries over into her personal life — like when she observed her friends navigate the online dating world. Eventually, that sparked her own interest in giving it a go. “I saw my roommates on these dating apps and noticed this trend of something different coming up culturally. For no reason other than that, I knew I had to try it for myself.”
The very first time Moore opened up Tinder to peruse a fresh offering of connections, she knew that this extreme mix of profiles full of charm and cringe was worthy of sharing. What started as just sharing her findings with friends turned into a national tour called Tinder Live. With that came a world of new friends — from dating app users to married folk — who all wanted to get in on the interactive swiping fun.
“I got the idea literally the second I got on Tinder years ago,” Moore tells SPIN over the phone ahead of a tour stop in North Carolina. “I was like, ‘This is so insane!’ Some of the men’s profiles were so insane, it immediately became clear to me that it needed to be a comedy show. I decided I’d put my Tinder on a projector screen, swipe through the profiles live, and we’d all just experience, in a group setting, what it’s like to go through this process. I came up with this idea for the whole show that day. It made so much sense to turn it into a comedy show.”
Saving you some swiping (and possibly carpal tunnel), Moore is taking to stages across the country to swipe through locals. An interactive show, she hooks her phone up to a projection screen so you can help find the perfect match while weeding through the craziness. Judging by the popularity of Tinder Live, there are plenty of people ready to laugh at it all.
“The audience is a mix of people from all walks,” Moore says. “Women trying to navigate dating apps. Men who have no idea how hard it is to online date. And then there are also married couples who are just laughing at it all with us.
“There’s a lot of harassment and misogyny in between the hilarious and the good on dating apps so my goal was to unpack that all in a funny, light, and silly way for all people,” Moore continues. “The most amazing thing I’ve found from having a fully improvised and totally interactive show is that anything can happen.”
Being that each Tinder Live show is localized, there’s always a chance that people in the crowd will know a person seen on the screen.
“Oh yeah, that’s a thing,” Moore laughs. “At one of the shows, someone told me they knew one of the men. He was one of her mom’s French teachers. So I got more info and then went on his profile and told him I was a French teacher. It’s all just so silly how it works out.”
She is also teaching others how to navigate a dating app without them even knowing it. Learning the do’s and don’ts should be a prerequisite, although (clearly) it’s not. But what matters most is how the audience responds, and when it comes to Tinder Live, it’s a smash. Feedback on shows is key, and after hers, Moore says she generally hears one or two things consistently.
“I either hear they love the show so much they do mini-Tinder Live shows at home, or they thought the show would be mean. I guess when people see the name of the show, Tinder Live, they think it’s going to be cruel. But then, they’re pleasantly surprised. I don’t feel the need to punch down. I want it to be sillier more so than anything else. It’s all so much fun.”