We do one annual event to embody fictional characters. People love this event, it’s fun to be Holden Caulfield or Mrs. Dalloway but we don’t find it to be an entirely valuable exercise. These characters were already created and written by some very compassionate and thoughtful authors and we find that just reading the books is an empathetic and compassionate enough experience.

But people love this event, especially when it’s less frequent. It’s kind of our Halloween with people thinking of and discarding and doubling down on ideas for the event all year. The most common conversation when it’s over and people have returned to being themselves is who they’ll be next year.

Last year, I was the main character from Gone Girl. Blame it on a recent break-up or simply on Gillian Flynn’s uncanny ability to help me relate to angry women while trying to be an agreeable one. It was very fun to be this sociopathic, pissed off, wronged woman who recently disappeared herself to hurt and frame her cheating husband.  By complete surprise, someone arrived to the party as the male lead in this story. We had a lovely time hating one another, flirting, spending the night together, hoping we show up to another event in the future as complementary characters.