2007_01_arts_hairpetters.pngEarlier this month we reported on a disturbing trend: Hair Petting. Later in the month, the New York Times picked up on those who stroke a stranger's hair. And just the other night a woman at a show we attended leaned her head back, her hair practically in our lap - we resisted petting it, as nothing seemed worse at that moment than the possibility of touching this woman's frazzled hair. So we thought it was time to ask the founding ladies of this trend a few questions...

Names/ages/what you do when you're not petting people's hair.
We are Emily Grace, Angelique Cabral, Sharon Eisman and Courtney Munch. We are all 20-something. When we aren't petting hair, we spend our time running BadGirl Productions, our production company dedicated to developing new work with strong roles for women, as well as giving voice to stories that otherwise might not be heard. We are also actresses, yoga teachers, foot models, voice over performers, and busy New Yorkers.

So, how did hair petting first come about? Were you fascinated with Barbie hair? Did you start small and pet people's dogs' and run away? Did your techniques evolve or did you have clear ideas from the start?
The Hair Petting Game is something Angelique has played for a while with a group of college friends. At first they played amongst themselves at parties, but since the Hair Petting Game video, you really can play the game in lots of different situations. In fact, for actors with pre-audition anxiety, try out the "Pre Audition Pet." Pet some hair on the way to your appointment. Get out of your head and find your mood instantly elevated!

We have developed a points-system since the video that continues to evolve as the video gets more popular. The points are based on technique, length of the pet as well level of difficulty. Check out our website for the points system, it is very involved, and new types of pet are being developed!

(For the record, Angelique did love to play with Barbie as a child, and also grew up surrounded by lots of animals. Hmm...perhaps The Hair Petting Game was simply an attempt to recreate the comfort of childhood. Or maybe its just an absurdly simple silly game that's really fun!)

Winter isn't ideal hair petting weather, since many people wear hats. What do you recommend hair petters do in the off-season?
The great thing about hair petting is that hair is everywhere. Don’t let a little frostbite spoil an entire season of petting potential! Even in winter, people take their hats off inside. Use your creative sensibilities and move the petting indoors! Culturally better yourself by visiting a museum, and maybe sneak a little pet on the side. Dont get caught!!!

Are there any choice hair petting incidents that were left on the cutting room floor?
All the best pets are featured in the video. If, by "choice hair petting incidents" you mean were we confronted by a pettee, no way! We are so good at the game, that 99.9% of the petted were completely unaware they had been pet. The point of the game is not to get caught, so you must plan your strategy accordingly.

No hair was harmed during the making of The Hair Petting Game.

However, we are considering creating a "Petters Gone Wild" video to follow up The Hair Petting Game. With our shirts on, of course.

What do you think of the reaction to your video? What do you think of the hair petting haters' questions about assault claims and lice?
In fact, hair petting is perfectly legal. Physically assaulting a hair petter, is not. With 40,000 views and counting, you have to be prepared for a couple of haters. Not everyone shares the same sense of humor. In fact, not everyone even has a sense of humor! Too bad for them, because The Hair Petting Game is actually really funny. If played properly, the petter is completely undetected, so causing stress, annoyance, or any form of physical or emotional distress is NOT part of the game. Are the haters secretly jealous? Who knows. But seriously, is something called The Hair Petting Game really worth such a fuss? There are plenty of important issues and causes in the world to get passionate towards and do something about. We use BadGirl Productions to explore serious issues in a serious way through theatre and film. And when we need a good laugh, we come up with things like this harmless and ridiculous game.

As for lice, we are clean and so are you! It's The Hair Petting Game, not the run-your-fingers-through-scalp-and-check-for-lice game. There's always the option of purell. Or, not hair petting at all!

Tell us about the new Hair Petting website and products.
The Hair Petting Website (www.hairpetting.com) features the original Hair Petting Game Video, the rules and point system, as well as a new video of boys petting hair. It’s an equal opportunity game! We want YOU to send us your videos of your own hair petting escapades, and we will post the best ones on the site. Be respectful, choose appropriate pettees, don’t get caught!

The Hair Petting Product Line includes T-shirts, buttons, magnets and bags featuring the Hair Petting Slogans “Pet This!”,“Feel Better Be a Petter”, and “Don’t Be Scared – Pet Some Hair!” 50% of our profits from the sales of Hair Petting goods will be donated to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Coming Soon to www.hairpetting.com: More Hair Petting-inspired videos. Stay Tuned!

What other projects are Bad Girls Productions working on?
So glad you asked! We have been developing a research-based play that explores the topic of incarcerated women. The play, titled "The Most Powerful Force," was written by Julia Sullivan, in collaboration with BadGirl Productions. It explores the Rockefeller Drug Act and its implications, the effects of incarceration on a mother and daughter, and the internal and personal politics that govern the justice system and criminal defense. The play is ready to move into production, and we are actively seeking producers. We are hosting a staged reading in February. For more information on the play and details about the reading, join our mailing list at badgirlproductions@gmail.com.

Another project we are developing is a documentary titled "QFC." It follows a formerly incarcerated woman, Katrena, who's goal is to create an inspirational, positive magazine for incarcerated youth and at-risk inner city teens called "Qualified For Change." A short trailer will be available on our website, www.badgirlproductions.org very soon!

And of course, more funny videos are in development now. Check out "Talkin' Sex with the BadGirls" our really good Bad Advice show.

Where do you like to get your own hair cut?
Sharon goes to Hayato in NYC.
Angelique likes Janet Waddell at the John Barrett Salon in Bergdorf Goodman
Emily is a faithful client of Don Francis (currently at Marie Bove Salon)
Courtney is bald (she shaved her hair for a role in a film). In fact, she has been a great head to practice the more difficult pets on!

What NYC neighborhood do you think is best for hair petting? Which is an up-and-coming hair petting neighborhood?
Any neighborhood that has a lot of foot traffic such as Times Square, Herald
Square, Union Square, or any other area that ends with "Square". Places with lots of tourists are good too, especially because tourists are great potential petees. They are generally in a good mood and distracted. So, a gentle pet is less likely to trigger any sidewalk rage.
Bloomingdales, Macy's, Rockefeller Center or a crowded subway are great places as well.
A particularly challenging train to pet on is the Fashion Train (aka the L train), as hipsters have a special radar as to when there hair is being interfered with! Always leave hair as you found it. Don't mess with a great hair style.
You want to have lots of people around because it isn't as noticeable ,and you can pet so many people. Try it!

Finally, would you want to pet Mayor Bloomberg's hair?
We would definitely be up for the challenge! Bloomberg is probably a very difficult head of hair sidle up to, what with the security detail and all. Our personal first choice is to pet Conan O’Brien, or David Letterman...on their shows of course!