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In a world filled with disconnect, where most of us choose to get lost in our phones rather than interact with anyone that we don’t know, the idea of kissing a stranger sounds preposterous. A group led by Tatia Pilieva decided to challenge this by asking 20 strangers to kiss one another for the first time on camera. The results are a perfect mix of awkward and adorable that is more than worth checking out…

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I’m sure that I am not the only one who couldn’t stop smiling throughout the duration of this video. There is something so captivating about seeing two individuals (and even more so two strangers) share a connective experience that is outside of their usual comfort zone. Even though I wasn’t a part of the video I, as the viewer, couldn’t help but get awkwardly nervous along with them.

For me, this video serves as a great reminder of the incredible potential that we all share to connect with one another on this planet. I’m not saying that we all need to go around kissing each other, but the fact that these 20 strangers could create such genuine unscripted moments really shows how without the judgement, the boundaries and the comfort zones we all have something to share.

In my work as an actor so far I’ve had the opportunity (although many may consider it a privilege) to be in a situation similar to this twice, where I was asked to kiss an actress (that I did not previously know) in an audition room. The key difference however is that in both scenarios the kiss came within the context of a scene, and my characters reaction to it (shell-shocked, excited, etc.) was pre-determined in the script (or at least it was if I wanted to have any chance at landing the role). Despite the difference, even in that scenario the same nervous energy was felt, an energy that I can say definitely superseded any nerves normally stimulated by an audition.

The one other factor that I wanted to point out is the incredible transition that takes place between each pairing. In all 10 matches the initial experience can definitely be best defined as nervous and awkward, while the post-kiss experience is connected and embarrassed. Through one simple action, so many boundaries are quickly removed and these two people are now able to share a closeness that they would have previously never thought possible. This for me is the openness and connection that we can all share with one another even without getting to kiss.

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