One Couch at a Time Doc Film Maker Alexandra Liss Shares Her Story at Texas Theater – ILID Radio #11
An Interview with Couchsurfer Alexandra Liss
In this eleventh episode of I Live In Dallas Radio, co-hosted by myself and Jason Channell, we interview Alexandra Liss, who took a 21 country, six continent, tour for seven months using the website CouchSurfing.org. Liss directed and stared in the documentary One Couch at a Time. Her documenary has been showing across the United States at indie movie theaters and cities with large communities of couchsurfers that have been hosting screenings. We also spoke with the film's producer Jean-Michel Werk and local Dallas-Fort Worth community couchsurfing tribe leader Brad Wilson. Wilson met his wife while hosting events for local couchsurfers in the DFW area.
What is Couchsurfing?
According to their website, "Couchsurfing is a global community of 6 million people in more than 100,000 cities who share their life, their world, their journey. Couchsurfing connects travelers with a global network of people willing to share in profound and meaningful ways, making travel a truly social experience." The website began in 2004 as a small passion project by founder Casey Fenton.
For those unfamiliar with what couchsufing is, according to Wikipedia, "The company, its website, and the culture of hospitality exchange it is meant to support are all commonly referred to as 'Couchsurfing' by the website's userbase. People who use the Couchsurfing.org website frequently refer to themselves as 'couchsurfers,' 'surfers,' or 'CSers' for short, demonstrating a mix of loyalty to both the website and the ideals it is thought to support."
This I Live In Dallas Radio show was recorded at the historic Texas Theater in Oak Cliff after the red carpet premiere of the film back in March. The film is narrated by director and veteran Couchsurfer Alexandra Liss of San Francisco and details her journey through a myriad of countries, and also explores relevant and progressive topics such as crowd-funding, micro-loaning, co-working, ridesharing, and gift-economies.
Featured interviews in the film include author and lifestyle architect Tim Ferriss, founder of Burningman Larry Harvey, sharing economy expert Rachel Botsman, philosopher and author Charles Eisenstein, and the founder of Couchsurfing, Casey Fenton.
- We learn how a film crew and director convinced 100s of strangers via the Internet to let them stay in their guest rooms and on their couches.
- Discover what to look for when scoping out a potential couchsurfing hosts.
- Discuss the big benefits, practicable and intangible, to couchsurfing.
- Alexandra profiles the typical couchsurfer, age and demographics, and gives us tips on how to get involved.
- I share my own local couchsurfing experience from 2008 on and how it changed my perspective.
- In the second part of the show, we talk with local couchsurfing ambassador Brad Wilson and he tells us how to get involved locally.