As part of our ongoing series of Interviews with Seduction Masters, we talk to Stephen Nash (aka “PlayboyLA” from Neil Strauss’ book The Game) who spills the beans about the infamous “Project Hollywood” and talks about why he doesn’t recommend ‘sarging’ while giving away his top two techniques on picking up women.
Derek Rake: Stephen, you’re well known as the character “Playboy” from Neil Strauss’ expose of the seduction community, “The Game”. How did you end up joining up Mystery & Co at Project Hollywood?
Well, I had taken a dating workshop in Nov 2003, and impressed Tyler and Papa. Also, I got to meet Mystery as he was helping on the program. Towards the end of the final night, Nick (Papa) sat me down and pitched the whole idea to me:
“Move to LA, move in with me, Mystery and Style, and live with the greatest pick-up artists in the world. We’ll be pulling chicks left and right, partying, the house is awesome – it’s Dean Martin’s old mansion – we’ll be going to the hottest clubs and events in LA…it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity”
I asked him if I could sleep on it, and the next day I realized I HAD to do this. It was truly a unique opportunity – and contrary to popular belief – I don’t regret it. I called him the next day and agreed to sign-on as the 4th member of the house (Herbal signed on a few days later).
I knew that the house would become PU central, and that cool guys like 26 (aka Extramask in “The Game”) and Sickboy would be around a lot. I also knew that I would REGRET not doing it later on. After 9/11 – and witnessing it live in NYC – I decided that it was not acceptable to pass up unique, interesting and possibly insane opportunities! So, I went for it.
In fact, my mom and step-dad had to refinance their cars just to help me with the enormous security deposit. I was barely able to wing it financially, and scraped by while I was out there.
Derek Rake: Cool. Now tell us a story from Project Hollywood that has not been shared before.
Ha! The one I really like was when we were all involved in the Double Your Dating Mastery Program. RSD at the time would gather up 15-20 or so guys each night to take out and show the ropes live, in the field. One evening, we were at the house preparing to leave for the Strip, when Mystery showed up with nothing to do.
We invited Mystery to join us, and he gladly obliged since he’s always up to play the game. But, as a challenge to himself, he went out in a lame pair of jeans, grey t-shirt, and a pair of white New Balance tennis shoes!
Derek Rake: Let me get this straight. So Mystery went out with no peacocking at all?
Yes, Rake – no peacocking at all. But you know what? He was still GREAT. That was a fun night. That guy has got the entire humankind’s “how to seduce women” knowledge base inside his mind.
I can also add that The One (Cameron Teone) and I pulled girls back to the mansion on four consecutive nights… that was also pretty fun.
Derek Rake: Sounds like a riot! Who is the one person who is the MOST influential in shaping you up as a dating expert? He or she could be from the community, or not.
Well, the author David Deida makes a helluva lot of sense to me.
Derek Rake: Yeah, I am a fan of David Deida as well. I think “The Way of the Superior Man” is a must read for all the guys out there who want to improve themselves. I cannot recommend it too highly.
Yeah man. Deida’s work and writing focus a lot on the spiritual nature of men and women in relationship. It’s very interesting, and practical.
Derek Rake: OK. Who else?
I also surround myself with guys who are naturally successful with women and who are in long-term relationships, since that’s what I always wanted, and have now – 2 years running. So, the kudos there goes to my friend Tom who is incredibly insightful into the female psyche and always willing to offer his thoughts and ideas on specific scenarios.
Derek Rake: Can you share with us the most important thing that you learned from him?
One takeaway I can offer – very often us guys feel we need to DO something about our women, relationships, or even a woman we are dating. Less is more, do nothing – he taught me. Let them come to you.
Derek Rake: Now let me ask about your company, Cutting Edge Image Consulting. What does your company do?
Well, after Project Hollywood, I returned to New York and decompressed for a few months. That was such an overwhelming experience, that I needed some time just to wash my brain a bit. But, Mike (Sickboy) and I sat down over dinner one night and realized that we had something very solid to offer the community.
Basically, we were sick of routines, and preferred a more natural style of attracting women. So, we abandoned scripts and gimmicks and instead focused on teaching social skills. Though I do teach specific things to say, I only offer them as training wheels. Guys leave my seminars, 1-on-1’s and products with SKILL that they can apply in their lives. To me, this is what helps a guy – not a toolbox of training wheels.
We also wanted to offer help to guys in developing a strong sense of personal style and in developing their lifestyle. Lifestyle is so key, as if done smartly, a guy need never go “sarging” again.
Derek Rake: Interesting. So you’re advocating “not” to sarge in order to get women?
Exactly. In fact, if you have to sarge to meet women, you’re doing this wrong.
(It is) far better to spend your time developing yourself, doing interesting things, and expanding your world view, than to be out in clubs/bars picking-up girls. Trust me, if you live in a way that is healthy and balanced, using some of the ideas I offer, you’ll have no problems meeting women.
CEIC therefore is the company that stresses these three aspects when working with a guy. It’s not enough to merely teach social skills, without crafting a look and lifestyle that will support them.
Derek Rake: Are you a proponent of “Natural Game”?
It’s simply a way for me to walk you through the learning curve to finding your own natural style of meeting and attracting women. I hand you all the social skills, structure, and philosophy you need to be effortlessly meeting women ASAP. There are exercises, and even an ongoing support forum for when you bounce up against your sticking-points…we’ll get you through them quickly, if you’re willing to take some action.
As far as how it differs from other products… you know, I’m not really sure as I’ve never listened to/watched/read any of them. I do know that there is a lot of nonsense out there, and that there are very few of us who are truly good at this art. You gotta know how to separate the men from the boys.
Nowadays, it is so easy for guys to operate a PUA business from their house – and consequently, they are not vetted. The question I continue to ask is – WHO ARE THESE GUYS? You know?
Derek Rake: Very true. Anyone can pass off as a “pickup guru” on the Internet nowadays.
(My system) is a clear, concise and coherent look at “pick-up” without the weirdness and with an edge. No more Mr. Nice Guy – sure, but don’t become a creep either.
Derek Rake: I also remembered that you wrote an ebook on how to get a girlfriend.
That’s my primary ebook. It drills down into the 7 essential skills for meeting the right woman for a relationship. It does cover approaching, and social skills ad nauseum.
If you’re a guy who wants to understand more deeply this 3-fold attack, this is the book for you. You’ll be left with a strong clarity on what you need to do to start attracting women into relationships. It’s an art.
Derek Rake: Stephen, you have consulted for thousands of clients over your 5 years of work in coaching. Could you share with us some of the success stories of your students?
Sure thing, man. Here are a few I think are useful.
Nick was a highly intelligent guy, with a fascinating career, and a variety of outside interests in the world. Yet, he wouldn’t share any of it with anyone. He saw himself as a “private” guy. We worked to get him to change his definition of that, so that he could simply allow others into his truly fascinating world. Now, he hosts piano concerts in his home, and meets women in lounges/bars all across the city – using the skill set I teach. He represents the ideal blend of using lifestyle and “pick-up” to expand ones social circle, and to attract the right kinds of women.
Ishmael was a former PUA who simply could not keep a girl interested in him for longer than 10 minutes. He had no ability to connect with women, and to do so intelligently. After learning my structure, and the skills within that structure, he’s now got a girlfriend and has been with her for nearly a year. Also, she’s VERY hot. I won’t say her name, but she appears in magazines a few times/year.
Stu is a lawyer who started listening to my podcasts about a year ago. He hired me for a 1-on-1 to help him with meeting women. We did an overhaul on his lifestyle, his “in field” skills and his look, and he’s now dating 2-3 women per week (last I heard) and was moving to Hawaii! He’s my model student for merging lifestyle, social skills and personal style into a newly defined and attractive “image”.
Last, there’s Taylor. Taylor is a young guy, right out of college, who was a total nerd and a virgin. He and I worked together, and in particular, on his personal look/style. My hunch was that he would feel differently about himself if we overhauled how he looked – one thing about younger guys – many can change their attitude and outlook rather quickly if you simply show them physically that they CAN BE attractive. He’s now a DJ, and has an LTR…he’s my best rags-riches story by far.
Derek Rake: Let us sample your goods. Give us the ONE thing that a beginner MUST do in order to become better with women.
Easy. Start approaching women – RIGHT NOW.
It is the best way to boost your self-confidence, change your mental reality, practice social skills, learn from experience and possibly get a date…and all in ONE ACTION.
There is way more to this than approaching, but I’ve rarely met a guy who can really pass through the learning curve of truly finding and owning the power of choice in his life if he’s not willing to approach a woman.
It’s a rites-of-passage in my opinion, and I focus A LOT on it when working with guys and in my products.
Derek Rake: David DeAngelo has got his patented “cocky funny” concept. Fractionation is a tactic I’ve furthered in my work. What’s the defining Stephen Nash pickup technique?
The first technique is what I call “The Teaser Opener” – a flashy, fun approach technique that I teach guys. It’s very easy to execute and never comes off as scripted. Also, it is highly flirtatious and confident, and women really love it.
The second technique is called “Baiting” – the word I use here sounds a bit manipulative, but it truly is not. This is the most empowering skill for men that I teach. It’s where a man leads the conversation, naturally screening her, while she’s placed in the role of asking questions (seeking rapport).
It’s basically learning the gift of gab that naturals do…well…naturally, but with the “PUA” edge of bringing her more and more into my world.
Derek Rake: Finally, your take on the community. Is it any better, or worse, than it was, say three years ago?
I’d have to say it has gotten worse, man.
(The community is) so watered down with very mediocre coaches. Most of these guys are good at marketing, but who really knows if they know what they are talking about? My advice to guys – really do your research on who is marketing to you and trying to persuade you to purchase and participate in their products.
There are very few that I’d recommend, most of the others are rewashing others’ techniques and or just offering very basic help. Given this phenomenon, I think the new guy is likely more confused and less helped than he was 3 years ago.
My advice is simple. Find a guy you feel you can trust, and whose approach appeals to you, and then go with him. Buy all of his stuff (within reason). Unsubscribe to the 25 newsletters you’re reading every day, and drill down into one guy’s teaching.
The really good guys will get you to where you want to – they might all lead you down differing paths to your goal – but they’ll get you there. And that’s exactly the point.