- [Harper] First interview of the day. This applicant is an immigrant from Norway. They asked for an early morning appointment because they probably wouldn't have slept yet after staying up all night last night. They look pretty tired and also nervous. The application is messy, jumbled and rambling in places. They were asked to interview in order to gain clarification on some of the more confusing aspects of the application. Edel Sorgjerd.

- [Eddie] Oh, yeah. You, you can just call me Eddie.

- [Harper] Very well. Eddie, my name is Dr. Harper. You may come in now. Please have a seat. Before we begin this interview I need to inform you that the interview is being recorded. Do you consent knowing this?

- [Eddie] Yes, of course.

- [Harper] Thank you. Can you please state your name for me?

- [Eddie] Don't you already know that? I thought you just said my name.

- [Harper] Yes. But we need it on the record as well.

- [Eddie] Oh, it's Edel Sorgjerd but most people call me Eddie.

- [Harper] Would you like me to call you Eddie for the duration of this interview?

- [Eddie] For the dura, oh, yeah. Please.

- [Harper] Then Eddie, could you please tell me your age?

- [Eddie] I am 22.

- [Harper] And what is your current occupation?

- [Eddie] Like my job? I, I don't really have one. I'm originally from Norway and we moved here to my mom getting transferred. And ever since we moved to the US, my parents have been nagging me to get a job so I can move out and live for myself. I haven't been really lucky in my search and my parents blame me thinking I'm not trying my best and I, I'm sorry I, I'm rambling.

- [Harper] That's fine, Eddie. So, you're unemployed right now. Are you a student?

- [Eddie] No, I haven't been to college or anything like that. Not, not yet anyways.

- [Harper] And how did you find out about this program?

- [Eddie] Well, I just kind of stumbled upon an internet ad. I was up late one night since, well, that's all I do anymore. I stay up all night on the internet reading all sorts of articles and all sorts of other things and I lose track of time and then although I kind of want to sleep but I also want to do other things. And then I thought to myself, "Hey self, maybe you should look for jobs to apply for so you can get money and move out and make your parents happy." So I went job hunting and I found an ad for this program or whatever and it sounded really cool and--

- [Harper] So, you found the ad on the job board.

- [Eddie] Oh, sorry. Did I talk too much again? Sometimes I get nervous and I can't shut up.

- [Harper] It's fine. So, what attracted you to this project? You started talking about that.

- [Eddie] Oh, right. Why I wanted to do this? Yeah, so I thought it sounded cool. And like, I have nothing else going on so I was like, "Hey me, maybe you should give this a shot?" Well, really it was more like, "Wow, this sounds perfect for me. I need to apply." And well, here I am. Oh, not that I think I'm better than anyone else or anything, I just--

- [Harper] I got it. So, you thought it sounded cool.

- [Eddie] Oh, that, that would have been a good enough answer, huh?

- [Harper] It would, yes. In the advertisement, did you see what compensation for participation was?

- [Eddie] Do you, do you mean like what I would get for joining? I read it but, that's a mistake, right?

- [Harper] If you're chosen for the project and complete it, you will receive $100,000. Is that acceptable to you?

- [Eddie] Jesus fuc-, I mean God, I, I thought that was a typo. Oh god, that's a lot. I mean Yes. Yes. That's acceptable.

- [Harper] That's contingent upon, sorry. You will only get that money if you complete the program, of course. You'll have to commit for six months. Will you be able to do that?

- [Eddie] Yes.

- [Harper] And do you have any mental or physical impairments... issues, that could be exacerbated... worsened, by a high-stress environment?

- [Eddie] Oh, I, I do actually. Anxiety and social anxiety, you know, the usual. Does, does that mean I can't be in this or...?

- [Harper] Not necessarily. We'll be looking at your credentials and your application materials as a whole before we make a decision. However, you will be required to sign a liability waiver before you can participate, if you are selected. Will you be willing to sign?

- [Eddie] Eh, liability waiver?

- [Harper] If something happens to worsen your condition while the experiment is going on, you will not hold us responsible basically. Are you still interested?

- [Eddie] I don't think my health can get any worse. Especially not my mental health. I mean, uh, just kidding. It's fine, I'm fine. Everything is fine. Yeah, I'm interested still.

- [Harper] That's good to know. If you do get selected and choose to follow through with the experiment, you will not be able to leave until the project is completed as this could cause unforeseen complications. Are you prepared to fully commit to the experiment knowing this?

- [Eddie] Wait. So, I can't go home and see my family and friends? I can still call them, right? Either way it's fine. I mean it's only six months, right? Right?

- [Harper] Right. You'll only need to commit for six months, and for those six months you'll be required to participate in a communal living program for the duration of the experiment so we may monitor your more closely.

- [Eddie] Eh, what, communal living?

- [Harper] You'll be living in an apartment with the other participants.

- [Eddie] Oh, sorry. I know what that means. I just, I just have a habit of pretending I don't understand English well. Please don't ask why but, that should be fine, yes. The communal living.

- [Harper] That was the last of my questions. Do you have any questions or concerns about the program or experiment?

- [Eddie] Actually yes. Will we get food from you guys since we can't leave or is there a store nearby we can go to? Do you need a list of food we like? What if we run out of toilet paper? Do we have to pay for this or will you provide us with anything we need? Sorry, stupid questions.

- [Harper] It's fine. You won't need to worry about buying food or items while you're living together. You'll be provided an allowance and can go in and out as you please as long as it doesn't interfere with our schedule. You may buy any items you need or want within reason.

- [Eddie] Oh, that's good. Yeah. I think that's all I wanted to know.

- [Harper] Then I'll see you out. Thank you, Eddie. We'll contact you in a few days. I trust your contact information is up to date.

- [Eddie] It is. Thank you for the, for the opportunity. I really hope you pick me but, like I said, I'm not trying to say that I'm better than the others or anything, I just, I just really need money and it would be nice to get out of my parents' house so they don't have to pay for everything for me anymore. I would just really like to do this. Sorry, I'm talking so much. Oh god, did I ruin my chances? Should I stop talking? Thank you.

- [Harper] It's fine, Eddie. We'll call you soon.

- [Eddie] Thank you.

- [Harper] Fourth interview of the day. Applicant is a college student whose application barely answered the questions asked. Her responses included references to the alcoholic beverages she was currently drinking, debates over the best animated film of all time and wondering whether or not she would pass her final exams next week. She ended the application with a request to be interviewed by someone sexy. She was selected to interview based on the unique nature of these responses and to gauge how her personality may differ in person. Ember Napper. I'm Dr. Harper. I'm ready to see you now.

- [Ember] Present! Oh, I mean yes, ma'am.

- [Harper] Please have a seat. Before we begin I want to inform you that this interview is being recorded.

- [Emma] Ah, I see the recorder sitting there. Hi recorder! Hi people who are going to listen to this later.

- [Harper] Do I have your permission to continue the interview knowing it will be recorded?

- [Emma] Sure.

- [Harper] Thank you. And can you state your full name, please? It looks like on your application you, well, you wrote your name, but then you crossed it out, then you rewrote it and then you wrote something about being on fire.

- [Emma] Oh, did I? Man, I was really wasted when I filled that out. But my name is Ember Napper. Mm, but my friends call me Emma. You should call me Emma.

- [Harper] I'm sorry. Did you say you were intoxicated when you filled out your application?

- [Emma] Oh yeah. I was really drunk. It was my birthday. I turned 21 so my sisters and I went to the bar and got so trashed. It was great.

- [Harper] So, you're 21. On your application, when we asked for your age, you just write "Hell yeah!" with what looks like approximately eight Es in the word yeah.

- [Emma] Hell yeeeeah!

- [Harper] Okay, 21. And what is your current occupation, Emma?

- [Emma] I'm a college student. Well, I guess I'm a barista too but I kinda hate it so I'm probably going to quit soon. I'm just looking for a good reason.

- [Harper] And how did you find out about this project?

- [Emma] To be honest, I don't even remember applying. I just remember something about $100,000.

- [Harper] Um, yes, we'll get to that. So you don't know where you heard about this experiment.

- [Emma] This is an experiment?

- [Harper] Yes.

- [Emma] Oh, cool! Yeah, I have no idea.

- [Harper] And I'm assuming you don't know what attracted you to it either.

- [Emma] Nope!

- [Harper] Then are you aware that you will have to commit fully to the project for six months? Will you be able to do that?

- [Emma] Does that mean I have to like drop out of school?

- [Harper] Not necessarily. You can still--

- [Emma] Because I kind of want to take a break anyway. I mean I'm kind of failing. Kind of. I might be missing a final right now actually.

- [Harper] Right now. Do you need to leave?

- [Emma] Oh, no. I was gonna fail it anyway. It's just chemistry so, who cares? I already failed before.

- [Harper] That's, aha, so you're willing to commit for six months then?

- [Emma] Sure.

- [Harper] You mentioned $100,000 before and you're right. Upon completion of the program, if you're accepted, you will receive $100,000 in compensation. Is that acceptable to you?

- [Emma] Yeah! I could pay for school myself and not have to hear my parents complain about wasting their money when I fail my classes, and I could quit my stupid jobs since that's like more than I would make there in six years.

- [Harper] And do you have any mental or physical health conditions that could be exacerbated by being in a high-stress environment for extended periods of time?

- [Emma] Well, I have asthma. Does that count? I also have ADHD but that's more a school issue than whatever this is issue.

- [Harper] Asthma. Yes, I was wondering what "LOL my airway is shit" meant.

- [Emma] Drunk me is great! Can I see that application when we're finished? I want to show my sisters. This is probably the best thing I've ever done while drunk. Totally tops that time Karen climbed on the roof and exposed her--

- [Harper] Maybe. You could be exposed to mental and health risks that could trigger your asthma so you would have to sign a liability waiver if you want to participate. Would you be willing to do that?

- [Emma] Could I die?

- [Harper] The possibility exists.

- [Emma] You seem nice though. I trust you. I'll sign it. Do I sign now?

- [Harper] No. If you're selected, you can sign then.

- [Emma] Are you sure? I don't mind signing now.

- [Harper] That's not necessary. In addition to the waiver, you will also have to sign a contract agreeing to participate until the project is finished as leaving could create unforeseen complications. Do you still wish to participate? And no, you will not sign now.

- [Emma] Are you sure? Because I can!

- [Harper] If you are accepted. You'll sign everything then.

- [Emma] Okay. Yeah, sounds good. Like I said, you seem nice and trustworthy. You have kind eyes.

- [Harper] Oh, well, thank you. One final question. As a condition of participating in this study you will be placed in a communal living situation so that we may more closely monitor you and the other participants. Is this acceptable to you?

- [Emma] Yeah, sure. I'm gonna miss my sisters but I love making new friends. I already have like six roommates. Sometimes more depending on who crushes after we've been partying. I'd love to make new friends. We'll party like all the time.

- [Harper] Thank you, Emma. Before I walk you out, do you have any questions or concerns about the project?

- [Emma] Um, yeah. What is this for exactly?

- [Harper] What do you mean?

- [Emma] Like you're talking about experiments and studies and projects and programs and all this scientific sounding stuff and it's all really impressive. But I have no idea what this is for.

- [Harper] You don't know what you applied for at all?

- [Emma] Nope. Like I said, I was wasted.

- [Harper] But you agreed to come in an interview. You didn't wonder what the phone call you received was about when you agreed to come in?

- [Emma] I mean, I thought it was a job or something. I don't know. Why? Is that weird?

- [Harper] It is a bit unusual. Yes. You applied for a scientific study to test the effects of extended periods in a virtual reality environment on the human body and mind.

- [Emma] Sounds futurey.

- [Harper] Yes. It does.

- [Emma] So, if I do this, I'll be doing like virtual reality and stuff?

- [Harper] Yes. Are you still interested?

- [Emma] Sounds cool. I'm in.

- [Harper] Very well. This has been an interesting interview. Thank you for coming in, Emma. I'll walk you out.

- [Emma] Cool! I think I can catch the last half hour of my final.

- [Ami] Thank you for listening to D.R.E.A.M. In this episode, you heard the voices of Amoretta Noel as Dr. Robin Harper, Sai Slettvold as Eddie and Lanessa Tremblet as Emma. This episode was written and directed by Ami Rae. Sound design was done by Patrick Hinchliffe and our music was composed by Tim Sanchez. This episode was brought to you by our patrons and Indiegogo supporters. If you would like to contribute to the show, please consider joining our Patreon. You'll get cool perks including access to episodes a day early, and you will help us keep the show going. Our next episode will be released to the public on June 4th, 2019. Until then, remember, life's a dream.