Kiss & Tell (The Stories Behind a Series)

I’m Alex Spieth the writer and creator of the show [Blank] My LifeWhen I first started writing the series, everything was very close to home (read literally nearly verbatim to the dates I went on).  In the Pre-Season, I go on a date with a Princeton grad, and guess what I was doing in real life?! The Princeton grad got two series moments before vanishing into the ether-net. I don’t know where the real or fictionalized version of that dude is, but he definitely got killed off the series which means in the alternate reality of Real Life he's probably running a hedge-fund. 

In my Creative Corner, I’m going to compare the real life experience with the way it played out on screen, and declare the winner via Fact or Fiction!


Reality: Went on a date with a dude who asked me to turn around so he could see how short my shorts were. I obliged and we made out in public. At the end of the date, he wanted to pursue the relationship further. I ghosted. This was in October after I had moved to the city. In school, I had been awarded the Adelyne Roth Memorial Award for Acting, and, in the city, the only way I was putting it to use was to pretend to be more interested into dumb dudes. Couldn’tget a callback, but could get some…

Fiction: True to form. Benjamin Viertel, co-collab in arms/person whose artistic voice I value over all, directed and it felt like we were getting somewhere. 

Winner: FICTION, because when you write the series, YOU are the empathetic character even though you might not be IRL. 


Reality: Went on a dude that compared me to Giselle Bundchen so much that he turned into a potential homosexual below my eyes. We drank 3 drinks, and he told me wine had too much sugar in it for him to drink. This was shortly after I got dropped by my acting agency, and I thought, let’s drink up, dude, no more coffee, cause it’s time to go to sleep til my life improves.

Fiction: My friend, Nick Rehberger, was a better fake date the dude. This episode was the beginning of the descent into making a real series (oh, the slow descent into alcoholism began with a single 5 minute episode on YouTube).  

WINNER: Fiction: because it made me who I am. Also, the truth is too dark a time to want to go back there. 


Reality: I went on a coffee date with my ex-bf, and we talk about some stuff.

Fiction: I went on a coffee date with my ex-bf, and we talk about some stuff.

WINNER: Reality. While the conversation in the episode is scripted (not true to life and not things that either of us said verbatim), this episode was a good learning lesson that while things are near and dear and tragic to your own heart, there should be more on an EVENT in scripted things. I felt like I had played a bit too inside baseball with the series on this one. Ex-Bf and I are good friends in real life, and not every dude is gonna be down to play himself on a web show. Reality won this one, and good game, universe. Try better next time.


Reality: This reality was a mash of giving gifts to an ex (grapefruit spoons and other useless things than when woven together spelled L-O-V-E) and a story that totally belongs to someone who is not me.  This dude I know got broken up with an then got into a car believing it was an uber. The car was not an uber and the dude had to get back out and wait with his ex. 

Fiction: I had written the thing, and still hadn’t gotten license from my friend to use the story, so I rolled the dice and filmed it anyway. We filmed on a day in December, and a homeless dude stole 2 of the dudes' working on the series coats. We were young and scrappy, but mostly cold.

WINNER: Reality, because no one got their coats stole. 


Reality: This was based on the first OkCupid date I ever went on. We drank like 25 vodka sodas each and nothing really happened. I didn’t go home with him, and he didn’t go home with me. It felt like we were on two planes of conversation, and neither of us could quite make it back to each other. This was right after I graduated and when I felt like: If I can’t be successful, I should AT LEAST have the dignity of being in love! However, life is….tragic.

Fiction: Adam Hagenbuch, person I know is going to be the Oscar Winner I know, filmed and edited and did the after-effects to make the episode what it was in post. It’s way scarier and more nuts than it was in real life. This episode to me is a great example of making the event happen even if it doesn’t necessarily appear in the writing. Which is to say: Your friends know better than you sometimes.


**While I may give credit to reality in this article, the truth of the matter is that, like The House, The Series always wins.

Meet the Author
Alex Spieth is a writer and actor living in NYC. She frequently collaborates with Irondale Ensemble, Third Space and Tele-Violet, and tours a one-woman participatory show about rape culture to colleges/universities. Create of [Blank] My Life. You'll know her name by 2019. The second season of her series is up now.