Comedian Alex Kern shares her awkward dating experiences with the inter-web.

After a slew of unsuccessful attempts at off-and-online romance, comedian Alexandra Kern did what every disenchanted 21st century single might secretly dream of doing… She went online and recreated the experiences for everybody’s amusement.

“I realized dating was pretty hilarious and my dating history was so rich, I had to do something with it,” says Alex. “I started writing out every date and then I took my stories to stand up and storytelling open mic [nights] all over the city. It was very cathartic. Then I developed the stories into short episodes and began to build SingleDumb into an eight episode web series.” she says.

With the release of ‘Charlie’ (Episode 4) the show continues to relish in a mixture of awkward everyday experiences and the unpredictability of online matchmaking sites such as OKCupid and mobile apps like Tinder.

And with the collaborative effort of a commercial production crew, and a post-production process which took over a year to fine-tune, Alex landed on the decision to keep each episode at a mere three minutes long because; “We all have a short attention spans and there is [only] a small window to grab viewers.”

Which is perhaps highly appropriate considering the disposable nature of Tinder profiles and the necessity to grab the ‘viewers’ attention just enough to keep them from swiping the wrong way.

“I also liked the idea of just capturing small moments: pre-date, mid-date, post-date- all of these tiny instances that we experience. It was important for me to make it as close to my experience as possible, while of course adding a bit of exaggeration to heighten the comedy of it all.” She says.

jenna-singledumb

This week we spoke with Alex about her inspirations for SingleDumb and her perceptions about dating in general.

DO YOU THINK THERE ARE DECENT PEOPLE TO BE FOUND ON TINDER? OR IS THAT FANTASY CHECKED AT THE DOOR WHEN YOU SIGN UP TO THESE THINGS?

I think you can absolutely find not only decent but great people to meet on Tinder and on other online dating sites.  I don’t know what the statistics are, but I have friends who are on Tinder and they are fun, smart, dynamic etc. I also actually have several friends who have met their significant others and husbands on Tinder. People call it the “hook-up site” but I don’t think that necessarily applies to everyone who swipes left and right.

HOW MANY OF THE DATES ARE DRIVEN BY PURELY SEXUAL MOTIVATION AND HOW MANY WERE GEARED AT MAKING A DEEPER CONNECTION/RELATIONSHIP OR FRIEND?

The majority of the dates that I went on did not seem to be driven by sexual motivation, (but then again what do I know) except for one. The guy was very physical with me after one drink (even though we weren’t really hitting it off ) and then at the close of the night, he was a bit aggressive. Considering our lack of chemistry, it was clear that he was just in it to get some. The majority of my dates were with guys who were genuinely interested in what I was doing in NY, where I was from, my story, etc.  I did end up dating someone for about two months off of Tinder and that was not a purely sexually motivated relationship at all.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO TAKE A MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN FINDING A MATE AND ENTER WORLD OF DATING, AND ONLINE MATCHMAKING? 

I was encouraged by one friend who is a huge proponent of online dating. She actually met her husband on Match.com (so did her brother and sister) and had been selling the idea to me for at least a year. I was super self-conscious of it all at the beginning, but then I figured, I have nothing to lose, really, I might as well give it a shot.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE WORST/MOST RIDICULOUS DATE YOU HAD BEEN ON?

Yes. This was not an online date. I was living in Chicago for the month of August, studying at Second City and IO. I met a guy who invited me out to a concert. He lived in the suburbs at the time and picked me up in the city. What a nice gesture! I thought it was a bit strange that he was 29 and living in the suburbs, but I just assumed that he was a baller and living it up. (Single “Dumb,” for a reason). We stopped by his parent’s house on the way to the concert and they hopped in the car.  Apparently, we were going on a double date? We went to a very nice dinner (the parents paid), then went to the concert and then got ice cream, all four of us.  I felt like I was in a really bad rom com.

WHAT ABOUT THE BEST DATE YOU’VE BEEN ON? WAS IT THROUGH ONLINE DATING OR WAS IT OLD SCHOOL?

The best date I went on was old school style. I met a guy working together on a film project. We started off as friends-he was dating someone else at the time-and then once they broke up, we immediately started dating. Our dates were nothing extravagant, they were actually quite the opposite-very simple, which is often the best kind.

CAN YOU GET ‘BETTER’ AT DATING? OR IS IT SELF-DEFEATING?

I think you can get “better” at dating.  I think it’s important to go on a lot of dates, to get “better” at going on blind dates, and getting more accustomed to sitting in front of a stranger for 30 + minutes while being natural in your skin. I think the key is to not take it too seriously-to see the humor in it. At least, that’s the perspective that I have adopted. The alternative is that dating can be self-defeating.  It’s completely natural to go there, “when will I meet a decent dude…this guy was not into me at all etc” but it’s definitely not a healthy place to stay- you can’t sulk in it-it’s not worth the time or energy and it’s ultimately detrimental. Self-loathing is never a fun place to hang out.

DO YOU THINK THE SHOW WILL HELP OR HINDER YOUR FUTURE DATING EXPERIENCES?

I guess I should have thought of this before I started the series! This might sound a bit naive, but I’m not really concerned about how it will effect my future dating life.  I’m sure there will be people who think, oh, I can’t go on a date with her, she’ll just write about it/exploit me etc. I am conscious of people and their privacy. I would never write about someone if we had gone through a really painful breakup. But, hey, look at Taylor Swift, she is doing just fine for herself!

SingleDumb airs Tuesdays at 10am and can be viewed at www.singledumbtheshow.com

Episode #4 CHARLIE

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