Dating in New York is a beast unlike any other. Rife with comedic gold and something we’ll always talk about. Get together a group of people who have spent time single in NYC. If you really want the good stuff, hand them a cocktail, and ask them to talk about dating in this town. The stories that follow, I promise you, will be stranger than fiction. Things that would make Gloria Mae in Kansas say, “Gosh, I thought that kind of thing only happens on Sex and the City!”
An awesome New York based webseries called Seeking took this realization and ran with it. Creator Ronit Aranoff collected the dating stories of real New Yorkers: from ridiculous to raunchy, hilarious to horrifying. With an awesome creative team, they created a delightful 9 episode series that follows Ella, a single gal living the dream in NYC.
Sounds familiar? Yeah, it’s no surprise from that description, I relate to this show an obscene amount. I loved the first season which succeeds at being both funny and original. When I found out Season 2 was in the works, I contacted the Seeking crew, wanting to share the love. I was lucky enough to get a response from Ronit herself. It’s seriously awesome the creator, star, co-writer, super-busy lady took time to answer some questions for New York Cliché!
New York Cliché: Tell us what Seeking is all about.
Ronit Aranoff: Seeking is a webseries born out of real life dating stories collected from slews of New Yorkers eager to share their woes. Seeking follows Ella as she is dared by her roommates, Nate and Isaac, to give absurd and undatable men a chance in the NYC singles scene. Along the way she puts up with married men, civil war re-enactors, morning people, and stalkers. Ultimately she needs to decide just how much nuttiness she can put up with for the sake of companionship. Seeking (just like New York Clichè) is spreading the word about what, sadly, dating is really like in NYC!
How many dating stories did you collect for Season 1? How many have you collected for Season 2?
Dear lord! So many. I started working on the show because I would repeatedly go on all these awful dates. I’d tell friends and family members the stories and they said that I had to write that shit down! Then as I told more people my stories, I realized they would reply with their own shenanigans. So I decided to put it out to the wider interwebs audience and collect experiences. I’m not sure the exact number for each season, but there are 9 episodes in each season and anywhere from 1-5 stories per episode. It was hilarious and heartbreaking to see what everyone has to put up with in the name of dating…!
What was your favorite moment to film in Season 1?
There is one scene between my character, Ella, and Michael Hanson’s character Nate where we’re both drinking wine…. me out of the bottle. Well, it was the last shot of the night and our awesome director, Ruth Du, said that we should just drink the actual wine since it looks more real that way and this was the last shot. Let’s just say, I’m not sure how we got through the scene in a coherent way, but there were plenty of giggles in between takes.
[That scene happens to be in my favorite episode, “Not a Hipster”]
You just moved to LA but you’re coming back to NYC to film Seeking, how is New York integral to the show?
I did just move to LA, but we felt that the show was a NYC show. First of all, I don’t know much about LA yet and so it would have been hard for me to write about life here! Second, we felt that the characteristics on living in NYC add another layer to an already challenging dating life. Life in NY is amazing but hard, guys! People in LA seem pretty happy since it’s always sunny here or something, I don’t know. But people in NY, even if they are happy, find a way to talk about it in a cynical way. That’s more the feel of our show and characters. Ella rarely looks on the bright side of life! And third, what you see in NY just walking down the street is the stuff that comedy gold is made of. So I can’t wait to start shooting and come back to New York! (Plus, I think if Ella got in a car she wouldn’t know how to work it, and driving is apparently a big thing out here.)
You’ve won so many awards for this show (congrats!), can you share a favorite story from a festival or award ceremony you attended?
Thanks so much! It’s been a really fun ride and we’re so honored for the recognition Seeking has been receiving. I was at the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival and was being interviewed on the red carpet after our show won Best Web Series (what??!!). The guy who was interviewing me started asking about my personal dating life and if I was single!! I froze, didn’t know how to answer in a graceful way. Another woman who was a host there jumped in and started dancing with me. She saved me and we danced gracefully, just like Elaine Benes, off the red carpet. It was a truly special moment!
So I loved Season 1 and I’m so glad you’re continuing the show! Can you share a little of what Season 2 has in store?
Surprises! But sure, I’ll give a few spoilers 🙂 Season two focuses more on Ella, Isaac and Nate attempting to navigate relationships each in their own unique way. Season two brings outrageous new characters and as you can imagine, more hilarious REAL stories of the unexpected hiccups that come in the way of happy ever after. There are still some delicious first date stories, but we decided to open it up to what happens once you decide to hang out with someone for a bit.
Any advice for aspiring webseries creators?
First, be sure that you’re ready to do this. It’s an incredible and empowering experience to tell a story that you want to tell. But know that it takes a lot of work to make it happen. Now I just write about dating since I don’t have time to actually do it anymore 🙂 I would also say to PA on a set of a web series for a day to see what it’s like and how other sets work. (We would be happy to have New York Clichè readers PA on our set in November, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set something up!) Surround yourself with a talented crew. Ask other people questions who have created web series because I know we’re all so happy to help people. And apply to web festivals! It’s a wonderful community and meeting people who are doing what you’re doing helps so much. It’s a very powerful and super fun experience so jump right in!
I asked Ronit what the biggest challenge of creating a webseries like this was and her answer was immediate, “MONEY!!” Seeking is currently raising money for Season 2. Check out their crowd funding campaign here on IndieGoGo and consider donating what you can (seriously, every little bit helps in this type of fundraising) to this awesome, independent, award-winning webseries!