by Samiat Salami
Life can be awkward. Life in your twenties can be awkward. Life in your twenties when you live in a city can be really awkward. Life in your twenties, when you live in a city and you keep running into passive-aggressive shop-girls, really hot waiters, and wind on the day you wear your flowy skirt–can be SRSLY awkward.
If you have experienced any of the above, say “I”. Meet Alexandra and Danielle (picture below), the creative duo behind one of the web’s most buzzed about sketch comedy series, “SRSLY”.
The scenarios in their videos are hilarious, with an element of satire. The show seems to be based on experiences living in a city, contemporary culture, the overall crazy that comes with being in your twenties, and genuine human awkwardness–we love it and you will too.
We interviewed the comedians and discovered that they are witty on and off camera, they even shared their real life SRSLY moments. Read, Laugh, Snot and Watch their latest video, Going Out.
Going Out is a parody on those nights that you spend forever getting ready for a night out; drinking wine, dancing while you put on make-up, checking who is coming to the party on Facebook, drinking another glass of wine, then more wine–only to end up on the couch without leaving the house.
It SRSLY happens–unfortunately.
The name of your website and series “Srsly” is a no brainer, considering the reactions that we have every-time we watch one of your videos. Why did you decide on the title?
Danielle: “For Real?!” Just didn’t have the same ring to it.
Alex: We wanted something easy to remember, that had a connotation of being internet-y — we Google chat constantly, and it’s where we get a lot of our ideas — and also something that we could use in a Scrabble game if we had no vowels.
The scenarios in your videos are hilarious, with an element of satire. The show seems to be based on experiences living in a city, contemporary culture, the overall crazy that comes with being in your twenties, and genuine human awkwardness and we love that!
A: Thanks! That’s what we’re going for!
Just out of curiosity (just in case we are wrong), what inspires the story lines and how do you come up these ideas?
D: Definitely our real life opinions and experiences, and we just kind of elaborate on them, or blow them out of proportion. I wouldn’t really dump a guy because he doesn’t have an iPhone, but I would be suspicious of his merit as a human being.
A: Honestly, our ideas come from all over. Sometimes they’re inspired by the actors we want to bring on the show, experiences we’ve had in real life, stuff we saw on the internet, etc. and then we sort of play a “what if THIS happened…..” game until something really makes us laugh.
We recently saw your sketch, “Valentine” and it was mucho steamy, what is the most fun you have had filming?
D: Valentine was definitely fun, mostly because I was laughing so hard at how giggly and flustered Alex got. My personal favorite to shoot was probably Ice Cream. We improvised a lot and it was in close proximity to multiple flavors of ice cream, so I was very content.
A: I think just being on the set is my favorite part. We’ve been so lucky to find the people who help us create the show, and we’re all really busy so we don’t get to hang out much outside of filming. We bring a lot of snacks, shoot some vids, and have a great time together. We’ve also been very fortunate that our attractive male friends were DTF – down to film.
What was your lightbulb moment, when was “Srsly” born?
A: I don’t know that there was a *lightbulb* moment per se…we had wanted to do a web series together for a long time, and we spent about a year trying to get the right concept and the right creative team together. We had originally planned on calling the show something different, but then realized it wasn’t the right fit for what we were creating. I remember being sort of stumped about it and then I went for a walk or took a shower or something, and then later I just called Danielle and told her I thought we should call it SRSLY. Sorry, that’s not really exciting.
Danielle and Alexandra, the chemistry between the two of you is great to watch, how did you meet?
D: We met at NYU. We weren’t friends at first, but then we started talking about food and realized we could never live or eat at new restaurants without each other.
A: We met while studying musical theater at NYU, but we really became friends when we switched to the Film & TV Acting Studio, Stonestreet. We were the only people we knew in our class, and we slowly realized that we were on the same page about a lot of things, and that we were meant to be together.
And when did you decide to collaborate to create comedic gold?
D: We always knew we had to create our own work because so many teachers at NYU endlessly demand it of you, but I don’t think we seriously hunkered down to do it until we graduated in 2010 and were like, “oh, we have to do this for ourselves because nobody else will”.
A: Well, we own several large comedic goldmines in South Africa. Also, we’d spent a year out of school, trying to figure out what to do, and seeing so many of our peers find success by creating online content. We were always coming up with ideas together, so we thought we’d finally give it the old post-college try.
Your show is filmed in New York, what is your favorite part of the city?
D: I love the East Village and Nolita. East Village is fun and young and contains all the good artisanal coffee joints. Nolita is very chic but far enough away from Soho that it still feels calm and more for New Yorkers.
A: I think SRSLY is definitely an East Village show, but right now I’m kind of going through a TriBeCa phase.
“Srsly” has been getting a lot of well deserved press, what is best recognition the show has gotten so far?
D: When we were on New York Magazine, I flipped my shit. I really, really love NYMag, I read it every day, so to see something I helped create on it was pretty thrilling.
A: I think Emily Nussbaum’s tweet was pretty succinct and awesome. She just tweeted a link to our first video and said, “Funny.”
Where do you see the show in 5 years?
D: SRSLY Babies, like Muppet Babies but less animation, more pre-natal yogilates.
A: I don’t know! I’d love for us to just keep cultivating this team of awesome filmmakers, comedians, and actors, and just see what happens.
What is your dream for seriously?
D: It’s already given us an opportunity to see the inner workings of the J. Crew mothership, so I really don’t see how I could ask for more. Okay, maybe a pilot.
A: I think both of us are agreed that a TV show would be pretty rad. We’ve seen what’s happened for “Broad City,” and “Next Time on Lonny,” and other shows that we love, and of course we’d love to achieve something similar. But we’re both confident that’s what’s meant to happen will happen. We’re just having a great time.
Now a few playful questions for Danielle and Alexandra:
New York or San Francisco and why?
A: New York, because I went to San Fransisco once when I was in third grade, and was extremely confused that California could be THAT cold in the summer.
A lifetime supply: Pizza, Gelato or Fuck it, Wine? (Yes this a cruel question).
D: Pizza! I just had my wisdom teeth out and I’m telling you, the thought of biting into a chewy slice of Margherita from Motorino is what kept me going through the agony of smoothie-only recovery.
A: Gelato. Always. I am kind of a frozen treat connoisseur. Toasted Coconut from Il Laboratorio on the LES is my favorite gelato flavor at the moment.
Three pet peeves about living in the city?
- Dog shit everywhere, just literally smeared on every street.
- There’s a wind tunnel vortex at Astor Place and Broadway that I’m somehow always walking down when I’m wearing a dress or skirt.
- Three words: credit card minimum.
- The cost of freshly made vegetable juice! It’s all over the place — $5 here, $13 there. I just want some freshly squeezed kale at a reasonable price point. Write a letter to your congressman!
- There’s no fountain soda anywhere, and definitely no free refills. This is where the Midwest is beating us.
- Everyone is so cool and good looking! It can be overwhelming.
When was the last real life situation that made you want to yell, Srsly?!
D: When Don left Megan in at the parking lot at Howard Johnson’s. What the hell? Don is the worst.
A: I walked by a construction site recently and a worker said loudly, “If you were a little taller, I’d f*ck you.”