Mariah Smith ’13

Credit: Jenna Bascom PhotographyMariah Smith ’13 is the creator and writer of the popular blog "Keeping Up With the Kontinuty Errors," a weekly blog that breaks down the manufactured realities, lies, and timeline falsities in the hit television series Keeping Up With the Kardashians using Twitter, Instagram, paparazzi photos, and common sense. Mariah also works on the late night show Watch What Happens Live, researching the celebrity guests that appear on the show.

What did Sarah Lawrence teach you?
The most important thing I learned from Sarah Lawrence was that I could be selfish with how I wanted to learn and produce work. Honestly, Sarah Lawrence allowed me the luxury of creating a college experience that would work solely for me. No two students are alike, and no two academic experiences are alike at Sarah Lawrence, but the ties that bind are the tight bonds with professors and the dialogue within whatever community or experience you choose. Sarah Lawrence's curriculum is so individualized you have to curate and cultivate a learning experience that works for you, and I like to think that I did just that.

You concentrated in Theatre; was there a favorite production that you were a part of?
The production I was most excited about was definitely In the Blood. The play, by Suzan-Lori Parks, is a modern take on The Scarlet Letter and it was directed by my don, Dave McRee. The theatre program at Sarah Lawrence is definitely expansive and experimental, but while I was there there were few opportunities for people of color to play roles written specifically for them. In the Blood was written for a diverse cast and Dave did an awesome job at making that happen. I'm pretty sure In the Blood was my junior year of college and was one of the last straight acting roles I've ever done, but it had the greatest impact on me as a performer at Sarah Lawrence.

How did your internships shape your time at Sarah Lawrence and after graduation?
My internships shaped my entire college experience. Had I not gone to Sarah Lawrence, I wouldn't have been able to have the internship experiences I had, and I not would have been able to incorporate them into my coursework in the way that I did. The only time I wasn't interning was my first semester, and if I could go back in time I'd probably cheat the system and find a way to change that. Honestly, when I first started interning I really just wanted a way to occupy more of my time, so that's how I started working at Sesame Street. At that point I had no intention on working in TV, and I didn't realize that was even a viable career option. After Sesame, I got hooked and realized that all of my favorite places had internship programs, so that's how I ended up at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and then Saturday Night Live. It wasn't always easy because by my senior year I was interning up to four days a week with unconventional hours. At points, the glamour and fun would wear off, but I knew that these were the rooms I wanted to be in and I would have to find a way to make it work, so I did. Most importantly, I was able to pack my resume with jobs I was passionate about. So, I wasn't as stressed as I should have been when I graduated college without a job because I had one a week later working as a Production Assistant at VH1. My internships shaped my time at and post-Sarah Lawrence by helping me learn how to make the hard things, schedules or moments, work. If I really want something, or multiple things all at once, I can and I have to find a way to do it, and do it to the best of my ability.

Do your Sarah Lawrence skills come in handy when researching and analyzing the ‘reality’ of Keeping Up with the Kardashians for your blog “Keeping Up with the Kontinuity Errors”?
100% they do. With KUWTKE, I'm blending every single one of my passions, which is something I would do in even my academic courses at Sarah Lawrence. Sometimes I look at each post as a severely truncated conference paper because I'm researching, writing, and citing the sources for my writing. I've always been a little bit extra in how I work and present my interests, which did show itself in my conference work. The first conference paper I did at Sarah Lawrence was about the militaristic dynamic of adolescent girls and how they create cliques. If I remember correctly, I choose this topic because I was obsessed with Mean Girls and hadn't seen Heathers all the way through. Also, I wrote about Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami early on in my college career as well. Again, it goes back to never settling, being a critical thinker, and using your best skills to work for you.

Which social media platform is your favorite?
I'm absolutely obsessed with Twitter! I've been on it since high school and I really don't think I could survive without it. If I want to learn what's going on in the world, whether it be serious news or pure entertainment, I can open Twitter and find out all of the details ASAP. Twitter is also the world's greatest bonding experience and a great place to promote my work. I can also ask people to follow me @mRiah, so that's cool, too.