Month Of Love #6: Speegs

July is my episode month.
July 9th, in fact.
And I am excited.
And I didn't get here alone.
And so, it seems only fitting, that a few of these posts have to do with the many people who played a significant role in helping me to learn, I MATTER.
And don’t get me wrong – that list is LONG.
TOO long for this blog.

However, there a few that, especially this year, this year of Extreme have really shown me that not only do I love them, but also they, in turn, love me.

Lauren Spiegel.

I think if I have to give your specific job title, it's Field Producer.
I don't like it.
And in Chile.
You WERE my Associate Producer.
You and Me and a Yellow Kayak.

Here's the thing about production of reality TV:
Your crew.
Your team.
Makes or breaks it.

And I was pretty broken by the time the East Coast crew entered my life.
And Lauren has the best.
Philly/Michigan/California affect that says, "Chill.  We'll all be fine."  
And then we laugh and we move on.

I used to annoy her because having worked in production, I had a finite understanding that a producer's job is to make you like them.  
Get close.
So that in an interview or during filming, they can get what they want.
They have a constant running story line.
And so, I would tell Lauren when she was pumping me up, that she was really good at her job.
Making me like her.
By making me think that she liked me.
(I was so harsh.)

But there became, over time, something about her that made me feel like perhaps, she actually cared.
And knowing her now, I believe both things.
That she's incredible at her job.
And that she cared.

The night before I left for Chile, something you didn't see on TV, was I lost my passport.
And Lauren called.
From Chile.
Where she was meeting my mom and prepping for my arrival.
And we problem solved.
And she kept me calm.
And we figured it out.
And 8 months later, when I found that passport in my scanner, we even laughed. 
A little.
Okay, it actually wasn't that funny.

But, I made it.
And she helped plan this big challenge.
And she made meeting my mom SO special.
And not so produced.
And she loved Jazmin they way I loved her.
And she and Jazmin share a love of Selena Gomez.

And when we wrapped filming, we went on an epic adventure to Valparaiso.
And when I say Epic, I mean Epic.
Lost iphones.
Cab Rides
And I can safely say, Friendship.
That day ended with a 10 hour car ride down the steep countryside.
Where I assured her we were fine.
And she gripped the steering wheel tighter.

(RANDOM ASIDE: Remember that time Whitaker broke that chair in my room in Algorrobo?! Such a great memory!)

What I love love love about Lauren is that she's real.
Really funny.
Really caring.
Really kind.
Really real.

And most of all, Speegs, I'm about to thank you for a flash of your eyes.
There was a moment before I was about to enter a room to film something I knew nothing about.
Thankfully it didn't make my episode because it was SUPER uncomfortable.
And everyone knew it.
Before me.
And obviously, Lauren couldn't tell me.
So, she looked at me, blinked, put her arm on my shoulder.  
And said we were going in.
And it was going to be okay.
And in the flash of her eyes, I heard her say, "And this is going to suck.  We're all uncomfortable.  I'm validating that."

And it was.
In the flash of her eyes, I never felt alone.
I knew everyone really always had my best interest at heart.

And like bridesmaids at a wedding, I got to get ready for finale in her room.
And sometimes we'd gossip.
And sometimes I'd tell her my deepest darkest.
And sometimes we'd workout.
And sometimes we'd just go shopping.

And it's for all of that.
But most of all Chile.

That I adore you Speegs.

Thank you.


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