I've been a fan of reality shows for years now. I've watched all kinds but I favor the Real Housewives series, true crime series and all of the Hollywood-pseudo-celebrity-esque type shows the most. (You know what I mean...the reality shows starring our favorite celebrities, wanna-be celebrities, and the women/men who love them/date them/work for them etc.).
Why do I love reality shows? Because reality shows provide a glimpse into someone else's life, their own personal drama or life story. They have an almost voyeuristic aspect to them. And the stars of the show are more than willing to share their lives with the world, usually because they are seeking fame, money, or to share their side of the story. And we viewers are more than willing to watch.
The line between reality, drama and plain ol' fuckery (excuse the language, but it is what it is), can sometimes blur and criss-cross many times over. After the filming has wrapped and everyone returns back to their "normal" lives routine, many stars come face to face with a new image of themselves on the small screen. And often, they do not like what they see.
How many times have we seen our favorite reality vixen scream about the "editing" (and never their own personal actions, comments and sheer wickedness). Often, by the time they realize how they are being seen by the world, it is a little too late. These images will not only last a lifetime but can also impact their personal and professional lives in the short term and in the years to come.
Being a fan of reality television and based on pure observation and common sense, I've created a little list of rules for our favorite reality vixens, and anyone aspiring to have their own reality show.
Be yourself. You were hired to be yourself and viewers want to see the "true you." If the person you appear to be on the small screen is not who you are in real life, everyone will know sooner or later and it won't make you look any better.
Watch what you say. Watch what you say. Watch what you say. Can't say that one enough. Everything is being recorded and filmed so you cannot go back and say you didn't say something when we all saw and heard you say it.
Think before you act. The images of you will last a lifetime. Think of your family, friends and even your grandchildren. Depending on what you do and how you do it, your grandchildren may be talking about it one day.
Develop a tough skin. Everyone is going to be talking about you after the show airs. Good, bad or ugly. You cannot be too sensitive in this business. If you are, you will surely fall apart.
Have a "clean record" or don't be afraid of the skeletons in your closet. They will most likely resurface. This is where a good PR person can be helpful.
Handle yourself with grace and dignity. You can still have fun and be who you are. The drama may bring the ratings but it can also make you look bad in the end. And nothing is worth that. Not money or fame.
Parlay your "fame" or exposure into positive things for yourself, but also for charity. Pick a charity that is close to your heart and promote it. Use your good name to build a brand and go into business for yourself. If you already have a business, use the exposure from the show to take your business to the next level.
Plan your next move. You never know when the show will end or you will be dropped from the cast. You never know where you will land and where your next opportunity will come from so it is always best to think ahead. Some of my favorite reality stars are no longer on the small screen, but many of them were smart enough to plan their next move and are doing fine without reality television.
Last but not least, do not spend all your money from the show! Please save your money, invest in yourself and in your business to make more money. It is great to drive a luxury car and wear the finest clothing but if your credit is bad, your house is in foreclosure or worse you don't even have one, none of the material things matter. Everyone will smile in your face and say the Bentley looks lovely, but we will all be talking about how you do not own your own home and are renting someone else's. Financially it makes you look stupid and irresponsible. And frankly, it's just not a good look!
Best of luck to all my reality vixens---past, present and future !