Do you ever find yourself day-dreaming about being the focus of the world’s ridicule? How about having your every mistake or failure recorded for posterity? If the answer is yes, you might be a prime candidate for a reality TV show!
How do you go about getting on one, you ask. It could be as simple as applying online. Several networks have applications you can obtain just by going to their website. For instance, to apply for Big Brother, you simply go to the website and follow the directions there. But what are some of the things you can do to make your applications rise to the top?
· Bring out the crazy.
According to David Rupel, who has written for several reality television shows, like Temptation Island and The Real World, just to name a few (yes, reality shows have writers and scripts) reality shows glean through a lot of boring film to find those occasional gold nuggets worth televising. So, my conclusion is this: If the application process requires a video, don’t count on personality or looks alone to see you through. Share things about yourself that separate you from the flock. Be interesting, quirky or downright weird. It might not get you on the show but at least you’ll not be left wondering if you could have given “a little bit more.”
· Be willing to give up your every privacy–even your clothing.
This may seem like a too-obvious point but the truth is this: Reality shows are becoming more outrageous all the time. There’s even a new reality show on the Discovery Channel called Naked and Afraid. Contestants are dropped off in an area with no food, water or clothing and are expected to survive while cameras follow their every dehumanizing move. The more willing you are to give up the most basic essentials of life, the more likely you are to qualify for some shows. If you’re lucky, you might even find yourself on a desert island with a handful of back-stabbing contestants who are ready to gut you like a fish for the opportunity to beat you at ring toss. What self-respecting masochist can resist that?
· Abandon your notions of “truth in programming.”
In a recent CBS news story, one of the contestants from a popular reality show, The Biggest Loser, Kai Hibbard, claims she did not lose twelve pounds in one week as broadcast on the show. She simply says that it did not happen and regrets she helped “to perpetuate a myth.” Now, I’m not saying reality show contestants are ever encouraged to lie but sometimes, maybe every now and then, a prize of $100,000.00 or more might be a slight temptation to a few people in this world to not be exactly, factually correct. So, if you don’t want to forget your morals and/or If lying to millions is not something you aspire to in life, maybe a “reality” show is not the best place for you to actually confront reality.
· Expect to be humiliated.
From the “mean” judges who leave contestants in tears to the sobbing and embarrassed contestants who did not receive a rose, reality TV makes its money on broken hearts, flailing hopes and close-ups of people not even afforded a tissue when their noses are running. According to Jim Taylor Ph.D. in Psychology Today: “Most of the joy of reality TV is not in seeing the contestants succeed but in seeing them not only fail, but fail in the most humiliating of ways.”
So, if anyone ever told you that you’re a glutton for punishment and you believe you have what it takes to drop your morals, pride, self-respect and eat live worms on national TV, then maybe you’re just the chump–I mean contestant–the networks are looking for. You could have that elusive “it” factor quality film-makers are always talking about. (Of course, to find out if you’re one of the rare ones blessed with “it,” you may be required to let strangers contemplate your worthiness while you’re wearing nothing but a cheezy smile.)
And if baring your fat-rolls in stretch underwear or skimpy beach attire (or less) for the world to see sounds attractive and exciting to you, you could be on your way to becoming the next big-name, reality TV star!