Sunday, March 22, 2015

Reality Stardom

I've decided that I don't want to be a reality TV star anymore. I still plan to be a star, just not a reality star specifically.

What attracted me to reality stardom in particular was that you're able to act how to you want to act. You don't have to pretend to be polite or nice to people when they're not nice to you - you can yell, scream, tell people off, even slap people and it's totally okay. It actually gets the show ratings. That seemed like my ideal world. Some of the shows out there like Jersey Shore just seemed perfect for me because going on a show like that would be a slap in the face to all the adults who wanted me to pursue bigger and better things. The path I've been on in life has been all about achieving and earning things and pursuing academic fields, and going on Jersey Shore and being a star just for living in a beach house and partying is exactly the kind of thing I want to do in my life, and is the exact opposite of the direction that adults have tried to steer me in.

I've always known that I would not enjoy my actual experience filming the show, but I thought the rewards afterwards would be worth it. I'd get famous, my blog hits would spike, and I'd have an easier time selling my books. If you're already in the public eye, you can pretty much write a memoir and people will buy it. Whether it was positive or negative attention, I LOVE attention, and I was hoping that this attention would also help me get where I want to be, and get far away from where I don't want to be.

I recently watched a few episodes of Hell's Kitchen, which is a cooking competition show. I had never seen the show before. It was interesting, but it was also really harsh. It involved a lot of the show contestants getting yelled at and being expected to work in a high-pressure environment and accept really harsh criticism and still keep functioning on a high level. Definitely not an environment that I would ever want to be in, even if I were a very skilled chef. It had been a long time since I had seen a reality show, and watching Hell's Kitchen reminded me that most reality shows are like this, regardless of what they're about. I remember watching a show called Dance Moms a few years ago, and it also involved a lot of high pressure and people being expected to take harsh, insulting criticism in stride and continue dancing. I've been in dance myself, and what happened on this show was like nothing I have seen in real life dance class. The judges on contest shows like American Idol and America's Got Talent often say really harsh, insulting things to the contestants. And even shows like Jersey Shore that don't involve a competition just cultivate vicious environments. As much as I like being able to react as harshly as I want to, I feel like I'm going to be in the kind of environment that I do not want to be in.

I once had a job interview where the interviewer told me that the boss was very critical and that several people had left the position after only two weeks because of what the boss had said to them. The interviewer told me that you needed to have thick skin to work at their company and that I should go home and give it some serious thought. I went straight home and emailed the interviewer saying that I appreciated her considering me, but I did not think that the job was a good fit for me. Granted, this was not my dream job and I had some other problems with it anyway, but even if this job had been perfect in every other way, I think I would have made the same decision just on the basis of how the boss would be treating me.

Reality TV is obviously a world that I don't belong in. I knew that from the start. I just thought that the benefits would make it worth it. But I've realized now that I don't think they will be. I mean, my college was way too rough for me. If someone paid me to do it and said that I'd get to be a on a reality show about the school and potentially become famous, I wouldn't take the offer. It would not be worth it, and being filmed would have made the experience  million times worse. I've realized that all the bad things I would experience while living on-site and filming a reality TV show would not be worth it to me in the end.

Oh well. I guess it's time to figure out something else. I'm still going to be a star, just not a reality star. I'm not much into reality anyway :-)

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