So you want to be a reality TV star? Really?
When I first clicked on Emma Ashton’s piece today on The Punch entitled “Top tips for becoming a reality TV star”, I was under the illusion that I was about to read a satirical article that poked fun at the ludicrous phenomenon that is reality television. How wrong I was. In hindsight, I should have never expected that someone who describes themselves as a “reality TV consultant” would make a mockery of the very thing that apparently funds their lifestyle, especially when they run a blog devoted to reality television and profess to helping people “make their reality TV dream come true”. I think I may have just died a little bit inside. When we reach the point of having dedicated reality television consultants, it’s a fair indication that society is well and truly fucked.
Why are so many individuals under the misconception that they deserve to be famous? At what stage did the collective group vote and decide that everyone was entitled to their fifteen minutes of notoriety? Lamentably, most people are as boring as hell and, whether they’d like to admit it or not, would continue to make reality television about as enjoyable as having a tooth removed with fencing pliers, should they be given the opportunity to let their star shine. Let’s face it: if “I’m so glad it’s Friday!” is the most riveting Facebook status update you can manage, it’s unlikely that you are going to set the reality television world alight with your wit and personality; no one wants to watch a show starring someone who’s as entertaining as a brick in a freezer.
I’m not entirely sure what the trend away from amusing, quality television in favour of televised stupidity means for humanity, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it’s not a good thing. If reality television is the future, bring on 21 December and the zombie Apocalypse.
Seeing as the scourge on society that is reality television doesn’t look like vanishing in the foreseeable future, The Dissemination of Thought is pleased to provide its own useful, real tips on becoming a reality TV star; just bring a smile, and leave your talent at the door.
Tip 1: Have no discernible talent whatsoever
In this day and age you don’t need talent to be famous and, based on results from the Australian and American Idol franchises, you definitely don’t need to be able to hold a tune to release a record. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have ability, as long as you have sad eyes, a heartwarming story about overcoming adversity and/or human triumph, and an androgynous sexuality that appeals to both teenagers and their wallet-wielding parents. For the guys, maintaining a rugged growth of stubble will ensure that you are signed to a five-album deal and win two Grammys in your first eighteen months as a recording artist.
Tip 2: Be dumb and hate everything
If you’re a bigoted moron with an IQ similar to a telephone booth, don’t even worry about auditioning: you’re in. Should you be trying to develop a persona to convince producers and casting staff that you’re a narrow-minded twit, you need to hate everyone that’s different to you and despise everything you don’t understand, which, given that you are pretending to be an idiot, is most stuff. Immigrants? Can’t stand them. Any food that isn’t a pie or steak and chips? Foreign crap that gives you the shits. People with accents? Terrorists. For added impact, you should bleach your hair blonde and get yourself a Southern Cross tattoo. In the event that you are asked a question about politics or something intellectual during the audition, your standard answer should be “I dunno ‘bout that, but I can skol tequila and put my whole fist in my mouth.”
Tip 3: It’s all about the orange and the oil
If your aim is to be a reality star in a show that has anything to do with the beach, you’re going to need a tan and lots of oil; we’re talking about committing yourself to the point where you resemble a giant Oompla-Loompa who has bathed in baby oil. It doesn’t matter that you’re stupid and sound like Rocky after fighting twelve rounds with a mouth full of marshmallows: if you have a perpetual sheen not dissimilar to that of a roasting chicken, the reality TV world is your oyster.
A few more tips for those aspiring to be on the seventeenth season of Jersey Shore:
For guys: you’ll need to be ridiculously buffed, adorn yourself with stupid amounts of bling and buy a baseball cap with a stiff, unbent peak. To improve your chances of making the cut, get yourself a cool nickname like “Pauly D” or “Puffy P” and refer to yourself in the third person. A lot.
For girls: you’re going to need 74 bikinis that (unfortunately) leave nothing to the imagination, faux breasts that could double as floatation devices in the event your party boat sinks and a love of flashing the aforementioned floaties every time you see someone holding a camera, even if that someone is just your reflection in the mirror.