Reality of Reality TV

reality tv

I discovered recently a relative will be on a reality tv show next year. While I’m pleased she’s doing what she loves I can’t lose this over protective sense of wanting to shield her from the evils that goes on behind the scenes.

So in lieu of actually being able to forewarn her, I’m going to publish 5 things I would tell anyone wanting to go on reality tv.

1. You are what they want you to be

I’ve worked at auditions for reality tv shows, it’s a hoot. People are excited, there’s a buzz in the air. Everyone walks in believing they are exactly what the show is looking for. But little do they know the Producers have already decided who they want. They’re just working out how they can manipulate you to be it. It’s no accident that every year these shows produce the same kind of people we forget within minutes of being eliminated.

2. No one is your friend

And when I have worked on these auditions I am everyone’s best friend, you have to be. How can you betray someone’s trust if you don’t have it?

From runners to producers the aim is to find out as much as you can about everyone so we can feed it back up the food chain.

3. Nothing in reality tv is real

The biggest lie about reality tv is that it is based on any kind of reality. Reality TV is one of the most contrived and organised genres of television you will ever come across. From how you look to how you sound to how you behave it is all manipulated. It’s not just in the edit suite, before the camera has even started rolling the episode has been scripted. The contestants are now just playing out the drama.

4. All contracts are negotiable

To get to the point of contracting clearly means you’ve fit the stereotype they are looking for. Now how much of that contract do you really understand?

Some but not all I bet, the finer details will be buried in jargon and that’s the stuff you should be worried about. Never sign anything without getting advice, you do it with all other aspects of your life so why not for reality tv?

5. Only celebrities get paid

Reality tv is one of the cheapest forms of television because you don’t pay the talent. To be involved in reality tv for months on end means you do so at your own expense. However you can guarantee that shows like Dancing with the Stars their talent is paid. The difference? They have managers.

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