Monday, August 18, 2014

Harsh Reality

There's a good chance that some of you have recently been approached by the producers of a reality television series.

I would suggest, in the strongest possible terms, that you think long and hard about having anything to do with such a project.

To give you a little perspective on where I'm coming from, I've spent my entire career working in the media.   Until you've seen the beast from the inside you just can't comprehend how fake most "reality" based entertainment is.  A relatively mild example can be found on most radio morning shows.  Those outrageous callers with bizarre personal problems are, for the most part, actors and actresses.  The same goes for 99% of the prank phone calls that are broadcast.  I don't have a problem with that kind of thing.  It's purely for entertainment and just a bit of harmless fun.

There's an argument to be made that reality television is more of the same.  What makes it different is the lack of concern with separating the character the producers want to develop with the real person they're molding into that role.  And rest assured, you are going to be molded.  If you agree to be part of one of these shows you will be flattered,  your ego will be stroked, and you will find yourself the center of attention.  All that delightful kow-towing has only one goal- to make you entertaining to an audience.  

Just be aware that the character they want you to play is going to be with you forever.   What seems like a harmless lark can turn into something you'll regret for years.


Rev. Marx said...

I was approached a few months ago by a producer for a reality type show associated with the Discovery Channel (on a topic unrelated to this blog). They were very pushy and rude with my receptionist, and they called incessantly for three or four days even though I had her tell them I wasn't interested. Later, I heard from someone else who was also approached, and who showed a little more interest, that they very quickly started trying to twist the topic around in a way that made the person uncomfortable. So glad I told them to buzz off.

Propnomicon said...

@ Rev. Marx

I'm glad to hear you dodged that bullet. One of the things I've noticed about reality producers is that they want the telephone to be the primary method of communication as quickly as possible. That not only makes it easier to manipulate people, but avoids the kind of communication trail email provides.

CoastConFan said...

The important thing to realize is that you are just “product” to these media types and you are not a person to them, because they really don’t care about the personal fallout nor any repercussions, as long as they are not legal in nature. Oh yes, disposable is the other word you might associate to this activity, because they are always looking for the next thing out there and the garbage chute is always nearby. These shows are a money making proposition and that is the core of the discussion. Who says vampires aren’t real?

bea said...

I GOTTA ask, What provoked this particular thread? It certainly can't be a "just sayin" kind of thing, someone actually HAD a bad experience?

Propnomicon said...


Exactly. The elements that make for an entertaining narrative can have terrible real life consequences.


I was recently approached by a reality television production company. What initially seemed like a harmless request for some research help turned into something quite different.

Phil said...

Just having the label "Reality Show" should be enough to make most sensible people run away as quickly as they can.
Really, there's no reason that any of us should be contributing to the downfall of a once great network

Tim D. said...

As long as you understand how it really works, though, it can be a fun experience. My wife and I were involved in a short-lived reality program and the film crew was friendly and great fun. We had an exceptional time. Were we portrayed in a wildly bizarre light when the program aired? Yes. But we expected it.

Anonymous said...

I work in the Survival instruction industry and have seen several friends like Cody Lundin get burned by R-TV Even after being warned. I am a Professional and Union Stagehand/Grip and I have WORKED on these shows. Please listen to the advice given above DON'T do it'

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