January 19, 2010 02:37 PM by Christine McDow
By: Vaughn Alaine-Marshall
Everybody wants to become a reality TV star.Â Being on reality television would give someone that wants the fame, but can’t memorize a line to save their life, the chance to get their 15 minutes in the spotlight.Â Becoming a reality TV star may seem hard, but there are really some very simple steps you can take that will insure your reality television stardom.
You’ve just signed the confidentiality agreement. You can barely contain your glee. You’ve been chosen to be a reality-TV contestant on national television. Tens of thousands tried, but you beat them all. As the non-descript producer shakes your hand, you have the feeling your life is about to change.
Whether it was the hours of singing in the shower that prompted you to audition for American Idol, or that time you went camping with 9 people in a one-man tent which made you download the application form for Survivor â€“ the little voice in your head was right. Grandma’s secret recipe for fried chicken is going to blow Gordon Ramsay’s hair back and the extra spin class sheared off enough cellulite off for Top Model. Or you’re the perfect combo of a regular (albeit generally successful, talented and attractive) Joe or Joanne off the street and an actor. No matter what your challenge is there are 7Â½ things you must do to separate yourself from the rest of your rivals to become a reality-TV star.
1. Keep a BIG SECRET
Allude to it often. Hopefully, it’s a real life thing (e.g. I’m gay, I never learned to read, I’m not really left-handed), but if you have to make up a crush on another contestant or a horrible past, that’s still good TV. No one will want you to go until they find out what it is.
2. Make some obvious show of progress.
The best way to do this is to start a big fight with someone, and when the fight gets the other person kicked off the show (remember, you have the BIG SECRET), pretend to be remorseful about it. Vow that you won’t allow whatever issue it was come between you and another contestant again. Hint that this is a way for you to deal with your BIG SECRET (e.g. He wanted to look at my baseball glove, and I acted without thinking!). Your fight is good TV, and your willingness to grow is keeps you well liked.
3. Provide a ‘creature comfort’ service to your fellow contestants.
If they believe that the next three months in the house / island / competition will be torture without you, they will not vote you off. Some suggestions: do all of the cooking, cleaning, or grunt work, and make a point of being happy to do it.
4. Attempt to sleep with other contestants as often and controversially as possible.
Don’t worry, in case you have moral objections to this you don’t actually have to follow through, just seem like you have. This shouldn’t be hard since the others will probably be doing the same thing, just make sure you come off better than they do. This will help to maintain the audience’s interest, and this will endear you to the producers.
5. Pick a stereotype and ratchet it up to an 11 (on a 1-10 scale).
And stick with it: the dumb hillbilly, the loud African-American woman, the flamboyant gay man, the spicy Latina, the aggressive punk-rocker, the used car salesman, the super-fat funny guy, the plumber’s apprentice, the gator-wrestling Australian…
6. Make sure you are always on camera.
Don’t go sulk in the corner somewhere. And always storm out of the room in a huff, even if you’re just going to get a sandwich.
7. Talk about your own gamesmanship obsessively.
Make lots of â€˜confessional’ references to your own strategy; make little sneering comments about your â€˜friends’ and â€˜allies’. There’s nothing the audience likes more than arrogance and there’s nothing better than arrogance about game strategy.
7.5 Don’t win.
This is ultimately out of your control and hence why it’s half a suggestion. Get off the sinking ship. No one will care for the winner. Another couple of weeks of watching your rivals clog the airwaves the country will be ready to move on. So now, you’ve got a national audience waiting to hear every detail of your life and commercial opportunities to capitalise on your new-found fame. Mission accomplished.
You now know what it takes to shine as a reality-TV star. There are no more excuses. All the best and I hope to see you on our airwaves sometime this year…
About the author: Vaughn Alaine-Marshall is a reality-television expert and author. Ãœberstar, Vaughn’s debut novel, is a ground-breaking exposÃ© of reality-television as told by insider sources from the world’s biggest reality shows. Ãœberstar is the Devil Wears Prada of reality-television. For more information go to www.uberstarthebook.com.