The other day Amelia and I were talking about “The Bachelorette” (duh) when she admitted that she might just audition for the next season of “The Bachelor” if hottie Roberto were the prize. I asked if she’s ever tried out for a reality TV show before and she assured me that she hadn’t.
“I have,” I replied.
“Really!?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said, shamefully. It’s not something I’m proud of, but way back in 2001 I sent in an audition tape for the low-rent show “Big Brother.” Hey, if you’re going to do something like that, aim for the stars, right? In my defense, I was 24; I hadn’t really chosen a career path and for some crazy reason I thought being locked up in a house with a bunch of strangers for three months and having my every move taped for national television might help me find one. As if that weren’t bad enough, I spent most of my three-minute audition lip-syncing a Bob Dylan song and playing air bongos into the camera. Naturally, I made it to the semi-finals.At my interview for the semi-finals, I spilled my guts about all sorts of things — things I hadn’t even shared with the people closest to me. I shared some secrets from my past, I discussed how I truly felt about my boyfriend, and I cried when a casting director asked where I thought I might be in five years. What I really needed was a good therapist, but in my warped head, I was sure being on TV was my ticket to a happier life. If I could get on a weekly television show, doors would open! People would see how fun I am … and nice! (Because, as everyone knows, nice is so salacious; nice sells!). I’m sure every other person who’s ever tried out for a reality show has had the same thoughts: get on TV, get some exposure, get an exciting new life! And hey, if things don’t work out that way, at least you’ll still have a story to tell the grandkids. They’ll love hearing about the time Grandma lost her mind on national television.
Luckily, I didn’t make it that far. A few weeks after my interview, I called one of the casting assistants, who had slipped me his number, and asked if I was going to be selected or what. “Well, what do you think?” he asked. “It’s been five weeks and you haven’t heard from us. What do you think the answer is?” So, instead of unraveling in front of millions, I ended up having a much less dramatic meltdown in the privacy of my own home. I missed out on all the “opportunities” being on “Big Brother” no doubt would have afforded me, but I got to keep my anonymity during a very confusing period in my life and for that I’m pretty grateful. I watch shows like “The Bachelor” now and feel bad for the young women who aren’t as lucky. Of course, I don’t feel so bad that I can’t appreciate their enormous entertainment value. Watching people’s heads explode is fun!
I figured I couldn’t be the only staffer at The Frisky with a pathetic reality show experience in her closet, so I asked around and only one person took the bait:
“My sophomore year, I talked with MTV about being on ‘True Life,’ a show about friends with benefits. There was a boy on my hall who I used to hook up with during my lunch hour between classes in the morning and my part-time job in the afternoon. We weren’t dating, but we had a steady date for lovin’ for awhile. We both were OK with doing the ‘True Life’ show and I even told me parents I was going to do it, since they wanted to film me and my dad moving out of my dormitory and me saying goodbye to the guy … then at the last minute I got cold feet. I am SO glad that I didn’t do that.”
Any guesses who she might be??