Many popular singers and actresses began their careers on reality television. The world of reality television comprises families with famous last names, young children immersed in the glitz and glamor of pageantry, patients with strange addictions and unexplained diseases, and promiscuous young adults spending summers together along the “Jersey Shore.” Before 1992, television viewers had never heard of the term “reality TV.” Now less than 20 years later, the genre has grown so rapidly that many reality stars have branched out to pursue music and motion pictures, and media outlets such as “The Soup” and “Reality TV Magazine” have developed specifically to cover reality shows and their characters.
Becoming a Reality Television Star
1. Identify which reality TV show you would like to appear on. Networks that air reality television shows, including Fox, ABC, MTV, Vh1, and Bravo, announce casting calls for their upcoming shows online with specific guidelines and instructions on how to apply.
2. Create a casting tape. Each show calls for different information in perspective stars casting tapes. Each tape should include an introduction, a body and a conclusion, though it should seem natural and not appear scripted. The purpose of your casting tape is to give the director of the show a first glimpse of you as a character; it should be short, memorable, and full of personality.
3. Commit to the show. Be prepared to travel. Many shows have long periods of filming in remote areas. Once selected for one, you may be asked to put your previous life on pause, whether it be quitting a job, subletting or canceling a lease, or taking a break from school. The type of show dictates commitment. For example, documentary shows such as “True Life,” “Intervention” and Bridezillas” bring cameras into a subject’s home, while others such as “The Real World” and “Celebrity Rehab” require participants to relocate, and sometimes even give up their cell phones.
4. Play your character. Through planning and editing, reality TV directors develop each star into a specific character as the season unfolds, and many maximize their popularity by embracing the role to which they are assigned. For example, villains such as Omarosa from “The Apprentice” and Spencer Pratt from “The Hills” have become notorious for the manipulative qualities they displayed in their respective seasons.
5. Create a brand of your own. Many reality television stars have used the popularity they’ve gained from national exposure to pursue other projects. Bravos “Real Housewives” Luann de Lesseps and Theresa Giudice have written novels, and MTVs “The Hills” star Audrina Patridge moved on to star in her own show, “Audrina,” on Vh1.