My Day As A Reality TV Star

Yesterday I was a reality television star.

Okay, co-star.

Among the many jobs Hot Guy does, his favorite is acting. Over a year ago, he auditioned for something looking for actors with type 2 diabetes. The casting people loved him, but the corporation did not. Or something. He was called in again a while back. And then they asked if they could film not only him, but our family. At home. And could they interview me too?

We're not in a position to turn down money (especially money from a pharmaceutical company) so we agreed. And then called my parents and begged them to let us use their house, as it has more room on the first floor and is in much better shape. They agreed, bless them.

And then I didn't really think any more about it.

The day of, Ironflower and I had promised to volunteer at a 5K for pediatric cancer with her dance team. And Lovebug had a soccer game; lots of boys on the team were gone, so Lovebug pretty much had to be there. My focus was completely on getting everyone where they needed to be with the right equipment and making sure everyone had the right clothes for the shoot and whatnot.

It was not until we were back from the 5K and a make up/hair person was fixing me up that I even thought about the ensuing interview. And even then, I didn't realize that "interview" meant "let's get an emotional response from you on camera". If I had, I probably could have made up a fictional back story and given them one, just as I used to do in acting class in junior high. But to get actually emotional about our lives with a bunch of strangers staring at me, cameras pointed at me and my husband and mother eavesdropping?

Fuck no.

Suddenly I realized that all those reality TV people do have a skill; those confessionals are not just off the cuff rants. Every time, a producer is asking them a question designed to get an emotional response. Every time, they have to restate the question to make it SOUND like an off the cuff rant and then they have to spill their guts to a million people.

Hot Guy was awesome at it. Of course, he'd planned ahead and he is a really good actor. The kids didn't have to talk, they just had to act like themselves and ignore the cameras. Which they did unbelievably well. Whatever you want to say about the Duggar children or all those poor kids from Jon & Kate Plus 8, I really don't think the cameras traumatized them much.

But I'm going to hold us back from reality TV stardom. Well, me and the fact that no one has offered us a show. I do think I could get used to getting my hair done every day - my hair hasn't looked that good in years. And I was able to ignore the cameras while we played at the playground. But every time a producer put me into one of those confessional interview situations, I would freeze the way I did when yesterday's producer said, "But what's behind the smile?"

I so wanted to say, "Booze and pills." Or, "Behind my smile is a giant fist; if you want someone to cry around here, it ain't gonna be me."

But I played as nicely as I could for the paycheck. Which is when I REALLY felt like a reality TV star.

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