1 My New Career Plan: Reality Show Contestant | The Billfold

My New Career Plan: Reality Show Contestant

While trudging over the Misty Mountains of Craigslist’s job postings, and singing a dwarf-song about the economy, I realized that there’s an entire area of employment that I never even considered before: reality TV casting calls. There were new opportunities on Craigslist every day, and no discernible skill of any kind was required. Oddly, there didn’t seem to be a lot of roles that fit my description (Are you an awkward girl with a liberal arts degree who avoids drama at all costs?!?!, said no casting call ever).

Was the solution to go full Borat and apply as a character? That seemed to be a disappointingly ordinary plan. Everyone knows that reality shows are basically fake, and I would be just one more faker in the crowd with a store-bought tan who “didn’t come here to make friends“. It had to be better. It had to be artistic and tasteful. And so I arrived at the solution: to comment on the slimy contract between the reality television viewers and those who hoodwink them (while simultaneously benefitting from it!). I would make it my business to try to audition for reality shows as myself. The possibilities were endless.

Calling all MILFs of COLOR!! I will be there. I am utterly Caucasian, have never given birth, and few have expressed any desire for my charms. I will ask America the question: what is a MILF? (No, I mean, I know, I have access to UrbanDictionary, but rhetorically.) I will be the one to begin the national conversation. “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” my sixth-grade-teacher said. This is probably what she meant.

Do you/someone you know have a WILD ANIMAL OBSESSION? Now Casting! “Why yes, I am obsessed with a certain breed of wild animal,” I will tell the cameras. “It’s called HUMANITY. So you should definitely follow my blog. Dogs are nice as well, although they are technically domesticated.”

CASTING REAL HIPSTERS! (not actors pretending!) “I’ve been listening to this amazing new album, it’s pretty obscure so you probably haven’t heard of it,” I shall say, twirling my ironic mustache. “It’s called The Original Cast Album of Rent. It’s pretty hardcore.”

Food Network and Bobby Flay now casting HOME COOKS “Now, place the pre-shredded cheese evenly upon the tortilla chips. Carefully place the entire plate in the microwave for one minute, or until the cheese begins to bubble. I call this dish…nachos.”

Do you think you’re too beautiful? “INDEED, THAT IS PRECISELY MY PROBLEM,” I will shout, jumping up and down with an excited jiggle of my stomach fat, my acne-scarred cheeks glowing under the lights.

FRIENDS/LOVER JEALOUS OF YOUR SUCCESS? CAUSING CONFLICT? “Yes, pretty much everyone is jealous of how I sit in the coffee shop that didn’t hire me when I applied to it as a ‘safety’, staring at internet job postings, trying to climb out of the pit of expectations I have dug for myself,” I shall chortle. “But I didn’t come here to make friends.”

But then I think: Maybe my friends will be jealous of me, once I am famous on reality television. I did think of this completely foolproof moneymaking scheme. So I’ll open a new window, and go back to the job listings. When my genius is this apparent, some visionary employer is bound to want to lock it down…right?

Kathryn Funkhouser lives in Brooklyn, where she throws wine at people and works on signature catchphrases. She didn’t come here to make friends, but she does write here.


9 Comments / Post A Comment

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

I wonder how difficult the transition is from reality star (or any celebrity) to “regular” person.

honey cowl (#1,510)

I’m not here to make friends!

cliuless (#36)

i hope the next wave of reality shows deliberately casts someone who does actually want to make friends and constantly tries to bond with everyone.

Marissa (#467)

@cliuless I used to have a pipe dream that my friends and I would apply for The Real World so strategically (by interviewing ever so dramatically and carving out pre-conflicts with each other), that we would all get cast. Then once the cameras start rolling, we’d be nice, read quietly, and play Yahtzee for a few months. In your face, MTV!

alex_geedee (#2,230)

I think my favourite use of “I didn’t come here to make friends” was on that Paris Hilton BFF show. THAT IS LITERALLY WHY YOU CAME HERE! TO MAKE FRIENDS!

P.J. Morse (#665)

That may be one of the most fascinating screenshots to appear on the Billfold. What on earth is going on? Is one woman attempting to shot put the other?

Any-hoo. I tried the same thing myself, going to reality show auditions for Survivor-type shows and travel shows. Hey, I like travel. I’m willing to eat weird animals. I can lift heavy stuff. Why not?

Then I saw the other people who were trying out, and they were absolutely bonkers. The dude whose audition consisted of an extended headstand was odd enough, but I heard one woman say she would sell out her family … and her husband was standing right there.

Of course, I love me some reality TV, and I’d like to get on a show someday, but some of those contestants are terrifying.

oiseau (#1,830)

@P.J. Morse@twitter One time I got invited to an America’s Next Top Model audition because a recruiter picked me up at the mall where I was working and I figured why the hell shouldn’t I go, the audition was within walking distance from my school campus. So I put on my highest pair of heels and went.

It was a very, very interesting experience. It was at a hotel in a conference room. They had us stand in a semi-circle and asked us “what makes YOU stand out?” as they filmed us. There were lots of single moms, stories of abuse, tears, loudness, and then one girl named Erika was like “I stand out because… THESE are FAKE!!!! I REALLY HAVE TINY TITTIES!!” and she pulled out two gel bra inserts from her shirt and waved them around in the air and threw them across the room and everyone shrieked with laughter.

cryptolect (#1,135)


I can’t believe she didn’t get on! Gosh, I wish Tyra would stop making that show, because that is the only way I am going to be able to stop watching it.

P.J. Morse (#665)

@oiseau That woman was robbed! Anyone willing to throw her falsies around the room is reality gold.

Then again, maybe she wound up on “The Bachelor.” She strikes me as primo “Bachelor” material.

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