LIKE you, I can think of no finer destiny than appearing on a reality TV show. Which of us can resist the urge to display our worst characteristics to a continent of Doritomunching strangers?
Certainly not somebody calling herself RachelGunn, who can be found veritably panting for the opportunity on the website Realitywanted. com. The recruitment site currently features 57 pages of reality TV casting calls by "major cable networks" and more than 12,000 pages of eager applicants.
RachelGunn describes herself as a legal secretary, exotic dancer and mother of two who has appeared in Hustler and, as a mom, on Dr. Drew's Lifechangers in the episode entitled "My Mom Dates Convicts." She recently applied to appear on four TV series as a "victim of violence" seeking self-defence training; as a person who's completely transformed her body; as a woman who's obsessed with cosmetic surgery; and as half of a mother-daughter team with a kiss you/kill you relationship.
Finally, we have an answer to the most pressing question of our time: Where in hell do they find these people?
Simply sign up for Realitywanted.com's casting calls and you, too, could be a contender. Though the competition to humiliate yourself on TV is fierce, others can read your pitch and vote for you, possibly increasing your cachet with casting directors.
I joined the website and immediately received an e-mail from Doron Ofir Casting asking me if I'd like to audition for I Love My Gross Guy, whose female protagonists have mates who are "dirty obnoxious filthy slobs." At least, I assume the e-mail had something to do with my signing up - naturally, that's what I told my husband. It's good to know that in this day and age, the more your sweetheart bites his own toenails, eats out of dumpsters, and resists bathing, the better.
Realitywanted.com is the place to go if you've ever wanted to profit from personal traits, hobbies or burdens that others despise, pity or deplore. Finally, you can pat yourself on the back for being the family daredevil, or, as Realitywanted.com puts it, a "jackass style human crash test dummy." You can rejoice in the fact that you're related to a shopaholic, hoarder, kleptomaniac, cult member, gang member or sex addict and lodge your complaints about them in public.
Casting directors should therefore have little difficulty populating the upcoming show Redneck Island. All you must do is love beer, country music and NASCAR, and own a mud-caked four-wheeler, a closet full of camouflage clothing and a gun rack. "If you are proud of your redneck roots and winning $100,000 will have you whistling Dixie, then this is the show for you," says the call for applicants. In other words, Justin Trudeau need not apply.
Reality TV's also keen on women of a certain age, judging by the popularity of the multi-faceted Real Housewives series and the class act that is Mob Wives.
The casting director of one unnamed talk show is looking for "fun, outgoing" menopausal women. I wish him the best of luck. At any rate, rejects from that casting effort can probably get work on the show seeking "Women Who Lose Their Temper in the Workplace."
Apparently there's no end to the number of my contemporaries who'll gladly be represented as vacuous floozies as long as there's fame or money in it. "Do you find that men your age just can't keep up with your lifestyle, level of maturity or libido?" asks a casting call for TLC's Extreme Cougar Wives - at least, I think it did. I fell asleep mid-sentence, facedown in my bowl of Red Bull and Lucky Charms.
Don't despair that you're too old for this game. NBC's Steve Harvey Show seeks adventurous types over 60 whose families despair of them. "Do you have adult children that are constantly nagging you with concerns about your behaviour because of your age?" its casting call asks. If not, you obviously ought to try harder.
You've got a leg up on the competition if you're one of those larger than life "TV-worthy families" - your Kardashians, your Boo Boos. "Is your family so crazy it's hilarious??" asks one recruiter hopefully. "Does everyone in your family have STRONG personalities?" This entry expresses special interest in those with several generations living under one roof - which would instill strong personalities in a heap of amoebas. Oddly, the casting call offers one caveat: "IMPORTANT: Last name of family must be any of the following: SMITH, JOHNSON, WILLIAMS, BROWN or JONES." I guess they must have already printed the T-shirts.
"Do you think you're quirky?" demands another casting call. If you aren't sure, it adds helpfully, ask yourself whether you fear elevators or particular colours, own an outrageous collection of dolls or stuffed animals, compulsively brush your hair, gag all the time, "toot when you sneeze," or "have eyebrows that move without you specifically trying to."
If the answer is yes, feel free to apply.
But if you could keep the gagging, eyebrow wiggling and hysterics at the sight of blue-eyed casting directors down to a dull roar, that would be appreciated.