This isn't the first time Ramsay and crew have picked New Orleans for a casting call — it scouted failed restaurants for Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares in July. In general, as the linked blog post mentions, this year has been a prolific one for reality TV in New Orleans. The city has seen its second season of The Real World, casting calls for What Not to Wear, American Idol, Big Brother and a billion other nonexistent-as-of-yet shows I'm alerted to via email. If you're interested in working in the respectable industry of reality television, this is the city to be in! However, it's not enough to be a normal, non-actor person with talents or an interesting personality to be on a reality TV show anymore. With so many regular people, along with washed-up child actors and former vice presidential candidates, clamoring for reality TV show jobs, it's become quite a competitive industry. Want to stand out as the most delusional, most narcissistic, most ruthlessly competitive of the bunch? Maybe you should consider reality TV school.
The New York Reality TV School — yes, this is a real thing — exists to, according to the school's website, "train and develop non-actors, and actors, through the spectrum of experiences a reality TV contestant will face: from the audition, to the many interviews you'll go through and the actual show," and it helps students in "finding and hi-lighting [sic] what makes you unique, building your confidence and examining how you package yourself so you can best get cast on the show of your choosing." It's funny, because reality TV started as a way to showcase real, relatable people, but now it's a genre that requires training classes and a specific skill set.
Starting at the tuition price of $179 for a one-time intensive workshop (the school also offers private training and five-week workshops), students can participate in on-set training, "master classes" with former cast members of reality shows including I Love New York and A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila, and media training and press conference workshops. I'm sure this reality TV school is just fantastic but, as an avid reality TV watcher, I would like to suggest the following courses be added to future course catalogs:
• I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Throwing People Under the Bus, and Other Ways to Win Cash Prizes and Meaningless Titles on Competition-Based Reality Shows
• Delusion 101: How to be Wealthy, Happy and Healthy Without Actually Being Any of Those Things. The session includes a panel discussion featuring cast members of Bravo!'s The Real Housewives series.
• Personal Woes as Public Entertainment: Using Your Struggles With Addiction, Abuse and Low Self-Esteem as Ways to be an Entertaining Reality TV Cast Member. Jemmye from The Real World: New Orleans presents the program.
• Basic Fighting: Bitch-Slapping, Weave-Pulling and Other Reality TV Defense Mechanisms
• Starvation Techniques: Effective Methods for Resisting Hunger to Use on Survivor and America's Next Top Model