My New Career Plan: Reality Show Contestant

by Kathryn Funkhouser

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.

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