Secrets Of Reality TV + Tips To Getting on a Show

Reality TV has been a hot topic for me lately. While I don’t often talk about work, I spend a lot of time with clients developing reality TV shows from start to finish. It is something I just fell into and wound up loving. While each project is unique and exciting, it has also jaded me from watching TV like a normal person. With every new scene, I watch it through a “man behind the camera” lens.

Last week, I chatted with Mary Mel of WRUW about my love for Erika Jayne, work and the change of going back to school to get my masters in PR/AD. Reality TV, more specifically Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, has always been my guilty pleasure. When I am stressed, I numb my brain with their complaints about their 15 nannies and gossipy glam sessions.

With so many people consuming reality TV and a new show popping up every week, I wanted to share some behind the scenes facts and tips on how to land your own TV show and what really goes down behind the camera, because let’s be real: I know some of you lead crazy enough lives to deserve a camera crew.

1 | Although it is “reality,” nothing is unplanned. Every conversation is sketched out in a plot-line. While this does not mean scripted, there is a general guide of what the subjects will talk about and when. If the producer does not catch a scene exactly as they need it, the subjects may be asked to create it again. On a different note, even late night talk shows are scripted. Producers will check with a celebrities publicist to get talking points and the host will rehearse them with the interviewee.

2 | Reality TV shows seek out “flawed” individuals. Whether it is having a harsh temper or being terrified of flying, you bet that  producer is going to pick on your weaknesses. Take a TV show like The Bachelor for example, there can only be one winner. That means that of the 30 girls in the cast each season, only a few can be “normal.” They have to fill the season with other tune-in worthy stuff to keep viewership high, and that means c.r.a.z.y. Imperfections set you apart- sometimes in a good way.

3 | You only see a small portion of the action. Something that drives me crazy is when I see hundreds of angry tweets about a specific moment on a show and in reality producers are master manipulators. They have 50 hours of video content, and cut together different scenes into a half hour episode. If someone gets eliminated on a talent show for bombing, remember that all of their applause could have been cut out and they could have been eliminated simply because they weren’t as interesting as other contestants.

4 | A show cast or contestants on a talent show are chosen to play specific “characters.” People are cast to fill specific roles, for example “the mean girl” or the “girl next-door.” The cast signs onto these roles and agrees to play to that role for the camera. Ex. Corinne from The Bachelor.

5 | Getting a show picked up by a network isn’t easy. Having a show go from concept to on air can take many, many years. Typically, a production house will fund your concept and then try to sell it to a network. People think it is glamorous, but in reality it is a lot of waiting around! There are many different ways that a network can order a TV show, so it changes depending on the case. Your best bet for getting picked up for a TV show is to send an email directly to a production company, such as Story Monster, to see if they are developing anything.

Obviously every case is different and some shows are filmed with honesty, but a large chunk of the TV we consume on a daily basis follows these steps.

Did you know any of these things before? What is your take on reality TV?

❤ Al

I Spy: Custom Cocktail Napkins

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 10.01.10 AM

Lettermade is a brand for the modern traditionalist, who values classic design and decor stirred up with a contemporary flare,” boasts the Lettermade About page. I would say…I have to agree.

I have always loved picking up small treasures at street markets and boutiques throughout my travels. Putting them in the perfect place when I return home makes me smile and remember the memories that are held with that piece. I stumbled upon the Lettermade Instagram last week, and loved the line “modern traditionalist.” If I had to describe myself in two words, this would be it. I love a classic palette (hello light-grey walls!) mixed with pieces from my favorite street artists.

The next addition to my home-goods collection will be these hashtag cocktail napkins. The dainty design will look great out on a bar cart, as well as scattered over end-tables and beneath unique glassware. Quick tip: steal the idea in the above champagne photo and rim glasses with glittery sanding sugar to kick your cocktails up a notch.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 9.58.09 AM

Embroidered White

 

Saturday was the first (semi)relaxing day I had in a while. I took my math final in the morning, walked around Green City Market, and then relaxed in the sun. I picked up this simple cotton dress with bright blue embroidery on a vacation in December and am ecstatic that it is finally warm enough to wear it over a bathing suit.

IMG_4366

 

IMG_4372

 

IMG_4382

 

IMG_4367

After a long week, sometimes all you can do is go get a glass (pitcher) of sangria and cozy up to the bar. I stumbled upon a photo of sangria and a cheese board from Black Bull a few months ago. DJ and I finally went and tried it out Saturday night. Black Bull definitely lives up to the food porn photo hype splattered across my news-feed.

On our walk home from the roof a butterfly started landing on me. Health wise, I have had a very rough few months with a lot of tests in the horizon. I have always taken butterflies as a sign of my grandfather’s presence, who passed when I was in high school. I would like to think that this is him keeping an eye on me.

 

LET’S GET SOCIAL: Snapchat: StreetStyleChi / Instagram: Follow Along / Twitter: Tweet Me

The Inside Scoop On Monetizing Your Social Accounts

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 12.33.42 PM

Just because you are on social media, does not mean you are a social media expert. In the same way, having an Instagram…does not make you a professional photographer (sorry…duck lips don’t count). I joined Instagram at the end of my Freshman year of college when I first started my blog, StreetStyleChi. I knew little about how to use social media, or, how beneficial it could be. After spending a year working with the women of Nike in Chicago helping to open a concept store called NTC, I quickly gained insight and learned how important a strong social media voice is. The fact is, that good social media can move mountains between a brand and it’s consumers.

Back in 2011, social media was looked at as purely an egotistical form of media (which it still can be). It was just a silly place for teens to express their love for the latest member of One Direction (again, still very much alive). Only in the last few years have we started to fully take advantage of what it really is: a direct line to your consumer.

In Style Sponsored Insta Post

If you read my post about the FTC blogger guidelines last month, you know all about how paid endorsements online are supposed to work. While many view giving bloggers monetary compensation to wear certain products as deceptive, it is truly just another form of advertising for these large brands trying to tap a specific market; and it is SUPER smart. Consumers no longer want to click on a banner ad or follow a brand on social media; they want to follow a personality. Bloggers and “influencers” being sent product, help brands build a direct relationship with their consumer through this third party (being the blogger.)

A great example of Instagram marketing can be found at @WeWoreWhat, founded by blogger Danielle Bernstein. Her Instagram account boasts a million followers, with sponsored posts trickling down her feed, that to an untrained eye, look organic. In reality, Bernstein charges $5-15K per Instagram photo, with monetary compensation going up as the number of Instagrams goes up. So why would a brand be willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a single photo on a social network? Bloggers build lasting relationships with their readers for years, thus, when they promote a brand, the brand gains that loyalty as well.

WWW Sponsored Insta Post

When looking at famous instagram accounts, we are not just talking number of followers, but engagements, which are measured by number of likes and comments on a photo. If you have 20K followers on Instagram, but are consistently getting 15 likes on your photos, there is a very fair chance that you bought 19K of those followers and brands will keep their distance. Essentially, your data will speak for itself.

If you look through any “instafamous” personalities, their content glows. Their photos boast the same filter to show consistency, and their snapshots are taken with fancy camera attachments or a Nikon camera. Every photo is strategically placed on their feed with the same intensive thought that goes into a full-throttle pr campaign. Why? They are their brand, and their social tool of choice is their main place of marketing themselves, so it better be good.

 

Check back for tips on growing your social following shortly.

LET’S GET SOCIAL: Snapchat: StreetStyleChi / Instagram: Follow Along / Twitter: Tweet Me

For The Beauty Obsessed: The Gift Guide

 

beauty gift guide

1. “The Little Black Box,” Dream Dry. 2. Rodin Body Oil. 3. Honey Mask, Fresh. 4. Kyril Lipstick, Tom Ford. 5. Santa’s Lip Scrub, Lush.

DreamDry Brings Their Styling Expertise to Lincoln Park

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 4.27.23 PM

Via Racked NY

 

Rachel Zoe may be small in size, but she has no shortage of style to go around. This past Wednesday, Rachel Zoe and Robin Moraetes, co-founders of DreamDry, took the windy city by storm for the opening of their latest location in Lincoln Park. The opening party was just as chic as you would think a Rachel Zoe hosted soiree would be: Moët & Chandon kept the bubbly flowing while Vosges Haut-Chocolat served light, delicious bites. Zoe wore a gorgeous black jumpsuit, and large gold Chanel earrings.

The first feature I noticed at DreamDry was the crazy zig zag floor. The whole space is decorated in black and white, and reminds me of classic glamor. Zoe and Moraetes recently talked to Suntimes Splash, and explained who DreamDry will serve: “We wanted to come up with a solution for the busy professional, the busy mom, to have a more upscale, affordable luxury experience. DreamDry really is a destination.” [Suntimes Splash]

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 4.26.04 PM

DreamDry does not just offer a blowout, but a full experience. I had the pleasure to experience a DreamDry blowout last week, and was pleasantly surprised at the difference between DreamDry and other blowout salons I have tried. As an avid blowout bar junkie, I appreciate the small things. My stylist immediately handed me an Ipad fully loaded with the different hairstyles available. I settled on the “Stevie,” a bouncy blowout with loose curls. My stylist gave me a phenomenal scalp massage while washing my hair, and then gave me a mini Ipad stacked with all the latest magazines to keep me occupied during my appointment.

I left with shiny, voluminous hair that lasted for three days after my blowout. My verdict? I would go back in a heart beat.

Blowouts and braids start at $40.00, but with the impeccable service and long lasting effects, it’s well worth it.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 4.25.49 PM