It's A Harsh Reality
As many of you know Fernanda and I are huge reality TV junkies, and the trashier the show the better cause I just love a good cat fight! Which is why I haven't been too excited by this anticlimactic season of The Bachelorette.
But I will spare you my thoughts on that for today because one thing that most of you are not aware of is that, during my former acting days, I had some close calls with appearing on a few different reality TV shows myself. Filming these shows was a dramatically entertaining experience to say the least. So here is the complete breakdown of my traumatic events on reality TV sets.
#1 - Macee goes on a game show!
My first experience on non-scripted TV was actually a pretty low key one. Several years ago, I decided to force my friend Ale to go on the game show Chain Reaction with me because being a poor and struggling actress at the time, I had convinced myself that I could solve my financial crisis by simply winning boat loads of cash on a game show, where you have to try to connect a single word to the words listed below it on the chain. Hence the name Chain Reaction. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show here is a pretty funny video of how it works.
After days of strategizing with Ale on how we could win the max amount of cash on the show, we drove across town at the butt crack of dawn to tape our segment at the studio. Several boring hours of being trapped in the green-room (with a bunch of obnoxious tourists who were overly jazzed about being on “the television” for the first time) later, Ale and I were finally called to the stage. Where we were instantly cut before getting to answer a single f-ing question because we looked too much like "actors/models and not enough like real people." Even though last time I checked I was a real person as opposed to Cindy Crawford, who I am never mistaken for out in the "real" world. Regardless, we were sent on our way with nothing but a messily hundred bucks in our pockets, as compensation for our time. A hundred bucks, which later led to me being audited for forgetting to claim the chump change consolation prize on my taxes, by the way. So reality TV experience #1 - not so memorable, but reality TV experience # 2 was completely traumatizing and unforgettable!
#2 Macee almost hosts a reality competition series on ABC…. Almost!
There are certain experiences in life from which you are forced to learn some very important and hard life lessons, and "don't be a huge fucking liar" was the most important lesson that I took away from my second reality TV experience. You see a few years ago my soaring acting career (lol) took a bit of a left turn after I got a call from my agent asking me if I had any experience with waiting tables. To which I responded without hesitation, "Yes! Of course I do!" because I had worked a grand total of one night as a cocktail waitress seven years ago at a comedy club back in Arkansas before crying at the end of my shift from being so overwhelmed by the job, and subsequently quitting at the end the night. So when my agent asked about my waitressing skills before this initial reality TV audition, I might have slightly adjusted the truth about my former experience - in order to actually get into the casting room.
I mean, how hard can carrying a tray really be?! Anyone with half a brain can hand someone something. Am I right?! Welp…as it turns out…it’s really fucking impossible! Who would’ve thought? I mean, I’ve always known that I don’t have the world’s steadiest hands— which is the sole reason that I had to rule out brain surgeon as a future career path. So I guess I should have taken that into account before I attended the screen test for the co-hosting role of the “Mysterious Female Butler" on an Interactive-Reality-Competition-Series based on the board game Clue.
Yeah, I know… the whole concept of the show never made much sense to me, either! Which is precisely why I was caught so off guard when the Casting Directors asked me to ACTUALLY serve them drinks from a tray that I was expected to carry across the room whilst reading my lines. Turns out the “waitress” part was not metaphorical!!!
In my defense, it wasn’t an actual serving tray that they had me carrying, so much as it was one of those flimsy tinfoil platters that people bake pies in for Thanksgiving dinner. And it was from this flimsy-Thanksgiving-foil-pie-tray that I was expected to hand over the two most slippery wine glasses (filled to the brim with water) that the world has ever seen! So the odds were stacked against me from the get go. I don’t know if any of you have much experience with glass on foil? But let me tell you… THAT SHIT FLIES!!! And as soon as I attempted to lift that sorry excuse for a tray, I discovered that I had a bit of a sliding situation on my unsteady hands. And well…three takes later…I had managed to spill six glasses of water all over myself and both ABC Casting Directors.
Finally, in a last ditched effort to steady the glasses on a more stable body part; I flashed my crotch to the entire casting office whilst trying to balance that piece of shit tray on my knee in the extremely short dress that I had so conveniently had chosen to wear on that day. When I left the house that morning, I didn’t think “Man, I hope I get to expose my Audition Spanx to room full of strangers today!” But hey, you know, sometimes shit happens, and at least I was wearing underwear!
Was this experience completely humiliating? Why yes! Yes. It. Was. But I was willing to chalk the whole thing up to a valuable life lesson in the importance of honesty. However, as it turns out, my agent was not, and shortly after hearing about my minor water debacle my agent dropped me. As if publicly exposing my privates to a room full of strangers was not punishment enough!
#3 Macee and her friends don't get a reality spin off series of Sex And The City.
Being the queen of traumatic dating experiences that I am, one of my casting director friends put me up for a reality series based on the HBO show Sex And The City, that was supposedly being produced by Sarah Jessica Parker. In this reality show spin-off they would follow my three best friends and I around L.A., while my besties tried to set me up on dates with men of their choosing because clearly my bad instincts when it comes to boys can't be trusted!
After begging my very hesitant friends into doing this show with me, and wrangling them together for the final casting session with the show's producers, the deal fell through and the show to my knowledge never ended up getting made. But the most traumatizing part of this whole experience was hearing the casting directors read out loud from the questionnaires that my friends and I had previously filled out about my numerous failed attempts at love. Like the answers that my pals had to the question "Tell us what kind of guy your friend Macee would set you up with and why?" Which led to a lot of self-reflection on my part after the fact.
Tina's answer... Ok, I'm sensing a theme here. Followed by my own embarrassingly honest answer to this question...
Considering my dating past, it's probably a good thing that this show didn't end up happening, although I'm sure that my love life would have made for some very entertaining TV. Which brings us to the last event on my list of traumatic first hand experiences in the world reality television...
#4 Macee gets cut out of an episode of Patti Stanger's Millionaire Matchmaker.
My mom always said, "You can date rich just as easily as you can date poor, so date rich- damn it!" Needless to say she was ecstatic when I agreed to go on a reality TV show geared towards dating millionaires. But as soon as I agreed to be on an episode of The Millionaire Matchmaker, I instantly had buyers remorse. Thank god I didn't cancel cause this taping proved to be one of the most action packed drama-filled weekends of my life.
To give you the run down of my day, I was told by the casting director that hired me to be at the pick up location in west LA at 6:30am on Friday morning, where we were to have breakfast and board a "party bus" that would take me and about 15 other girls, cast as possible dates for the millionaire, down to the Harrah’s Hotel in San Diego, for a weekend of filming. Upon arriving at the location at the butt crack of dawn I realized that what the casting director meant by breakfast was cold coffee. Party bus translated into a run-down old greyhound that had probably been retired by the city, and by other girls he meant a room full of crazies! After surveying the cast of characters on the “party bus” I elected to sit alone, wondering what I was going to do with these strange people all day, when the heavens shown down upon me as a girl arriving late, that we will call Carrie, entered the scene and asked if she could sit next me because I was the “most normal looking person on the bus.” By the end of our ride to San Diego, Carrie and I were besties (and thank god we were) cause we would need each other to survive the drama that was about to ensue.
Meet my bestie, Carrie...
When we got to the hotel, in true reality TV show fashion, the crew started pumping us full of drinks. They had a rule that everyone had to have a full glass of liquor in their hands at all times, and they offered us zero food and no other beverages besides boozes for the entire 16-hour-day that we were filming. So as you can imagine, after about an hour on set the drunken drama kicked-off. My new BFF Carrie and I stuck together all day...only occasionally sipping our wine because we were the only ones smart enough to realize that the crew's plan was to get us wasted and embarrass ourselves on national TV, and as much as I love a drunken scene; I was not about to make an ass out of myself on camera.
Filming started off with a round of interviews that were shot one-on-one with the host Patti. Where she would precede to trash you in front of the rest of girls, who were watching and drinking in the background of the shot, if she didn’t like the way you looked.
Enter freakshow # 1 - A clearly unstable and cracked-out foreign girl who thought that she was hot shit. Patti instantly tore her apart saying that her orange spray tan made her look like a trashy guido that would never get a respectable man. After Patti's huge fight with the guido, it's my turn to interview, but as I'm approaching Patti the crazy guido girl (still angry from her earlier remarks) flipped Patti off from the audience. Then the next thing I know, while I'm still standing there waiting to be judged, the guido grabs a wine glass from the table and charges at Patti screaming, "Fuck you Bitch!" and attempts to throw the wine in Patti's face before she is eventually tackled by the crew. Here is a short 15 second clip of what actually aired from the 10-minute-long scene that I watched unfold with my mouth gaping open.
The cursing and crying guido is then taken back to the green-room, where she is babysat by one of the PA's as she wastedly rambles on for the rest of the day about how she is going to sue the show, and fight anyone that Patti moves on to the next round.
During the next round a second trainwreck, who was under the impression that she looks like Katy Perry, was also ushered off for continuously interrupting filming after Patti told her that she looked “ugly and homely in her matronly blue dress.” Which were my exact thoughts after I saw her put that hideous outfit on. However, when the final show aired it appears as though Patti liked the Katy Perry wanna-be. (Thanks to some creative editing.) So all of her bitching and moaning that I was forced to listen to for the rest of the day was completely pointless. Meanwhile guido-trainwreck #1 ended up being hauled off by the cops (off-camera), after her very patient babysitter's attempts to calm her down failed, and she continued to try and fight the rest of us girls that were passed on to the next round.
I ended up making it to the next to final round of the show without Patti ripping me apart, and was super relieved when she finally dismissed me to go home because she decided that I was too young for the millionaire bachelor, some 16-hours after I arrived. Carrie was chosen to stay overnight and go on a date with the millionaire the next morning. So I was forced to brave the two-hour midnight bus ride home alone, with all of the drunken angry crazies who were completely shocked and appalled by Patti criticizing them, as though they had never seen the show before!
And now I will leave you with this picture of the only part of me that actually made it into the edited version of the episode. Thank God!