As the song in Cabaret goes, what good is sitting alone in your room? Not when there's a big, wide world out there where you can star in your own imaginary reality show. Shoot, you may already be in one. There are three new reality shows -- CMT's Texas Women, Style channel's Big Rich Texas and Bravo's Most Eligible Dallas (premiering August 15) -- aiming cameras at Dallas and Fort Worth. Look around. The red light is always on somewhere.
If you start acting as if you're on one of these things, or in the cast of any of the Real Housewives franchises (they're my favorites simply for their ironic use of "real" in their titles), your life is bound to get more glamorous. Sooner or later, we're all going to be on reality TV anyway.
What Andy Warhol said about being famous? That was before Flip cams, Facebook and round-the-clock narcissism took hold. To borrow from a Tweet I just read: "In the future, everybody will be unknown for 15 minutes."
Until then, here are some ways to practice being a reality show star:
1. Quit your job. Reality TV stars don't do real work. Sleep late, go to the gym and shop. For fake career cred "create" a hideous fashion line or put your name on novels you didn't write. But work? Pla-zeeze.
2. If you're a woman over 40, grow your hair extra long. All Real Housewives have manes as thick and shiny as Trigger's. Stand in front of a mirror for many hours to perfect the haughty reality villainess hair flip. Real Housewife of Beverly Hills Kyle Richards should be your role model. Kyle, by the way, has just announced she's developing a line of hair-care products. Of course she is.
3. Mortgage your house to afford new lips and boobs. Shoot up your face with pig poison and chemically inflate your lips to the point where you can no longer pronounce words that start with "b," "m" or "p." If you are a man, get an eyelid lift, hair plugs and a yachtsman's hand tan.
4. Live like you're rich, even if you're in bankruptcy. That's what Real Housewives do coast to coast. Those bill collectors will get their Manolos only out of your cold dead hands.
5. Send your kids to boarding school. You don't have time for children if you're living in a reality show world. Children merely remind viewers of what your real nose and ugly first husband/wife looked like. Ditch 'em.
6. Cry on cue. The best cryer in reality TV is former child star Kim Richards, a sad little drunky whose fiancé was murdered by mobsters and whose sister Kyle has a better life and better hair. Just look at Kim and you'll start crying. [See opening image.]
7. Turn off the editor in your head. Say everything you think, like Ramona Singer on Real Housewives of New York. Narrate your life even when you're alone. (And you're never really alone with a camera crew around, remember.)
8. Get the language of reality TV down. You don't resolve differences with people; you have lunch with your enemies, preferably on a leafy restaurant patio, and "try to move on." Or just put them in their place a la Teresa Giudice on Real Housewives of New Jersey. Here's Teresa talking to the town "prostitution whore": "Danielle, you put the 'cont' in contradiction, beeyotch."
9. If you're a straight single woman, share a boyfriend with your nemesis. (Also called the Lauren Conrad Offensive.) Feuds make good reality TV.
10. If you're a gay man, befriend and then consistently defend the worst woman in your social group. You know, the worst woman as in your Kim Zolciak or Camille Grammer. This woman will be the star of your show and you can be her sidekick. Don't butch it up. Reality shows like their gay men snappy and bitchy. See: Lawrence of Real Housewives of Atlanta.
11. Become comfortable fighting in formal wear. See photo example.
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12. Get a small, expensive dog. Put jewelry on it.
13. Abuse the help. Even if you don't have servants, pretend you do and rehearse saying things like, "I can have you deported for that" and "Remember, I'm the countess and I'm the one who signs the checks that aren't reported to the IRS."
14. Stop watching TV. You never see anyone on reality TV actually watching TV. Only idiots watch TV.