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Friday, November 14, 2008

What Happens When a Reality TV Producer Becomes a Mom. Part One.

I'm not sure what's possessing me to share something about me.  As in myself. Maybe it's because like my birthday is a'coming (uhh, tomorrow) and I'm feeling all introspective and sh#t.  

So earlier I mentioned that I have an ongoing brain condition and I've really been thinking why I have this condition.  One of the reasons I think is that I used to work in reality television.  I mean, I still kinda do, when I have to.  But I'm really trying to stay focused about staying home with the kiddos and letting my dude bring home that juicy bacon.  

I started working in reality television when "reality" wasn't a bad word yet.  I started when "reality" just meant telling stories that involved regular folk.   It's mind-blowing what has happened to "reality television" but that's a whole other story.

For fear of dating myself, which I will certainly do with this tidbit of info, I started my career on one of the grandaddies of reality tv.  A show called "Rescue 911" hosted by none other than the one and only William Shatner before he had like a full resurrection of his nine lives career.   Some of you may know about it, a lot will not, but it was a CBS primetime show utilizing re-enactments and interviews to tell amazing rescue stories.  Great formula really. Lots of drama, a clean beginning, middle and end, and always a happy ending. Sweet.

I was fortunate enough to spend almost five seasons on that show and I learned a lot about storytelling.  Not that what I learned about storytelling translates to this blog or to real life.   My older brother always reminds me what a lame storyteller I am.  

Okay, stop the rambling.

Now I must say this was a natural career for me. I'm a notorious eavesdropper and am absolutely addicted to finding out what is going on with everyone else. In this world of reality (non-fiction) television, when you were talking about a story, you would refer to the people in the story as "real people."  And this is where my problems began I think.

You see, when you produce a lot of stories, other people's stories, you kinda start to feel like your one role in life is to tell other people's stories.  I traveled all over the country jumping in and out of "real people's" lives.  Telling their harrowing stories, eating around their dinner tables, exploring their worlds and then I would pop back out into my own life which, at times, started to feel a bit "unreal."

"Unreal" as in, all of these other people are actually into their own lives working their real jobs and hanging with other real people, and I was just this conduit for these real people to get their real stories out to the world.  My life was kind of squished in the middle and I started thinking, subconsciously of course, about when MY real life would start. 

I'm sure I'm sounding like a borderline nut job right about now but all of this "real people" observation has generally put me in a place where sometimes I feel like I'm on the outside looking in.  So you can imagine what that might mean when I became a mom.  I mean, can you really be an effective mother when you're on the outside looking in???  

Good question.  And one we will explore in Part Two of the series - "What Happens When a Reality TV Producer Becomes a Mom."   Stay tuned.


  1. I totally understand the "outside looking in" feeling. I get it. I live it, too. Some days I have to snap myself to and jump in so that I am "on the inside looking out!" It's much better there.

  2. Okay - so it's not just a disease associated with working in reality tv. Good to know - thanks KimandCo.

  3. Happy Birthday!

    I generally feel pretty "real," and you are definitely part of my "real life," so, by definition, you are at least a supporting cast member of reality.

  4. I'm sorry, but I thought we were all "keeping it real" as the cast of that enormously popular alien reality show called "Earthlings - Awww, Aren't They CUTE?"...
    Tune in tomorrow as we watch them stew over that melting ice cap!
    They think I'm being "real", but I'm trying to keep my true identity as the unflappable supermom secret. My disorganization, frequent loneliness and this pull my hair out, violently hectic lifestyle is just a cover to throw off those other-worldly viewers! It's a ratings grabber!

  5. I certainly have no experience in reality TV, but I think part of the "surrealness" (is that a word?) of your experience is universal. I think we spend so much of our lives waiting until that point in our LIFE when LIFE begins? You know? We think "it will all fall into place" or "life begins" when...I get married/have kids/buy that house/get that job/quit that job....

    I know I need to constantly remind myself that my real life is NOW. I'm currently living it. It's the crumbs on the kitchen counter, piles of laundry, jelly kisses from my kids, running errands, you name it. It's on those days, when I embrace that I'm living my life (that it may not be perfect but it's pretty cool) I can breathe a little sigh of contentment and relax a little.

  6. Pearatty - that's reassuring. thanks

    Karen - wow. and I thought I was whacked,

    Kath - so friggin' true. perfectly put my friend...


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