How to be (In)Famous

(published in the January 12, 2010 issue of The Runner: The “Decade” Issue, p.9)

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[Please note that this article is meant to be satirical in nature and is not meant to bash, defame or be taken very seriously)

Many of us have probably had fantasies of walking down the aisle with <insert actor here>, being in bed with <insert actress here>, or better yet: becoming the idol of everyone’s dreams. In short, becoming an actor.

Now you may ask, how do I become an actor? Holly/Bolly/Carla/Candywood is a cut-throat world: it takes some chutzpah to get noticed, let alone land a substantial role (and not just be credited as “extra wearing chicken suit” every time).

One word my friend: Television.

The aptly named “small screen” is where known celebrities such as George Clooney and Pierce Brosnan honed their craft before making the leap into big-budget movies (ER and Remmington Steele respectively). But if one’s thirst for fame is truly insatiable, there are ways to bypass the system and see those dreams of television infamy pan out for the better. With that, here are The Runner’s 5 Tips on Becoming A Instant Celebrity on the Boob Tube.

1) It’s a numbers game (aka. Have as many offspring as humanly possible). Like real-life politics, the world of reality television is a numbers game (and no, I’m not referring to the ratings). A family-oriented reality TV show is never complete without children, that much is true. These days, the larger your brood grows the better - but try not to let the children steal the spotlight! Divorce your spouse on national television if you must, the children are only an means to an end…an end which sees you off ten times richer! Because honestly, do we all watch “Jon & Kate + 8” solely because of Jon and Kate? Having lots of offspring also ensures the continuity of your reality TV career (and the family bloodline, should your spawn choose to pursue the same career path).

When choosing the right number of brood to have, always go for the extremes - and for heaven’s sake don’t just settle for two or three children. Rule of thumb: The more the merrier…or should we say wealthier?

2) Be Extreme. Jump off a plane, be with your plastic surgeon 24/7, bite off the head of a bat if you have to. The world of reality TV knows no bounds - heck, the sky doesn’t even exist! Go eat bull’s gonads, steal your co-star’s boyfriend, do what you’ve always wanted to do! Just be ridiculously outlandish and publicize your intentions before committing to your activity of choice, because nobody wants to be branded a whitewashed reality TV star - it’s a welcome invitation to the so-called “Z-list”.

Suggested activities: Go on a partying frenzy and allow paparazzi to follow you around, spend the day practicing your “smize” so that you won’t embarrass yourself in front of the judge’s panel, wear a skimpy bikini to the next singing auditions you do, eat that maggot/worm/larvae burger you’ve been dying to have.

3) Size Matters. Small, tall, morbidly obese, shockingly anorexic, people of all shapes and sizes are welcome to participate in the world’s largest freak show! Reality TV is know for showcasing the best and worst of human society, so why not be a part of it? If you are a 600-pound man seeking a date, let a matchmaker hook you up with a lady friend (and a show). Show no inhibitions, be fearless! Display those voluptuous curves and love-handles for everyone to see; throw all caution to the wind and eat that Double Triple Quarter Pound Big Mac - anything that celebrates your shape (or lack of) is good enough for TV!

4) Seek Help. Appetite for sexual pleasures getting out of hand? Call Dr.Drew! Need to shed some 200 pounds? It’s Jillian and Bob to the rescue! Need to quit smoking cold turkey in front of thousands of people? Turn to the magic of television and sell your story to producers and directors willing to cash in on your sob-worthy story. Watch as thousands of people witness your bitter struggle to “reinvent yourself” unfold on national television. Let all your emotions out - this is the only environment where crying is unsanctioned and drama is welcome. Need to settle a bitter spat between your spouse as well as subsequent custody of your 8 children? The boob tube is the best place to do it!

5) Get a cool nickname/pseudonym. Your pseudonym is your identity, your brand, what most tabloids and magazines will use when reporting about your drunk escapades around town. This same name will be essential in helping viewers identify you on the streets (and possibly throw expletives at you). Like any nickname it must be short but sweet, as you only have the attention of your audience for a scant few seconds before they switch the channel. Likewise, your pseudonym must also be an accurate reflection of what actually catapulted you to instant stardom. Case in point: Octomom. Nadya Suleiman catapulted herself to minor TV stardom by giving birth to 8 children in addition to the six she already had previously - hence the name Octomom. If you have a significant other, an amalgamation of your names is also acceptable and is often the best way to go (i.e. “Speidi” for Spencer and Heidi Pratt).

(disclaimer: The Runner does not sanction any of this advice. We are not responsible for any subsequent bouts of misery should you choose to follow the road to TV stardom outlined here.)