Reality TV School’s advice “would seem obvious to any reality-TV glutton”

Robert Galinsky’s New York Reality TV School, which says it “is the only organization of its kind,” offers three-hour workshops ($139) and five-week workshops ($299) designed “to train and develop non-actors, and actors, through the spectrum of experiences a reality TV contestant/actor will face: from the audition, to the many interviews you’ll go through and the actual show.”

Luckily, they’re not teaching classes in developing attractive web sites or writing grammatical sentences. Slate’s Troy Patterson attended one of its classes, and found that the workshop was “a three-hour lesson in cultivating narcissism–being one’s self as noisily as possible” but “was not quite as imbecilic as I’d hoped.”

Among the advice given includes the commandments of reality TV, including “Thou Shall Groom Hairy ‘PITTS,’” an acronym for “personal issues to tease” that states: “As a reality star I will always groom my PITTS and allow them to be accessible–they are relationship, family, work related.”

That makes so very little sense that Patterson has to explain it, writing that it means “it’s crucial to develop themes that audiences can hold onto. Like much of Galinsky’s advice, this would seem obvious to any reality-TV glutton who exhibits the slightest traces of thoughtfulness. The brilliance of Galinksy’s business plan is that only a few people have been able to watch that much television without losing their minds, and most of them are too busy writing for Television Without Pity to start up a competing class.”

New York Reality TV School
The Apprentice: My day at reality-TV school [Slate]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.