Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reality Bytes

Well, this blog's readership continues to swell. No, I am not talking about the explosive growth that has seen us record about 1,000 page views in the past month. (OK. It's 651, but that rounds up to 1,000 doesn't it?)

What I am talking about is in fact either the first time I've been punked here or the first time I've had someone outside my circle of family and friends who has posted a comment. In case you missed it, Jorge from "Groomer Has It" left a message on the last post. (Or someone pretending to be him did, but frankly I just don't think any of you are that way inclined. Well, maybe Robert and Ian, but I cannot imagine either of them knowing any of the details about Groomer Has It.)

Just to make it easier for you, I am copying his comment here:

Hi there!
Is me Jorge, I just come across your post. I love the fact that trough the show I have met a lot of great people from Australia, and wile I complain about the cold weather here, they get to tell me how temperatures over 100F feels like :).
I hope you enjoy the show, and if for whatever reason I make u smile, even with my silliness, is great, that is what the entertainment industry is all about. and By the way... Malissa, the blond girl... it wasn't an act.. she did believe in her 7th sense....

Not only was it fun to get that note, but it led to some fascinating discoveries. First I checked out Jorge's web site, planetjorge.com. I learned all about Jorge, who is a New York-based groomer to the stars, or more precisely, to their animals.

But then I clicked on some of his links and a whole new world opened for me. For it turns out that Jorge is a graduate of the New York Reality TV School. That's right. There is a school dedicated to training people to become reality show contestants.

Jorge, in fact, is one of their star graduates. "Jorge Bendersky trained at The New York Reality TV School, was immediately cast on Animal Planet's 'Groomer Has It'," their home page begins. But it's not just my newest blog reader they've trained.

Check it out: "Jonathan Fable took a one time seminar on a Tuesday night, flew to Hollywood on a Thursday, auditioned for "Hole in the Wall", was cast and won first prize and $10,000 on Friday! Billy Garcia was cast directly out of a class line up for the newest Busta Rhymes music video!" Well, you get the idea - and the exclamation points are all theirs.

Elsewhere they run this glowing student testimonial:

I learned more in one session with (school founder) Robert Galinsky, than I did in weeks of class. His style is unique, effective, and worth the investment!" - Charles Mack (Academy Award nominee, "August Rush")

(Although, I must admit that this one confuses me, since Charles Mack was nominated for writing a song for the movie August Rush, and I cannot quite figure out how the New York Reality TV School courses would have helped him do that.)

It is somewhat amazing to me that this whole sub-industry for reality TV has developed. As with any reputable educational facility, the NYRTVS (that is one amazingly long acronym) has a mission statement. In their case, it is "to train and develop non-actors, and actors, through the spectrum of experiences a reality TV contestant/actor will face . . . We are about finding and hi-lighting what makes you unique, building your confidence and examining how you package yourself so you can best get cast on the show of your choosing. We trains (sic) students to be exciting confident members of Reality TV casts . . ."

Wow, can it be that big a business to justify starting a school to train non-actors and actors? (And doesn't that pretty well cover everyone in the world? Except for maybe Daryl Hannah, because she's not really a non-actor and she's certainly not an actor.)

Well, IMDB, the movie and TV database, lists 4,066 titles for reality TV. And just look at the shows the school's current guest lecturers have been on: American Idol, I Want to Work for Diddy, Survivor, Hell's Kitchen, Amazing Race, Groomer Has It, Glam God with Vivica A. Fox, The Bachelor, America's Next Top Model, Queen Bees, Blind Date, G's to Gents, Human Weapon, I Love New York, The Apprentice, Deal or No Deal, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, Top Chef, Beauty and the Geek, and Yo Mamma.

Thank God we live in Australia, where only about half these shows air. I doubt if LK and I would ever leave the house if we also had the opportunities to watch I Want to Work for Diddy, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila and Glam God with Vivica A. Fox, as well as the others that have made it here. I mean, let's be honest. We're now watching a four-year-old rerun of America's Next Top Model that we missed the first time around. And of course, this post all got started because we are hooked on Groomer Has It.

Which is a neat way to bring it all back to Jorge. According to the NYRTVS web site, he is now a spokesperson for Animal Planet and a lecturer on their staff, in addition to running his grooming business. He has been interviewed on heaps of TV shows about his reality TV experience, and I suspect that he's having lots more fun telling his tales in front of the cameras than behind the pooches, lifting their tails.

1 comment:

Jorge Bendersky said...

Hi Don!!
Don't you just love this Google thing, and that is how I got to your blog, and it make us realize how the internet have us all interlaced in this huge web.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and website, and google me :).
I just wanna clarified a couple of points about the New York Reality TV School.
Right after I was casted to be part of Animal Planet's GROOMER HAS IT, I realized that I was a great Dog Groomer, but I needed to become GOOD TV!, so I did some research and I founded Robert Galinsky, an acting couch that understood my needs, so we worked together for 6 weeks, where he follow me at work with a camera, and then work on it, I trained on being open to the camera, I analyzed my good and bad angles, I practice, over and over on being criticized, on how to bridge questions, on how to ignore a camera constantly in my face and the list goes on. On the other hand, I did consulted with a fashion stylist to get ready a TV friendly coordinated wardrobe so I wouldn't have to stress over what to wear every day, I did go to Macy's and asked one of the make up ladies to teach me how to apply a quick "face" since I knew I didn't like "Shinny" foreheads on TV, and I'm not the only one, in 1960 was the first televised presidential debate here in the US, it was Kennedy against Nixon, wile the radio listeners though that Nixon was the winner of the debate, the big majority, that watch it on television leaned toward Kennedy, since Nixon wasn't wearing any make up and all the sweat in his forehead make him look like he was lying ...So knowing that, I was determent NOT to be shinny and I carried my powder in my pocket the whole time.
After I came back from shooting the show, I called Galinsky and I told him that everything that I've trained with him it really help me to focus in the game. At that point, Galinsky decided that maybe it was a good idea to open a school to train other people interested in reality TV .
So, to make the long story short, I didn't graduate from the Reality TV School, I was the person that inspired Galinsky to create the school, and I join as a teacher, where I can share with the students my inside information based in my experience, before, during and after the show, encouraging people to become role models and use the exposure that TV gives you to give back to the causes that you believe in. Last year I raised over U$S 6000 for Animal Shelters, I created my own educational program when I go to the inner city and teach kids how to better take care of their pets, I just attended Career day at a church where I talk about the Pet industry to over 400 kids. and that is what I do to give back to the dogs.
This is probably the longest reply to any post that I have ever posted :), and if after reading this, you can totally tell that I even write with an accent :).
Keep blogging !!!!