Want to be a reality show villian?Are you a fan of Richard from Survivor? How about Evil Dick on Big Brother or Omarosa from The Apprentice. Every strong season of a reality show has someone that is portrayed in a manner to make the viewers root against them. Having an antagonist is just good drama for the show as it gets people talking. Additionally, from a marketing perspective the guy people love to hate is going to be memorable.
Being Cast as the Villain
During the casting process, you want to come across as having a strong opinion and someone who’s willing to play the game, but you need to temper that so you don’t come across as someone willing to cross the line or do illegal behavior. Most casting directors will look for people who are willing to play the bad guy, but don’t make that the only hat you could wear for the show. You don’t want to get pigeon toed into the producers thinking of you as a one trick pony or thinking you’re too hard to work with. Have a strong opinion, don’t be afraid to show conflict, but the goal is to get cast on the show rather be seen as the meanest badass on the planet.
When the show begins, there will be 10+ contestants on most season long reality shows. You have two sole goals fur this phase of the game. The first is to make it to survive. Don’t worry about how you’ll win the game, but rather how to just keep yourself appearing on the television sets week after week. Kass from Survivor played this masterfully as she switched sides blowing her alliance to ensure her spot a few extra weeks. The second is to get screen time, and this often comes by delivering quality one liners. The beauty of the one liner is that they can be edited in by the production team in during different parts of the episode. They make great filler material so you’re just making it easy for reality show production team to give you a chance to shine. Also, the rude/snide comments will be what the audience is talking about the next day.
Once you’ve made it to the mid or end part of the show, you want to ensure you stay true to the character you’ve created. I use the word character because it truly is a role you’re playing. If you’ve been crying or whining throughout the show, try to take that to the next level. You want to really drive home your brand. Winning the show is awesome if you can do that as it almost guarantees you’ll be broad back for an all-star version of the show, but given a choice of winning the show and selling out, it’s usually more financially rewarding to stay true to form. The one caveat to that is if you can pretend to have a change of heart for the jury, and then come out as being totally fake right after the votes have been cast.
Pick a Marketable Point of View
The Point of View or POV is incredibly important for the villain. You need to stay away from anything like race, religion or politics as it will limit the number of brands that want to be associated with you after the show. Some of the better gimmicks are being a party person (see “The Situation”) , being whiny or complaining often, or simply playing the bitch role. Really think about the type of companies you’d like to work with afterward.
While the Show is Airing
This can really be make or break for your post show career. You want to create a twitter account and facebook page specifically for your on screen appearance. This could be like @SurvivorOZ who I’d like to give a shoutout as a follower of us on twitter. With your Twitter account, you’ll want to live tweet the show using the promoted hashtags and target other people on the show. Including Jillian or Bob for a Contestant on Biggest Loser can immediately cause their twitter accounts to increase by hundreds of followers per episode.
After the show airs, you want to leverage your 15 minutes of fame as much as possible. One great method of doing this is attending events whether that be conventions, night clubs or other parties. One person has had great success attending local MMA fights who started off attending the show as a fan and buying tickets, that after the show contacted the owner and got free tickets, and now gets free ringside seats and announced for being in attendance at the fights. It may seem small as there is no appearance fee for this, but it’s led to multiple paid gigs by people approaching him after the.
One of the best methods of really cashing in on being a reality show villain is to write a tell all book. Be extremely careful not to break any of the non-disclosure agreements, but you can definitely make a good bit of cash by writing a book about your adventures. If you have the background and enjoy writing this is a perfect venue to make bank; however, putting pen to paper just isn’t your think consider hiring a ghost writer. If you’ve followed the other tips in this guide you should have several thousand followers, and many of them will be willing to purchase your book. From there, you can leverage this into book signing tours to your area as many book stores are willing to promote you as a “Celebrity Book Signing” which will allow you to move a lot more books, but also allow you to write almost any amount of travel as a business expense as you can have a book signing at the destination. You’ll get money from the books sold, but also help offset some of your expense. Just make sure to check with your accountant to get the in the necessary hours onsite.
Good luck and revel in the infamy.