What’s the Reality?

Project Beltway.jpg

Some of you may have come across this article the other day in the Examiner, which talks about producers in town currently scouting around for a new reality show and listing me as a prospect. I knew it was coming out the night before and thought to myself, “welp, guess I need to address how I feel about this now!” even though um, I have no idea. Of course, as always, I feel comfortable enough with with you all to talk about my mixed feelings about my potential participation in this show. And I say potential because not a thing has been confirmed. I’ve talked to Michelle and Danielle (the scouts…agents?) a few times on the phone and several times in person at events, but only casually so far.

On the one hand, I am an extremely private person (odd, you say, since I blog) and therefore this kind of thing is totally not me. I have no urge to be famous, or pseudo-famous, and in fact I prefer to be somewhat anonymous. I rarely post photos of myself and just basically am not a “self-promoter,” possibly to a fault. Those who’ve read from the beginning might remember the original photobooth image of me in my about section: I had my hair up and wore big sunglasses (Amelie definitely an inspiration there). Having a “public persona” has been easily the biggest challenge for me with the blog. I’m very social, of course, but I think I generally think of myself as a thought-filled, “internal” sort of person.

So even though nothing at all has been set in stone, I have a zillion questions that I may have a hard time answering for myself, even once I know more about the show idea and if they even want me to do it: will the network be able to capture the essence of DC, as I see it and love it and know it? Do I have to be a “character”? Will I be allowed to talk freely about it, with friends and especially on this blog? Because, well, that is part of my reality and part of what seems to interest them about my life here. And I mean, yikes – what will people think of my post-college furnishings?! What about my crappy car? Will people define me by “who I was on the show”? Will people expect me to look perfect and stylish all of the time? Will I regret it if I accept? Will people assume that any changes I make to the blog or that events I plan are results of the show, and not because of well, me? That I wasn’t doing this all along?

On the other hand, I find that I’m totally intrigued by the project. If done well, it could be both wildly fun and exceptionally interesting. The idea behind the show, as I understand it from the limited amount I’ve talked about it, is to reveal the intricate threads of Washington’s unique social web – the way people across various walks of DC life (media, art, journalism, and politics, among them) network, do business, and trade ideas. And again, all with that particular brand of Washington something that you kinda have to live here to really understand. Basically, the exact energy that prompted me to start Project Beltway in the first place. And I’m proud of the voice I’ve been able to add. In a weird way, I feel like I deserve this.

Enough about me, though. Can a show – one with, ideally, a cast as smart and interesting and dynamic as the city itself – capture Washington the way it deserves to be captured?

Whether I’m a part of it or not, I certainly hope so. Stay tuned.


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