As I was preparing for a news interview, I took to my journal to lay out all my thoughts. I wanted to get it down here on the blog with the other stuff:
What surprised me during filming was how many takes we had to shoot. Every short scene had several takes. 5 or 6 sometimes. And we weren't stuttering or struggling. They just wanted A LOT of tape to work with. I was surprised how much acting was involved. The producer coached each take for emotion, energy, and ideas of what to say. They had pre-screened our looks, our voices, and our energy level, so it was extremely close to acting. But they didn't have to pay us or work around a union.
If this had been reality - and about me as a person, not a character it wouldn't have been smooth or consise. I love houses and I just sit and stare and drink in every detail. For this taping I was told where to walk when, even how to glide my hand along the kitchen counters as I noted their color and condition. I laughed that I felt like Vanna White or one of the "ladies" on The Price is Right as I did the hand twirl to showcase a particular house detail :).
I am still deeply uncomfortable when "reality" stars like the Kardashians are vilified as some kind of greedy sub-human species for our consumption. They are people. The television producers are salespeople. They are casting that family (and every other subject) in a light as part of a story they have written. Every look, every angle, every subtle conversation has often been coached first and then cut and edited together in order to tell the written story. If we find it unethical to bully or hate an actor for the negative character they played in a dramatic movie, I think we have just as high an obligation to know the background and truth around our reality characters as well. Their roles we watch are every bit as separate from who they are as a person.