That Oprah is really onto something with that whole “dreaming big” business. I tested this out recently and presto chango I was invited to a filming of the Real Housewives of New York City. It’s. Just. That. Easy. By the way, I used the word ‘filming’ vs ‘taping’ since this is quite the classy website and, well, it’s time we all start acting like it. In fact, I’m drinking Zima out of a Dora the Explorer crazy straw as we speak. I jest. It’s a Boots straw. Anyjunk, I was like a fat kid on Christmas (there’s a connection there somewhere) since I was able to be a creepy fly on the wall for a night of debauchery. You’ll notice that these photos are as blurry as can be…and that’s mainly because after a couple dozen free Dark & Stormy drinks I was convinced if I was caught taking pictures, well, I’d be brought to Bravo jail, which of course would be anywhere in New Jersey.
I have to admit my agenda for this night was to help expose how fake I thought all this was. I had visions of directors yelling “action” and “cut” and producers intravenously pouring Pinot into Ramona’s veins all whilst Jill Zarin would be brought to us via satellite and courtesy of a green screen. I would be applauded and asked to provide more details on the Today Show and, of course, testify in front of the Supreme Court. Well, folks, I was sadly mistaken. The people who were hosting this event (at a cool, yet random, jewelry store) couldn’t have been any nicer but, moreover, this wasn’t really as fake as you would think. Here’s how it all went down…
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The event would run from 6pm – 8pm. I’m sure 6 drinks in 2 hours is not considered any form of binge drinking and shame on you if you judge me for that. Somehow this was considered Heather’s event so I wasn’t too sure who would really show up. Heather entered the event around 6:20 and the cameras were already set up for the past 30 minutes just sitting there waiting. There was not many of us there at the time and since I’m a class act I was in jeans. No need to worry, I put on a tie. I pretty much looked like the seasons where Ross from Friends taught at NYC. More on this related story at the end. We noticed one woman standing there pretty dressed up, especially compared to the rest of us. And every once in a while the cameras would just focus on her. She wasn’t saying anything. She was just waiting…and dressed up…and early. I wondered if she would be a possible new Housewife. I used “The Google” to quickly discover she was, in fact, a possible new housewife named, Kristen Taekman (the chick above in black pants and black high heel shoes). I was learning! Suddenly, LuAnn comes in like a bat out of hell (s Kitchen). She’s exactly what you thought she would look like in person; 6’8″ tall and wearing her classic Reunion-style dress. Even Jacques was there. LuAnn and Sad Ross just steps away from me? All was right with the world. Shortly after Carol entered…and a little while later Ramona and then Sonja. Everyone was there except Aviva. They didn’t even send her leg to represent, which I thought was pretty rude. There was a blind woman there with a dog so, to be honest, I’m not sure what her purpose was but after the amount of drinks I had I’m sure she could recap this event better than I could.
So here’s what was so surprising to me. It was, uh, pretty natural as far as filming went. There were about 6 different cameras up and other assistants helping out. No one yelled “cut.” No one yelled “action” and no one stepped in to tell the ladies what to say. Shocking. I was like “what gives?” You mean to tell me they’re just going to film them about what’s actually going on? That seems odd. My mind started to change on how “not fake” this really ended up being. It took some of the fun away, but I felt like I had a new lease on life. Order me up another 6 Dark & Stormy’s! The only thing that was “unnatural” would be at times when the women were talking and an assistant would interrupt them to move LuAnn over a bit or make sure all the women were in the frame. “The frame” is industry talk, by the way. I’m pretty much as Hollywood as you get. I guess that all makes sense because if they’re filming and you can’t see them what’s the point? It was an odd interruption, but they all just picked back up on where they left off. The best part for me was that where we decided to stand was basically where they ended up filming for the whole night. So getting hit in the head with the camera was a common occurrence. I didn’t mind, as it helped sober me up a smidge.
Ramona, per usual, was my favorite. Here’s the thing though. She didn’t drink anything while she was there (pregaming?) and she didn’t go over and talk to Carol at all. Not even to say hello when she got there. They stayed on almost opposite sides of the room. I mean, I was in the bathroom once or twice making room for more drinks, but from what I could see…nothing. A lot of people who were there, for reasons that are beyond me, just stood and watched. Basically for the same reason I was there…to watch them like I was at the zoo watching monkeys mate. Everyone just watched them…and drank. One guy decided to pet the blind woman’s dog. That was nice. Ramona stayed pretty animated whilst having some “deep” conversation with Heather and did her typical “walk away in a circle and come right back with crazy eyes and yelling ‘hello!'” You know the move.
Know what else shocked me? Everyone looked good. Like really good. Better in person than on TV. Sonja and Ramona looked 10 years younger than they do on television. I wouldn’t say anything bad about LuAnn as I’m pretty sure she could body slam me on the regular, but even she looked good. Carol looked the coolest and pretty much like she can’t believe she’s filming this crap. Do you know how weird it feels to write nice things about all of this experience? I know. Trust me, I’m as shocked as you. I so wanted this to be completely opposite, but I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, I’m sure a ton of this is fake when filming, but this time around it wasn’t. At all. Go figure.
In the end filming was complete, many people left and now was my chance. Out of all the Housewives, I’ve mustered up enough courage to approach Ramona for a picture. I, of course, waited until no “reporters” were talking with her and she was standing next to Sonja not saying anything. So I quickly walked over and said, and I quote, “Hi. I’m nobody. Any chance I can take a quick picture?” She legit looked me in the eye and turned completely around without saying anything. Whaaaat!? The people I were with were as shocked as I was. I was devastated. Well, not really, but I was bummed. In fact, no one would take a picture with me. Please note others were able to take pictures. Just not me. Could Oprah have been wrong all along? Perhaps my dream wasn’t big enough? And I really liked Ramona. I mean, I still do, but felt like I asked someone to Prom and they said no.
As I was leaving it was all starting to make sense to me. This site (IBBB) and me (Mr. IBBB) has never been the top tier site. I’ve always been that underdog guy chasing the dream and getting kicked in the ding ding along the way and, well, that is what’s great about all of this. I kind of love it. I love being on the inside, but will never really be on the “inside” and I’m great with that. So it only made sense that the only picture I could get…and that represents what this entire site has always been about for the past 7 years…summed up in one photo…would be….
*Special thanks to Lauren for hooking me up with the invite!