You've tried to ignore all the dire job reports, but it's not working. Small businesses keep closing. Large businesses keep outsourcing and replacing people with technology. How will those lost jobs ever come back?
You're starting to think you may have no other choice but to go back to school, work hard and learn some new skills that will be viable in the new economy. That sort of attitude will get you nowhere except the poorhouse. Education and skills are best left to blue collar workers and immigrants.
Fortunately, there's a boom happening here right under your nose (if that's where your TV remote is). If you get on board now, you could be set for life, or at the very least, 15 minutes. Yes, I'm talking about reality TV.
Reality TV is among the few things left besides financial derivatives and high fructose corn syrup that's still being produced and consumed voraciously in the US. To the modern American, reality TV is what the WPA was to the struggling masses in the 30s (without the socialist government intervention).
There are 800 reality shows out there and more going into production every day. One of them is right for you.
Getting that first gig
Study the casting calls to determine which jobs will meet your immediate needs (ie: cash, free craft services, lodging, a vacation, attention, a nanny, a mini facelift...) I made the mistake of getting addicted to inhalants in order to get a spot on Intervention only to discover they don't pay their addicts (for ethical reasons). Boy, was I bummed! On the bright side, the rehab facility they sent me to is fabulous!!! But I digress.
Once you've narrowed it down ask yourself what you really want to be doing for the next 13 weeks. Do you want to work for Diddy? Lose 500 lbs? Find your soul mate? Get a shot at love? Be Paris Hilton's BFF? Become a REAL Housewife (as opposed to the pretend one you've been all these years) and get some new clothes, a facelift, boobs and a tummy tuck? Breed prolifically? The job of your dreams is out there.
You'll need to make a short video about yourself (and your family if they're a part of the deal). Include a headshot (if you don't have one, your most recent mug shot will do). They may ask you to tweet them your resume.
If you're a woman and don't have massive boobs, don't worry, you can still get cast on a reality show. Heidi Montag started out with nothing, but used The Hills as a platform to acquire all the massive boobs she wanted. As a rule, the only mandatory requirement to get on a reality show is stripper pole experience.
Don't bother applying to MTV if you're over 18 (your IQ, I mean).
Onward and upward
When you first start a reality show, the hours and competition can be grueling. You may be asked to perform distasteful tasks like eating bugs or sleeping in a bunk bed. Hang in there! Unlike other jobs, it will invariably lead to bigger and better things.
Consider your role an entry level position to some of the best opportunities in America -- from singer/songwriter, to author, to businessperson, to designer, to product endorser to pundit to correspondent to talk show host to basketball player's wife. Heck, Wall Street is even recruiting top execs from Vegas Virgins and Face the Ace (gambling reality shows).
Establish your area of expertise, even if you don't have one. Call yourself "countess" or "doctor," "a businessperson" or "a good mother." If you say something enough times on TV, it will be true.
At the very least, you'll get a book deal. And if a whole book seems like too many words, follow the example of Kim Kardashian who was reportedly paid $10,000 for a single tweet. That's $72 a character, or $357 per five letter word. Without a reality show, she'd be lucky to get $75 for 500 words on "how to shoot a home movie" for Demand Media like everyone else.
Study the trajectory of Kate Gosselin. She has managed her career admirably, starting as a wife and prolific breeder, to Jon and Kate Plus 8, to author (and expert on raising children, to betrayed wife, to Dancing with the Stars, to a correspondent job on the E network. Now she can afford a nanny so she'll never have to spend time with her rugrats again. The woman is a genius!
Become a part of America's cultural lexicon
Entertainment has always provided escape to stressed Americans in times of financial duress. During the last depression, Hollywood transported us with masterpieces and larger than life talent. The entertainment industry is doing it again now, without talent of any size. And just think, one of the principles could be you!
Take a look at how some of those timeless performances are being reinterpreted today:
Now, get to work!
Read about real housewives in France.