In a former life filled with long lunches and spray tanning, I was a reality show casting director in Hollywood. I worked on some wildly popular prime-time hits as well as some pilots that never saw the light of day. I started my career at Blind Date, back when MySpace was still a place for friends and Facebook was a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg's eye, and I'd often turn to this "new online world" to search for contestants. Lemondrop: Where The Nice Guys Are Hiding
I had just started dabbling in online dating myself and navigated the virtual waters with ease. I'd post clever ads on Craigslist and flirt with guys on Friendster, all in the name of casting the show. But try as I might, I couldn't always rely on the Internet to find willing male participants—I actually had to go out and meet men. In real life. Lemondrop: 15 Questions We Would Love To Ask Our Dates—But Don't
I was very shy. I'd sweat in the weirdest places when my nerves would kick in. So whether on the clock or not, I would always say I was "casting a show" when I'd approach good-looking men. That way, I'd never feel jilted if they declined my advances. But casting the shows taught me how to build my self-confidence and, frankly, helped me meet a lot of guys. Even an '80s teen icon.
Sadly, most guys I encountered were of the typical vapid L.A. fare, leaving me to kiss a lot of bottom-feeding mouth breathers before I actually met a nice, normal, gainfully employed gent (a qualification both for myself and most of the shows I worked on). And this got me thinking—what else did casting reality dating shows teach me about life and love?
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Written by Sarah Monson for Lemondrop.