Would you believe me if I told you that someone actually gave me a reality show?
Wait. I’m already messing it up. It’s not a reality show: It’s a docu-reality special. And film crews arrive at my house from New York City on Monday.
Ahem. Let’s start from the beginning.
A few week ago a producer from the DeSales Media Group got in touch with me to ask if I would be interested in having my life filmed for a reality-style special. Maybe it’s because I had recently re-skimmed A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and was getting a little overzealous with the “Would it make a good story?” litmus test, or maybe I was that desperate for a change of pace that anything at all — even having cameras follow me everywhere for a week — seemed relaxing compared to our current routine, but I only asked about five questions before I said, “What the heck, let’s do it.”
Joe really never knows what he’s going to hear when he answers calls from me, and he didn’t even sound surprised when he answered the phone to hear me say, “I just signed us up to do a reality show. That’s okay, right?”
I believe it was about four days later that I was lying awake at night, and had a delayed reaction in which it finally hit me. And I jolted up and screamed, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?!” (Screaming silently, of course, since even reality-show-related-crises are not worth taking any risks of waking up a sleeping baby.)
In the ensuing weeks I’ve developed a sort of tick where I’ll be walking along, going about my business, and then out of the blue I’ll think of a brand new way that this could be a disaster. I’ll be washing the dishes and imagine producers from New York filming this scene, overcome with the sheer inanity of it all, and exchanging “HUGE MISTAKE” glances with one another. I’ll be putting laundry in the dryer and suddenly imagine seeing an internet forum a couple months from now where someone writes, “I used to kind of like that Fulwiler woman until she did the docu-reality special, and then I saw what a horrible person she really is.”
So yes. I am welllllllll aware of everything that could go wrong, as well as the fact that it probably indicates some level of craziness or lack of impulse control on my part that I signed up for this so readily. But I have to say, now that filming week is drawing closer, I’m actually pretty excited about it. And now that a lot of the logistics are nailed down, I’m remembering what it was about that first conversation with the producer that made all this sound so compelling.
DeSales Media is part of the Diocese of Brooklyn, and they’re working hard to create programming that is Catholic but also genuinely entertaining. When I first spoke to the producer, it was like hearing all my laundry-folding soliloquies articulated in someone else’s voice to hear her talk about the importance of beauty and quality in Catholic media. It gave me chills to meet someone else who shared my dream of seeing Christians become leaders in the arts once again. And so when she told me about her vision for this new show, and asked if I wanted to be a part of it, I could not make my mouth say any word other than, YES.
The show will be called Minor Revisions (actually the official title is Minor Revisions with Jennifer Fulwiler, but I’ve just been saying Minor Revisions, since the only thing weirder than telling people you’re filming a reality show is doing so while talking about yourself in the third person). A main theme will be my work as a writer, specifically my quest to get my never-ending book published, but I’m also going to meet with a bunch of other folks. Through the lens of my perspective as a convert, we hope to show viewers the fascinating, diverse group of people who make up the Body of Christ. That’s what I’m most excited about: as riveting as it will be for people to see me sit in front of my computer and type, I love the idea of getting out and letting the cameras see our faithful, thriving parish and all the great stuff going on in our diocese.
Now for the details:
- It will air on NET, a cable station local to the NYC area, but it will be available on-demand through their website for anyone to watch.
- I’m not sure about the air date, but will post an update as soon as I know. It’ll be sometime this Fall.
- I am, of course, going to ask to have it written into the contract that at least once in the episode I can turn to the camera and say, “I didn’t choose the thug life. The thug life chose me.”
Now is your cue to leave a comment saying something positive and convincing me that this is a great idea and nothing can go wrong.New here? Take a moment to introduce yourself, or say hi on Twitter at @conversiondiary.