Post-Big Brother Survival Guide

Here are 10 things I wish I would have known after the season finale:

  1. Post-Traumatic Stress. Feel disoriented? Overwhelmed by crowds? Forget what you’re saying in the middle of a sentence? That disorientation is part of the post-show experience and will get better as the year progresses.
  2. One year is the new 15 minutes. The sweet, blinding aura of pseudo fame will last for about a year, less if you live in a major city like Los Angeles or New York. Big Brother notoriety’s like Velveeta. It’s cheesy, delicious, and has an expiration date. Enjoy it before it curdles.
  3. Don’t quit your day job. Almost every former houseguest who quits or loses his or her job has turned into a shadow of himself/herself. The ones who continue to define themselves in terms of Big Brother achievements are canaries in the coal mine.  Don’t follow them down that path of self-destruction. If you haven’t done so already, get back to work ASAP. Big Brother is a summer camp you MIGHT get to attend 2 or 3 times. Big Brother is NOT a career.
  4. “Reality star” is a contradiction in terms. You aren’t a star, except in your mother’s eyes. Avoid saying shit like “my fans.” You were on Big Brother, not The Sopranos. Not even “celebrities” on Big Brother UK’s celebrity edition are celebrities.
  5. Their hate is NOT the measure of your character, it’s the measure of their own. Many of you are starting to understand the paradox of BB fandom: the people who complain about YOU “bullying” other houseguests are now the ones who won’t stop bothering you. They dislike you because, in a unique and torturous situation, you temporarily engendered everything they despise about themselves.
  6. Production never calls to say “hi.” If they’re calling, they want you to do something for them. And they probably want you to do it for free.
  7.  “There’s no such thing as bad press,” unless you’ve been on a reality show. Bad press may keep a select few celebrity train wrecks in the public eye. Unless your name is Lindsay Lohan, the “no such thing as bad press” rule does NOT apply to you. And Lindsay Lohan would not be caught dead on Big Brother, not even UK’s “celebrity” edition.
  8. Don’t become a bitter Betty. Every cast breeds a few people who  feel f’d over by Big Brother. Maybe the person’s upset because she was the first out, or maybe she can’t take fan heat. Don’t come down with a case of the bitters. Always appreciate the unique opportunity you were given.
  9. Stay off fan forums! But when you DO go on them, remember that you’re dealing with people who opted to spend their summers in front of a computer WATCHING YOU. After you attend your first fan event (which I don’t encourage), you’ll finally see what you’re TRULY up against and all the mean words will become comical.
  10. This too shall pass. If you’re encountering a lot of hate, it’ll die down. Better still, you’ll develop super thick skin and be able to better cope with faceless, nameless people attacking you. “One year is the new 15 minutes” applies to fan hate as much as it does fan love.