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Harsh Reality

Tales of the Z-List from a Reality Star Booking Agent

By: Andy Binder & Frederick Stroppel

Price: CAD $28.99


Imprint: Blue River Press

320 Pages

8.98 X 6.02 X 0.59 ins

ISBN:  9781681570730 -- Paperback

Publication Date: 05/17/2018

Reality television: a loaded phrase if ever there was one. To some, it connotes trash: Snooki, Honey Boo-Boo, the Kardashians. People who are pathetic, immoral and disgusting. To others, it says irresistible entertainment: passion, hilarity, love and obsession. Whatever your feelings about it, there's no doubt that somewhere, somehow, you have come in contact with some form of reality TV. The very first reality television program premiered on MTV in 1992 - The Real World. That one show spawned an entire industry, and created a new kind of celebrity - "The Z-list Celebrity." In Andy's world, reality television and the Z-list celebrity is neither trash nor passion, but a way of life.

Reality shows, despite their claims of unplanned spontaneity, are carefully crafted vehicles populated by various familiar "types." There's the cocky attention-getting male who has appeared on eight reality shows and calls himself "Mr. Beautiful." The sweet country girl with a boyfriend of five years back home. The Guido-loving girl, who tries to bring home a different guy every night. And the list goes on. These characters represent the full spectrum of American society, and they all play their parts with conviction and relish.

But what happens when the cameras stop rolling? What are the real lives of these reality stars like? Does it mirror in any way what we see on their TV shows? Harsh Reality will take a look at the hidden world of reality TV fame, a world Andy Binder witnessed first-hand.

Andy Binder received his bachelor's degree in history from the State University of New York at Geneseo and his master's in education from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Combining his education background and his passion for entertainment, Binder worked for years at several colleges in their campus-activities departments, and teaching Public Speaking, Small-Group Communications, and First-Year Student-Transition Issues. His events have included concerts and shows by comedians Martin Short and Howie Mandel, and hit bands like O.A.R. and Third Eye Blind. Today, Binder continues to get reality TV stars paid for basically whatever and wherever.

Frederick Stroppel is the co-author of Lucky Me: My Life With and Without My Mom, Shirley MacLaine, the memoir of Sachi Parker (Gotham/Penguin Books). Lucky Me received rave reviews from the Huffington Post and columnist Liz Smith; the book has sold tens of thousands of copies thus far and was featured on CNN Headline News, ABC's 20/20, and in a three-page PEOPLE magazine story. Mr. Stroppel is also a TV writer, screenwriter and playwright. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild of America East.


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