☰ Menu
The HeldenFiles Online

Caught in the Lens

By RD Heldenfels Published: July 14, 2005

There have been so many reality shows in recent years that it seems as if everyone will be on one someday.

My turn could be coming.

Not that I am going to eat bugs, race around the world or kiss up to Martha Stewart. I just may end up as window dressing on a reality show. And I didn't have to do anything special to be it.

Here's what happened: Today VH1 had a press conference for ''Rock School,'' a reality series premiering Aug. 19, in which KISS's Gene Simmons turns a bunch of British, classically trained 13-year-olds into a rock band.

I know, Jack Black could have done it better.

Anyway, the press conference had ended, and I followed the participants out of the meeting room for a couple of follow-up questions. I talked to Simmons briefly, then moved on to a couple of the students and one of the school officials. As I was talking to them, a woman with an English accent came over and asked if they could videotape me asking the questions. ''Rock School'' is not quite finished, and they were shooting material for the last episode.

I said sure, getting a perky ''Brilliant!'' from the woman. I suppose I should have hesitated, but I was going to be asking questions anyway, and I didn't change what I was doing just because the camera was on.

So, if you see a chunk guy in a red shirt asking questions in the show when it airs, well, that's me. I expect this to rank with my other memorable TV appearances, which include having part of my shirt visible on ''The Drew Carey Show'' and laughing in the audience of ''Whose Line Is It Anyway?''

But even window dressing has to be lawyered up these days. After I finished asking my questions, the woman from RDF Media Limited -- the London-based company doing the taping -- asked me to sign a form that went as follows:

"In consideration of you arranging to film and record the interview/contribution/performance to be given by me to you on (date), I agree to the recording and broadcasting of the interview/contribution/performance and hereby give all consents necessary for the reproduction, exhibition, transmission, broadcast, publicising, previewing, reviewing and exploitation of the interview/contribution/performance without time limit throughout the universe by all means and media (whether now known or hereafter invented) without liability or acknowledgement to me.

''I agree that my contribution will be true and honest.

''You shall be entitled to cut, edit and translate the interview/contribution/performance as you deem fit and you shall not be obliged to include all or any of the interview/contribution/performance in any programme.''

Talk about signing your life away. I especially like the reference to the universe. Someday, I could be syndicated to Mars.

Elsewhere on the tour:  One day I was in the hotel elevator when a family of four came aboard. The woman takes a glance at my name tag (which I have to wear all the time) and cries out in shock. They're from Akron, too. I introduce myself. They introduce themselves. The last name sounds familiar. Turns out I know their cousins, a family whose children attend the same high school as my younger son.

The HeldenFiles Online Archives




Heldenfels' mailbag

  • Main Blog Promo
  • Cavs Blog Promo
  • Browns Blog Promo
  • Indians Blog Promo
  • Beer Blog Promo
  • Fracking Blog Promo
  • High School Blog Promo
  • Zips Blog Promo
  • Akron Dish Food Blog
Prev Next