University of Akron senior Ashleigh Feaster has a little more financing for her acting and some extra video to show agents and studios.

The communication major was a participant in Are You the One?, the MTV series which had 10 men and 10 women trying to figure out who was their perfect match based on the shows analysis of all the players.

In the season finale they successfully sorted out all the matches, and so shared a $1 million prize $50,000 apiece. The show was enough of a success that MTV will air a reunion special at 11 p.m. Tuesday and has ordered a second season. Feaster said she probably wont be asked back for another season but would do it and would like to see another round with the first-season cast. She even has a name for it: Are You Still the One?

After all, the matches were not all perfect. The reunion special, done about two weeks ago, is going to be crazy as everyone discusses what happened on the show and what has happened since, Feaster said. It was also a chance for the cast to address comments made during the original taping in Hawaii in October but unheard by cast members until the show aired.

Theres just dirty laundry everywhere, said Feaster, 23.

Feasters match on the show, by the way, did not go anywhere. She ended up paired with actor-comedian John Jacobs but their connection on the show was established very late. For a long time, Jacobs was in a romantic triangle that ended up not going his way, and his and Feasters pairing was virtually a process of elimination as other couples formed.

Were just really good friends, Feaster said. Theres nothing romantic for us. She is instead dating a new guy, a Clevelander named David, and putting to use the lessons she learned on Are You the One?

She now has a better sense of how to handle relationships how I can interact with guys, and what Im looking for. Sometimes you have an initial attraction, but you need to look deeper inside someone, to see if they have the qualities you need in a relationship.

She also learned to open up more quickly, since on the show a lot of us let our guards down super-fast. And the show thought she and Jacobs were a good match because they handled situations similarly. That takes away a lot of the bickering.

As for learning all that on TV, shows like this tend to feed on alcohol, sexual tension and heightened drama usually in a tightly contained space. (Feaster said competitions became more intense because people wanted to win dates outside the house where all the contestants were located because we felt kind of trapped.) In one scene, the men had to guess which woman was massaging them and hands, including Feasters, went some risque places.

Asked about that, Feaster said it was joking around. I was a little wild on the show [But] I wasnt going to do anything I would be uncomfortable seeing on a TV show.

And even if conflict meant more time in front of the cameras, she said, I wasnt going on this show and pretend to be some drama-filled girl just to get air time. When I saw drama, I walked the other way or tried to defuse the situation. Thats why I wasnt shown a lot except when I was crying because I was upset or drunk or something.

And what now? She graduates from UA in May. The money she won will go toward her hoped-for acting career. When we talked, she was on spring break from UA and in Los Angeles. Im looking at acting school here [and] for the most part trying to find representation, to see if I can make the big move here, she said. Are You the One? may make her more familiar to some of the people shes talking to and gives her video to show people who dont know her.

Name games. You may have seen the Taco Bell ads in which different people named Ronald McDonald show their love for the fast-food chains products a way for Taco Bell to make a point against rival McDonalds, where the clown Ronald has long been one of the companys standard bearers. And one of the pro-Taco Bell Ronalds is, as the ad says, from Akron. That Ronald is a now-retired administrator at the University of Akron.

In case you missed it The Cooler Bandits, the film about four young men who became notorious for a series of Akron area robberies in the early 90s, gets one more showing at the Cleveland International Film Festival at 11:20 a.m. today in Tower City Cinemas. Go to for more information.

Directed by John Lucas, the movie is worth seeing. While it addresses some big issues, it works especially well as a portrait of these four men before their crimes and after, and especially where their lives went during and following prison.

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and, including the HeldenFiles Online blog, He is also on Facebook and Twitter. You can contact him at 330-996-3582 or