Saturday, March 7, 2009

The fine print

My dear friends, I have some shocking news. No, I have not been offered a reality show about underpaid-yet-grinning-like-they-have- it-all-confused-IT person (catchy title eh?). What I do have, is the contract that reality show producers offer their contractees or rather the participants of the show in question. For the benefit of all, I shall list them down here:

1. The participant shall, at no point during the show, be nice or say nice things to a fellow participant.

2. The participant should know at least five words of obscenity, preferably in the language that the show is in. If a participant is found lacking in this regard, he/she should hire a tutor prior to the shooting and get trained in swear/curse words as soon as possible.

3. The participant has to use the F word, irrespective of the fact that they may not mean what it means, at least once in five sentences. While mouthing it, the participant must make sure that they are facing the camera and the lips movement is vivid enough to be explanatory about the swear word's nature.

4. The participant must be capable of crying at the drop of a hat (or any other more suitable piece of clothing). If required, the show producers have to be informed in advance to help the participant in this regard, who will duly run the clips of puppies drowning, babies overdosing or any other helpful clip, on the teleprompter.

5. The participant must be fluent in fake accents. A knowledge of English is not necessary, but that of an English accent is. The show producers reserve the right to expel any participant who gives away a normal accent, accompanied by the customary terrible grammar.

6. The participant must have at least one poor/dying/disabled/terminally ill/ugly family member who will sign another contract allowing the cameramen to shoot them at tilted angles in sepia/black and white/negative mode.

7. The participant will not at any point during the show hide their ethnicity or balk at asking only certain sections of the country to vote for them. A sense of nationality is highly frowned upon and is most definitely not encouraged.

8. The participant will not refuse intervention by the make up artists to magically lighten the participant's skin colour.

9. The participant will wear anything and everything that is dug out by the stylists of the show, even if it includes carrying off silk/satin offshoulder/strapless gowns in the middle of summer.

10. The participant will submit, along with a few other documents mentioned in a separate letter, their dignity to the producers of this show.

There are many such clauses in the contract. Due to some special reasons, which include possible boredom on the part of the reader, I have reproduced here, only the ten important. Point to be noted: the contract may vary from one show to another but this format is largely followed by most shows that have young 18 to twenty somethings as the participants.