Currently in its 16th season, MTV's "The Real World" is indulging America's love of reality television. All eyes are pointed to cast member Lacey Buehler and six other strangers picked to live in a house, work together, and have their lives taped.
A hairdresser from Tallahassee, Fl., Buehler can presently be seen on "The Real World," a reality television show featuring seven young adults, ages 18 to 24, living in an extravagant house while their every move is being caught on camera.
"I can't go anywhere without getting recognized," said Buehler, who, every Tuesday night, witnesses her televised self being broadcast to a national audience.
The process toward reality television history was a long one for Buehler, who admitted she never thought she could be selected from thousands of applicants who competed to be on the popular show.
On a whim, Buehler sent in a tape to MTV, hoping her natural and outgoing composure would catch the eyes of casting directors.
"Going into it I was skeptical," said Buehler. "When I sent in the tape, I wanted to be in my element. (In the tape) I just sat on my bed in my apartment and told them about myself."
Buehler described her experience as really surreal. Living with her energetic, and highly party-motivated roommates, Buehler said it was like living in a college dorm, only with cameras all around.
"To me, it's like watching home movies, only someone's put a twist on them," said Buehler.
Although most of the footage is true to real life, cramming hours of footage into a once-a-week half hour show might sometimes twist the intent and reasoning behind cast member's actions that actually make it to air.
"People's true personalities sometimes don't get out," said Buehler. "I feel like they have me say something, but they cut it off. They really want to know all the dirty details."
Although seemingly drama-packed at times, Buehler added that the fights were always real. But witnessing the events shown, hurtful or happy, on television is like deja vu.
"The things you were mad at then, you have to relive," said Buehler who added that just in case a cast member wishes that MTV not air something, he or she receives a tape on Mondays before Tuesday airings.
Going into the show, Buehler said that as an opinionated, 23-year-old virgin, she believed she was really going to stand out among her roommates.
"I had to really stand up for what I believe in," Buehler said. "I'm not really naive, I just believe in my personal choice. Really, in life, I never had a majority of friends who were like me."
After all was said and done, the fifteen-minutes-of-fame has had its ups and downs, complete with a death threat.
"You have to be strong enough to get the backlash from viewers," Buehler said. "You have to have a strong stomach to handle the insults."