Hi! I’m Kate!
The first reality show I remembered watching was The Real World on MTV, which was inspired by the 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family. The Real World’s concept was to capture the lives of strangers chosen to live together in a house for several months, as cameras record their interpersonal relationships. The footage shot during the housemates’ time together was edited into 22-minute episodes. The narration given over the opening title sequence said the following:
This is the true story…of seven strangers…picked to live in a house…(work together) and have their lives taped…to find out what happens…when people stop being polite…and start getting real…The Real World.
The Real World reminded me of my experience as a student at Milton Hershey School, a co-educational private boarding school for underprivileged children founded by the chocolate magnate. While there were no cameras present, I lived with a diverse body of students. Hearing my classmates stories made me realize how much we had in common.
I believe unscripted television is a great vehicle for expanding views on everything from race and politics to gender. Getting access to someone’s personal story, whether they are in your own community or a different part of the world, can be transformative.
I initially thought I would pursue a career in government. I interned at The White House and then on several campaigns. After receiving a degree in political science from Trinity College in Washington DC I began a career in crisis media and strategy for global law firms. After sixteen years I slowly transitioned into becoming a podcast host.
When I pitched the idea of a show about reality shows I was asked if enough people watch reality shows. Can you imagine? The show began with me interviewing people on reality shows, both past and present, to see how it changed the trajectory of their life.
Over the years I have broadened it to include everything in the unscripted umbrella, including reality shows, docuseries, and documentaries. With seven years and almost 1,000 episodes under my belt, I am still captivated by real life storytelling.
I now live in Southern California with my husband (who never watches unscripted television), and our 5 kids.