A few weeks ago a television producer, living in California, contacted me via this blog, to ask if our family would be interested in doing a reality tv show. At first I thought she was talking about a one episode opportunity. But upon talking to her on the phone, no, they in fact hoped to get us signed for at least one season. The info I learned was interesting, so I thought I would share. The producer told me that initially, they come to your house for about a month. At this time they would make a “movie trailer” type video of our family. This would be pitched to the television companies they work with. She thought TLC would be the best fit for our family. If TLC liked the trailer, they would come back and make a pilot episode. If this went over with TLC’s audience, they would then negotiate a contract with our family to do 8 episodes, which is considered a year long. Up until this point, no money is exchanged. But once a contract has been signed, the average family gets paid $10,000-$12,000 per episode. You are paid per family member, so our family may have been paid more, since our family is large. The producer said that you don’t get rich the first season. The money rolls in if you get signed for a second season and you then can sign on for endorsements. Apparently, there are hundreds of thousands of dollars involved in endorsements.
The reason they liked our family is because our family life style is “not familiar to the masses”. They liked our focus on nutrition and minimalism. They liked that we were a large family that adopted many children.
To make a long story short, we told them no. It was a fun opportunity to consider. The thing that most appealed to me was the fact that I could get the word out to a large audience that food heals people. I would especially want to get this message out so that children have the opportunity to heal. Parents just don’t realize how powerful food can be. This would have been a great opportunity to inform and teach. But, it would have come with a high price.
I absolutely love my vocation as a mom to my eleven children! I love the many aspects of nurturing my family emotionally, spiritually, physically. But it is very challenging some days. Like the kind of hard that brings me to my knees before God. I know this is where God wants me; to be in total dependence upon Him. But, the plate I have set before me is all I can handle, even with God right there beside me. The thought of the stress involved in doing a reality show gives me shudders down my spine. Plus, the fact that we have children in our family that come from hard places, makes them more vulnerable. I feel like I am fairly mentally stable and secure in my personhood. But when I read what people say about those on reality shows, I don’t think I have the fortitude to withstand that kind of criticism and condemnation. I would never knowingly subject my children to that.
So, the opportunity to do the show wasn’t really a temptation. The rational side of my brain knew that it would be a disaster in the making. But, I loved that they read every one of my blog posts and liked our family well enough to make the offer. 🙂