7 Behind the scenes secrets of a self-produced reality series subject no. 3

feature53. I never ever have had or will have any control over the story line.

Real reality.

It has always been our intention to present reality in its natural state. Having experienced a reality television show production on ‘The Mom Show’ with Frances in 2005 when she was cast as Canada’s youngest makeover recipient, we knew full well how contrived these types of products were. I remember just how much stage mothering it took to get Frances to cooperate with the changes they were trying to enact without her consent. I remember how one particular outfit felt so ridiculous for her that she nearly had a nervous breakdown just looking in the mirror. I remember how ‘serendipitously’ the wardrobe she had agreed to wear didn’t make it to the next shoot for her final ‘reveal’ , and I remember how bravely she put up her chin to act out her final part for the cameras... A revived happy girl beaming with joy at being made pretty. We re-shot that scene several times rehearsing ooh’s and aah’s and she did look pretty.... but none of that fixed the hurt of this girl who didn’t get what she wanted. She ultimately had very little input into how she looked, and I remember how much crying she did before we shot that final scene. In the end she accepted her made over self, and is now grateful to look back on the experience and appreciate it for what it was.
A lesson in how it feels when you allow someone to manipulate your image beyond what you accept. Oh, and a lesson in ‘the show must go on’, and what that really means.

Our first producer on Anterockstar understood contrivance all too well, and left the production shortly after discovering that he could not control nor dictate to me, on a show intended to depict my life’s journey, what my actions would nor should be, nor how my image would appear. I would not concede control over my life, including those of my husband, children, and though I didn’t realize at the time, my impact now documents moments in the lives of my extended family and relationships, and further into society in many areas punk and political.

Once we became self produced, control over that image became vested in me and my entire editorial team, my husband, and always since the beginning… my children. No matter their ages we have always sought and received their informed consent for the release of any of their life’s story. The rest just knew I was filming, and knew I would broadcast it. The funny part is, there are people out there who have footage of me which should I achieve any amount of notoriety will release with impunity. I can’t wait. It can only make the reality of Anterockstar richer.

41250_10150249438695355_2844933_nAs a mother, my primary job is as protector. It took me a long time to understand the danger I had inadvertently exposed my children to, and how I could best protect them. Even when they were removed from my custody; I acted in their interests at my expense. It took me a long time to understand just how much experience and learning they have acquired as a result of this very unique experience. I have to admit, their strength, resiliency, courage, honor, and intelligence shine through it all, and enable me to forgive myself as a mother for exposing them to harm, because they survived it, because their father and I armed them with these skills.

A storyboard was all I had… it was 10 parts… Anterockstar is now 44 episodes long, and has a storyline only chaos could create, and enough emotion to choke up Frank Underwood. It may not be to everyone’s liking, but it is a piece of work I humbly think is unique, just like everyone’s life and path is unique... Though there are patterns.

In reality [life], there is no map, there is only a destination, and you get to pick it. How you get there is up to the Universe.

I have acquired a tremendous amount of self-control in pursuit of my goal, but I still don’t have control over the storyline. I freely admit, the thing that scares me most about going back into production, is the chaos that has always ensued in our lives when we do. I cannot control or predict the actions of anybody, though after all this time I can see the patterns repeating, and know who I can count on to stick by me.

That’s all I need.

And I’ve had that... the whole time.

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