My Antonio (2009)

My Antonio, which aired on VH1, is a bachelor-type dating show/daytime drama hybrid reality show with action and adventure elements featuring actors, models, and one of Calvin Klein’s most famous faces, Antonio Sabàto Jr. By special invitation, a group of beauties arrive in Hawaii to compete for Antonio’s love. But the competition takes many twists and turns when Antonio’s overzealous mother steps into the picture, and his ex-wife returns to win back Antonio’s heart.

Most vivid memory:

The whole experience of being on the show was memorable, but the selection process stands out. I auditioned a few months before the show, and I was among 40 to 75 people (I’m not sure of the exact number) invited to the final casting in Hawaii, where after a series of auditions, I was one of 12 to 14 women chosen. Hawaii is such a beautiful place, but I had never been there before. When I arrived, I had to be prepared to stay for one to two months and to detach from my life at home. They took our cell phones, and we had little communication with our families and friends. It was so different from my normal life. And cameras were on us all the time.

Lessons learned:

There were a lot! For one, I learned all about the fundamentals of shooting a TV show. But the biggest lesson for me was that it’s important in life to try new things and have unexpected experiences. Before the show, I had followed a more clear-cut path – I always knew what was coming next. I earned a certificate in theater and dance from Princeton and was interested in acting. But I didn’t know anyone who had been on a reality show before. As part of being selected for the show, I had to be open-minded to try wild things, such as skydiving and water sports. For one challenge we had to climb a mountain wearing evening gowns. I still wanted to maintain my integrity, so if I objected to doing something, I could decline.

The outcome:

I was in the top five, or top six if you include Antonio’s ex-wife. The show was less competition and more daytime drama. As part of the story line (I played a character – I chose sweet and innocent, and I explored that range), it was my time to go. 

Do it again?

Yes and no. If I could go back in time, I would do it again. But going forward, I am interested in serious acting and would like to try something new and different.

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