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Intown Rundown: Getting Real
March 3, 2011 - April Diodato
March either comes in like a lamb or a lion. Or perhaps, in Charlie Sheen's case, March came in like a tiger. Haven't you heard? He has tiger blood running through his veins.
But enough about the onset of March and the pure elation that comes with impending springtime. We need to stop being polite and start getting real.
GIRL ON FILM
One of Chautauqua County's own, Nany Gonzalez, is a cast member on the new season of “The Real World,” set in Las Vegas for season 25. A Jamestown native, Gonzalez had turned 21 not long before going to Vegas for the first time and moving into the Hard Rock Hotel with her seven “Real World” roommates (joined by another Western New Yorker, Naomi, a Buffalo State College student). The show will begin airing on MTV on Wednesday, March 9, at 10 p.m.
When asked what made her want to try out for “The Real World,” Gonzalez replied, “It was more like the opportunity almost fell in my lap.”
A coworker suggested to Gonzalez that she go to an open casting call at Pure nightclub in Buffalo; a several-months-long casting process followed.
“There were a lot of interviews, a lot of background checks,” Gonzalez said. “The process was just very long and draining, and I was a nervous wreck every single day, hoping I'd get the phone call. So when I finally got it, I was almost speechless.”
Now back in Jamestown at her bartending/waitressing job at The Cherry Lounge, I spoke to Gonzalez about her time on TV, coming home again and what's next for her. Here is some of what she had to say.
- Did the experience live up to your expectations?
Gonzalez: To be quite honest, my entire perspective on the show changed after filming was over. I guess before I got on the show ... I just imagined a vacation – a lot of partying, a lot of fun. What I didn't realize and what I learned after the show was how much of a learning process the show really is. Behind closed doors, behind all the partying, it really is a chance for you to figure out who you are as a person. And there's a lot of things that people do every day in their everyday lives, they make mistakes and they usually brush those mistakes off and they don't actually confront the issue. For me and for any of my roommates on the show, it was completely different. We were forced to address certain situations, certain things about ourselves that we would normally brush off. … All in all, it was good experience for me, I definitely learned a lot about myself and I had a great time.
- What can you tell me about what happened in Las Vegas?
It was the craziest experience of my life. I can assure that you will be seeing a lot of drama, a lot of hook-ups, a lot of secrets being put on blast for the world to see. … Every single one of my roommates brought something to the table.
- Is there anything that you're afraid for your friends and family to see when the show finally airs next Wednesday?
(laughs) Anything I did on the show, I would have done back at home. The person that my friends and family will see on national television is the person that they see every single day. So I'm not nervous, I'm not scared. I'm sure there's going to be times where I'm watching it and I'm like, “My mom probably won't be very excited to see that.” But at the end of the day, I'm 22, I'm young, I got to experience an amazing opportunity and I wouldn't change anything.
- What do they think about your upcoming TV debut?
My family is really excited. My family is very supportive of my decisions and they never really were big into reality TV so it’s kind of like a new thing for them.
- What was it like coming back to Jamestown after living in Las Vegas and filming a reality show?
Oh my gosh … I didn’t know what to do with myself when I got back home. I’m not gonna lie to you. … I was thrown back into my everyday life that I had before Vegas. I didn’t realize how much I had changed as a person. I think before I left for Vegas I almost had my whole life planned out for me, you know? So, when I came home, I completely had a different outlook on life and there’s things that I had planned on doing before I went on the show that I don’t want to do anymore.
- What do you want to do next?
I am actually planning on moving back out to Vegas. Right now, I’m just pretty much doing club appearances … basically, saving money, working at the charity still (a continuation of work that “The Real World” cast did as interns for the Hard Rock Hotel, raising money for underfunded school music programs in Clark County, Nev.) and basically getting my stuff together to move to Vegas in June.
- What do you hope to do when you get back to Vegas?
I want to get into VIP hosting at a club or anything like cocktail waitressing. Pretty much, I can do anything in the nightlife out there – bartending and stuff like that.
- What would be your dream job?
I’m not really sure. I’m honestly just kind of living in the moment. I have roommates who went on the show specifically to get into acting and modeling… For me, I went on the show to get away, to have fun and experience something different. … I wouldn’t mind getting back into reality TV, that would be fun, but at this point I’m just kind of living my life day-by-day.
- Spend a night at the opera and be as fancy as you wanna be. From Friday through Sunday, SUNY Fredonia's Student Opera Association (SOTA) will present three performances of Opera Scenes, an event showcasing the talents of over 70 college students collaborating to re-create scenes from operas written by Henry Purcell, Michael Torke and Lee Hoiby. Under the guidance of five SUNY Fredonia faculty members, these dedicated students have spent the last six weeks designing costumes, collecting props, and creating and constructing the set. Shows are at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. And what better setting than the Fredonia Opera House? Tickets are available through the Opera House and are $8 for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens.
- Valentine's Place is having live music by the Porcelain Bus Drivers from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, with “Looney Happy Hour” drink specials from 9 to 10 p.m.
- 41 West will have karaoke tonight and on Tuesday, and trivia night on Wednesday.
- In just a few short days, it will be Fat Tuesday! BJ's is having a Mardi Gras party on Tuesday, with cheap drinks, beads, masks and random giveaways. BJ’s will also be having open mic comedy on Monday.
WHAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS
In a desperate, fiendish scheme to make some extra money, Albany lawmakers are proposing legislation requiring us to have our bicycles licensed, registered and inspected. According to Channel 4, they want to make us pay for bicycle licenses at $25 bucks a pop ($50 for “commercially-operated” bicycles).
So, let me get this straight – one day, I'm going to be leisurely peddling my bicycle down the street and an officer could pull me over and ask to see my license and registration? That's ridiculous.
New York state is broke, but:
1. So are we.
2. And we're becoming increasingly cash poor with the price of gas continuing to climb higher and higher. You know what a helpful solution would be? Riding a bicycle instead because it's free – and should remain that way.
3. Should we really be dissuading people from using bicycles as a means of transportation? I don't think I need to state all the benefits of bicycling, but just to name a couple, it's environmentally-friendly and could help combat our nation's overwhelming obesity problem.
I think we need a better idea.
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted Photo - The cast of MTV's new season of “The Real World,” Las Vegas, from left: Heather, Dustin, Michael, Naomi, Adam, Leroy and Jamestown native Nany Gonzalez.