Making it big in the film and TV industry has evolved over time. We have moved from the age of auditions and movie scripts to the totally unscripted world of reality TV – where an interesting personality, strong fan base, talent and sometimes a share of luck could transform you to an overnight sensation.
By Onah Diejomaoh
So, what happens after the show ends? For the reality stars that choose the path of fame, winning the competition is not enough. Maintaining and increasing fame while harnessing celebrity as a tool to increase income is a whole different strategy. Some consistent factors that facilitate success for the reality star include: taking advantage of the immediate opportunities fame presents, building and expanding the network, and investing wisely.
Yemi Alade represents a perfect example of taking advantage of the immediate opportunities of fame. After winning the Peak Talent Show in 2009, she instantaneously took to the studio producing multiple singles to keep the momentum going, including her single ‘Johnny’ which eventually launched her to further success.
Other stars like Ebuka Obi-Uchendu leveraged the network gained from the show to access more opportunities for success. Even though he did not win his season, he has now returned to Big Brother as the host, guiding new talent to launch their careers.
Bobai Bally Balat (Big Brother 2) was kind enough to share more insight with us on his reality after reality TV. Describing his first few days after returning home, Bally explained that he had no idea what was going on outside the house and so did not know he had become so famous. “You can imagine the shock and how overwhelming it was” he narrated.
Bally’s plan after the show was clear “I planned to get right back to what I was doing before the show, which was being a DJ, and that’s exactly what I did” he explained. Taking advantage of the opportunities fame presented, and navigating new challenges, Bally went on to explore other areas of the entertainment industry, setting up a media agency as well as the Bally Rally Outreach charity organization. “I underestimated the level at which people have to push to a make a positive impact even after having a platform” he added. He reinforced the importance of networking, stating that “it is all about networking – ‘who you know’; you have to use the new found fame to develop relationships with the right people to be able to move forward”.
Advising the younger aspiring reality stars, Bally highlights that “being on TV doesn’t guarantee anything. When you consider how many past and present Housemates have fallen off the radar, it becomes clear that you must make sure you are intentional about your brand and vision at all times”.
So, after the lights go off, and the world stops watching, life after reality can either be filled with fame and fortune or back home with memories of an experience of a lifetime. It truly is whatever you design it to be.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.