The New Orleans Melissa Interview, Part III
The final segment of the interview begins with Melissa and I discussing other seasons of Real World, who she has met, and what they told her about life after the show.
Kim: I've heard that there's an informal network of people who've been on the Real World and they have barbecues. Who you have met, and did they have any advice for you on dealing with the whole "fame of the Real World" thing?
Melissa: Well, we go on these college tours and they put a hodgepodge of cast members together. So I've met Colin and Amaya, and Heather B., and David from Seattle, and Rebecca. As a Real World person, you go through this rite of passage. Like when I met Colin, I was still on cloud nine, like, "Whoo-whee, I'm famous!" But then I was also getting to the point where I didn't deal well with people coming up to me and telling me who I am and what I was doing, but having to smile through it. So I'm in a hot tub with Colin at a hotel, and we're talking about it. And these people that have been on the show and lived their lives a year now, two, three, four years after it -- they're so jaded with the whole Real World thing. They're such normal people except that they have their lives on television. I mean, they straight give you the raw deal. Because I was like, "I answer ten fan mails a day." Colin's like, "Are you crazy?" I was like, "Why?" He's like, "Melissa, Real World becomes your life when you do that." I was like, "But it is my life." He's like, "No, but it's not your life." And so they tell you exactly what's going to happen. They tell you that in a month's time, you will be nobody. But they're not doing it to be mean. They're just like, "No, it happened to me."
Real World really invites depression. I have never been a depressed person in my life. But when you have three-hour interviews about who you are, what you said, who you don't like, who you do like, analyze facial expressions, analyze time and place -- and you're constantly in your own head. And then, you're dealing with the fact that you will say something in an interview, and then you'll be like, "Oh my God, are you going to put that on there?" You're constantly stressed out about it. It invites depression. I won't lie -- after the show was over, I went right to my doctor in Florida and was like, "Dude, I have never felt so paranoid in my life." He put me on Paxil for three weeks and it made me throw up, so I just quit and decided to deal with my depression. It's like the best and worst time in your life.