Ernie and I jumped out of a plane twice (well he did it a third time and I started thinking too much and decided I didn't want to take a third chance). We've zip-lined through the rain forest hundreds of feet above ground while wild monkeys laughed at us, standing on inclined platforms with no restraints waiting our turns. A few more times than I'd like to admit, we've done some things in our car that I'm pretty sure we could've been arrested for and, much like most people in South Florida, we've swam in questionable waters with the Jaws theme song ringing in our ears. But nothing we've signed up for has been as crazy as being on reality TV.
We opened our own cafe over in downtown Miami, Salad Oz, in 2013 and operated it for 4yrs. The biggest daily frustration was the commute to and from Hialeah (a 13 mile drive turned into a 2hr ordeal twice a day) and whether or not the old building's plumbing was going to cooperate that day. We loved that place, put our sweat, blood and hard earned savings into it with the promise of entrepreneurial "freedom". It was an enormous success for two years, in fact, it felt so unreal that many times we couldn't believe it. The hours were a dream, Monday through Friday 9am-5pm (with a few attempts at breakfast hours but it proved that Miamians all run too late for their first meal). We closed for all federal holidays (we serviced the courthouses and public schools so the place was a ghost town), had a solid week off during winter break and could even get away for a week or two more throughout the year without hesitation. But city planning and expansion often leads to setbacks for the little guys, so when the construction for the Bright Line (just a block away) started up our numbers went down, way down. So much so that it was not possible to sustain our family. I was forced to go back to teaching but decided to substitute instead as to not divide myself in two. Ernie sent out his resume and we listed the business for sale knowing full well we could not survive waiting out the construction.
In desperation (and curiosity), I submitted our story to a reality TV series and the summer of our third year we were chosen to film. The casting process was strange and we questioned our decision but pushed on for the sake of the stipend, which we desperately needed, and the hope of getting some media attention at no cost to us. Filming began right after school let out for the summer. We shot for 5 days. It was grueling, fascinating, chaotic and awesome! We made quick friends with the crew and got a behind the scenes view of all that goes into the magic (and torture) that is TV making.
Catch our glimpse of our episode https://youtu.be/C1o5EgRtc4g
Or watch the entire episode by clicking https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5629090/
and choosing your preferred online network.
Don't forget to let us know what you think!
Still curious about our experience? Ask us anything in the comments below.
Multi-tasking over-thinker that is, as you can imagine, often running late.