Reality Dish Exclusive Interview: Sarah Rice of The Real World: Brooklyn

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The 21st season of The Real World is currently airing on MTV with the third episode premiering tonight, Wednesday, January 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. This season returns to New York City, but this time the setting is in Brooklyn. This was the first time that there were 8 roommates inside The Real World house. This was also the first time, since season 4 that the roommates didn’t have a “group job”. Each roommate got the chance to pursue their own interests. Like always, the house was made up of 8 diverse personalities. The other day I got a chance to talk to a couple of the roommates.

Next up was Sarah Rice. Sarah is 22 and is from San Francisco, CA. Sarah is an artist who suffered a traumatic upbringing that included sexual abuse, and has dedicated herself as an educator and advocate for survivors of abuse, using art and creative therapy. She hopes to show her art in a gallery, and recently began a relationship with a man to whom her mother introduced her, one of her first heterosexual relationships, as most of her prior ones were with women. Sarah appearance is described to be that of a “tattooed punk”.

Here is what Sarah had to say about her Real World experience…


Josh Clinton: Hey Sarah.

Sarah Rice: Hi.

JC: How are you doing?

SR: I’m good. How are you?

JC: Doing good. Were you a fan of The Real World before you got on the show?

SR: I definitely watched it. I wouldn’t call myself a fan, because I wasn’t really interested in the last few seasons. But now I’m a huge fan!

JC: Yeah, I understand. What season do you last remember really being interested in?

SR: I really liked The Real World: New Orleans. That was the last one I was really interested in.

JC: Okay. Why did you try out for the show then?

SR: I tried out just to do something fun on a Sunday afternoon and I wanted to have a story I could tell my friends. Then, I ended up making through all the call backs, and then I thought this is something I could do. I never went in with any anticipation of making it.

JC: Yeah. You have been described as a “tattooed punk”. What do you think about that and have you dealt with this kind of stereotypes before?

SR: Yeah, of course. I have dealt with that every single day. It’s just how I look and there is no way around it. But people would be surprised to learn that you can’t judge a book by its cover. My tattooed appearance doesn’t define me by any means. I don’t even think I fit in the normal description of someone who people would think would have tattoos.

JC: Yeah, exactly. So before you the show, you had a boyfriend, right?

SR: Yes.

JC: I had read that this was one of your first heterosexual relationships. Is that true?

SR: It’s one of the first. I had another one when I was like 16.

JC: Okay. So had you always been attracted to women more than men?

SR: No, actual I have an equal amount of relationships with men that I had with women.

JC: Oh, okay. I understand. Did you have any concern about your relationship with him because of the distance away from him and all the temptation?

SR: No, if anything we would just miss each other. But we both knew that I would go on the show with him and leave the show, still with him. I wasn’t going to do anything, and I didn’t do anything that would hurt our relationship. Things are good.

JC: Good. Cool. So in the second episode, Katelynn told you that she was a transgender. What you were thinking at that point?

SR: It didn’t come as a complete shock to me, and it’s not really a big deal to me. That is not how I thought of her, and still when I think of her, I only see Katelynn as a girl. So I felt really good that she was able to come to me with that information. I felt really honored for that. That was the only thing besides I just wanted to know how much it cost!

JC: Yeah, exactly. So how much of the show have you seen so far? Like the first three episodes?

SR: Yes, the first three.

JC: Okay. So from what you have seen so far, do you think you have been portrayed accurately?

SR: Yeah, I think so. I think that’s exactly how I am. I think they did a great job and I like it.

JC: So so far so good.

SR: Well heck yeah!

JC: Cool. Do you think that Real World producers look for personalities that will conflict with each other in the house? Do they try and manufacture drama that way?

SR: No, I think that just get people who are different. The show wouldn’t be that great if they got people who looked exactly alike and was exactly alike. It wouldn’t be what it is. What’s the point? By getting people with different backgrounds. For example, take Chet, who’s from Salt Lake City and a member of the Mormon Church. Okay, he’s going to have really conservative ideas. Then you get someone from San Francisco that is covered in tattoos is probably going to be more liberal. No matter what you do, even if those people met on the streets, they are going to have conflicting views. We just happen to all be put under the same roof. I don’t think it’s the show itself that brings out the drama, it’s the mixture and melting pot of different people that we have.

JC: Yeah. Do you think any of your roommates played to the cameras at all? If the cameras weren’t around, do you think they would be doing what they did?

SR: Some of JD’s actions in the beginning were a little bit like that. But after 4 months of taping you learn to ignore the cameras. It would be too difficult to put on a show for 4 months. I mean personally, I would get tired of doing it. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know my actions were genuine. I know for the most part everyone else’s was. But then again, I don’t know how these people are in, I mean a few of them I have hung out with without the cameras there, but I don’t know how they are 24/7 in the day-to-day lives.

JC: Right. This is the first season since season four to not have a “house job”. You could all do what you wanted to do. How do you think that all turned out?

SR: I loved it. I thought it was great. I came in there thinking that if we did any job together, there would not be a job on the planet that they could up with for all of us to do, that would benefit my future career. You know, add to my resume I guess. But here we got he chance to do things we plan on doing in the future. It was just the perfect setting to pursue our careers in. You can really do anything in New York, and it allowed everyone to do that. I think it worked out great. I loved it. I think we are all very strong Type-A personalities, so we would have killed each other if we had to work together.

JC: Yeah. So you don’t think it hurt the bonding between you and your roommates then?

SR: No, we lived under the same roof with each other. We spent a lot of time together.

JC: So who are you friends with today then?

SR: I talk to every single person. JD, I talked to once. But everyone else I talk to weekly. Baja, I talk to every other day, Katelynn all the time, Devyn all the time, Chet and I talk a lot.

JC: Okay, cool. Did your opinions of any of the roommates change from the beginning of the show to the end of it?

SR: I wouldn’t say that. I went in there without a real opinion on everyone, because I knew they were all going to be pretty much like myself, which is usually the opposite of what your opinion is when you first see them. But I think I just learned more about these people. I didn’t go in there thinking this is Baja the dancer, Katelynn the transgender. I just went in there thinking that these are 7 fgggdifferent people, and I came out learning more about each person’s story.

JC: Right. You have been an advocate for abuse. Do you think this show will help you further that?

SR: Oh yeah, I think it will give a voice to a group that a lot of times doesn’t have one. I hope it will encourage people to share their own stories. So if it’s something they haven’t dealt with, then I hope this will encourage them to do this.

JC: Cool. What did you learn about yourself, while being on the show?

SR: I learned patience. I learned to let a lot of things go. To be less controlling. Before I even went into this, I was so bossy. I was the kid in elementary school that everyone hated, because I was the teacher’s pet. I told everyone what to do, and I think going in here you have to learn that there are 7 other people and there are probably 7 other ways to get the job done, and your way isn’t always right, Sarah.

JC: Yeah. Have you had any fans come up to you yet?

SR: Yeah, I’ve had a few. The one thing that just drives me crazy, is someone will just come up to me and they will say “hey, are you that girl from The Real World?” And I would be like “yeah, I am!” Then, they will turn around to their friend and say “I told you so!” and walk away. You can talk to me and say like “hey, how you doing” or whatever. But yes people have come up to me. I like it, though.

JC: Good. If you got the chance, would you do a Real World/Road Rules Challenge?

SR: I would do a challenge, heck yeah! I’m really competitive and I would love to get on there and kick some butt!

JC: Sounds good. So what are you doing now and what do you want to do in the future?

SR: I’m going to head back to school and finish my degree. Right now, I’m just seeing how things are going. I have been working a few odd jobs here and there. I would love to do some public speaking about sexual abuse and things like that. But that’s what I hope to do in the future.

JC: Very cool. Well that is all I have for you, but good luck with everything and thanks for your time.

SR: Thank you!


The Real World: Brooklyn airs on MTV on Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT time.

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