The House That Trash Built

Apparently – thanks to my DVD ripper – it’s throwback week on RG!

So remember a couple of years ago, when I spent months and months flying back and forth to St. Louis, filming a project that I was all cagey and secretive about, because I contractually wasn’t allowed to discuss it? It was a pilot called The House That Trash Built. Basically, what the show involved was our team literally building a house from the ground up using nothing but reclaimed materials (a.k.a. trash). We found old windows at a church, pulled tiles out of a house that was slated for demolition, and made furniture out of tires.

It was exhausting, and oh my god so hot, and a complete dream come true. I loved the work; I loved the creativity; I loved my cohost and producers and crew – by the end of it all, we were practically family. It was also one of the most emotionally strenuous things I’ve ever done; I spent far too much time away from my kids – so much that I could hardly bear it.

The show did end up getting “picked up” (when a network gives you the go-ahead to film an entire season; it’s the goal of any TV pilot) for 18 episodes, but then various confusing things happened at the network and…anyway, spoiler: it never aired.

I wasn’t surprised – trust me, I’ve been kicking around the entertainment industry for long enough now to know that it is actually impossible to be hired to star in a television show – forget about being given input into creative direction and content and having the show be something you believe in and love. It is triple-impossible to have this show actually end up going to air.

I knew all that. But when it fell apart at virtually the last possible second, it hurt. A lot.

It’s been almost four years now since the whole thing began with a phone call from a producer who’d seen me on YouTube and wanted me to audition, and the reality is that it’s a very, very good thing that I am not currently hosting a television show that would have required me to be on the road for well over half of each year. Forget about the emotional strain of being away from my kids: Given the events of the past couple of years, it would have been logistically impossible. And honestly, that much traveling might’ve killed me. I vastly prefer being alive.

But still, there’s a part of me that misses the road. I’m glad I have this to remember it by.

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