Susie Meister began her Road Rules career nine years ago on Road Rules: Australia. After a long hiatus where she went back to school, did local news reporting and led a regular life, she returned to MTV to be a part of Road Rules: Viewers Revenge. Susie was kind enough to sit down with BuddyTV and talk about her experience with the “live” format of this new season, being a part of the upcoming Inferno 3, and the end of her reality TV appearances.
BuddyTV: How did you initially get involved with MTV?
Susie: Well I was a super fan when I was in high school and there was a guy on the show named Timmy who was from Pittsburgh and that’s where I’m from. So I wrote him his first fan letter and just waited patiently to turn 18 so that I could audition for the show. So on my 18th birthday I sent in a video tape and then eventually got on the show so I never really felt like I was a cast member I always sort of felt like I was a fan who had infiltrated the cast.
Was that your inspiration behind initially trying out for the show and your ultimate involvement with Road Rules: Australia?
Absolutely. I loved the show so much and I just wanted to be a part of it. Back then it was before Survivor and it was before all the reality stuff really happened so for me it wasn’t about being on TV as much as it was just an incredible adventure and getting to go to an amazing place that I would never normally get to go. So, I mean, I just was thrilled. And I had never been away from home and I was 18 so, it was just a dream come true really. And here I am nine years later.
Aside from your experience with Road Rules: Australia and obviously now being on Viewers Revenge, have there been other projects in-between those time frames where you’ve had things aside from MTV in the area of television and entertainment?
Well I went back to my hometown, Pittsburgh, and I went to school and was leading a normal life and then after I graduated I did start working locally for the PBS affiliate as a reporter for their nightly show but my goal was never really for fame and fortune but it did open a lot of doors as far as using my education with my experience in entertainment so it’s worked out great and I feel really lucky because you know, I think a lot of reality people expect to be big stars after it’s over and I think that it might be a better plan to do like I did where you just go back to your home town and you’re sort of a big fish in a small pond so you can get a lot of experience and valuable work really. So that’s all. But I mean I think this is going to be my last reality experience. I already taped The Inferno 3, which is going to start airing but I think this is it for me, I’m going to wrap it up I think.
You’re pretty well known for your strong Christian beliefs. Do you find that it’s hard to hold true to your beliefs while being in television and entertainment, especially on a show like Road Rules?
Um, it can be if you feel pressured to conform to the personalities of other people but I’ve never experienced you know, anybody trying to make me do something I didn’t want to do or anything like that. I’ve always had sort of a strong sense of self and as long as you have that I don’t think it’s too hard but you know, you can get caught up. What I find to be the hardest part is just the ego of it all. You start to actually believe that you are really important so you have to really keep that in check because let’s face it, it’s fun to be on a reality TV show but it is what it is. I don’t know, I think the Christian thing is pretty well accepted and everybody is okay with it. That’s my experience anyway.
How did you end up on Viewers Revenge?
Well I had taped The Inferno 3 and it was taped in South Africa and I had an amazing experience. I loved the adventure and the travel and it was really tough but I had such a blast and when I heard that they were doing Road Rules again, I had thought over the last nine years there were so many times when I thought, “I wish I could do my Road Rules over again and do it differently and really appreciate it and how special it is.” And so I just couldn’t believe that they were going to do Road Rules again but invite people who had already done it. I felt like it was a dream come true. So I basically harassed the producers into letting me do it because I was determined, I really wanted to be a part of it.
You know, Viewers Revenge definitely has a unique format in that you know, not only is each episode filmed only a week before airing but fans can actually interact with the show, go onto MTV.com and vote for who they think should go into elimination. How has this element of the show affected the way that you play this game?
I think that it’s changed the way everybody’s played the game. Because the episodes air while we tape them, it’s a completely different experience. You’re getting feedback from the viewers and your family and friends about every little thing that you do. And normally you have to wait six months and it’s already done and you can’t do anything about it. So I’ve noticed that now each week, some of the cast members are sort of monitoring their behavior and changing like, their character to maybe please the audience, which is totally weird and I’ve never experienced that before. It must be really strange for the new kids because this is the first time they’ve been on TV and they’re taping it and watching it at the same time so it’s very interactive, the fans have been great with the voting and like you know, mixing it up with the new people. So I kind of like it but I don’t know how I would feel if I was one of the new kids.
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