Anyone who’s been sucked into Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker is familiar with the particular charms of its Los Angeles-based star, Patti Stanger. The founder of the Millionaire’s Club, a dating service and charm school for the uber-wealthy, manages to be both nasty and genuinely sweet to her unlucky-in-love charges and their prospective sweethearts. So when my boss got an email inviting her to a casting call for the upcoming season, to be shot in New York City, I, her reality TV-obsessed intern, was given the task of attending. And what’s more, I agreed to enter my single self into the pool of hopefuls for the event, despite never having been set up on a blind date, let alone one that might take place on film.


Upon entering the Marcel Hotel, I was escorted to the Polar Lounge, which resembled the gender-divided dance floor at a middle school social. Miniskirt-clad twenty- and thirty something women eagerly filled out forms, while the guys (mostly actor types) clung tight to the bar. I started by filling out the 26-page application. How did I find dating in New York? Fast paced and non-committal. What was my last boyfriend’s biggest fault? His Napoleonic complex. Who would my dream millionaire be? A New York Yankee. What was I hoping for out of this? Who knows?


Eventually I was led into a private room to chat with casting director Vinnie Potestivo, who insisted that viewers will be introduced to a different type of dater in New York, someone more career driven, sophisticated and fashion-focused. “And the men won’t be slobs,” he added, taking a dig at the Los Angeles lot. Quickly, talk turned to my own dating preferences. I got the feeling that Potestivo had already picked out my dream millionaire and was just waiting for me to say yes. Would I date someone who was not Catholic? Would 5’10’’ be a suitable height for a date? Would I be attracted to someone who worked in fashion? Yes, yes and yes. As I posed for a photo and gave Potestivo my contact information, the spirit of the event took over and I couldn’t help but feel a little hopeful, excited even. Now all I have to do is get ready for my close-up.

—Lauren Mayer

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