For this teen, life's no day
at the 'Beach'
Tessa Keller, the 17-year-old narrator of the new season of MTV's "Laguna Beach," admitted her family was hesitant when she approached them with the idea of being on the show.
No wonder. The hit reality series often shows the teenagers cavorting in hot tubs and sharing deep dark secrets about fellow hunks and hotties, and, well, teenage life.
It's the kind of stuff parents know goes on, but probably don't want to see.
"After we talked about it, and investigated more, they got used to the idea," she told the Daily News.
Going in, Keller didn't think she'd be picked for the new season, which launches Wednesday at 10 p.m.
"It wasn't a big deal," she said. "I didn't think much of it. I don't get overexcited."
But then the call came for her to be part of the show.
"Then I thought, 'Oh, I have the chance to be on it,'" she said. "I thought this could be a lot of fun, it could be a good opportunity."
She's right. Already the first two seasons have proven the show to be a launching pad for others.
Lauren Conrad? She was LC to "Laguna" followers, and now fronts MTV's "The Hills." And Kristin Cavallari, perhaps the biggest star to emerge from "Laguna Beach" so far, went on to co-host a UPN show and appears at more events than Condoleezza Rice. "Laguna Beach" follows a group of high school students in a ritzy area of California, and, as can be expected with a gaggle of teenagers, there's love, hate, dealing with cliques and a bit of life-learning.
For the participants, some of that learning involves simply working with the cameras.
"At first it's weird," said Keller, who in her spare time models for surfwear companies Hurley and Lucy Love. "Then you started getting used to them and forgot you were there."
Not everybody forgets, though.
"Some people want attention," she said. "And they might cause something to cause drama. For me, I acted like it was my normal life."
That is, to a point.
Keller said the words spoken during coversations might be altered because the participants know the cameras are there.
"You probably worry about what you say more," she said. "But it's what I signed up for. I knew [talking about life] is what I'd have to do. If you didn't really want to talk about it, you wouldn't be here."
Like Cavallari and Conrad, Keller hopes to parlay her "Laguna" time into at least another season, perhaps more. She designs clothes - viewers will see that on the show - and acting isn't out of the question, either.
For now, though, she wants viewers to get something from the show.
"I hope people in high school see things that may have been on-camera and see how we deal with it and get through it," she said. "It happens to everybody."
By RICHARD HUFF
DAILY NEWS TV EDITOR