Are you a single mom who wonders what it would be like to be on a dating show? Stacy Kessler can tell you. Featured on the pilot episode of Bravo's "The Millionaire Matchmaker," Kessler is an actress/model/host/lifestyle coach and single mom of four who gave it a try in the hopes she'd meet Mr. Right. She didn't -- but she sure learned a lot.
"I actually went in with the honest feeling that I might meet somebody," says Kessler. "I wasn't completely optimistic, but I went in with that attitude. Whatever else I got out of it, I was real. It was quite an experience, because it came from the number-one reality TV production company. But dealing with a character like Patti Stanger was quite an eye-opening experience for me."
For one, Kessler felt misunderstood by the Millionaire Matchmaker. "It was a nightmare," she says. "It was really difficult, because she's so stuck in her ways. Her character doesn't really develop. She's kind of got her one thing going."
So what personal lesson did she learn by doing the show? "Everything's worth trying, regardless if it's for your personal life, your sexual life or your career," says Kessler. "The risktakers are the ones who get ahead. You can't get anywhere in life without taking risks."
But even risktaker Kessler, mom of three boys and girl aged 11, 16, 17 and 20, finds dating difficult. "The truth is, you can be a single mom and date," she says. "You can be a career woman and not a mom and date. But being both a career woman and a single mom ... dating doesn't really happen without real effort. Dating as a single mom with even one kid is hard, but the more you multiply, the harder it is. Time management is critical."
In raising her brood, Kessler shares the same struggles we all do in balancing career and kids. "There are challenges and pleasures in every day," she says. "The challenge is trying to pursue my dreams and achieve my goals while I facilitate my children to achieve their dreams. Being highly organized helps!"
Done with dating shows, Kessler is focused on building a career in entertainment as an actress and TV host. She has also assumed the position of lifestyle coach on her YouTube show "The Lingerie Script," which is aimed at empowering 40-something women. "It's something tasteful, classy and unexpected," she says of the show, which includes expert diet and exercise tips.
Why was important for her to target her own age group? "Successful women with children who, number one, are happy -- which is the most important thing in life -- and are personally and professionally successful ... achieving all that is a tall order," she says. "A lot of people just can't do it alone. But if I can do it, anybody can."