While the Learning Annex’s adult-ed courses have historically been about moneymaking schemes and hobbies (“Blogging for Dollars 2.0,” “How to Talk to Your Cat”), the school is seeing increasing interest in the teachings of the kind-of famous. “We’re going more and more celebrity,” says founder Bill Zanker, an approach he hit on after a real-estate expo featuring Donald Trump drew 82,000 registrants. (“It was the largest educational event in the history of man,” he says.) Zanker estimates that celebrity and celebrity-ish instructors “are now about 30 percent of our business, and growing.” A sampling of recent course catalogues.
AN EVENING WITH TERESA GIUDICE
Professor: Giudice of Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Lessons included: Promotional materials were vague but promised that “this inspiring evening with a woman who has 377,000 online followers will get you going in the right direction.”
Recent addition to Giudice’s CV: Made news for shouting match outside courtroom where her husband was being sued for fraud.
BOUNCE, DON’T BREAK—A GUIDE TO LIFE, LOVE, AND SUCCESS
Lessons included: “T&A won’t get you ahead (but it will get you a nice car).”
Professor: Former Playboy Playmate of the Year and Celebrity Apprentice alum Brande Roderick.
Recent addition to Roderick’s CV: An autograph signing at the Frank & Son Collectible Show in suburban L.A. in December.
REALITY CHECK—HOW TO MAKE IT IN REALITY TV
Lessons included: How to “pay attention to trends in the marketplace.”
Professor: Apprentice, Surreal Life 5, Fear Factor, and Girls Behaving Badly vet Omarosa Manigault Stallworth.
Recent addition to Stallworth’s CV: Helped created cable dating show Donald J. Trump Presents the Ultimate Merger.
SKINNYGIRL COOKING FOR YOUR NATURALLY THIN LIFE
Lessons included: Ways to “accessorize your meals like your wardrobe.”
Professor: Bethenny Frankel of Real Housewives of New York City.
Recent addition to Frankel’s CV: Launched bottled margarita.
HOW TO BECOME AN INTERNET CELEBRITY
Lessons included: Creating an online brand “using humor shtick, controversy, and ‘secret sauce.’ ”
Professor: Blogger Julia Allison.
Recent addition to Allison’s CV: “Lifecasting”—narrating her entire existence—for start-up nonsociety.com.
SIX WEEKS TO A HOLLYWOOD BODY!
Lessons included: Workout tips for whichever “Hollywood body type” fits you: ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph.
Professor: Noted personal trainer Steve Zim.
Recent addition to Zim’s CV: Still running his Los Angeles gym, A Tighter U.
HOW TO MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION AND CHARM THE SOCKS OFF OF ANYONE
Lessons included: “How to exude high doses of charisma, charm, and personal magnetism.”
Professor: Countess Luann de Lesseps, Real Housewives of New York City.
Recent addition to the countess’s CV: Released first single, “Money Can’t Buy You Class.”
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