'100 Days of Summer' series premiere: Community organizing made sexy

100-days-of-summer-cast-bravo-400.jpg "100 Days of Summer," which premieres Tuesday, Jan. 7, on Bravo, is hardly the first reality series that explores the personal and professional lives of young urban professionals, but one of its cast members says viewers may notice a difference in this show's overall tone.

"In Chicago, no one is out to get anyone here as much as you might see in some other reality shows," real estate executive Jay Michael, one of the most engaging personalities on the series, tells Zap2it. "As for me, I don't like bullying, and you'll see that in the show as well. Maybe it's tied into my history, but I always try to step up if I see someone being bullied."

Most of the people in the featured group knew one another before filming started, Michael says, although production brought everyone much closer together.

" Tara [Clack] is actually my dog's vet," he explains. "I didn't know Ray [Austin, a former Chicago Bears football player], but I left filming with some really great friends, with Ray probably being at the top."

A self-described "lifestyle architect," Michael says that he and his colleagues don't develop real estate for the sole purpose of selling it.

"Part of what we do is community organizing," he says. "In fact, that has become the sexiest part of the business to me. I became so interested in building the communities that we actually don't sell most of our investments. It matters to us what is going on in the community around us."

Jay's gems:

  • "I always put 90 minutes for myself into my daily schedule. Usually it's the gym, then coffee, and I don't check my phone."

  • "I make travel a priority. It not only gives you time away, but it opens you up to new and different experiences. Travel can be a source of inspiration."

  • "Pick a day of the week -- say, Sunday -- that works for you and spend it surrounded only by the people you love the most."
Photo/Video credit: Bravo