• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

'Jersey Shore' star hasn't quit day job

 Deena Nicole Cortese afraid fame is fleeting

While The Situation has managed to create his own money-making empire, not every member of MTV's Jersey Shore will be pulling in $5 million this year.

"I'm actually going back to work two days a week until my season airs," former waitress Deena Nicole Cortese -- a new addition to the cast's upcoming third season -- told The Hollywood Reporter at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards in L.A.

"This is still surreal and I feel like I'm going to wake up tomorrow and it's all going to be gone. Just a month and a half ago I was at Longhorn steakhouse serving steaks, and now I'm at the VMAs," she said.

But, odds are the New Jersey native won't have to keep her day job for long. The show's ratings continue to break records, making it MTV's highest rated telecast in the network's 12-34 demo in eight years -- and its stars household names. Something Cortese is already experiencing a taste of. "As soon as I finished filming, I had my family tell me there were fan pages. I wasn't expecting that until after my season aired."

She added that the reality show's third installment, which airs next year, will continue its buzzy trend. "Season 3 is definitely going to be a comedy show filled with drama," Cortese tells THR. "It's a mix of Season 1 and Season 2. It's just a riot and everyone's going to die when they see it."