Oceansider goes ‘Below Deck’ on reality TV show


A young Oceansider is set to appear on a reality television show next week where she will find herself as a stewardess on a yacht sailing around Italy, assisting guests by day and partying with crewmembers by night.

“I’m just someone who’s on a reality TV show,” said Kasey Cohen an Oceanside native who will appear on season three of Bravo’s “Below Deck Mediterranean” premiering next Tuesday. Cohen, who still resides in the area, attended School No. 3, School No. 9E, Oceanside Middle School and Oceanside High School, graduating in 2010.

“I’ve always been around nautical things,” Cohen said, noting that she has had her boating license since she was nine years old, and that she used to work for a family friend’s charter by the bay. On the flip side, she was a state finalist for the Miss United States competition and she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stony Brook University. She also pursued acting on the side and said she always felt that, “With yachting, you could go anywhere,” so she jumped at the opportunity to appear on “Below Deck.”

“She’s always been ‘What you see is what you get,’” said Cohen’s mother, Giselle, who added that her daughter is the kind of person to go out of her way to help others in need, recalling how often she would drive around Oceanside past midnight in her high school days to give rides to friends who were stranded.

Cohen filmed “Below Deck” for six weeks in Naples, Italy and around its neighboring islands on a “superyacht” dubbed Talisman Maiton. There were nine crewmembers, including the captain and herself, and cameras followed the crew around all day and night. She said it was a strange experience, “because you have absolutely no privacy,” but also cool since they were able to capture every moment of her experience on tape — even the drama from the “cabin fever” she and her cast members dealt with.

Without spoiling anything, Cohen recalled a few choice scenes. In one, she vomits, which she described as, “A little embarrassing for someone who has always been around boats!” In another, she described to the cameraperson sexual advances made by a male crewmember but maintained that nothing would come of it because, “He’s a f**kboy who’s trying to pollinate every flower.” However, there is hinting of a possible romance between the two.

Overall, she said she enjoyed working with her teammates, who all come from different backgrounds, including fellow Long Islander Colin Macy-O’Toole from Sayville, Suffolk County. He described Cohen as polite, outgoing and personable. “It always helped to take a few minutes out of your day to talk to Kasey,” Macy-O’Toole said, adding she made him feel more comfortable. “I think I sat next to her for every dinner,” he laughed. According to him, Cohen was a hard worker and the most consistent crewmember when it came to handling difficult situations.

Cohen said she is the same on and off camera, noting, “I am who I am, and I love who I am.” Although she was referenced by Bravo as “privileged” and “sheltered” in the show’s promotional materials, she said she believes she can pull her own weight. “I think I represented our people (Oceanside) pretty well,” Cohen said.

Her friend, and fellow Oceansider, Hayley Riesel, agreed. “She’s the sweetest girl I ever met,” she said. Riesel has known Cohen since childhood and expressed excitement for her friend’s big television break, but also unease at how Bravo might portray her friend after the editing process. Nonetheless, Riesel reassured that Cohen could indeed “hold her own.”

Cohen said she hopes to receive additional offers for television roles after “Below Deck’s” May 15 air on television screens across the country (and Europe on May 16). She added that she also hopes Oceanside gets to know her through the show where Cohen said she believes she stayed true to herself and understood the possibility of a negative perception. Yet, she said, she is not worried.