2 Strategies For Your Reality TV Audition Video

by Dan Gheesling

How-To-Get-On-Reality-TV-Dan-Gheesling-Audition-VideoSo you’re ready to apply for your favorite Reality TV show.  You’ve just filled out the application and get to the point where you need to shoot your audition video.

Chances are (if you are anything like me) that you’ve never filmed yourself on video camera before.  Most people haven’t recorded themselves because it is really not a normal thing to do.

Just because you’ve never shot an audition video before doesn’t mean you can’t create a great one.

Before you even think about shooting an audition video you need to understand how important it is to your casting success.


Your Audition Video Is Everything

You are trying to convince someone who has never seen or met you before, to put you on a Reality TV show.  Of course they are going to read your application, but that doesn’t really show who you are as a person.

The only way the Casting Producer can learn who you are and why you would be great for Reality TV is to show them.

Your audition video can literally make or break you.  It is your story, sales pitch, and sole chance to get cast on Reality TV in the form of a 2-3 minute video.  What you do on your audition video is absolutely critical to your success in casting, so you must have some strategy or plan behind it.

Let me restate this because it is THAT important: if you want to get on Reality TV, your audition video has to have a strategic and focused plan behind it!


Why You Need A Strategy For Your Audition Video?

Having a strategy will allow you to focus on exactly what you need to be doing and it will also prevent you from straying from your storyline.  It is very easy to sit down in front of the camera and ramble on and on.  Having a strategy in place will keep you on task and relevant to the Casting Producer who will be watching it.


The Two Basic Audition Video Strategies

First, you will need to decide on your strategy.  Then, you will develop a pointed plan to follow.  Let’s take a look at the two strategies and figure out which one will be best suited for you.

How-To-Shoot-A-Reality-TV-Audition-Video-The-Easy-WayStrategy #1 – Point & Shoot

The Point & Shoot strategy is the fast and easy way to shoot an audition video.  It is as simple as setting up a camera (or FlipCam – this is the one I have) and hitting the record button while you talk for 2-3 minutes straight.  There is not a lot of time involved in this strategy nor is there any need for editing.

You can have a video like this completed in about 15 minutes, depending on how many times you need to film it.

The Point & Shoot strategy is ideal for someone who is extremely comfortable in front of the camera.  If you know you can naturally tell great stories then this strategy is for you.

(If you’re not sure if you tell great stories, ask someone you trust for an honest opinion)

The Point & Shoot strategy allows for the Casting Producers to see who you truly are because there are no breaks in the filming.  This type of audition video will show your true personality, quirks and all.   Point and Shoot imitates a genuine, non-scripted conversation the Casting Producers would normally have with you in person.

If you struggle in front of the camera, are shy, and don’t feel like you can tell a great story, this is NOT the strategy for you.  Don’t worry; I couldn’t tell a story to save my life.

I was also very shy and I didn’t feel comfortable in front of the camera.  But I still made it on Reality TV!

If the Point and Shoot strategy doesn’t sound like a good fit for you, don’t do it.  If this is the case, you are going to want to use the other successful strategy that I used to create my audition video.


How-To-Shoot-A-Reality-TV-Audition-Video-The-Edit-WayStrategy #2 – Production & Shoot

The Production & Shoot strategy is much more involved than the Point & Shoot strategy.  Essentially, your video becomes a full-scale production.  Your video will take place in a controlled environment with cut scenes, different shots angles, and a semi-professional edit.

This strategy requires more time and effort on your part, but the tradeoff provides you with a better opportunity to be cast.

Using this strategy allows the Casting Producer to get a controlled view of who you are.  The best part is that you are the one doing the controlling.

Inserting actions scenes of you at your place of work, or arena of competition, provides a compelling dimension to visualizing your story.  There is something about seeing someone in action that allows you to see who he or she really is.

I recommend this strategy for most people, because it worked for me.  I was not always comfortable in front of the camera. Shooting multiple audition videos with this strategy allowed me to become very comfortable on camera in a short time.

This strategy will allow you to approach the audition video like a project that can be tweaked, planned out, and perfected.  It puts less pressure on you to perform in front of the camera because you can edit it however you want.  The only drawback to this strategy is that it does take a considerable amount of time and effort.

If it is truly your dream to get on Reality TV, then all of the time spent on this strategy will be worthwhile.


Build A Plan

No matter which strategy you select, you must create an outlined plan of what your audition video is going to look like.  Applicants who get in front of their camera and “wing it” are doomed to fail.  With a little preparation, you will set your audition video apart from the thousands of others who apply.


Just Do It Already

It is very awkward to look into a video camera and tell someone how great you would be for Reality TV, but it’s something you have to do.  The more you do it the better you will get at it. Even if you don’t want to put your whole video together today, record yourself in front of the camera and get the process started! The sooner you start the more comfortable on camera you will get.

Which Audition Video strategy is best for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation on the Facebook page!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn March 30, 2012 at 4:21 am

Thanks for all the time and effort you’ve put into this. The information you’ve been putting out is not only immensly helpful, but extremely interesting. I’ve always wondered how the casting process works, whether or not i ever get to experience it.
I do have 2 questions for you though, when you get a chance.
1. Is there a place to see your audition video?
2. Are you getting any backlash from the business for being so open about the process?


Dan Gheesling March 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Shawn – thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate the feedback – I’m always looking to improve the site. To answer your questions, right now there is no where to see my audition videos – they will be a part of the How To Course in the near future. Also I have not gotten any backlash yet – I am not revealing nor do I plan to reveal and CBS production secrets. It’s a fine line to walk but bottom line I’m just trying to help people who really want to get on Reality TV do so.

The goal of the site is to help prepare people for a Reality TV audition process. The networks always mix things up so it is very difficult to teach the exact process but the audition skills you can develop can always be used no matter what the process.

Thanks for the comment Shawn!


Shawn March 31, 2012 at 5:42 am

Awesome. Thanks again, Dan, for all the info. You’re the man.
For me, one of the main points that you’ve touched on is defining what ‘being yourself’ means. You hear that all the time, of course, but what does that really mean? Amping up the energy and pulling out individual character traits to key on seems to be the objective, while still remaining true to who you are. I was thinking i should probably tone things down a bit so i dont come off too strong… but having read your comments, i really just need to let it fly. Much easier that way.
I’m volunteering to become your guinea pig and to put the Dan Gheesling system to the test once again! I have a decent all-around resume, but just need to get their attention (in a positive way.)
BTW on your season, the Jesse hug was hilarious… and your motivational speeches were awesome.


Dan Gheesling April 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Awesome Shawn! Best of luck to you!


Matt October 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Thanks for the advice Dan, much appreciated. My big brother audtion tape is complete.

Kristine Schwartz July 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Thanks for taking the time to help out all of us who would love to be on Big Brother! Love you by the way! I’m working on my audition video to be on the first season of big brother Canada! Wish me luck ;)


ayush August 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Hey dan. Im a 13 year old kid and im auditioning for a reality/comedy show. I need to make a 30 second to 1 minute tape. How do I make a funny but serious tape?


holly September 26, 2012 at 1:25 am

hey Dan. congradulations on winning big brother someday im getting on big brother i’ve been a fan of you since i was little. But in your audition videos were you shy at all? Once you one were you supprised or shocked by any chance? if you have time comment back or E-mail me wright445holly@yahoo.com


Lucy October 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Hey Dan! First off I am a huge fan!! I was wondering if I were to send you my audition tape, if u would be able to give me tips on what I can do better? I know your time is valuable so completely understand if you can’t.


Jessica October 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Hi Dan,

Thank you for posting these tips!
Are you opening to viewing application videos for houseguest hopefuls?
Had to ask.


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