Although I never actually attended an open casting call when I was trying to get on Reality TV (I always sent in audition videos) I do have some experience with them.
A few years ago my local CBS affiliate station in Detroit invited me to “host” one of their Big Brother casting calls.
(Note: host = go around with a microphone and act like you know what you’re doing)
The casting call was held at a former pro-football stadium and it included casting calls for two shows, instead of normally just one. When I arrived at the event, I was shocked at the mass of people in line.
It was completely unlike anything I had ever seen and I wondered how many of them realized that they would be waiting 4-5 hours for an opportunity to speak in front of the camera for 60 seconds.
Because I had to “host” the event I did not have a chance to talk to as many applicants as I would have liked. What I did have the chance to do was sit in on the entire session of interviews.
This type of open call was a little bit different than the one that just happened in LA for Big Brother. The main difference is that there were no representatives from the casting company at this one I ‘hosted.’ There was just a local CBS affiliate camera man running the actual casting room.
Behind the Scenes
I had the chance to sit through a ton of auditions during the open call. It was a pretty simple setup, the applicant would walk in with an application, throw it in a box and the cameraman would give a super brief set of instructions. All this was going on as I just sat there and watched behind the camera.
Time and time again people would stand in front of the camera and not do a whole lot. No stories, no energy, nothing. It got to the point where it was tough to watch.
A lot of the people who showed up LOOKED like they could be great contestants, but they didn’t know what to do in front of the camera.
Eventually, as I saw so many people fail, I started to give the applicants pointers BEFORE the camera turned on.
Mistakes Applicants Made
Most people entered the casting room without a clue. One guy in particular sang an entire Lady Gaga song as his interview. It was mildly entertaining but because he didn’t introduce himself (or his story) it really gave him no shot to actually get cast on the show.
As I sat through many attempts to get on the show, I started to notice patterns, which later became the basis for How To Get On Reality TV: The Complete Step by Step Guide.
The majority of people I talked to before they were on camera were very dynamic and engaging, but once the camera was on, their personalities shriveled up.
These applicants only needed a little genuine direction and some of them would have had a legitimate shot at Semi-finals.
Watch the Video
When you watch the video look past my bad jokes and over inflated hair. Focus on the things going on in the background to get a true feel of what a casting call is like. The more comfortable you can become with the environment before arriving at the open casting call, the better you will do.
Take notice of the lines, camera setup, and waiting area. What else can you find in this video that will help you? Enjoy:
In The End
There is a lot to learn from this short video if you are really serious about getting cast on Reality TV. Don’t be like most people that showed up at this actual casting call with no energy or stories ready to go. I can remember leaving this event a little upset that these people who really wanted to get on Reality TV had no clue what to do.
At the same time looking back this experience really inspired me to create this website and write two books to help people get on Reality TV.
What did you learn from this Open Call Casting Video? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Also if you haven’t had a chance to preview my eBook ‘How a Normal Guy Got Cast on Reality TV – you can do so by clicking here!