6 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Reality TV Open Casting Call

by Dan Gheesling

Reality-TV-Open-Casting-CallIf you’re trying to get on Reality TV attending an open casting call can provide you an opportunity that is near impossible to do otherwise: getting face to face with a Reality TV Casting Producer.

Most Reality TV shows that are talent based (American Idol and X-Factor) only use open casting calls exclusively to select their contestants.  Others Reality TV Shows like Big Brother or Survivor use a combination of open casting calls and audition video submissions to find their contestants.

If you are unsure of what an open casting call is be sure to go back and watch this video to get a feel for how one works.

Why You Should Attend a Reality TV Open Casting Call

Open casting calls are great for people who have big personalities, personas, larger-than-life style, and are comfortable in-front of the camera.  If that doesn’t sound like you, I always recommend taking the other route.

But before you rule out attending an open casting call because you are camera-shy you need to understand there are a TON of benefits by going:

  • You get to show a Casting Producer the full package – everything from head to toe including your outfit and in person energy that can harder to captivate over an audition video.
  • There is distinct opportunity to create a connection with a Casting Producer – whether it is through a witty line or mutual dislike for one another you can make an impression at an open call very quickly.
  • It’s one of the best ways to prepare for the next round of casting – you have the opportunity to analyze other people at the event and use that information in your audition.
  • You will gain experience in front of the camera in public - this can be very valuable because with experience comes confidence, especially in front of the camera.
  • It’s worthwhile to see the operation – a casting call is similar to a simplified and less exclusive version of the Semi-finals.  It is worthwhile to  attend especially if you have NO casting experience at all.
  • Exposure to other Reality TV hopefuls – if you are observant, you can see firsthand how other people epically fail at the casting process so you don’t do the same.


Make the Best Decision For You

Ultimately you are in control of your Reality TV casting fate.  There are 1001 paths to get on Reality TV. Every path starts somewhere, one of the fastest ways to start your path is to go to an open casting call.

Even if you attend an open casting call and don’t do as well as you would like be sure to take something away from the experience.  Don’t beat yourself up if you freeze in front of the Casting Producer, learn from it, and don’t make the same mistake again.

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What was your experience like at an open casting call?  What did you take away from the experience? I’d love to hear your story below in the comments!
Photo Credit: Robyn Kass


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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen April 6, 2012 at 1:30 am

Hi Dan.
I have never tried out for a Reality show. Not sure I would be a good enough liar. lol My face would turn RED!. Just wanted to check out your Article. :) You did a great job!

For what it’s worth, I think you’re becoming a good writer. C’ya :)


Samantha April 6, 2012 at 3:12 am


So an applicant can either go to a casting call or submit an online application? Or would you advise people to do both?
I tried shooting some sample audition videos, and I’m not sure they show my best me. So I was considering going to an upcoming casting call, but the idea of waiting in a 4-5 hour line for a 60 second interaction is another factor to consider.


Dan Gheesling April 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Samantha – I don’t advise people to do both. Pick whichever one you feel gives you the best opportunity to sell yourself best and go with it. Each casting call is different, if you get there earlier enough you can get in and out a lot quicker. But you’re right – waiting in line that long is a factor to consider – but if you REALLY want to get on – it can be worth it. ;)


Samantha April 7, 2012 at 3:33 am

That’s what I was thinking, in terms of video versus casting call.
Waiting in the line can definitely be worth it. I got my plans all set to head to a nearby casting call this week!!


Tayloranne April 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm

I went to a Big Brother open call a few years ago and it was so exciting and fun to be apart of. You are in line with others who love the show and everyone talks about favorite players etc. so the wait is apart of the fun! The casting agents give everyone a chance to talk and they made me feel comfortable. I obviously didnt make it, but I recommend it because of the great experience you get out of being just being apart of it. Love the articles on this site :)


Dan Gheesling April 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Hey Taylor thanks for sharing your experience. You bring up a great point! With all of the strategies and skills you can use to help you get on Reality TV, you bring up one of the most important ones of all: having fun! It is a lot of fun being on Reality TV and the casting process is stressful but it is fun believe it or not. Thanks for adding your insight! Glad you are enjoying the articles. :)


Brent Stephens April 10, 2012 at 1:49 am

I went last year to the Dallas Casting call and had a blast. I actually preferred to be waiting in line for the experience along side other Big Brother Fans and I got to meet both Lane & April from previous Big Brothers. Lane was one of my favorite but I actually liked April more in person. I am going this Saturday to the Dallas Audition again. Hopefully my 3rd year applying is the year.


Dan Gheesling April 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm

3rd times the charm! Good luck Brent. Sounds like your casting call experiences have been very positive. What are you planning to do different this time around?


Brent Stephens April 11, 2012 at 2:27 am

My 1st year I “Scripted” a video … big mistake. Last Year was my first year at the Casting Call and I didn’t really know what to expect so I was most likely a little nervous and not sure how to carry myself. This year I know more what to expect and will come prepared to bring the goods and exude as much of myself as possible in the VERY short time you have to make an impression. Only about 14 people a year out of tens of thousands get a shot so you need to stick out. ALSO, seeing as I am not ruggedly handsome personality is my biggest weapon.


Aaron H. April 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

I can relate Brent. I’m not exactly Brad Pitt either, so I really try and sell my personality/charm. I know if I ever get on the show it won’t be because I have six pack abs or make women swoon.


Aaron H. April 10, 2012 at 6:34 am

Hi Dan,

I just found out about your site today and I think its great. I went to an open casting call in Cincinnati last Sat. It went well but I didn’t get a callback. I’ll be going to another one this Sat. in Louisville. I’m picking up some very helpful pointers on your site. Keep up the great work!


Dan Gheesling April 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Glad the site is helping you Aaron. Keep after it, your persistence will pay off. How did you find the site if you don’t mind me asking?


Aaron H. April 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Hi Dan,

I found out about your site on http://www.onlinebigbrother.com. They had a link to an article on your book/site on their home page.

I agree with Brent’s comments above about casting calls being a fun way to interact with other BB fans. Also, “Crazy” James from BB 9 was there last year and Ronnie from BB 11 was there this year. I didn’t care much for James but Ronnie was nice.


Sam April 11, 2012 at 3:10 am

Is it okay to go to a casting call and submit an online application?


Dan Gheesling April 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Sure it’s OK to do that – but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’d focus more of your time on either doing really well on your open casting call or making a killer audition video. :)


Stacee April 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Hey Dan, when I send in a tape do the casting producers call you at the end of the deadline or anywhere in between? I’ve heard many people say different things. One girl who said they call you while they’re in the town closest to your hometown, another saying in May & June. I have no idea. Thanks.


Dan Gheesling April 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Send it in at least a few days before the deadline. The only thing that matters about when you send it in – is that it makes it to the casting company BEFORE the deadline. Hope this helps!


Corrina April 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I submitted my video on January 1, 2012. I never heard anything, which means my torch was snuffed!

I am heading to Atlantic City on April 28, next week. Is this allowed? I want this more than anything in the world!
Any idea how long I will be in line? My guess is line up for at least 24 hours in advance.

Can you answer these questions, please?



Dan Gheesling April 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Corrina – yeah its safe to say if you applied in January and haven’t heard anything back, it’s time to move on to the next show! Of course it’s allowed Corrinna – go give it your best shot. It is hard to determine how long the lines will be, but expect to spend at least half of your day there, and if it is shorter than you won’t be disappointed!

Good luck!


Mary May 19, 2012 at 6:57 am

Hi Dan,

Just found all of this wonderful info tonight! Been following everything on BB14 as I went to the open call in Boston and was called back the next day! Best experience of my life, and first time as well! Unfortunately, I was notified today by email that they could not cast me for this year but Im not giving up! I thought the open call was amazing, didn’t take long at all and even tho I only got to speak for about 2 mins, I guess it was enough for the casting director to want to see more of me! Had my call back and made it as a semi-finalist. I was in a group and felt that the others had “rehearsed” what they wanted to say about why they would be great for the show and I was very “straight-forward”, guess it worked! Im sad, but really excited that it happened the way it did! I just wish I knew more details as to why it was a “NO”, for now that is! I really want this and will continue will more research! Not bad for a first timer auditioner tho! Going on 14 years as a “fan” tho! Any suggestions?


Dan Gheesling May 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm


Congrats on putting yourself out there – not an easy thing to do. What I would recommend is to take an honest look at what you said and how you can make it more appealing/attention grabbing.

You have to find a way to get to the Semi-finals – which means you need to change something up, it could be what you say, or how you say it. It may also mean to make an audition video instead of going to an open call. :)

Hope this helps!

Take care,



Brian May 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I was wondering how do I find legit casting calls. I live in WV so not much really here. And it seems when I do find or hear of something it’s to late. Like the great escape. I want to do it so bad but didn’t know til I saw it on tv commercials. Please help


Dan Gheesling May 29, 2012 at 4:07 am

Brian – there are a ton of ways to find casting calls. The first place to check is the actual show you like website. Second go right to some of the casting agencies websites like Kassting.com – or there are also some services available at websites at RealityWanted.com. Twitter is also a great resource if you go to search.twitter.com and search for casting calls! Hope this helps.


Mele July 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm

hello! question.. what advice would you give to someone who is writting a reality show script? any tips on how to get a producer to read it? i have a unique idea thats never been shown on tv. i thought about holding my own pre-casting interviews to get more stories to add as examples. would you recommend that? id love some insight in both areas if you will please… thank you!


Mickey Durrant September 21, 2012 at 2:19 am

I don’t know when you’ll check this next, but I was rooting for you since the reset and think you actually got robbed by bitter jurors, but you did make a statement in BB history, and are up there with Dr. Will in my books!

Big Brother Canada casting in my city next weekend, we NEVER get things like this, so it’s going to be a new experience to almost everyone, in the states, you guys have multiple reality shows, multiple times a year, for the past 12 years, it makes me nervous when you say if you don’t make it through this round, theres always another time to apply, but if they blow this season, there won’t be a next time!
Thanks in advanced


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