HGR 007: An Average College Student to Reality TV Winner In One Open Casting Call – Part 1

by Dan Gheesling

How-To-Get-On-Reality-TV-Ian-TerryThe seventh episode of the How To Get On Reality TV podcast is an interview with Ian Terry, a 21 year old college student who got cast on his first attempt on his favorite show Big Brother.

(Ian also ended up winning the whole show!)

Ian shares with his story of how he got cast on Big Brother 14 along with some interesting things he did along the way.

This interview is divided into two parts! Be sure to subscribe to the e-mail list to be notified when Part 2 is released.

You will also find out in this episode:

  • What Ian’s first casting experience was like with ANOTHER show.
  • How Ian’s Open Casting call experience went.
  • Ian’s smart move in the Semifinal interview that cemented his spot in the Finals.
  • Plus much more…

This episode will help you understand the Open Casting call process from the applicants point of view.

Podcast Notes:

You can listen to the podcast right here on the website by clicking the gray play button above or you can download it right from the link below to listen on your computer or iPod.

The Podcast is also available in iTunes, you can subscribe by clicking this link.

All Podcasts are recorded in one take, no re-dos or anything.

The reason I am doing this is because I want to record a Podcast as if I was directly talking to you in a conversation.   Not a glossed over edited unrealistic conversation.  When edits come into play, the human element and error is lost.


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Thank You:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Dan Gheesling: This is the “How to Get on Reality TV Podcast” with Dan Gheesling, episode seven – Paging Dr. Terry.  Welcome to the “How to Get on Reality TV Podcast” where you will learn everything you need to know to about getting cast on a reality television show.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t know where to start or if you have applied many, many times before.  This podcast will help you improve your casting game.

And welcome back to another episode of the podcast.  I’m very excited to share this interview with you because this interview in particular with Ian Terry is, you know, sitting down with a friend.  Ian and I spent a lot, a lot, a lot of time together when we were on reality TV, you know, during our season and we talked a lot about casting while we played the game together.  And this was a particularly interesting interview for me to listen to because I got a chance to really pick his brain and I learned a lot that I didn’t know before about Ian in terms of another show that he had applied for, where he actually made a big mistake and he learned from it to help him get cast the second time around on the show that he actually wanted to be on, which is Big Brother.

I do want to give you guys a heads up that I had to break this interview up into two parts.  This interview with Ian Terry ran over, ran long, which is a good thing.  He shared so much of his story and it had so much great content in it I had to break it up into two parts because I’m trying to keep all the episodes moving forward between thirty and forty-five minutes.

So without any further ado, here’s the episode part one of Average College Student to Reality TV Show Winner with Ian Terry.  I hope you guys enjoy it.

Dan Gheesling: Alright so I’m super excited today to have Dr. Ian Terry, winner of Big Brother 14 on the “How to Get on Reality TV Podcast”. The reason why I’m excited to have Ian is because he’s just like me, he’s a normal guy who got on reality TV and he actually won the show.  So Ian we’re super excited to have you here today buddy.

Ian Terry: Thanks for having me Dan, really a pleasure to be here.

Dan Gheesling: Yeah, no really excited to have you here.  So I wanna get right into this Ian, I want you to kinda take me way back and tell me about your knowledge of the casting process before you even applied for Big Brother.  So how much do you know about casting before you decided to apply for Big Brother?

Ian Terry: Umm, going into it I knew next to nothing.  I went into it kind of blind, went into the casting call. I had maybe read an article online that Matt Hoffman had played a part in, and that was about it.  So I really didn’t know much of anything that I was doing.

Dan Gheesling: Okay, so you knew a little bit about casting online.  Did you know at the time that you could have sent in a video or go to an open casting call, or you didn’t even know that at that point?

Ian Terry: I knew, I knew that much. Um, but I felt that I wanted to go to a casting call because I thought I had a better shot that way and it was much more convenient for me.

Dan Gheesling: Okay, so when you had to make the decision between video and casting call it came down to kind of what was easier for you to do?

Ian Terry: Yeah exactly. It was just like I saw the advertisement for the casting call here in New Orleans I can just go downtown, I have the night off, I don’t have to make a tape or anything, that’s just much easier for me.

Dan Gheesling: Okay, so and you talk about this article you read from Matt Hoffman, can you remember anything about that or at least what you got from that article?

Ian Terry: Yeah, it kinda said basically like be yourself at the casting call and don’t lie about anything you do but like you might want to try and maybe embellish or make certain facets of your life sound more interesting.  I think like the example he gave is like if you really, really like hamburgers, you know, and you say you ate five hamburgers in a sitting say you know you go to a hamburger joint and eat tons of hamburgers and people look at you really strange and things like that but don’t say you’re like the national hamburger eating champion.

Dan Gheesling: (laughs) Okay got it.  So heading into this open casting call then, the first one you’d ever been to.  Did you have an idea of how you wanted to pitch yourself or kinda how was your mindset heading into the open casting call?

Ian Terry: Yeah, going into the casting call um you know I actually thought about this because I had been to a Survivor one before and failed miserably.

Dan Gheesling: Oh so you actually applied for Survivor before?

Ian Terry: Yeah, I had applied for Survivor once before and I just basically went in and totally lessoned myself, just was being really loud and obnoxious trying to get attention it didn’t really work.  No call back, nothing.  So, I went into this one, I was like I’m going to be myself but I kinda just wanna maybe highlight a few areas I think would be a good sell.  Like well they’re always going to have that sciencey, kinda nerdy type on there so I really, really need to sell that. And that’s what I went to pitch.

Dan Gheesling: Okay great. So this is news to me, I don’t remember if we talked about it before, but I don’t remember you telling me you applied for Survivor so I want to go back to that. Like when you went to that, so that was really your first casting call, the Survivor one.  When you went you said you kind of acted unlike yourself.  Can you talk about like specifically what you did at that casting call that wasn’t true to who you were?

Ian Terry: Right, so what happened was we had to wait in a long line in the hot June sun in Pittsburgh (both laugh) and you got into a little tent and they filmed you for about a minute as to why you should be on the show. So obviously while I’m waiting in line for a long time I was like alright what do they want to hear, what would be something good to say.  So I went into there with this memorized one minute schpeel where I’m basically screaming into the camera talking about how I’m going to backstab everybody and all this crazy stuff and say how crazy of a person I am and oh you know I really, I’m really crazy, I’m going to do all this stuff, I’m gonna backstab everybody and really it just came down to some guy looking like a raving lunatic (both laugh) screaming into a camera I’m sure.

Dan Gheesling: I think the interesting think you said is that you kind of had it memorized or rehearsed.  Is it something that prior to the Survivor casting call that you went to and you had like kind of said to yourself a few times or you just figured it out in line that you just scripted this out?

Ian Terry: I pieced it together in line because um you know I was just was like I don’t wanna get up there and be like “uh my name’s Ian and you know I think I’d be good”.  So I came up with “hi I’m Ian, I’m this, I’m that. you know I’m gonna backstab everybody on the island, I’m gonna vote everybody off, I’m gonna lie my ass off and just really look like a raving lunatic I’m sure.  Now, some older woman that was two or three behind me in line like clapped and said like “bravo young man” (Dan laughs) but I don’t think she had the same, I think she was probably like wow this guy looks like a raving lunatic, I can see him on the show.  I don’t think she had the same idea the casting directors did.

Dan Gheesling:  Okay cool and one of the pieces of advice, and it sounds like you did this possibly inadvertently, that I like to give people is that if you to go an open casting call go to multiple ones in terms of different ones.  So like for you it sounds like your Survivor open casting call definitely helped shaped your Big Brother casting call.  Can you talk about like when you went into the Big Brother casting call did you reflect back to that Survivor experience at all?

Ian Terry: Yeah absolutely, but I didn’t want it to go the same way so I said well the cliché is be yourself, (Dan laughs) so I was like I well wasn’t myself last time so I said well why don’t I just try that and see what happens.  So uh that’s what I did so obviously the Survivor one was just like that practice.  That was just to like see what happened and then now that I knew what didn’t work I just tried something else and hey, it worked.

Dan Gheesling: Okay, I know you’re a huge fan of Big Brother just like me so when you first went to this Big Brother open casting call were you nervous at all?  Can you talk about your mindset when you were there?  Did you feel like there’s a little more on the line for this one as opposed to the Survivor one or did you just not really stress about it?

Ian Terry: I mean I’m a huge fan of both shows and obviously I feel like I like them pretty equally, at least at that point.  And you know, I feel like my skills are slightly better suited for Big Brother given, that I don’t have to be a physical tank.

Dan Gheesling: (laughs)Obviously, since you won!

Ian Terry:  Yeah, um but you know was I nervous, no because at the same time, if it doesn’t work out it’s not really gonna have much of an effect because, I figure the odds of me getting on are pretty slim so It’s not something to sit and fret over. There’s much more concerns in real life.

Dan Gheesling: Alright so let’s go back to that day, the actual open casting call for Big Brother.  Can you walk me through what it was like when you got there, what you saw, how long you had to wait, that sort of thing?

Ian Terry: Yeah, it was actually really fortunate because the Survivor casting call I was in line for several hours and I got to the New Orleans one and it was at a restaurant in the like the upstairs lounge area. I got a little piece of paper with a number on back, had to fill that out and I just sat for about an hour before they talked to me. So, I got to scope the people waiting to go in the room.

Dan Gheesling: Do you remember any of the people or the things, does anything about the other people stand out that you remember?

Ian Terry: Yeah, like this older woman sat down at this table with me and uh, she seemed to think that she was auditioning for a role in a movie. Um, she saw the sign for open casting call. (Dan laughs) She thought Big Brother was a film. So, either she was playing really, really hard right out the gate or this woman didn’t know what Big Brother was.

Dan Gheesling: (laughs) She was crazy of one of the two. Alright, so you are waiting in line for say roughly and hour, then they call you number, then what happens?

Ian Terry: It was a little group interview with me and two other hopefuls. So, a casting director just asked a few questions and I just answered pretty honestly.

Dan Gheesling: Okay, so lets go back, do you remember the people you were with? Were the people similar to you or were they way different?

Ian Terry: They were way different. It was two girls, probably in their mid to late 20’s.

Dan Gheesling: Okay and do you remember any of the questions that the casting director asked you?

Ian Terry:  Yeah they asked what do you think your strength in the game? What do you think your weaknesses? You know put these three things in order, would you do it for money, bragging rights and fame, put them in order as to why you want to do this. Um, you know I think there was something about the very general, why would you be good for this show, like why would we want to watch you on the show

Dan Gheesling: Okay let me ask you this Ian, when they would ask you those questions, would you kind of defer and wait for the girls to answer or was it a free for all? How did you approach answering those questions?

Ian Terry: Actually I had a definite advantage in that I sat at the left most seat from my perspective, so I was always getting asked last. So, I had time to somewhat formulate my response.

Dan Gheesling: (laughs) That’s an awesome tip. That’s a great idea. Did you do that knowingly or did it just work out randomly like that?

Ian Terry: It just worked out that way. But honestly, if you pick and end, you’re either going to go first or last so. (laughs)

Dan Gheesling: But that’s huge, because you know, so, what the casting director would do is they would ask each person the exact same question? So you all had a chance to respond?

Ian Terry: Right, exactly

Dan Gheesling: Oh, okay, so that was super smart of you, even just to sit there and formulate your answer even though who knows how long you have. But that’s a really good tip, that’s awesome. So then, (Ian interrupts)

Ian Terry: I mean yeah, sorry

Dan Gheesling: No, no keep going.

Ian Terry: I had 15 seconds to at least come up with something.

Dan Gheesling: That’s interesting because it didn’t sound like you had to jockey for position to get your answer in. Which I know some some open calls they are like that but this was one where…

Ian Terry: This one I think where was not really that high of attendance, maybe 100 people showed up. So, I know I’ve heard a lot of these group interviews they will have like 8 people in a group interview, so you will have to jockey to get your answer heard. But this one wasn’t the case.

Dan Gheesling: That’s great, that’s awesome. That’s a good tip Ian. I am glad that, it’s interesting even for me to hear that the fact that like, because I know for the listeners who aren’t familiar with Ian, Ian has a very photographic memory and he approaches everything strategically, so even the fact that, that worked out like that with your seating arrangement that’s really cool as an insider, knowing you as a individually that’s really cool to hear how that. Its kind of strategy from the beginning. I mean even though I know it’s kind of random where you sat, but you know?

Ian Terry: Yeah, well that’s part of it, the table draw, luck. You know that’s definitely part of it.

Dan Gheesling: Cool, well just for fun, do you remember how you answered the three part questions where they said how would you order these?

Ian Terry: Yeah I actually do, I did say bragging rights was number 1. I just said hey I want to on here and I like the show, and I would like to go in there and win. Have you know have the big glory of winning and then just be able to talk about that for the rest of my life. (Dan laughs) I said 2 for the money, because honestly it’s a great cash prize, but I said it’s number 2 because I feel like I can make a half million dollars another way. I feel like I don’t need this to win.

Dan Gheesling: Got it

Ian Terry: And 3, I said fame because that could be good or bad, like you know I could be universally hated, (Dan laughs) so I mean that’s definitely not good.

Dan Gheesling: Did you, let me ask you this, when you answered that question did you work in the fact that you wanted to pay off student loans at that point? Or do you remember not..

Ian Terry:  I did not mention that. I did say that like oh, I’m an engineer I will make that money another way. It doesn’t matter.

Dan Gheesling: Yeah that’s good that showed your confidence, which is awesome. So after you go through these questions and they fire away and you give your answers, then how did it wrap up? How did it end?

Ian Terry: Well actually it was very interesting how it ended because I was wearing my clear glasses that have no purpose whatsoever besides to make me look nerdy. As we are getting up from the table the casting asks me are those glasses real? And I was a little bit taken aback by this because I was like oh sh*t my covers blown, but I just answered, oh I wear these all the time. (both laugh)

Dan Gheesling: So, you answer by not answering the question. I mean you gave them an answer

Ian Terry: I answered by not answering, but it was enough of answer that it you know, I do legitimately wear these all the time (Dan laughs) so, that’s honest. I mean it doesn’t answer the question.

Dan Gheesling: But, at the same time you knew enough to say, where no these aren’t prescription glasses something might of, you know they might have been tipped off a certain way.

Ian Terry: Right

Dan Gheesling: I want to take a step back and talk about these glasses. Where did you get the idea to bring these and kind of where did that idea come from?

Ian Terry: When I had been wearing these glasses since about like November. So, I you know, I had been doing it to get attention (laughs). So I had been wearing them for a while and I was just like, if I am selling this nerdy character, I think the big glasses are definitely a good way to go. I think it’s a good way to go with this. I mean I think it’s something to stand out a little bit, but you know the people that go and wear a chicken suit to the auditions it’s not going to work because they know (Dan laughs) you probably don’t wear a chicken suit everyday in real life, so you aren’t being yourself.

Dan Gheesling: (laughing) Yeah, that’s a funny analogy. I think that was smart of you to do that. It’s just a little distinguishing, you know we talk; one of the worst piece of advice, and one of the things I try to stay away from talking about is when you say be yourself because it doesn’t always work like that.  For you it’s like you were yourself but that was one little added thing you were able to do.

Ian Terry:  You know I always say like be yourself but pick just a few things and exaggerate those heavily.

Dan Gheesling: Yeah that’s smart, really smart, awesome. So when you left the open casting call, Can you talk about how you felt? Did you feel like you had a good rapport with the casting director, did they say anything to you? Like how was it when you physically walked out of there? What did they say anything and how were you feeling?

Ian Terry: You know, I actually didn’t get much response out of it. I just notice that she wrote a few things down on piece of paper.  I didn’t see what they were.  That’s it, I mean if it’s in the cards I will find out and get a phone call about it. So, you know I didn’t think much of it, but actually I thought maybe that she figured out that my answer about the glasses questions wasn’t good enough. So, I actually thought, maybe that wasn’t going to work. I thought that the glasses thing was going to be the break facture there.

Dan Gheesling: The kiss of death?

Ian Terry: Yeah I thought that was, yeah.

Dan Gheesling: (laughs) Okay so now, you’re done with the open casting call, tell me about what happened next for you in the casting process.

Ian Terry: A couple days later, I got a nice phone call and a to a move on to the next round. That came as a bit of a surprise to me because I get this mysterious phone call from some number I don’t know and then there I am onto the next round. I am like holy cow. You know, this is, is this really happening? (laughs)

Dan Gheesling: (laughs) Let me ask you this, when you saw your phone ring, it’s obviously coming from a different area code, did you answer or let it go to voicemail?

Ian Terry: I answered it. I was curious as to what it was. I didn’t recognize the area code immediately as being from L.A. so I just answered it and was like wonder what this call is. Sure enough I was like wow that’s pretty neat.

Dan Gheesling: Yeah tell me about the call, what did the casting producer say to you? Walk me through how that phone call went.

Ian Terry:  You know, they were like this is top secret, are you alone? I am like yeah, and they were like, well congratulations you are on to the next round and I was like oh wow this is really cool. So then we went into scheduling the next round basically.

Dan Gheesling: (laughing) Did…

Ian Terry: They gave me this is top secret, you know

Dan Gheesling: (laughing) Did you…

Ian Terry: they gave me the, you can’t say anything to anybody

Dan Gheesling: (laughing) Did you do one of your classic Ian Terry physical melt downs/dances when that happened or no or where you just in shock?

Ian Terry: I actually did, because (Dan laughs) I did something in the room and then I am like real loud noise and people heard in the hallway. I just had to come up with something up, oh there is just a really good baseball game on and something happened.

Dan Gheesling: (laughing) I would pay money to see that reaction with you on the phone call. Anyway, moving forward so you scheduled the next round was that Skype face-to-face interview or was that big one when they flew you out?

Ian Terry: Oh that was face to face. That was just a one on one good amount of time. This was when I had a…no no this was not quite at this point, but uh, just a one on one thing.

Dan Gheesling: Was it in New Orleans?

Ian Terry: It was in New Orleans. That was the other thing I was very fortunate. I had the next round of auditions were in the city in which I lived. So, that was really lucky for me.

Dan Gheesling: okay, so this was like a semi final type of situation for you?

Ian Terry: Yes, exactly

Dan Gheesling: Okay so you scheduled the date. So they called you a couple days later. What was the time frame from when you scheduled it to actually when the semi-final call was for you?

Ian Terry: um…

Dan Gheesling: Roughly, It doesn’t have to exact.

Ian Terry: Let me see, um, casting call was Friday, call back was Saturday night. Um, Tuesday was the face to face.

Dan Gheesling: Okay Tuesday, you have the semi-final interview scheduled. What are you thinking in your head? Are you doing any preparation, are you researching online?   I mean because at this point you got to think, I mean I am guessing what are you thinking like you have a shot to get on?

Ian Terry: Yeah at this point I am like I wonder how many semi-finalists there are. I am like there is probably like somewhere around like 500 to maybe like 1000. Right, So I guessed about that. So I was like you know, 14 out of 100. You know it’s not great chance, but hey that’s more than 1%. I mean that’s an actual realistic chance of getting in there. So, I said you know, this is definitely something to look into. So, I did a little bit of looking into it. But the thing I actually had a test that afternoon. So, I spent a good amount of time study for that test and not thinking about this at all. (Dan laughs) So when I went to the interview since it was in the morning, or actually it was right around noon, I had a test that afternoon, I had my book and everything while I was waiting to go. I had my notebook out. I am just sitting there studying. Like this is, the interview was an afterthought.

Dan Gheesling: Let me ask you this, did you think they saw you studying?

Ian Terry: Oh they definitely did because they walked up to me (laughs) and were like are you ready to go. I was like yeah. And they go, oh you brought a lot of reading material to keep you busy and I said yeah test today.

Dan Gheesling: (laughs) That’s awesome.

Ian Terry: So, yeah they did.

Dan Gheesling: (laughs) I bet when they saw that, when they saw you they were like this is casting gold. Because it’s not like you were faking that you were studying for some crazy chemistry class, but you were actually..(laughs)

Ian Terry: No, I had an exam that day and that’s the thing I had read a little bit going into it. Like the one thing I heard was the longer interviews are good, they were like if it’s done in 15 minutes you don’t have much of a shot. (both laugh) But, if it goes for a good 30 or 40 minutes, like you know you’re in with a chance

Dan Gheesling: Okay, let’s talk about the location of the semi-final. Was it in a hotel? Was it in a restaurant?  Like what type of scenario did you walk into?

Ian Terry: Hotel

Dan Gheesling: It was a hotel, ok so you are sitting there studying, the casting director comes grabs you, takes you back to the room. Can you talk about what you see and what’s going on as you’re getting ready to actually to start the semi-final interview?

Ian Terry: Sure I get into this very strange hotel room, a big room, I see a chair with a camera pointing at it and then behind the chair and this is probably my favorite thing, there was like this potted plant (Dan laughs) that was in the room and apparently it just wasn’t tall enough. They wanted something in the background for this arbitrary video (Dan laughs) so they shoved a styrofoam brick under the plant to make it stand up tall enough to be behind me. (Dan laughs) That’s what I saw.

Dan Gheesling: (Laughing) That’s funny that you remember that.

Ian Terry: Yeah, I just thought that, that was really.. I mean because like what I remembered was like I guess when I watched Big Brother 4, like they were showing like the backstory to the exes.  I remember them showing what I imagined to be, or what I now know would be the semi-final interview, where they are like sitting there and there like they have a potted plant behind them and they are like oh yeah (Dan laughs), I wouldn’t want to see my ex, like she’s crazy, she like climbed into my window at night or some crazy thing like that. Obviously, now I know that, that was probably a semi-final interview.

Dan Gheesling: (Laughs) So, you clearly notice and remember the styrofoam brick, you sit down and then what happens? There is a light shining in your face, you’re looking in the camera and talk about what was going on from there.

Ian Terry: Right, there was a camera in my face, and they said just like answer with energy, if you’re one of those people that uses your hands to talk, do that. Just keep the energy up. They had a sign that said smile at all times. So, unless it was a really sad story they wanted you to be upbeat.

Dan Gheesling: Okay, Do you remember any of the questions they asked or how it started out? Like what the first question was, how you responded, like when you are answering, were you over animated? Were you normal? I mean talk about kinda those first few questions.

Ian Terry: I would say I was pretty normal. It was just like the very basics, so like name, what do you do, age, How do you think you think you’d do getting along with living with 12 strangers, you know? Um, Why? What kinds of people don’t you like living with? Those kind of very basic questions. You know one thing I had read, and it was the Matt Hoffman thing was if you give an answer to something; you need to have a story behind it. So, you know obviously answering a question is great but then if you have some sort of story that proves that, they it’s going to be a lot better for you. I think it was a video that Robin Kass put out that said, like oh someone goes into the room in one of these interviews and says I am really crazy and total lunatic and I do all this stuff, ask my friends. She says I am not going to ask your friends. I am not going to go for that. So, she’s like if you have a story that like you know would validate that, then that’s interesting. That’s something I would want to know.

Dan Gheesling: Yeah, that’s a great piece of advice. For those of you unfamiliar with who Matt Hoffman is, Matt Hoffman was contestant on Big Brother and Robin Kass, casts Big Brother. But, that’s a great piece of advice, and really smart for you to pick up, instead of saying you are crazy, tell them a story that shows how you are crazy. Do you remember any of those stories or things that you told that in particular described who you were? Do you remember any off hand?

Ian Terry: Um, Yes, I do actually. I told this one story about, they asked what do I look for in a girl? (Dan laughs), So, I went on this raving story about like this really weird idiosyncrasies and how I look for extremely specific things and how it’s basically impossible for me to find anybody I like. So, then I went into this story about my incredible pickiness and how like really shallow things will turn me off completely (Dan laughs) in almost an neurotic way. So yeah

Dan Gheesling: (laughing) Sorry, Sorry, just knowing you Ian, it’s just funny to hear that, because we have had these conversations time and time again, but ok. So, is there anything that you remember, um, not exaggerating on but in terms of showing your quote unquote nerdy or sciencey side, is there anything that you did to kind of accentuate that?  You brought the glasses again, I am assuming.

Ian Terry: I brought the glasses again. Definitely wore the glasses again. That wasn’t a question; I really was trying to run with that at this point. And they said to me like something about, do you thing being your age and being young that this would be difficult for you because we don’t put a lot of 21 year olds in there. Because you know,  sometimes the maturity facture is not there to handle the game. I said you know, I have done a lot, I am an engineering student. I am used to having things not come easily and having to put a lot of work in and having things be difficult sometimes not getting a lot of sleep. I talked about how would do these engineering classes and how I was there on maybe 2 hours of sleep and how I had a test later that day. How tired I was and that I was still here to do what I had to do and bring it. So, I definitely pontificated the engineering, hard work, science. You know, I talked about the classes a little bit. So yeah I did.

Dan Gheesling: Got it. So you basically explained that you were ready to do some hard work and, not they were said you were ready to do the hard work, but you extenuated that by telling stories about how late you stayed up studying for whatever or chemistry and whatnot.

Ian Terry: Right. Like I said “I have a test in Material Science today and I’m going to be honest with you…this interview is not my number one priority right now.” is actually what I said. I straight up said to them, like, I have a test later today. I have been studying for that test the past two days, pretty much nonstop. And, when I leave this interview, I’ll continue studying no matter what happens. (Dan laughs) So, I said, this is kind of a bit of an afterthought, I’m running on about two hours sleep right now. This is what you’re getting.

Dan Gheesling: That’s awesome, because, it just further fortified your story, you know, the fact that you weren’t pretending to be studying and that you just really weren’t that into it. Alright cool. So do you remember how the semi-final wrapped up and how it ended and how you felt as that went on?

Ian Terry: Yeah actually, you know, it ended and it was like: is there any funny story that you forgot here that you would want to tell us that would maybe be interesting? So, you know, I just came up with…just pulled some random, dumb story from high school out where, you know, me and my buddies did something and we always kinda had the table in high school where it was just like the smart kids sitting around talking about smart things. But we would do stupid stuff like…I think it was how we brought Twister into our cafeteria in high school and we just played a game of Twister in the cafeteria with everybody looking at us. (Dan laughs) So…how, I just went with this smart guy that likes to do weird, goofy things and just have a good time. Don’t really care what people think.

Dan Gheesling: Which I think describes you perfectly. But that’s…you bring up a good point, Ian, that the Casting Producer asked you “Do you have any more stories?” and some would say “no” but you took that, you know, opportunity.

Ian Terry: Yeah. And I really feel like if you say “no” it’s like: well, if you don’t have anything else interesting to say, then why would I want to put you on a show and watch you for 75 days? (Dan laughs) Like, if all there is to you is… if a 40 minute interview covered it, I don’t think you’re cut out for 75 days of material.

Dan Gheesling: Did you, uh, do you remember getting a reaction out of that story because I’m sitting here laughing cause I can picture you being in, you know…all the 4.0 students randomly playing Twister. Do you remember getting any reactions?

Ian Terry: Yeah, yeah. I definitely do. I remember the casting director was laughing and thought it was pretty funny. I’m pretty sure that was the story. I definitely told that story during one of my interviews and I believe that was the one. And she was laughing at that and, uh, thought it was really funny so I thought it was good. And then it wrapped up and I was like…I was done with it and I was just getting the forms and a couple papers to, you know, look over like frequently asked questions. Then I was like “Well, back to studying for my test later today.” And then, uh, she goes “Well I’m sure that you’ll do…you’ll knock that out just like you knocked out that interview.” So I felt really good.

Dan Gheesling: Nice, nice! So that’s good that you felt good about that and that the Casting Producer actually reinforced that to you. So you were feeling good…

Ian Terry: I was feeling good, yes.

Dan Gheesling: So aced the exam later…

Ian Terry: I got a B!

(both laugh)

Dan Gheesling: Okay, and then so talked about what happened next. You go home, you pass your test, do you remember the timeframe in which you left the semi-finals to when you got the next call?

Ian Terry: Yeah, um, I knew it wasn’t going to be for a while because that semi-final interview was…I want to say about…May 9th. Or no, I’m sorry, April 9th. So…Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday…night…April 10th! Sorry. (Dan laughs) So yeah, that was April 10th and I knew it was gonna be a while until I got called so that’s when I kinda looked into what maybe what if I got into the next step. I mean obviously I’ve got a lot of time to wait, so, that’s when I really started to dig around like…what would come next after this.

Dan Gheesling: Okay. So you said you started to do some research. Did you…were you able to find anything? Were there things that helped you kinda? So essentially in your head you figured out: I might be 3-4 weeks to prepare. So kinda talk to me and walk me through what you did to prepare for this. Before getting this call.

Ian Terry: Yeah, so I’m thinking I got maybe like a month or so here, month and a half tops, so I went online like: what comes after this step? And then what happened was apparently during Big Brother 13’s final audition round, somebody managed to sneak out like a packet of information from that next round of interviews so it was posted on a website that…we discussed in the house… and, um…

Dan Gheesling: You can mention that website.

Ian Terry: It was on Reality Blurred.

Dan Gheesling: Okay, cool. And for those of you interested in seeing that, I’ll actually include a link to that in the show notes. But keep going.

Ian Terry: Yeah, so I looked over that really thoroughly, like…wow, this seems really intense. This is what I would be expecting here. This is definitely gonna be something that will be a commitment. Like, it is a time commitment and, you know, is gonna be a really intense week. So, I read that over and was like: okay, and then…

Dan Gheesling: Okay, real quick. I’m gonna pause you right there. So basically it was all the Finals paperwork in terms of, like, what you should expect if you were to get the next call? Is that what you found?

Ian Terry: Yeah, exactly.

Dan Gheesling: Okay, and keep going. Sorry about that.

Ian Terry: Then I found your book, uh, you had a preview on there of your casting story so I read that over and I was like: well, it sounds like I’m doing everything correctly. I don’t want to say correctly because there’s really no correct way to go about this. It’s going to work differently for different people. But it seemed like I had done everything at least in a fashion that was correct enough, I guess I could say, that I might be in with a shot here. So, I was feeling pretty good and that’s where I got the really good information: from your casting story and then out of that Reality Blurred article.

Dan Gheesling: Got it. Okay, let me ask you this: when you read the book that I wrote, I mean, if I were you I’d be feeling really good because this is your first time getting on the show, you know, you’re kicking tail and…

Ian Terry: And that’s also with the Matt Hoffman article. He said he had been applying since Big Brother 2. Every single year, save like one…oh wait, no, he did apply every year. He was supposed to be in Big Brother 11 if I remember right and…he was talking about it on the feeds…and his wedding date was the finale so he couldn’t do it. So apparently he was set to go and couldn’t, uh, couldn’t go on.

Dan Gheesling: Yeah. Um, and it’s funny Ian, I pulled this up here and if you don’t mind me reading it. When Ian downloaded the book, cause, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Big Brother: Ian and I ended up being on the same show and, uh, when he downloaded the book he sent me an email. Do you mind if I read that email right now, Ian?

Dan Gheesling: Alright. So I’m sorry I had to cut off the episode there. When we come back in Part 2, we’re gonna talk about the actual email that I got from Ian and our little exchange and something we laugh about. But also more importantly, you’re going to find out how Ian went from the semi-finals to finals process, and everything that he actually went through to final get cast on reality TV.

And, just as a heads up, you can get any of the links that we mentioned whether it was Reality Blurred or an article that Ian was talking about, you can get all of the links in the show notes on HowToGetOnRealityTV.net/Episode7. So link that was mentioned. Whether it was the book or anything that was mentioned you can get in the show notes on HowToGetOnRealityTV.net/Episode7.

I hope you guys enjoyed Part 1 of the interview with Ian Terry. I also want to give you guys a heads up to know that I already finished recording a live Webinar called “The Five Deadly Mistakes Of Applying For Reality TV.” And you can watch the video replay at CastingBootCamp.com. And what I cover in that Webinar are the five mistakes that I believe, if you make, will end your casting chances right on the spot. So it’s definitely something you’re gonna wanna check out and you can find it at CastingBootCamp.com.

Thank you guys so much for tuning into this episode. I really hope you guys enjoyed it and I’ll see you in two weeks with the conclusion of Ian Terry’s story in Part 2 of “An Average College Student To Reality TV Show Winner.” See you guys next time.

Oh, and one more thing. You can’t have Dr. Ian Terry on a podcast without dropping the line: “Thanks, I will.”

Photo Credit: CBS.com

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie February 22, 2013 at 1:24 am

This was super-informative and interesting. Can’t wait to listen to part 2! Thanks you two for doing this!


Colleen Kelly February 25, 2013 at 7:59 am

I’ve decided there must be 2 of you. OR you get up at 3 am OR you don’t sleep . You have so many things going at the same time!. :) Good job! Thanks for all your work :)
Have a good day :)


Candy Griffin March 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Great info guys!! Good job. As always, thank you!


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