How To Quickly Pitch Yourself to Reality TV Casting Producers

by Dan Gheesling

How-To-Get-On-Reality-TV-Elevator-Pitch-Story

When you meet someone in an elevator you have 5-10 seconds to tell them who you are and what you are all about.

The same thing applies when you come face to face with a Casting Producer and they say “what’s your story?”

A Casting Producer will be impressed and intrigued if you are confident in your story.  Confidence comes with practice and perfection of your elevator pitch.

 

The Background

The casting story you have developed is the basis for everything you do in casting, but you need to have an elevator pitch ready.  You will encounter a few important people in the casting process, who will flat out ask you “what’s your story?”

The time you have to grab their attention will be no more than 10 seconds.

These 10 seconds, and how you respond, are critical, which is why you need to have your elevator pitch locked and loaded at all times.

 

What Makes Up An Elevator Pitch

Very simply, your pitch should be one or two sentences – maximum.   It needs to contain only the most relevant and compelling parts of your story.

The pitch should have at least three hooks in it (a hook is something someone can identify with, positively or negatively).  Conciseness is as important as how you deliver it.

To make thing easier for you I’ve built an example elevator pitch for “Cindy.”

 

Cindy’s Elevator Pitch

Cindy is a nurse, who has been picked on and loves a good challenge.  She loves her children, sewing, and running – all very common things.

With common everyday qualities, you can present yourself as relatable but not hate-able (not always a bad thing).  Here is an example of an average elevator pitch for Cindy:

I’m a 47 year old nurse, and a mother of two.  I love a great challenge and am not afraid to show everyone what the mother who likes to sew is made of.

This is a solid elevator pitch.  It identifies Cindy as nurse (sympathy), and that she has two children (motherly).  She loves being challenged and is confident in herself.

There are two hooks in this pitch, but none of them draw any overly strong emotions besides being a mother.  A simple tweak can turn her average elevator pitch into a great elevator pitch.

 

Cindy’s Best Elevator Pitch

How-To-Get-On-Reality-TV-Standout-In-Casting

Changing two small things with Cindy’s elevator pitch turn it into a great one:

I’m a 47 year old nurse and a mother of two who doesn’t put up with any crap.  I was bullied as a young girl, and overcame a lot of challenges in my life that most mothers never have to deal with.

Adding flare (put up with any crap) and including a very strong hook (most mothers never have to deal with) really strengthens this pitch.

The flare solidifies her pitch as a tough mother.

The hook makes you wonder what else she has gone through in her life, and creates an automatic interest in her story.

When you create your elevator pitch, start backwards and identify your hooks before you put it all together.  Identifying what is polarizing and memorable about you will make writing your elevator pitch a lot easier.

 

Putting It All Together

Having an elevator pitch you have developed and are comfortable with is not just a strategy, it’s a necessity.  Using this technique allows you to have a well-crafted response to a question you KNOW you will get asked at some point during casting.

One word of caution: don’t have your elevator pitch memorized so well that you sound like a robot.  Keep in mind the main points of your pitch, but don’t recite it word for word.  The more natural the better (get more natural by practicing it on others).  Keeping your elevator pitch locked and loaded is one of the things you have to do in preparation for getting cast on a Reality TV show.

What is holding you back from creating your elevator pitch?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.  

Also please take a minute to join the mailing list, by joining you will get more help in developing your casting game sent right to your inbox.  Join the list by clicking here.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula Jenkins April 16, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Another great read! I got my pitch & am tweeking it with every article you write! Thanks again Dan!

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Colleen April 17, 2012 at 2:07 am

Hey Dan,
Great article Dan. I can hear the Dan the teacher in your articles :) You are good at explaining how to do things and guiding people through it. Sorry, not looking to get on tv, but I do enjoy your articles!. Good job buddy!. ;)
C’ya
Colleen

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Jeffrey Beesler April 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I’m with Colleen here, although I find that most, if not all, of your advice can be applied to a writer’s career, too. I finally managed to get over here and check it out. Looks like I’ve got some catching up to do!

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Dan Gheesling April 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Thanks for stopping by Jeff! Never thought it could be applied that way – but glad it is helping! Looking forward to your future comments.

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Michael Payan April 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Again, great advice. Thanks so much Dan. Using everything, I’m sure my next video will be worlds above anything I’ve done in the past.

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Dan Gheesling April 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Awesome Mike – that’s the goal! What do you plan to do different?

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Wendy Dell April 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Dear Dan,

I have been looking to try and get into reality TV and the Elevator Pitch is great. Would you say that the elevator pitch would be the same as Step 6 from http://howdoyougetontv.com/how-do-you-get-on-tv-for-a-reality-show/

If it is there are a few things to stay away from and one of them would be to not sound too much like a gimmick or to be too run of the mill. I think that both Step 6 and your “Elevator Pitch” should have something that people are looking for at that current moment, like what is hot in the news or something at the time.

Do you think during the time of the riots in Egypt that and Egyptian American would have more of a shot getting onto a TV?

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Dan Gheesling April 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Thanks for sharing that article Wendy. I don’t think an elevator pitch is a ‘gimmick’ – it essentially is having your unique casting story boiled down into a extremely short pitch. Everyone needs that and does that whether they realize it or not.

You bring up an interesting point about being cast during a specific time – it definitely is something that could help you. Taking advantage of what is currently popular/hot will be helpful but ONLY IF it is truly who you are.

Thanks for the great post Wendy!

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Crystal April 19, 2012 at 7:59 am

Do you think your story could include some “dramatic” truth like coming from an unhealthy home like emotional or physical abuse which makes you stronger? It is something I wouldn’t want to air on television… but it makes me who I am & I wouldn’t mind discussing in private. It definately makes me a stronger & determined person.

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Dan Gheesling April 19, 2012 at 11:56 am

Crystal – the key word you just said is “truth.” If it is really the truth, it makes you who you are. Everything you’ve had to overcome makes you as strong and unique as you are. The problem is when you apply for a Reality TV show you are agreeing to share everything about your life, both good and bad.

Sharing it with a Casting Producer will help you build your story, but only if you can come to terms with share it. Hope this helps Crystal.

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Katie September 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Hey Dan!
I’m an aspiring Big Brother Canada hopeful. I tend to be modest, and I don’t fall into any one stereotype. I’m a hilarious, nerdy, girly girl who plays sports. WHAT?! How am I supposed to get cast if I don’t have that one specif quality that reality TV is looking for?
Thanks in advance :)

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