HGR 006: Expert Advice From Reality TV Casting Producer Erika Landin

by Dan Gheesling

The sixth episode of the How To Get On Reality TV podcast is an interview with Erika Landin, a Casting Producer with 10 years experience in Reality TV casting.

(You may also recognize Erika from Big Brother 4 and Big Brother 7 ;))

Erika shares with us her story of how she got started in Reality TV casting as well as her rise through the casting ranks from Recruiter all the way to Casting Producer.

You will also find out in this episode:

  • How “recruiting” in Reality TV casting works.
  • Do people in Reality TV casting really watch every audition tape sent in?
  • Erika’s definition of “the worst type of audition video you can make.”
  • Who Erika dubbed the “Godmother of Reality TV.”
  • What a Casting Associate does on a day to day basis (and how it affects your chances of getting cast).
  • Understanding what the “remote factor” is and why it’s important to you.
  • What Erika’s mindset is when she interviews people for a Reality TV show.
  • Erika’s best advice for how to get cast on a Reality TV show.
  • Plus much more…

This episode will help you understand how Reality TV casting works from the Casting Producer’s point of view, and what exactly they are looking for in the audition process.


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.


Right click here to download the MP3

Links Mentioned in this Podcast Episode:


Thank You:

Thank you for listening to this Podcast.  Take a second a let me know what you think about it!

Photo Credit: Film.com

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

James Thuma February 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Thanks for all the great tips. After applying for Survivor for the past 12 years I have realized that I have been going about it the wrong way. I now know what parts of me I should have been showing and have not. Thanks again.


Dan Gheesling February 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Glad you enjoyed it James! Thanks for listening. :)


Joseph February 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Hey, Dan just wanted you to know to keep up the good work, dude! I’ve been getting a good wealth of knowledge from you that will hopefully culminate into being cast on “Survivor”. I greatly appreciate it, man!


James Thuma February 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm

No proplem Dan working on the next audition tape. Trying to incorporate everything I have learned. I will check back in a couple weeks foe the next podcast.One thing that didn’t get answered that I would love to know is…. Is it okay to put the video you submit to CBS on YouTube to try to get seen by someone there also or is that more likely to hurt your chances? Thanks again.


Dan Gheesling February 7, 2013 at 11:26 pm

If you post it on YouTube I would have it as ‘Unlisted.’ You want to stay under the radar.

I don’t suggest starting a Social Media campaign to get cast on a show.


James (Jayme) Thuma February 8, 2013 at 10:07 am

Great advice. Thanks again.


Jah February 19, 2013 at 6:22 am

I strongly believe I have what it takes to get on big brother NAY I know I do. However that being said her ‘some people I wish would just give up’ comment was a tad discourageing. If they feel that strongly against someone it feels like they could take a minute to say ‘Hey thanks but no thanks’
True it wouldn’t discourage everyone that they are sick of seeing but the way she said that….could turn some fans off. Lol.

I enjoyed the fact she was open about the fact that recruiting happens. There seems to be a lot of hush hush when it comes to that but hearing it from the mouth of someone involved with casting; fact cemented. Personaly I like watching shows and playing the guess who was recruited game. Of course as they are all sworn to silence…I can only guess, mostly, if I’m correct. :)

Per your response above. It’s crazy the number of people that share their ‘audition’ videos. They don’t seem to grasp it’s a huge no no. At least that’s what has been suggested by many people ‘in the know’. None of the small print ever seems to specifically say don’t do it but it feels like a given imo.

Also you said you don’t think a social media campaign is a good idea. Is there harm in people making videos and suggesting others in them? Or is that akin to being an unwritten no no too?

I also often wonder; is it possible to be overly enthusiastic about a show one wants to get on. Say I get along in the casting process and I say ‘I’m so into the game I’ve got Google alerts set’. Would that be looked at like. ‘Awesome! Superfan.!’ Or more like ‘oh my…crazy fan’? Lol. I totally over think ever little thing but that is me being “who I am” :)

Thanks Dan :D~ (((sorry if my comment seems long….that was me holding back hahaha)))


Natalie February 22, 2013 at 1:58 am


I can’t tell you how insightful these podcasts are. I really am dying to hear more about what happens beyond the semi-final interview. Any information on that would be awesome!


Dan Gheesling February 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Thanks so much for the kind words Natalie! Comments like this really help me to realize this Podcast DOES help people. :)


Reggie March 13, 2013 at 8:44 am

Great interview Dan and it helped me out a lot. Take care.


Dan Gheesling March 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Glad it helped you out Reggie!


Tommy Villa September 25, 2014 at 9:56 am

Let me say huge fan all the tips are wonderful i really want to get on big brother an this has definitely helped me


Hugh October 15, 2014 at 3:41 am

Great podcasts Dan. I realize I’m a little late to the party, but all of this is still very relevant!

Maybe more podcasts are in the works, I’m not sure, but I sure hope so!

All the best!


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