This is the first episode of the Podcast where another resource is featured. We interview Mark Yawitz from RealityWanted.com to talk about how his site can help you gain experience right now. It is an episode out of the norm, so be sure to let me know what you think!
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Dan Gheesling: This is the “How to Get on Reality TV Podcast” with Dan Gheesling, Episode 13: why isn’t there a “13” button in the elevator?…
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!
Welcome back to another episode of the “How to Get on Reality TV Podcast.” We’re going to do something a little different with this episode. This episode is for anyone who might have recently got rejected in the reality TV casting process and they don’t know what to do next. This guest that I have on today is not a Reality TV Producer, he’s not a Casting Producer, he’s not a former reality TV contestant. But he has created something that can help people get out there even more. Have more opportunities and get more exposure.
So we’re going to talk a little bit about the guest later. But before we get into this cont…episode, not contest, I want to thank a few people. First off, I want to thank: Joe, RobG763, and LURCH813 for your reviews on iTunes. I really appreciate that. For everyone that listens to the podcast, you know, and you leave a review whether it’s a 5-star review, or an okay review, or an average review, I just appreciate it because that’s one way that you can essentially help the podcast grow and get better and things of that nature. So Joe, Rob, and LURCH, I really appreciate you guys taking the time out to do that. As well as someone’s name on Twitter who I just spent 20 minutes looking for the tweet but, basically, I got a tweet saying “Dan, the first two episodes of the “How to Get on Reality TV Podcast” on iTunes aren’t showing up!” So, because of that tweet, I went back and fixed that so now all the episodes 1-12 and now 13 are on iTunes. I’m just disappointed I can’t find that person’s Twitter handle just…thank you for tweeting me that, I really appreciate that.
So without any further ado we’re to hop into this episode of the “How to Get on Reality TV Podcast” titled “One Way To Gain Casting Experience Right Now.” I hope you guys enjoy it!
Dan: Alright, I’m super excited here today to have with us Mark Yawitz, co-founder of www.RealityWanted.com! I’m really excited to have Mark because I think what he’s doing is going to provide you guys a ton of value in your journey to get on reality TV. Mark, thanks so much for joining us today!
Mark: Yeah, Dan, I actually really appreciate you having me on.
Dan: It’s my pleasure, you know, I know we connected probably about a year or so ago. I talked to Robyn about you and she had nothing but great things to say about you and I’ve just enjoyed keeping in touch. But for the listeners who are unfamiliar with Reality Wanted and you, Mark, can you tell me a little bit about your background and reality TV?
Mark: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I don’t want to keep it Big Brother-focused but the whole story does begin there. I know you want to appeal to different people who are looking for different programs but, back in 2000, and you can correct me if I’m wrong because I’m getting older now. (Dan laughs) I was watching TV just like everyone else…and this is 2013 now so it’s frightening how quickly time has passed. I saw a commercial, it was really quick. I mean, Dan, commercials are 30 seconds and I maybe caught 15 or 10 of it and it was for Big Brother Season 1. And for whatever reason, you know, divine intervention or…I don’t know what it was but it hit me. So I went online, Googled it, and read a little bit about it. At that time my only reference to reality TV was The Real World. (Dan laughs) And that was all that was really there for me in 2000. You may have been a little kid at the time, but that was cool and it’s what everybody watched. And I was too old for it. (both laugh) So I read more about it and thought it sounded really cool. It was something completely different. I never heard about it or seen anything like it on TV. And, uh, I wanted to apply to it. So I did. Obviously I didn’t make it…
Dan: (laughs) Yeah, how did that work out for you?
Mark: Yeah, you tell me how it worked out! (both laugh) It worked out; it just didn’t work out in the sense of making it on the program. It did work out in terms of my life, but I did get a callback. I remember mailing the tape in and I went ‘I’m not going to make it.’ Why do we do that to ourselves? I don’t know. But that’s what I didn’t. I said I’d never hear anything, but I applied. And I felt accomplished. Then the phone rang 3 days later and I went ‘You’re kidding me!’ They said I’d be out in LA for a couple of days. So I went out and I did make it past that first round. And I remember seeing a guy in my group and thought to myself that he was better for TV and he’s more…I don’t want to say he’s more obnoxious (laughs)…but he’s not listening to any of the things that the casting crew is telling him to do as where I was. And, uh, I thought if anyone is going to get in that’s in their mid to late 20’s, he’s got it. And he got it. I remember seeing him on the program.
Dan: Who was it? Do you remember who it was?
Mark: Yeah, his name was Josh.
Dan: (laughs) Oh okay, yeah!
Mark: Yeah, so he was in the group with me at some hotel in LA and he just stuck out even though there were a couple hundred of us there. So what I did was, you know, came back and dusted myself off. When the show came on I realized I wasn’t going to get picked up for it and I started to kinda look around the Internet. I just become interested in the genre in general and I found there were other programs. Applied to a couple more, got a couple more phone calls. Still didn’t thread the needle. (laughs) Just never made it onto the program. Probably could’ve used some of your advice that you would give me today.
The point is then I came back and I started to take the headlines of reality TV and the casting calls and I put them into what we now know as a blog, but in 2000 a blog didn’t really exist. So that’s how it started. It was really for me and no one else. I was learning about the Internet and I was putting aggregating headlines into a webpage. Then people started to show up. So that’s the beginning of it.
Dan: So you’re just kind of collecting headlines, casting calls, tinkering around on the Internet, you liked reality TV and so you just put it on this website?
Mark: That’s all I did. There was a site called orewellproject.com, kind of a spinoff of Big Brother and that was the catalyst of www.RealityWanted.com. So it was, for me, a side project and a hobby. But I not only become interested in reality TV but I also became interested in the Web. How do people get there? What are they looking for? You know, one person turned into two visitors, turned into 20, turned into 1,000 visitors! And I thought how I was building this community of people who were showing up from all over the world. I was looking at analytics which you’re familiar with. How brought them there? How did they get there? And that became just as equally fascinating as the reality genre itself.
Dan: That’s awesome! So you have a lot to thank to reality TV for this spark of the SEO or this Internet journey for you. So let me ask you this, Mark, all of the sudden you’re posting to this site and you’re starting to get traffic…what propels you to say you’re going to do this strictly for casting calls? Cause I’m guessing at the beginning you were also posting news and maybe recaps of reality TV or your headlines of recaps, that sort of thing.
Mark: Right. So what I let people know when they ask how it started…definitely I started it, but it built itself. When I say that it built itself: the casting community helped build it, the users who were looking to be on TV helped build it, the editorial and people who wanted to read about it, and the writers built it. It wasn’t by design. I never sat down and said ‘This is what I’m going to do.’ What happened was I actually had a writer say ‘Hey, I’m trying to get some bylines, I need a platform. A place to get some bylines and brush up on my writing. Do you mind if I wrote some recaps on American Idol?’ That’s where it started first. I said why wouldn’t I? You’re building content. It’s a win-win. She got to build her portfolio, I had original content, I saw more visitors show up, and I thought that was a beautiful deal.
And then a Casting Associate showed up, and when I say show up I mean they emailed. They said: ‘I see the links to the headlines you have to reality TV, I come to you site all the time!’ Of course at the time I was thinking: are you serious?!
Dan: (Dan laughs) Yeah, someone in casting is actually coming to your site! That’s really cool!
Mark: It would be as cool as if Dan called you and asked to be on the podcast! (Dan laughs) No, serious, that’s what it felt like! And I told her of course I’ll post it. At that time the site was not dynamic. Meaning users could login and post information on their own. I put it up there, copy/pasted it, like a lot of people do today. And then that resulted in someone else posting and asking, then another person. And the same with the writer who did American Idol, which I think she moved on to work for Yahoo! So the bylines actually helped her out. Then another writer showed up. So I got this little community, editorial, and casting. So still today, if you look at the analytics, we draw 50% of the visitors from the editorial because we have Gina Skarper who is really well known in the reality world and deals with all the network publicists and writes all the interviews directly with you guys from Big Brother, Survivor, Top Chef, American Idol,and all those things. And then we have 4 or 5 writers and then we also have the casting calls. I may have forgotten the question…
Dan: Yeah, you answered it! You said what you threw on the wall and you formed into what it is today. It’s a cool story behind that. So let me ask you this, Mark, you’re saying that on the site you have writers like Gina (who’s awesome) and they provide reality TV recaps…and then the other 50% is what? How would you explain that to someone who maybe isn’t familiar with your site?
Mark: As far as the other 50% of the content are the casting calls.
Dan: Okay so people listening to the show have applied for reality TV multiple times and maybe they just got rejected from Big Brother, with the finals going on right now, so tell me about the site and how that can provide value to them and basically how the casting side of your site works.
Mark: Sure. And there’s a lot to it so cut me off if you have questions or if I go on a tangent here. It’s pretty simple. My life prior to this, because a lot of people asked me what I did as a hobby, you’re familiar with what an Executive Recruiter does, right? Also called a headhunter.
Dan: Yeah, so if someone needs to fill a position you go out and track that person down. Is that how it goes?
Mark: Yeah. So to give you an example: a big pharmaceutical company, you got a manager who needs to hire a #1 sales rep in Detroit, Michigan. Okay? He or she would go to monster.com and might get 200 or 400 people. Then someone has to sift through them. Or do a shoulder-tap and go look for people. Tap into their personal network to try and find someone. So they’ll outsource a lot of that work to headhunter. It’s very similar to what people in casting do. So that’s what I did for 10-12 years before I really took www.RealityWanted.com over full time.
So I kind of understood that there was a process to going out and finding that perfect applicant for a program, just like there’s a process to finding that perfect sales person. It’s very difficult to do and there are certain people that are skilled in doing that. So as far Reality Wanted is concerned, I had used platforms from when I worked in recruiting like Monster.com. When I started posting things I realized there was no central community. There was no one-stop shop where you could go and find all the casting calls that are out there.
So that’s a big difference between www.RealityWanted.com and some other sites: everything you see there, whether it be 10 calls a day or 20 calls a day and sometimes 50, they’re all posted directly by the people who are looking for the next Big Brother applicant, the next TNT The Hero (which is a new program that’s starring The Rock), the next Wipeout. Before Wipeout was Wipeout, it was on Reality Wanted. No one even knew what it was. It was a pilot and they were casting the first season. We ended up with 5-10 or maybe a dozen people on Wipeout. So that’s kind of what Reality Wanted is – where a casting company comes in and posts their projects and people who are looking to get on a program can click and apply to multiple programs.
Dan: That’s awesome and I want to take a step back because you said something that was really interesting: your site is essentially a Monster.com for reality TV casting. The thing that you said was interesting was that casting companies themselves and maybe even the networks (depending on the size of the network) are directly posting on your site. There’s other sites that maybe you could tell the audience to stay away from, you don’t have to say specific websites, but your site sounds like it differentiates itself from the other ones because it’s authentic leads as oppose to other sites that don’t do that.
Mark: Well there’s what’s known as scraping. Scraping is where you’ll go looking around the Web which is kind of what I did before: I scraped the Web. I would go to www.CBS.com to see what was there and then repost it on my site. Everything that’s posted on our site…think of Craigslist – you’re going to buy a bicycle and the person selling it is listing it for sale and then you go on there to go buy the bicycle. Craigslist is not going around to other sites to see who else is selling bicycles. So what to avoid? That’s not bad. Where we’re different is that John Doe over at ABC casting is putting the casting call up for a new TV program onto Reality Wanted. So it’s already been prescreened, anything that anybody puts on our site, we call it. Now 10 years into doing this, we know which production companies are legit, which companies aren’t, which casting companies are, which casting companies aren’t. We give them a tutorial on how to use the site, and one of the things that is probably unique now is that everything is being sent directly to them but they’re also searching the database. That’s really important for people to know. A lot of people just go from site, to site, to site and try to find all these calls. You could, but do you really want to do that? Or do you just want to come to one area and find everything and also have a John Doe casting associate who is actually searching the database. And, trust me, they do. There are people that message me on Facebook and say how they can’t believe they got a call after they signed up. And I can totally believe that they got a call. I’m not trying to sell the site; I’m just trying to tell you how it works. As a business model, it completely makes sense because it saves the casting company/director/associate/producer time and money. It’s also, you know, a component in the casting process. It doesn’t take over and eliminate going to bars and scouting people, holding open calls and auditions, it’s just part of the puzzle.
Dan: It’s an added tool. Now let me ask you this: from the user’s standpoint, so someone who’s been trying to get on reality TV, can you walk me through it? So I go to www.RealityWanted.com and I create a profile. As a user of your site, what do I do?
Mark: Sure, and I’ll try to make it simple because I keep going on. It’s like creating a Facebook profile. It’s simple: you go in, you sign up, you upload a photo, put in some demographic information, fill out a form that you’ve probably seen hundreds of times – what’s an interesting story about you, what would your friends say about you, what makes you unique? That’s what you fill out in our profile. You can embed a YouTube video in there as well; you can put your social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) It’s really kind of a virtual resume if you want to call it that. I don’t like to use the term “comp card” because that’s used in more of the acting world, but it’s a digital profile that will allow John Doe the Casting Associate to look at you decide they want to learn more about you and give you a call.
Dan: Got it. So you talk about giving the information and getting a call. I know people are really concerned about when they put that information online and I’m guessing you have to put a phone number and address. I’m sure you have that option but if you want people to contact you, you have to put down your personal information. So who has access to that information on the site? Me as another user could I contact, you know, “Billy” who has also created a profile?
Mark: You could contact “Billy” through online messaging, similar to Facebook. But you have to friend “Billy.” So we’re a social network as well. So we combined a few things. It’s like we had a bunch of cars crash into each other and we made one cool, really nice car. So you have the casting people who are coming to the site, you have the users, you have the editorial, but you can also communicate with other users. But you can’t, as Dan, see “Billy’s” phone number. The only way you could reach him is through online messaging.
Now…somebody at the casting company can access an email or phone number. It’s up to you on what you put there and how you want to be contacted. But without those things, it would be hard to get contacted. You could elect to only let them message you. But certainly, as you and I know, casting is usually put under a very quick timeframe and things have to happen immediately. If you want to get on that program, don’t put a lot of barriers up that are going to be in the way of them reaching you. And that’s a big thing because even when we interviewed Lynne Spillman since there’s a casting tip section on our site.
Dan: And Lynne Spillman is the head of casting for Survivor. Go ahead, sorry.
Mark: Yeah, exactly. Or Robyn, or anybody we’ve talked to. One of the things they talk about is even creating a video. If you were to just snail mail your information, they’ll say that you won’t believe how many applications we can’t where there’s no contact information. They forgot to put their phone number or an assistant drops the tape and they don’t know which applicant the tape goes to. So they’ll tell you even in your audition tape to start with you name, phone number, and email address and then go into your audition. That way they know how it is.
Dan: Yeah, definitely! Especially with all your information tied to your submission and profile. But let me ask you this, Mark, I’m sure there’s a different level…we don’t have to have too far into it, but if I’m a casting producer or someone working on the casting side of things I have a different type of account that allows me to see that information versus a user account that can’t see that same information.
Mark: Absolutely. And you have to go through a verification process. Again, other sites are out there…listen, when we finally sat down and said we’re going to make this, I was someone who was looking to be on TV. Which I know…I was thinking about what I want, right? I wanted to know these people were legit, that my information was safe, and I thought about what I wanted. So we made sure that we called everybody. So when John Doe or even let’s say the producer signs up to our site, they don’t get immediate access. They can’t post a casting call immediately. They sit in a queue and we have to call them. So if the phone rings “Kassting Inc.” we know they work with Kassting Inc. We know the number, we know the people there. And if it’s not someone we recognize, they have to go through a verification process before we give them access. And if there’s any uncertainty at all, they don’t get access to the site. There are sites out there, very large sights, because they want the revenue stream. This isn’t how I want to do the call but, a site like Craigslist, if you pay a certain amount like $25 I can go put a casting call up there. So could you. Does that mean you’re a verified casting director? No. It could be that you just have a great idea and you want to collect submissions. You can’t do that on Reality Wanted. You have to be verified first in order to post the call.
Dan: Got it. So I know, using this site, that if someone contacts me and says that want me to try out for a show or that there’s a callback, we can rest-assured that as a user of www.RealityWanted.com that it’s an actual casting person. I just want to clarify that because…and this is the thing, Mark, I didn’t tell you this before the call but I’m very selective in terms of who I bring on the podcast and especially when we’re talking about directing someone to another site. This is the reason I brought you on. Because I know how much security and how much detail you put into the site and that’s ultimately going to provide value to people who visit the site. In terms of revenue, what as a user do I get? What can I do for free and what are the benefits I get from it?
Mark: Ok, well the benefits, I think we already talked about in using the site. Creating a digital profile and having a living profile on our site…
Dan: That’s free
Mark: ..allows. That’s free that’s free
Mark: Now you have a limited profile, there are full profiles and we don’t need to bore the listeners, they can find out online. But, you can create a profile, you can upload a photo, you can apply to casting calls, you can also be searched by the casting directors. If you want me to tell you what that change is if you are a subscriber I can. But the good news about the site is when I started it I always wanted people that maybe were, ya know when I was young in college, maybe they don’t have a few dollars a month but they still want a central place they can get all this information, learn about how to properly apply to a program, read all the editorial, be discovered. If they don’t have the budget to do it, maybe there a part of helping us out with the CPM’s and the click through’s on some of the advertising. But we still want to give them an option.
Dan: Okay good, so you offer free solution. You brought something up that I didn’t address, I wanted to ask you is that, there is essentially two parts. So you create a profile, you can actually apply for shows on your site in addition to getting found? Is that …
Mark: Right, you do both. So there is active and passive. And there are people that register on our site; I’ll give you a quick story. Um, I’m so bad man, I should really know these names (Dan laughs), but I’ve got so buried in some of the other digital work we do. But there was a gal that registered on our site, she had, had a couple of drinks and forgot about it (Dan laughs), the next day she received an email with the latest casting calls in it and she said she went to our site to try to figure out how to unsubscribe, because she didn’t want it. She went, oh I did this by accident, um, 2 days 3 days later, whatever it is someone called her from The Bad Girls Club. She didn’t apply to it, they just looked at her profile..
Dan: Laughs, sorry after a night of drinking.
Mark: Maybe the knew she was. Who knows, she was, I mean I guess people drink and text. This person drank and registered for a reality program, changed their lives, so.
Dan: Laughs, so she ended up getting cast for the show from that essentially mistaken video.
Mark: Yeah, that mistaken profile or that mistaken sign up for the night or that drunken signup, but that’s just one of many stories and its really hard there a lot of people asking there a lot of people cast and contacted. People are contacted daily, it’s a very difficult process to track. And I try to compare it to a Craigslist, people who buy a bicycle or successfully complete a transaction on Amazon or EBay or Craigslist do not contact Craigslist I successfully purchased this bicycle, right?
Mark: So, therefore same goes for us. People have to come out and tell us, “Hey I want to say thank you” or “Oh my God, I forgot to tell you that I was on Real World, thanks, I was on 2 years ago.” (Dan laughs) Right so, there are so many members it’s so hard to track them. But, there are probably more on the shows that I know about, I am probably even watching them and not knowing about it, but I’m happy about that so…
Dan: That’s awesome
Mark: I took us off topic but…
Dan: No, you lead me to something else that I wanted to ask you, and them I am going to go back to the email question. But, can you tell us about maybe some of our favorite maybe Big Brother or Survivor personalities that have had a profile on your site for one time or another. Maybe they didn’t get cast for Big Brother from it but you know like so and so was on this site before.
Mark: Well it’s an interesting question and an interesting way to answer it, because one of the things I won’t do, uh there are people who have anonymity. You can go to our site create a profile and make it completely private so that nobody can see it.
Dan: Got It
Mark: I would have had to prior to the call, go through and see whose profile is public and whose is private. But any of your listeners, including yourself can go to the browse member’s feature on Reality Wanted and search people by first and last name. If they are public they are going to pop up just like they would on Facebook, and they can select whether they want to display their information like Facebook or you have to become their friend first. But, I can tell you things that were public. Two or three of the Jersey Shores, were public and I know they made it on the program by putting it on the site and connecting with the Dorons casting company. There have been several Big Brother contestants that have had profiles. Now whether or not that lead them directly to program…it’s certainly a system. I know Kevin Campbell came out and said, we have a video of him thanking us for all of the resources, information and interview tips from Robyn, being alerted when there were open calls. There is a video somewhere on our site so people know who Kevin is.
Dan: Yeah he was on season 11
Mark: Yeah, but the rest of the cast, I can probably say there are a dozen or more over the years that are on the site and users can feel free at their leisure to come on our site and just search their favorite reality stars because they might find them.
Dan: That’s awesome. That’s really cool because I know, that’s really cool that there are a few people from Big Brother on it. I’m actually when we sign off here I am going to sign in the site to find a few of the people I think have been on there. Anyways, let’s go back to the question. My next question was, one of the things I wanted to do before I brought you on this call was I wanted to go through process of signing up for a profile and see how it went. I think one of the biggest benefits of getting emails everyday with a list for the casting calls. Is that something that is provided to all users or just paid members?
Mark: All users
Dan: That’s awesome! Where did, I mean to me that makes things so much easier. That’s one of the.. If I were to say to the audience listening to the podcast right now, if you are serious about getting on Reality TV, I would highly recommend looking at that email every single day. And hey maybe you just apply to one show every single day and you don’t have to go out and search those listings. That’s huge! But, I wanted to ask you in terms of that email distribution that comes out, are those ones that come out, so like the email from yesterday, I think there was like 13 casting calls. Are those all new casting calls or are they ones that are still waiting to be filled? If that makes sense, does that question make sense?
Mark: There all new in the sense that they were just posted that day on our website. So, they are looking to be filled. Otherwise they would have been posted by who ever posted them.
Dan: Got it. Okay, it’s not like, ones from like six months ago or regurgitated. It’s like whatever was posted on that site by a casting company or by a network, those are the ones that are emailed out that same or next day.
Mark: Absolutely, that’s the way it works yeah.
Dan: Okay great. So, we talked about you know, the benefits or what you get for a free account. Essentially you can experience the majority of everything with a free account at www.RealityWanted.com. Can you tell me, if I wanted to take it to the next level, If I wanted to get a premium account, what is the added benefit of that and how much does that cost?
Mark: Alright, I will give you a few benefits, because there are several. The first is completely transparent when you go to the website. If a user goes to the www.RealityWanted.com and clicks browse members, which is what a lot of the casting directors start with when the go to start looking through to see who is on the site. Immediately they are going to see users with a little star or VIP by their name. Any user that is paying a small monthly subscription fee is going to come up first. And when I am clicking on the page and even I have to do it. I am on page 1 of 12,448. (Dan laughs) So there are 12,448 pages of 20 thumbnails of different users, right?
Dan: Laughs, that’s a lot of people
Mark: It is a lot of people. But again we’ve been online for several years. We have 50 to 100 new people that sign up per day. There are certainly people like me who give up. Okay, I gave up. It’s pretty apparent; I tried out twice and gave up. You know we are going to get into a part of the call where I will give a little advice from a failed perspective. But, one of the main benefits is you come up first and listen it’s a huge benefit. Why? Think about when you search whatever you are looking for on Google, do you go to page 12,000?
Dan: Laughs, No.
Mark: Do you even go to page 4?
Dan: Laughs, No, I don’t even go to page 2.
Mark: Right, either do I. So, there are people that are paying a lot of money to promote their website or their business and try to get on the front page of Google. So to get on the front page or the second page of our site is extremely important and very helpful. Again you and I know the listeners may not know, casting has a very small window to fill the right programs and are using as many resources they can. And you can come up first and they are looking for who ever, where ever, with x amount or not amount of kids at this certain age or not and you pop up on page 1 that’s a huge benefit. Okay so that’s the first benefit.
The second would be you can add additional media. So on the non-paid profile page there is only one photo. With a paid profile you can add up to five or 10 photos, depending on the program you choose. You can also apply immediately to the shows. So if I am a free member and something really cool comes on today and there will be something really cool that comes on our site today because everyday there is something cool and you go I want to apply to that. There’s an embargo. There’s about a 48-hour window where the paid subscriber can apply first. And then the non-paid subscriber can apply you know, after 48 hours. And that’s additionally a huge benefit because sooner and I don’t want to keep going on casting tips but sooner you apply the better. Most people wait til the deadline and you and I know that’s a very, very bad idea.
Mark: You actually should be right out of the gate immediately. And uh, that’s a little bit about the differences. And you can pick a program on our site from 9.99 per month 12.99 per month. You can upgrade or downgrade your subscription. You can pay for two months and well you know my budget is tight, I want to go to a free subscription for a few months and the re-upgrade. It really depends on what you can afford in your budget and about the perceived value you have in what our site can offer you.
Dan: Got it so you don’t lock people into contracts and things like that. So, it sounds like to me… If I am somewhat serious about getting on Reality TV, I would definitely go on RealityWanted.com and setup an account and maybe a free account. So you recommend someone that is super serious really, I mean this is a life goal and they have the, what did you say it’s between 9 and 12 dollars a month?
Dan: 9 & 12 dollars a month and they get that sort of premium location, the ability to apply early. That makes sense and the thing I like about your site is you do offer a free component to it. Where you can still experience success from the site without having to be a paid member.
Mark: Right, and I don’t want I am a terrible sales person so I don’t want to sell it. So if you were to say go 6 months and you had that ability you could get the monthly down to like $6.00 a month. So it’s relatively cheap. You’ve got to look at; do I really want to do this? Do I really want to get into reality television? Is spending two to three hours trying to look around for every casting call worth $6.00? I mean you can go get a hamburger for $6.00. You can be a member of our site for 6 bucks and you can find yourself um, you know find yourself six months or however long it takes you on Reality Television. It’s a minimal investment if you are serious, but you are right you can sign up for free try it out and then go… Hey I want to upgrade and really get some of their features and benefits to see what these guys have to offer, because I want to be the first out of the gate. And I also want casting to find me right away. And a tip for anyone listening that is a user, the more often you sign in, the better off you are.
Dan: What do you mean?
Mark: Well if you don’t sign in, even if you are a paid member. The paid members there are only so many you can fit on one page. The way we set up our logic, we wanted casting to know who is the most active, who’s serious about being on television. Their lives are busy, you know, they want to find the right people right away. They don’t have time to mess around with people that are kind of wishy washy or so so. So when you sign in you profile is pushed back to the top of the list.
Dan: Got it.
Mark: So if you have a desk job and say you can sign in once an hour you’ll put your picture back at the top of the pile. It’ll help those casting directors find you a lot easier.
Dan: Okay Mark that leads me to another question, talking about tips. What is one thing you’ve learned through this Reality TV process and running this casting site, what’s one piece of advice could you give them to help them get cast on Reality TV? You know, what’s another way, How would you recommend someone use your site in the most efficient way to give them the best possible chance to get cast on Reality TV? Is it to….what’s your best advice?
Mark: Well, you asked if I would give one tip and it’s going to be hard to give one. I’m going to give a couple that whether you use www.RealityWanted.com or not. First off, don’t wait! If you see a show that you want to be on, don’t look for the deadline. It kills me I have friends on Facebook that go, their first question, I heard XYZ is casting, what’s the deadline? If’ you are waiting for the deadline, there is a good chance they’ve already stacked up their contestants and you are either going to be an alternate, as you know, right?
Mark: You can be walking the halls and see a doppelganger as Matt Hoffman said once, of yourself. You could get lucky, but if you are really serious about it don’t wait. It kills me, I am like, why would you wait for the deadline? They want to fill these things as quickly as possible. Then they are going to have alternates, and then they are going to have alternate, alternates. And then you are just going to be in that pool for next season. So, if you are serious, go after it right away. Don’t wait; don’t even focus on the deadline unless you just perhaps run across it near the deadline. Your chances are so much greater if you apply on day 1 than they are if you apply on day 70 and it ends on day 71. So that’s one of my, I have many tips but that is probably the biggest one I could give people. And also to just the same ole story of to be yourself. I don’t think I was myself when I applied and I think that hurt me.
Dan: Laughs, I really like your first piece of advice in terms of don’t wait. I am not a big fan of the second piece of advice in being yourself, but that’s a whole other story.
Mark one of the things I wanted to do before I let you go is, while we were talking I did sign into my site. I signed up before going on. I used a pseudonym. I actually typed in the names a few reality tv people to just see if I could find them.
Dan: Laughs, you know, just like publicly listed on there is both Ian Terry and Rachel Reilly. I mean that’s just incredible that you have two Big Brother winners who have profiles on your site. When did you find that out? Like I just found that out with like public information, that’s not revealing anything. But, when did you put two and two together like holy cow these people are on my site.
Mark: Well what we did when we first started out whenever the contestant list would come out for the programs, the big brand programs, you know we just run it through and do a search through our site. And we were there for, I don’t want this to be to, I don’t want this to be lopsided on Big Brother, but you are Big Brother so it’s always going to be skewed in that type of sense but we were there for pre interviews for season 11, right? That’s when Jeff was on.
Dan: Right, I remember you guys had some coverage on it. It’s still on YouTube.
Mark: Yeah so what we did when we were out there filming, was we had the list and I would run, I am on my phone typing everyone’s name in just to see who’s on there. And I went wow, no kidding this person is on there, (Dan laughs), this person is on there, So you’ll find that some of the cast members that signed up two or three years ago and some of the cast members too have done other programs. Again I don’t like to share anything that’s private. I should have probably done my research, but I know a couple of people that have done things, Dan you and I’ve talked about, that would not hurt their chances at all for being on Big Brother. There are a lot of things on our site like game shows and talk shows and pilots and things that they can apply for. Things that they can engage in, and things that they can do and appear on television. But if Big Brother is really that, the trophy that they are looking for, they can still be active with other things out there. I think anyone listening, because I know you have a lot of Big Brother listeners, there’s a lot of, there’s many opportunities, very cool shows to be a part of. A lot of things that are the unknowns, like, The Wipeouts, the pilots, the first program you can be apart of and that’s what’s really neat about www.RealityWanted.com, because if you go to some of the network sites you are going to see the big shows, Big Brother, Survivor, The Amazing Race, but you won’t see all the things that the production companies. We might be going to deep for some of the listeners might not understand how the whole system works with the broadcast through the network and casting company. But a lot of the production companies, like Mark Burnett’s production company that own these programs that they are filming and casting the next unknown program right?
Mark: Nobody knows about this new adventure program, because it had never aired before. And, you can find those things on www.RealityWanted.com. And two or three seasons later you are like wait how do I apply for these things. And they were on our site so, that’s something I think is important for listeners is that, you know, I understand a lot are huge fans of Big Brother. I accepted my fate. (Dan laughs) My fate was I was going to be a good fan of the program; I didn’t need to be on it. I can live in that space. But I also tried out for other shows. But, I found my niche. So some of the listeners need to understand that expand your horizons a little if you truly want to be on television. We’ve got um, I will tell you a cool story. I will go off topic again. I was watching Iron Man in the theater the day it came out and there is a scene very quick scene in the bar where the bartender is looking up at the TV at whatever is blowing up, the city is falling a part and it’s a member of www.RealityWanted.com. (Dan laughs) He was actually on Wipeout; he was on Fox Reality Solitary, and then Facebooked him and was like oh my God dude you made it on Iron Man! (Dan laughs) They cut out his speaking role, but he parlayed little time in Reality TV to the big screen and he was in Iron Man, so you never know where it will lead you.
Dan: That’s really cool and that’s one of my biggest pieces of advice for people is you have to go out there and gain experience and just put yourself out there. By putting yourself out there, whether it’s applying for a show or a www.RealityWanted.com profile, whatever it is, opportunities are going to come. Mark I am on the site right now looking at casting calls and these are just some of the casting calls I am seeing, talk about shows that you may have heard of that you don’t know. Here’s one abut looking for people that can retrieve a bottle with a whip, looking for someone who’s great with a pogo stick, someone cattle rancher, female drivers, I mean there’s so much stuff on here, that if you want to be on Reality TV there’s plenty of opportunities on this site it’s incredible. So, Mark to close things out, tell people how they get started where they go and get started on your site.
Mark: It’s easy just go to www.RealityWanted.com and it’s very transparent upper right corner if they want to register. That’s how they get started. I encourage people to go to the site and click on a few things. Look at the casting calls, you can look at them, you can’t apply but you can look at the 60 pages with 20-25 calls each that are on the site. You can look at the casting tips sections, so our favorite people like Robyn Kass and Lynn Spillman, you can watch video interviews that we’ve put together with them, giving some of the tips. Maybe, not as detailed as yours, but just stuff from them on what they look for. You can look at some of the backyard interview that we’ve done or the red carpet interviews we’ve done. Survivor, The Amazing Race. And you can read the recaps and the interviews from people like the Bachelor and the Bachelorette. So, you don’t even need to register to interact with the site. Come see what we have then go hey this is cool I want to be a part of this. And the registration process is pretty simple.
Dan: Awesome! Mark well thank you so much for taking time out of your day to share with us what I think is a very valuable and free resource for people who really want to get on Reality TV. Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to join us on the podcast. It’s been a lot of fun.
Mark: Yeah I had a great time and I really appreciate it and if you ever need me again to come on answer questions and what not, I am happy to do it.
Dan: I appreciate that Mark, have a great one.
Mark: You too, thanks Dan.
Dan: One of the things I didn’t mention on this podcast that is really important, especially if you are just getting over a rejection right now, maybe you just got sent home after Big Brother finals, or maybe you didn’t make it to the finals, but one of the things you can do right now is bounce back and start applying for other Reality TV shows. They may not even be on the same network. But, it’s just going to help you gain more exposure and more important confidence in the casting process. So, like I said it was a pleasure having Mark on here talking about www.RealityWanted.com and I don’t bring people on here to endorse products. The only reason why I brought Mark on to this podcast was because he offers a free solution to help you guys find more casting calls and to get yourself out there. So I hope you kind of really enjoyed this new type of podcast. It’s not something I am going to be doing a lot of because frankly there is not a lot of products or services out there that can really help you get cast on Reality TV in my opinion. So, just a reminder if you want to access any of the links or sites we talked about in this podcast you can do this by finding the show notes at www.howtogetonrealtytv.net/episode13.
And one final reminder, I do want to let you know about a video boot camp I’ve created for you. Essentially what this video boot camp does is a series of four courses and walks you through the entire process. Everything, from how to develop your own unique casting story, what details to put in to help you get noticed. And also, to outline your audition video put it together and make it the best you possibly can. You can find out more about this video course I created at www.howtogetonrealtytv.net/course I hope you guys enjoyed it, so with that being said episode 14 will be coming back up in two weeks. There was a little delay between episodes 12 and 13 because of a little bit of a hectic travel schedule., but thank you for sticking with us on the podcast. I hope this podcast has helped you up your casting game. Take care guys.
Oh and one more thing, although I have never used RealityWanted.com to get cast on Reality TV, you can find me on there under a fake profile name. You are going to have to do some investigative work, because I named my profile after my favorite TV character who just might happen to work for Miami Metro PD. See ya guys.