Wanna feel old? MTV's original true-to-life (well, sorta) TV series, The Real World, is now casting its 29th season. Yeah, it's thisclose to the big 3-0. Seems like just yesterday the world was hating on Puck's obnoxious antics and Stephen socked Irene with the slap heard 'round the world.
Fast forward to now, and the granddaddy of reality TV is scoping South Florida for talent to stock its latest season. While the show's filming locale is TBA, Miami could be in the running. Either way, they're looking for local folks to show up at Vibe in Fort Lauderdale this Saturday for an open casting call.
Cultist spoke to casting Ddrector Damon Furberg of Bunim/Murray (producers of The Real World) for tips. Get your insider info after the jump.
Unlike years past, when they've cast in up to 30 cities, this year the show's only hitting up 15 -- and spending more time in each one. So South Floridians have a pretty good shot. They start with approximately 30,000 through the audition process, then whittle it down over a few months to the final seven.
"The thing that you're looking for for any show, the Real World being a perfect example of this -- you're looking for the people with charisma," Furberg says.
Sadly, that's something you can't fake.
The casting call is asking for folks over the age of 20 (must be 21 by December 2013) who appear to be between the ages of 20 to 24. Furberg says to note the word "appear" (IE, age limits aren't strict).
"For the Real World we're looking for people who are at a turning point in their lives. With the age range we cast, it tends to be a natural turning point for most people -- getting out of college, going into real life."
And after all these years, a new angle is necessary.
"You're always looking for a unique story; somebody who can tell you something you haven't heard before in 28 seasons," Furberg adds.
But how has the show's casting process changed in almost three decades?
"The DNA of the show [is] the same as it's always been -- you don't mess with success. What's definitely changed is that obviously you're trying to put on something that you haven't put on before. You're always kind of looking for that next thing, so you certainly have to look harder after all this time."
The real key to casting is the intangible, Furberg says. While every casting director is a little bit different, his technique is to ask applicants their name, age, where they're from, and something interesting about themselves. Simple.
"You go into it not really knowing what you're looking for. You just know when you find it."
And the old cliche still stands -- be yourself. Trying to sell an image or compare yourself to past characters is a big no-no, he advises. "If we've already had that person on the show, telling us you're just like them is not a good move."
"Don't put too much pressure on yourself," he adds. "Come in and have a good time and that's it. You don't have to force it."
Furberg assures that the audition process is fun. Not American Idol style-arduous, but fairly fast and easygoing. "We're not going to make you sing and nobody is going to make fun of you."
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People filter in throughout the day, get a numbered application, and are called in accordingly. No one waits more than an hour or two.
And if you can't make the casting call, don't panic. You can still submit an application online at Bunim/Murray's website or MTV.com. Saturday's casting call runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Vibe, 333 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Bring a valid ID and a recent photo -- and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Oh -- and if you want to tune in to the current season for tips, The Real World: Portland airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. on MTV.