I didn't wake up Tuesday morning thinking I'd stop being polite and start being real, but that's how I ended my day. MTV held an open casting call for the new season of its infamous reality show, The Real World at downtown bar Suite 200 and, against my better judgement, I decided to see if I had that certain je ne sais quoi its producers look for in a housemate. I even started getting a little excited about the idea, thinking that, at worst, it'd be a few hours of free drinks and, at best, I'd get a call back. In the end, it was the hot mess most would expect from an MTV casting call.
A friend of mine tagged along to experience the once in the lifetime chance to see where MTV finds people like Puck, Ruthie and the girl from the Philadelphia cast who got scabies.
In the car on the way there, we decided that my best bet for being picked would be if they cast me as the normal one who complains about how crazy all of her housemates are. That idea was reinforced continually as the night went on.
When we arrived, the club was almost empty, but that was to be expected: anyone who's anyone wouldn't show up to a casting call on time. When we walked in, we were introduced to the man who was in charge of promoting the casting call, Manuel Ramirez, who told us that the club had capacity for 850 people and he expected at least 600 for the casting alone. I found that number to be somewhat high for a Tuesday night, but seeing as how The Real World caters more to the schedules of the unemployed, I figured he knew what he was talking about.
We made our way over to the section of the club where the casting was taking place. After filling out some release forms I was handed a questionnaire to fill out. The first few questions were pretty straight forward, with spaces for things like name, birthday and occupation. As the questions went on, however, they continued to get stranger. There were questions about past modeling experience and if I had any "special talents."
One question asked "when did you start doing this and why"? I figured my answer of "today and for fun" probably didn't have the kind of pizzaz MTV was looking for but, what can I say, I'm more of a Lifetime girl. Once the questions got around to asking things like height, weight and measurements, I knew I definitely wasn't what they were looking for.
Once I was done with my questionnaire, I handed it in and had a few pictures taken so the casting directors back at HQ could match a face to my name. While the people before me had made growling faces and rocked crazy head pieces, I opted for a smile-at-the-camera type pose as I didn't go to the Ke$ha school of modeling. After my pictures, Treyy G. (seriously), an MTV employee, asked me a few follow-up questions to the responses on my questionnaire, and sent me one my way. That was it. Fill out a few forms, take a few pictures, and I was done.
Treyy told me that it could take months or even years for me to hear back from a casting director and there was no guarantee I'd be called back for The Real World, I could be selected to be on any number of reality shows like MTV's Parental Control or even VH1's Tool Academy!
After I was done with the casting process, my friend and I hung around to see what kind of people show up to try and be on a reality show. Surprisingly, it was pretty slim pickings. The event was scheduled to go from 9 p.m. to midnight and when we left at 11 p.m. there were only about 100 people in the place. I found it hard to believe Manuel was going to reach his goal of 600 people, but I did leave an hour early.
When the club was still at minimum capacity, with only about thirty patrons, two young women climbed on top of a small stage and began dancing, grinding with one another and using their scarves to mime a sort of strip tease. A cameraman soon appeared.
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As my friend and I made our way through the mostly empty club on our way toward the door, I took a minute to soak in the scene: in 2012, a major cable network casting for an insanely popular reality show couldn't pack a room. Maybe there's hope for us yet.
More from our TV archive: "The Real World holds an open casting call in Fort Collins."