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7 Steps to Being Cast in Reality TV From ‘The Circle’ Finalist

| Agents of Fandom
Lee Swift Senior Writer; Podcast Host

Have you ever dreamed of being on Reality TV? Sat back and watched your favorite unscripted show and thought, “I could do so much better. Hell, I could win the whole thing?” If not, consider that some of the most influential media moguls got their start on Reality TV. Among the masses are Christian Siriano (Project Runway), Twitch (So You Think You Can Dance), Todrick Hall (American Idol), Kim Spradlin (Survivor), and Dan Gheesling (Big Brother) just to mention a few.

Being cast in a Reality TV show is exposure to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fans. Sound good? Exciting? Life-changing? Believe me, it is all that and more.

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1. Determine the reality TV shows that fit your personality

Are you single? Maybe a dating show like Love is Blind or Too Hot To Handle. Can you sing? American Idol or The Voice. Do you do Drag? RuPaul's Drag Race. Design Dresses? Project Runway. Want to go on a private yacht? Below Deck. Like me, are you okay being alone with your computer? Definitely The Circle. Able to play kid’s games without being killed? Netflix’s new Squid Games. What show do you like watching? Pick that one!

2. Fill out online applications with unique flair and personality

Some Reality TV shows have in-person casting calls, like American Idol, etc… But even so, it’s advised to do some research about the show and what they’re looking for online. All applications will require you to submit a lot of personal information as well as some photos and a short video. It is critical… I repeat, critical to show your unique personality in the entire application.

You will be asked leading questions like “What is something you’re proud of?” or “Where did you grow up?” You could answer flatly to question one, “Graduating from College” or “Becoming an Eagle Scout” or “My kids.” However, show your personality in every answer you can. How about, “I am so freaking proud of graduating from college, since no one in my family thought I’d make it out of high school. Actually, I'm a little surprised myself since I was all about surfing, which is why I became a Marine Biologist”. Don't be afraid to be yourself.

3. Wear clothing that reflects your personality

When it comes to your video application, clothing can be a great way to present yourself. Do you wear a suit and tie? Then wear that, but maybe put on a tie that will engage the casting director. Shorts and a tank top? Wear it with pride. Make it count. Remember, unscripted Reality TV shows are visual. Have a story to tell with your outfit that says, “Cast Me!”

4. Don’t sweat the wait—keep applying!

The truth is that you are one of many people, and the bigger the show, the more applicants come in. It takes time for Reality TV casting directors to go through everything. By applying to other shows, particularly new shows that have yet to air, you increase your odds of being cast. There's no need to limit yourself to just one.

5. Be prepared to talk—that's what Reality TV is about

Reality TV shows want to cast larger-than-life people with unique stories in which their audience can be invested. Whether in person or virtually, the latter being the norm, be ready to tell your story with high energy. If you’re worried about stumbling, stuttering, etc… practice. Yes, practice. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell YOU what makes you the best choice for the show. Also, tell yourself how good you look and that you love yourself. Gratitudes are important, people.

6. Listen… and follow through.

If you're lucky enough to get called to meet with casting, the director, producer, etc., you will be asked to deliver more each time as you move up the process. Don't miss a deadline. If they want you to email the person doing the background check by a certain time with more information, be early with it. Never be late. This is a business, and they want to be in business with people they can trust. Be that person, and get cast in Reality TV!

7. Reality TV takes Energy! Energy! Energy!

No matter what you hear, always bring your best. If the casting person on Zoom is eating a sandwich and looking at their phone? What are you going to do? “Hey, that looks delicious. What kind of sandwich is it? My personal favorite is peanut butter, honey and bananas.

If you go through a bunch of casting rounds and still don't make it? Stay upbeat. There’s always next season and if you've done all 7 steps, they will remember you.

I hope to be seeing you on my screens soon! Good luck!

Check out the Ticket 2 Reality Podcast featuring The Circle: Netflix's Lee Swift and the Agents of Fandom streaming now!

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