Reality TV Casting Calls 2022 | How To Audition

Last Updated on July 20, 2022

Reality TV Casting Call

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be on a reality TV show? Sure, you’ve probably heard of long lines at casting calls and waiting forever to see if you’ll get the chance, but what exactly are casting directors looking for? Read on to find out how to stand out on any reality show audition, as well as how to apply to your favorite reality shows.

How To Audition For Reality TV Shows

1: Fill out the online applications

“The first step of any casting process is to apply on the casting website,” says reality TV casting producer Joy Gordo, who has worked on The Circle and America’s Got Talent, among other shows. “If selected for a pre-screen call, an associate will reach out for a phone interview. If chosen to move forward, you’ll be scheduled for a Zoom or Skype audition with a casting producer.”

From there, the casting process can differ widely, Gordo adds, with some castings requiring just one audition and others requiring several.

Some shows have open auditions across the country in major urban areas, says Shyam Balsé, SVP of unscripted original series at Endemol Shine North America and executive producer of MasterChef. For MasterChef casting, “The best of the group would be sent on to casting reels to producers who would select around 50 [people] to fly to L.A. and undergo on-camera interviews and cooking classes.” Producers watch them over the week and then decide on the final cast for the show.

2: Be prepared to wait

Every show is different, but the process can stretch over several months, according to Michael Heyerman, SVP of unscripted original series at Endemol Shine North America and executive producer of LEGO Masters. “The casting process usually takes about 13 to 16 weeks and is often a mix of 50% canvassing any existing groups that are relevant to the project with flyers and general outreach,” he says. “The other 50% is really just great casting producers searching and finding individuals through good old fashioned research.”

After that, he notes, taped submissions are sent to producers. “It’s a pretty simple process of elimination,” Heyerman says

The casting process can stretch over weeks or even “many, many months,” says Easton Max Edwin, a reality TV casting director who has worked on a range of shows, including Ugliest House in America and Labor of Love. “So if you do not hear back right away, don’t let it get you down.”

3: Pay attention to what you wear

You’ll usually get an email that requests a “specific wardrobe” for the show you’re auditioning for, Gordo says. But, if not, there are a few rules to follow:

  • Wear bright, bold, solid colors
  • Skip busy patterns
  • Don’t wear logos
  • Don’t wear black or white

“Neutral tones blend you in with the background and we want you standing out,” Edwin explains. But, overall, choose something you like. Gordo recommends that you “wear something you feel confident in because when you look good, you feel good.”

4: Get ready to share your story

Every show is different, but casting agents are typically looking for candidates with a likable backstory. “For MasterChef, a good contestant is a very skilled, non-professional cook with a great backstory,” Balsé says. “Great cooking is the pre-requisite, but they need to have a powerful reason for competing on the show so the fans will root for them.”

Heyerman agrees. “The number-one thing you want to see when casting a show is someone you can root for, someone genuine that you can really invest in,” he explains. “Casting varies so much from show to show depending on what the overall creative is, but ultimately what you really want is someone that people can get behind and feel good about cheering for.”

5: Don’t hesitate

“If you see a casting pop-up that you love, apply for it ASAP,” Edwin suggests. “Some castings book very quickly, so make sure you aren’t waiting to fill out an application.”

6: If you’re given directions, follow them

Edwin says it’s important to remember that casting agents are rooting for you to succeed. “Always follow directions,” she notes. “We want to cast you, and we are fighting for you, so please help us help you by following the directions we send you for setting up for your audition.”

7: Be mindful of where you’re auditioning

If you have a scheduled call with a producer, make sure you’re taking it in a quiet, private place—ideally at your home. “Never try to audition from your car or a public place,” Edwin says.

8: Show off your biggest, truest self

Balsé recommends that you “be loud,” but also be yourself. “Make sure you demonstrate all your skills, talents, and unique personality traits as quickly as possible when you audition,” he explains. “We need to get a sense of who you are in a very short time, so don’t hold back.”

Edwin says that while casting directors look for a range of personalities, being outgoing definitely helps. “For the majority of the shows we are casting for, we are looking for someone who is their authentic self and not shy,” she says. “Big personalities and feeling comfortable in crowds definitely helps.”

Keep in mind, too, that “being guarded and closed off can be a negative when trying to cast a show,” Heyerman says. He adds, “The cast of a reality show are very much the faces and stars of the show, so being open and enthusiastic about the project is the best way forward.”

9: Don’t fake it

This is huge with casting agents. “Don’t act or pretend to be anything you are not,” Balsé warns. “Producers can sniff that out immediately and will reject it.” Gordo agrees. “You definitely shouldn’t lie on your application or to the casting team,” she says. “The truth always comes out.”

Your goal, Balsé says, is to “be as authentic as you can through the casting process.” He adds, “Reality shows are about interesting, real people and if we can’t get a sense of who you really are, we won’t pick you.”

10: If it doesn’t work out, try again

There are a lot of reality shows out there that need casting, Edwin points out. “If you do not get cast for a show, don’t let it get you down,” she says. “There are plenty of shows out there and there will always be another that is a great fit.”

Leave a Comment