are 3 ways to be cast on a reality show:
- Attend a cattle call;
- Submit directly for consideration;
- Know somebody who works on the show and get walked in.
#3 is terrific, but it’s not necessary (really!). What’s more important is
knowing how to NOT get on a reality show. Let’s start with sending naked photos,
videos of yourself in the restroom and a truly bizarre mix of other attempts to
get cast. Your personality is enough. Maybe.
Now for the Do's.
PICK A SHOW If you want to be
on a reality show but don’t have a
specific one in mind, just surf the
online casting sites for casting calls
and direct submission listings! Lots of
shows post casting calls every single
day (to stay at the top of announcement
lists). Your best bet is to start with
Craig’s List in Los Angeles or New York
listing. Surprise! Companies post there
for national searches because they’re
not allowed to do multiple posts across
different city lists. Check the
“Gigs/Talent” category for the most
Also check the sites of your favorite networks for multiple show listings.
Similarly, if you find a production company that produces a show you love, check
their site for other shows. A company that produces one HGTV show could easily
produce five other ones because they’re trusted by the network – and some of
those other shows might be the perfect fit for you!
Your most important consideration in selecting a show to submit to is: How
can this show change my life? If it can’t change your life, if you just want to
be on TV, you are going to have a hard time getting cast. Your story MATTERS.
APPLY TO THE SHOW You will have to complete an application for any
show you submit to and sign a release granting the production company the right
to use anything you submit in any way they wish, which is usually to promote the
show itself. In many instances you may also need to send in a personal videotape
For your reel, be sure to strictly follow any format guidelines, like
duration or VHS vs. DVD format. Your ability to follow directions here is the
first indication of how well you’ll manage on a set. As far as content, I always
recommend turning on your “First Date” personality. That means great look, great
personality, good stories and a little of your playful, naughty side if you have
one (no, not NAKED. “Naughty”). Don’t try to shock or impress or create a
character. Just try to intrigue us into going out with you again!
Here are some technical tips for your shoot: