If you're among the 13 people left in the United States who haven't appeared on a reality TV show, now's your chance: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 13, casting directors for MTV's The Real World and Road Rules will be in town, ahem, auditioning would-be roommates and RV buddies at The Beagle on Greenville Avenue. If you're over the age of, like, y'know, 24, you need not apply, which dismays Full Frontal greatly; if it weren't for the excessive body hair, we know we'd be soooo in. Alas, it's 18 to 24 only, though 17-year-olds may still apply if they'll be legal come January, when production starts on The Real World in a still-undisclosed location. (We suggested Mesquite, which is so like Paris but without the stinky French.) Applicants will be asked to bring proper ID, a current photo and a map of any relevant body piercings; they'll also have to fill out a one-page application, which seems, like, really long and stuff.
One thing casting director Jason Horowitz says he's not looking for are people who've watched all 32 seasons of The Real World and think they have to live up--or, c'mon, down--to the show's sensibilities and standards. Just be yourself, he advises--and barring that, FF figures, just talk about how much you like having three-ways. No? That's wrong? Keep in mind there are 30,000 people vying for 13 slots--those odds are so not awesome. But as Horowitz reminds, "There are just some people meant to be on reality TV." Dunno if he meant that as a good thing. Doubt it.
So, Jason, what do you look for in a Real World or Road Rules candidate?
We look for outgoing, dynamic, energetic people who don't have a problem sharing their stories and details about their personal lives in front of millions of people.
Uh, does anybody these days? TV has become one giant confessional.
You'd be surprised. There are things people prefer to keep private, but then they don't get their 15 minutes. It's really anybody who has a different perspective. We try to, each season, present a different perspective and tell a different story than we have in the past.
I assume people will show up and just line up around the bar?
It's usually a long line. They fill out a short application, then they wait around for a little more, probably, which isn't good for them but good for us, so we can see a lot of people. Then they break up into a group of 10 to 12 of their peers and have a group discussion. We find the group discussion works for this purpose. The people with the strong opinion and personalities shine, and we don't want anyone to walk out the door feeling like they didn't have a chance. Topics run the gamut from political conversations to social conversations--anything important to 18- to 24-year-olds' lives.
Well, we get the obligatory sexual topics.
Awesome. Such as?
It depends. Dating, just any problems people have encountered, pet peeves, anything that's going to spark interest.
Most people trying out have seen The Real World. Do you worry they're trying to act like they think a cast member should?
The casting directors can spot the pretenders and people trying to give us what they think we want. If you're trying to stir up debate or controversy and you're doing it for attention, the casting director will realize it and weed you out. We don't want people to put up a front, which is difficult, because you don't have a lot of time and the casting director is looking at everyone.
Making the show's pretty slim odds.
There are 29,987 disappointed people, yeah. But every year we do sign those seven for The Real World and six for Road Rules, and the year before those people were probably watching the show on their couches. It's gotta be someone. --Robert Wilonsky
New Entries in the Dallas Dictionary
quincy (kwinse) adj. at once underrated and overrated; see also fergainst it [Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is, like, so quincy]
bolton (boltun) vt. to pretend youre taking something like a man when you cant stop crying in public [Would you stop boltoning when Im trying to fire you?]
ted (ted) vt. to abruptly change ones mind for no apparent reason [You said you love me yesterday, and today you want to break up? Why you tedding me?]
lipscomb (lipskum) n. 1. any octogenarian with cornrows. 2. any former felon with cornrows
laff riot (laf riet) n. any public protest in which reporters outnumber protesters [That display down at City Hall today was a laff riot]
cowboysplusdotcom (kouboiz plus dt km) adj. when something is overpriced, useless and sure to fail; see also cuecat [This fake Rolex I just bought from a pawn shop for $29.99 is so very cowboysplusdotcom]
kraddick (kradik) n. a local sensation that bombs miserably when introduced to a national audience
bullock (buluhk) vt. to replace a former Law & Order star as the biggest celebrity in a major metropolitan area [Dude, Angie Harmon is about to get bullocked by that chick from Speed]
parcells (par sels) adj. 1. to be hailed as a savior before accomplishing anything. 2. to be regarded as strong and intimidating despite having no discernible muscle mass and/or waistline. 3. to think youre funny because sycophants laugh at your jokes; see also markcubanshow
After threatening for weeks to go after those who swap music files via the Internet, the Recording Industry Association of America on Monday delivered 261 lawsuits in federal courthouses across the country, including Dallas. Surprisingly, many of those named by the trade organization, which represents its member record labels, were city officials, including Mayor Laura Miller, former chief of police Terrell Bolton and others who the RIAA claims have been illegally exchanging songs online. Miller, quoting Luther Vandross, her favorite singer, vows to stop trading files till the suit has been resolved. "Don't want to be a fool," she said yesterday at City Hall.
According to legal papers filed in federal court, Miller is accused of having more than 1,000 illegally downloaded songs on her city-provided computer, including the complete works of Vandross, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Barry White and Cat Stevens, as well as such songs as Soundgarden's "Power Trip," XTC's "Mayor of Simpleton," King Crimson's "Arena of Terror," T-Bone Walker's classic "Trinity River Blues" and the Clash's "Police & Thieves." Bolton, recently fired from his post by City Manager Ted Benavides, is named in a separate suit. Among the 2,393 songs he allegedly downloaded from KaZaA and Aimster in the past four years are Barbara Mandrell's "Pity Party," Warren Zevon's "Poor Poor Pitiful Me," Julie London's "Cry Me a River," avant-garde band Duotron's "Wanh!", comedian Chris Tucker's 1998 routine "Take This Badge and Shove It" and, surprisingly, N.W.A.'s immortal gangsta-rap classic "Fuck Tha Police."
Also named by the RIAA in its litigation were several other City Hall employees, including Benavides, who the trade organization claims downloaded such tracks as Bratmobile's 2000 college-radio hit "You're Fired," the Mistreaters' "You're Fukkin' Fired," James Brown's underrated "And I Just Do What I Want" and the Franklin Brothers' 1950s rockabilly hit "Oh, Laura." City Councilman Don Hill allegedly downloaded the entirety of Deion Sanders' 1995 album Prime Time, which included such tracks as "Say Hi to the Bad Guy" and "It Ain't Over Yet."
Surprisingly, some of Dallas' wealthier citizens have also been accused of pirating music, including Dallas Cowboys owner-GM Jerry Jones, whose computer allegedly contains the collected works of British psychedelic-rock pioneers Soft Machine (including several versions of the band's oft-bootlegged "Face Lift") and jazz drummer Max Roach's "Pieces of Quincy." Dallas Maverick Dirk Nowitzki was tagged for possessing the complete Kraftwerk, while Texas Ranger Juan Gonzalez was sued for downloading every song titled "Cry Baby," which the RIAA puts at 132. --Robert Wilonsky
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.