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Gettin’ real

Wren Wertin
Casting directors for "The Real World," the reality TV show that has aired on MTV for 14 seasons, will conduct an open casting call Wednesday in Breckenridge at the Salt Creek Restaurant and Saloon.
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MTV gave up the music-only theme years ago. The reality show “The Real World” is the station’s longest-running program, weighing in at 14 seasons – and it’s slated for another.

No word on where the show will be shot, but casting directors responsible for choosing who will participate are coming to Breckenridge Wednesday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. It’s an open casting call. Applicants ages 18-24 can visit Salt Creek Restaurant and Saloon at 110 E. Lincoln Ave. Interested parties should bring a recent photo of themselves in addition to a picture identification.

“Basically, people come and they sit in meetings with a casting director who will just talk to them and see what their interests are,” said Sasha Alpert, vice president of casting for all the reality shows Bunim/Murray Productions is involved with. “They fill out a one-sheet about who they are, where they live, their interests, that sort of thing.”

For each new season, Bunim/Murray holds between 12 to 14 open calls. They tend to be large affairs.

“But they’re not too crowded,” continued Alpert.

Though MTV refers to “The Real World” as a documentary series, it documents type-A personalities in a fantasy setting, not reality. Seven strangers are culled from across the nation, and set up to live and work together in a paradiasical setting. Currently, “The Real World: San Diego” is airing.

“We look for characters from real life,” said Jonathan Murray, executive producer of “The Real World,” in press material. “People with strong personalities who are unafraid to speak their minds.”

How does one show character?

“It sounds so classic that it doesn’t seem to matter, but be yourself,” said Alpert. “Express what’s important to you. If you come to an open call and sit at a table and don’t say anything, we’re not going to get to know you. Or if you come and shout and say, “I’m the only human who can fly,’ you’re obviously not being yourself. Engage. Engage in whatever’s going on.”

If an applicant is uninterested in the subject being discussed, she recommends simply changing it.

“Whatever’s important to you, bring that to the table,” she said.

One of the casting goals is to find a character or a perspective that hasn’t been explored before in the show. Alpert said there are two traits all who’ve been chosen share: outgoing and uninhibited. For better or worse. A press release for the casting call puts it differently:

“All of the applicants have one thing in common: They want millions of television viewers to know their name – and who they are.”

Because the show focuses on people ages 18-24, college kids frequently star in the show. Because they’re getting a late start on the next season, most students will already be deeply embedded in the spring curriculum. That leaves students on a seasonal hiatus from the books. Breckenridge and surrounding resort towns have plenty of those.

“I’d heard there are a lot of people who take time off from school there,” said Alpert. “And there’s actually a place to live there, with people their age around, so it seemed like a good place to come.”

Casting directors also plan on holding open calls in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and in the L.A. beach cities.


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