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Video:Reality TV Casting Pitfalls to Avoid

with Robert Galinsky

When you show up to a casting audition for a reality television show, you're going to need to stand out in a very large crowd. Learn a few of the pet peeves casting directors have so you can avoid them during your reality TV audition.See Transcript

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Transcript:Reality TV Casting Pitfalls to Avoid

Hi! My name is Robert Galinsky and I am the founder and principal of the New York Reality TV School. I'm here at NY Castings.com for About.com. I'm going to talk to you about the pitfalls to avoid when trying to get cast on a reality TV show.

Speak in the First Person at the Casting

The very first pitfall to avoid is not speaking in the "I."

"Ok, Cody -go ahead, tell me a little bit about you."
" You know, you're the life of the party. You walk in, all eyes are on you, all the guys want to buy you drinks."
"Wait, wait, wait... stop Cody. You see what's happening here, she's telling me that all of the guys want to buy me drinks. I'm not at the party, you're at the party. Speak in the 'I.'"
"I've been told, I'm very interesting at every party I go to. All eyes are on me when I walk in. And, all the guys want to buy me a drink."
"This person is dynamic, powerful, at the party. She owns it all, it's all about her."

Don't Talk Acting With a Reality Director

Never tell the casting director, producer, that you're an actor. They don't want to know you're an actor.

"Hi, I'm Puneet Prasad, I'm an actor. I've done theatre, film, TV..."
"Ok, Puneet, what I can't hear from you is that you're an actor, cause as soon as you did that, again, I put this filter up. If I wanted an actor I'd cast one, ok."

But as soon as you say "I'm an actor," they put up a filter. And that filter is going to be, everything you're doing now is not genuine, it's not authentic.

"Hi, I'm Puny Prasad and I love to travel. I just got bit by the travel bug. I love singing, both in the shower and rapping in the garage. I love driving a four by four. I've got a jeep that I just love taking over rocks."

So, don't say I'm an actor, if they wanted actors they would go out and cast real actors.

Open Up About Your Quirks at the Audition

Do not hide your hairy pits.

"Cody-Ann, tell me a little bit about your personal life."
"I don't think I'm comfortable talking about that so…"
"There are 400 people behind you that are willing to talk about their personal life. And give it up for reality television, for the viewer. We want to see what's going on inside your life. You're not going to be picked because you're not going to give it up."

I need to know as a casting director and producer, everything about you personally -so, that I can start to work with you and create a story in this unscripted drama.

"Tell me about your personal life, some of the things that are going on with you. Problems..."
"Well, I live in a crazy triangle, I have 3 brothers. All 3 of us have the same mother, different father. All of his kids from his previous marriage hate me."
"Now I know a lot about Cody-Ann. I know that you are going to bring to the script a lot of drama, and, I know that you're willing to give it up. That's the most important thing. You're not afraid. "

So, please, groom your "hairy pits." Let us know the personal problems you have with other people. Reality TV wants to know who you are. So they can dice it up, cut it up and send it out to the audience."

Be Willing to Say Yes at the Audition

Do not say no. No, no, no, let's flip that around. Say yes as often as possible. People on reality TV shows are thrown into unpredictable unfamiliar situations with unpredictable people.

"I want you to open up. Do you have any special skills, can you do something?"
"I can stand on my head."
"Go ahead and do it."
"Here?"
"Yeah go ahead and do it."
"Even when you don't say the word no, if you say ah, I'm not sure, that's a no. That's the block. I want you to say yes as much as possible."
"Tell me a little bit about yourself."
" I'm Puneet Prasad. I graduated high school with a 4.8, because I'm an advanced placement student."
"Do you have any kind of physical trick or fun thing you can do?"
"Yeah, I tried break dancing, so I can stand on my head."
"Will you stand on your head for us right now?"
"Absolutely" "That's awesome Puneet, great"

Say yes to everything. Possibility lives around yes. If that's the case, when you're on a show, possibility's going to live around you. And viewers are going to love that.

Be Prepared for the Reality TV Casting

The final pitfall I want you to avoid is - do not enter an audition unprepared.

"Cody-Ann, I'd love to hear your voice. Other than your speaking voice, so go ahead and sing me a song."
"Do you have any suggestions or…."
"Alright, here's what's happening, right now, I'm the casting director and I've got to do work to get a song out of Cody-Ann. You have to be prepared - you have to have 1-2-3 songs backed up, ready to go. Don't waffle, don't wait, as soon as they say sing – sing."
"Know what you're auditioning for. Cody-Ann, go ahead, go ahead and give me a song."

Tailor your casting appearance to what they want and be prepared.

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