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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Real World’ looks for Tucson housemates

    Journalism sophomore Nikki Lopez, left and Psychology sophomores Cecilia Becker and Jennifer Gomez wait in line to audition for Music Televisions next season of The Real World. An average of 20,000 people from around the country apply every season and only the most unique, outgoing and attractive applicants will be considered for the show.
    Journalism sophomore Nikki Lopez, left and Psychology sophomores Cecilia Becker and Jennifer Gomez wait in line to audition for Music Television’s next season of ‘The Real World.’ An average of 20,000 people from around the country apply every season and only the most unique, outgoing and attractive applicants will be considered for the show.

    A window of opportunity opened for UA students looking for a part on reality TV juggernaut “”The Real World”” yesterday.

    “”We want people who can’t help but be themselves,”” said Damon Furberg, a supervising casting director from Bunim/Murray Productions, the company that makes the show.

    Furberg interviewed potential cast members at DV8 nightclub, 5851 E. Speedway Blvd., yesterday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    The ideal candidate, Furberg said, makes a good first impression, has a lot of charisma and has an intriguing story to tell.

    Dana Lundquist, a psychology freshman, said

    We want people who can’t help but be themselves.

    – Damon Furberg,
    supervising casting director from Bunim/Murray Productions

    he decided to try out about a month ago when he first heard the show would be looking for cast members in Tucson.

    Lundquist said he thought he had a good chance of becoming a “”Real World”” housemate.

    Groups of 10 applicants were ushered into the nightclub from a line outside and told to wait their turn for time with Furberg or another member of his team.

    Once it was their turn, each group sat in a circle and played a game to get to know one another, such as “”two truths and a lie.””

    Furberg sat to the side, watching attentively and stepping in to guide the conversation and make sure he found out what was most interesting about each applicant.

    Even before the end of the session, the

    casting director had a good idea of who might go on to the next round.

    “”I feel like in these groups, it’s really like 80 percent first impression,”” Furberg said. “”The other 20 percent is what they say and how they say it.””

    After every group session finished, Furberg asked a few people to stay behind and fill out longer applications.

    Candidates would be notified within 24 hours if they made it through to the next round of interviews, Furberg said.

    The casting director said while the numbers vary from year to year, an average of 20,000 people apply every season. Out of that pool of applicants, seven are chosen.

    That means that everyone who applies has a roughly 1 in 2,900 chance of making it on the show.

    But the odds weren’t enough to deter the potential cast members waiting in line yesterday.

    A few candidates thought they had an edge going into the competition because of how they believed the casting process worked.

    “”I am Hispanic, so maybe I’ll be the token Hispanic,”” said Pita Salido, a senior majoring in political science and creative writing. “”Maybe that’s my chance.””

    Salido said she thought the casting was engineered to find stereotypical characters from different backgrounds.

    While “”Real World”” casting directors do want to find diverse groups of people for the show, Furberg said, it tends to happen on its own.

    There are other things that catch casting directors’ attention.

    “”I’m not going to lie, it helps if you’re attractive,”” Furberg said. “”It might help you get some attention that you might not otherwise get.””

    Natalie Justiniano, a political science junior, said she thought she had a great chance of getting through the first round of eliminations, but she would be fine if she didn’t get picked.

    “”This doesn’t make me or break me,”” Justiniano said.

    Furberg said the show is still looking for more potential cast members.

    Any person between 18 and 24 who missed the live casting call can send in a video application.

    Interested applicants may visit the MTV Web site, www.mtv.com, for more information.

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