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Reality TV Casting Tips: Cast Advice on How to Stand Out From the Crowd

The stars of your favorite reality shows give casting advice
Tips to Be on Reality TV

One of the most asked questions cast members get from fans on the podcast is how do I get cast for a reality show? Let's walk through the process and reality TV casting tips to help you stand out from the crowd whether you're ready to compete on The Circle or find your future spouse on Love is Blind.

First thing's first, you know the cast member you like the least? Prepare for the potential that could be you. If you don't have a thick skin or the ability to let haters hate without taking it personally, appearing on a reality TV show may not be for you. No matter how kind you are, how personable in real life, you are signing up to just show a portion of your life and personality on reality tv. While you are responsible for your own behavior, editing of course exists and yes, every season of every show has at least one villain. Prepare for that to potentially be you. Now that that disclaimer is out of the way, here's a few tips from the cast.

Be Yourself

I know, how annoying right? But this tip has been the number one, most repeated bit of advice from cast members and casting directors alike. They don't want you to play a character you're not.

Of course you want to emphasize your most interesting attributes, but as The Circle Season 6 winner Brandon Baker, who catfished as Olivia pointed out, authenticity is key. Don't be someone you're not - unless, of course, you're catfishing. But even as a catfish, Brandon was true to himself and his personality as Olivia. Let your light shine, no matter who you are!

Make Connections

Harassing the cast won't help, as they don't actually cast the show, but there are tons of casting directors and departments looking for someone like you! Follow Instagram and TikTok accounts like @reality_tv_castingcalls with casting director Kristen Moss, @andysloancasting on TikTok, and the production companies for the shows you want to apply for.

Know What You're Looking For

Just because a show appears on Netflix does not mean Netflix is the one casting for the show. Most streaming services and channels partner with other production companies to cast their shows, in addition to working with independent casting directors. For example, Love is Blind is produced by Kinetic Content, who has their own reality TV casting division, Kinetic Content Casting with Casting Crate.

Application windows can be narrow to apply for shows, so make sure you keep an eye out frequently. Do some research on the shows you're interested in to get your application in when they open!

Put Time and Effort into the Application

And be prepared to put a lot more time and effort in if you do make it to future rounds of reality TV casting. Reality TV casting applications and the casting process is not for the weak. There are dozens of questionnaires, fill in the blank questions, video interviews, recording, mock show rounds, paperwork, sometimes travel required. It's not just a one interview and done scenario.

Some shows require psych evals, STD tests, and almost all require background checks. They know who they're working with and they have done more homework than any PhD student could dream of. If you want to stand out, stand out.

Produce Your Video

While you don't need to hire a professional production companies to create an engaging video, The Circle Season 6's Quori-Tyler, master strategist put effort into everything from her application to her nomination for Netflix Superlative "Most Likely to Stir the Pot", where she made a whole slideshow about why she should win.

Anyone can sit in their bedroom and hit record, but show what makes you, you. Is it your collection of vintage bits and bobs, or your unique hobby? Share it! Do you have a hidden talent? Don't just talk about it, show it.

Read, Read and Read Some More

From the first application, you're going to have to sign away at least part of your image in the event you do, however briefly, make it onto a show. That means the right to your image and interviews, however the company sees fit to use it, is indeed theirs to use. Just make sure you know what you're getting into. The scary contracts don't start once you're on the show. They start once you click submit on those applications.

This is my personal bigggest tip after interviewing a lot of cast members. We've been doing this show for 4 years, and sometimes the biggest villains on the show are actually the nicest people in real life. We did a write up about that, too. Here's Part I and Part II.

Whether cast deserves the villain edit or not, someone's gotta do it. Even if you came across as the most sunshiny garden of roses to ever grace a TV screen, someone, somewhere is bored and will hit your comments with nastiness at some point. It can be draining on your mental health from the jump. The casting process is intense, filming is a more than full time job, and then you hop back into your day to day life with a bunch of people who have every opinion you can imagine.

What does UCAN do?

UCAN was founded by Love is Blind season 2 cast members Nick Thompson and Jeremy Hartwell, along with licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Isabelle Morley. Reality TV cast members have been getting more support recently thanks to their efforts and industry changes, but before you sign on the dotted line, it can help to use their resources to find out what being on a reality show can be like.

UCAN offers resources from the beginning of the application process, with legal services all the way through post production counseling if you make it on the show.

While everyone's experience varies, don't expect to make 7 figures as an influencer. While lots of cast members go on to have successful careers post show, it can also be taxing and is never what anyone expected.

Check out our interview with Nick Thompson to see what his experience was like filming Love is Blind and the post-show aftermath. On the flip side to be fair, cast members like Cassie Saylor from The Circle is already itching to do another reality show, so it really does depend on what your individual experience is like.

Wishing you best of luck on your reality TV applications. What else do you want to know about the casting process?

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