Getting real

The ultimate dream of 20-somethings was finally within reach — reality TV is the best way to superstardom without actually having any acting skillsWhen auditions for The Real World came to Burlington, Ri Ra’s Irish pub hosted the casting calls for the many young people looking for their big break.Anyone ages 18-24 was eligible to audition for The Real World’s 24th casting— all you needed was a photo ID and an interesting personality, according to The Real World website.More than 300 people auditioned. Many drove from Maine, New Hampshire and other areas of New England, the casting director Kasha Foster said.A lot of UVM students said that they were surprised to have such a big media industry coming into Burlington. “Burlington, Vermont is a great place to hold auditions because it’s a college town and it gives MTV it’s demographic of 18-24,” Foster said.The interviewing process consisted of a paper application and an audition with Foster, according to auditioners. In the application, individuals said that they were asked to describe their most unusual characteristics, best and worst traits, job history and their current academic standing.Applicants were also asked to elaborate on personal events, such as their most embarrassing moment, if they had ever been under arrest and to explain the status of any intimate relationships. Most individuals were under the impression that MTV was looking for unique personalities and the actual interview would be very personal and secluded, applicant and UVM ROTC student John Brayshaw said.Jonathan Murray, producer of MTV’s The Real World, gave the impression in his press release that he was looking for a select group of individuals to participate in the 24th season.The release stated that MTV is looking for ” a person who is physically challenged, [or] an individual struggling with weight issues.”Beyond one’s physical characteristics, Murray wanted to bring a moral purpose to the show by choosing “an individual who wants to bring the spotlight of The Real World to a cause, condition or social issue they … are personally affected by.”The interviews however were not personal and secluded at all, another applicant and enlisted army member Corey Minor said. Foster met with 10 people at a time during the auditioning process. When everyone was squished around a bar table, she would start a group discussion, according to applicants coming out of their audition.The conversation topics included President Barack Obama’s Noble Peace Prize, the awkward stage moment between Taylor Swift and Kanye West at the Grammys and gay marriage.In a rapid-fire setting, each person was allowed to describe themselves in one word and many group members felt this was the only time they were singled out to speak as an individual.Brayshaw and Minor auditioned to bring attention to the different causes and political issues Americans now face.”It was a fun and fulfilling experience to sit down briefly with individuals that had opposing political views in a fast paced dialogue,” Brayshaw said. While the Brayshaw enjoyed his interview, there still seemed to be flaws in the system.”They didn’t dive into anyone’s personal story or give people enough time to speak. It was very quick,” he said.”The types of questions asked seemed ethnic biased and I didn’t feel like [Foster] took my answers into consideration.”