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Browsing all articles tagged with sarah monson

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1. Stand between two really lame people at the open casting call.

“Seriously, if you position yourself in between Mr. Meek and Sally Soft-Spoken, then you will only stand out more,” says Monson. She also advises against bringing your beautiful and charismatic best friend with you.

2. Wear something memorable but not crazy.

“Don’t wear a costume just to be silly,” explains Monson. “And don’t dress like a stockbroker if you work at K-Mart. You will just be uncomfortable and it will show.”

3. Wear something that flatters your figure and flaunts your personality.

“If you have big boobs, don’t wear a hoodie – show them off,” says Monson. “Same goes for that six pack, guys.”

4. Don’t make the producer’s job harder with your clothing.

Don’t wear any garments with visible logos. “They’ll have to be blurred out,” according to Monson. Also avoid wearing all black, all white, noisy jewelry or sports team logos.

5. Answer Your Phone.

Monson points out to make sure your phone accepts blocked and private numbers. She’s seen people miss out on a TV opportunity because the network couldn’t get ahold of them.

6. Amp up your energy in the waiting room.

“By the time us casting directors get around to interviewing you, we’re going to be tired,” Monson said. “We keep an eye on the waiting room to get a better idea of who people are, so always be on.”

7. If you’re nervous, be honest about it—or start drinking.

“Tell me you’re nervous,” Monson says. “It almost always releases the fear of being nervous so you can just be you.”"If that doesn’t work, go get a shot of whiskey and then come back!”

8. Use your flaws to your advantage.

Your imperfections could set you apart.”Do you have six toes? A lazy eye? Anger management issues? These are not deal breakers, by any means, ” says Monson. “They just might be the it factor we’re looking for.”

9. Pretend you’re presenting a movie trailer about your life.

“Think about it … the main reason a moviegoer wants to see any given movie is usually because they’ve seen a killer trailer!” Monson explains. “A trailer highlights all the best parts about the film, but leaves you hanging just enough to get you off your butt and go pay a premium to see it on the big screen.”

10. Use your audition to say who you are and aren’t.

The best way to do that is to think about a person who might be your polar opposite cast member, Monson tells us.”This will be your on-air nemesis … tell us who you think that might be because it helps us figure out how you would fit into the cast,” she explains.

11. Never make a tape just sitting in your room.

“Show us your world,” Monson says. “Nothing is more boring than you standing in front of a white wall or sitting at your computer, so take us around your house or to work.”

12. Never lie.

Monson says this is the biggest deal-breaker in the business. A criminal record or embarrassing past won’t make casting directors rule you out, but lying about them will.

13. Don’t babble.

Casting directors get bored easily, according to Monson. Pick a succinct script and stick to it.

14. Don’t be picky.

Monson shared a story of a friend who wanted to lose weight who skipped “The Biggest Loser” audition process, which is inundated with applications. The friend instead directed her attention to a smaller Discovery Channel show. She was cast and lost 80 pounds.

15. Don’t try to act stupid.

Monson says being fake is very obvious to the casting directors. They’re also not impressed by weird stunts.

16. Don’t hide your body.

“If you’re fat, own it,” Monson says. “If you have a six-pack, show it off.”

17. Form an opinion.

“You must have a strong opinion if you plan on getting cast on a reality show, so the sooner you form one, the better,” advises Monson. “It can be anything.”

18. Don’t overdo your application.

“Under no circumstances are you to give one word answers when filling out an application, but that doesn’t give you carte blanche to write a sequel to Gone With The Wind if the mood strikes you,” Monson warns.

Sarah Monson

A fabulous fellow named interviewed me about my career as a reality TV casting director for his equally fabulous website, Film Industry Network.

It’s a great resource for any and all who want to get into the film and TV biz, or are already actively pursuing their dreams in the entertainment industry. I highly recommend you check them out and join! When it comes to getting ahead in Hollywood, it’s all about who ya know.

Networking is king, and this site is Lancelot.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Iain: What does it take for an actor to get ahead of the competition? Any tips?

Sarah: Have your story down. I call it your “personal sizzle reel.” Be able to pitch yourself as the perfect person for the project in 60 seconds or less. Tell a compelling story that will make me intrigued by who you are and leave me wanting to know more. Sometimes a Casting Director won’t even ask you any questions. They might just say: “Tell me about yourself.” You must have a compelling story and sell us on wanting to keep you around.

Check out my entire interview here: Tips from Prime Time Reality TV casting expert Sarah Monson

Thanks Iain!

 

Ever wonder what a reality TV Casting Director actually does… and why they’re hired in the first place?

I’ve been getting quite a few emails from folks who would rather go behind the scenes, instead of making one on TV. So, I thought I’d enlighten you with a quick glimpse into the inner-working of my world.

When a production company creates a reality TV show, they need a “cast,” which is the selection of people hand picked to be a part of the show. And it’s a Casting Director’s job to find all of those people.

Read more »

reality tv auditions can take foreverWhen it comes to the world of reality TV production, or any type of production really, there’s a mantra that one comes to live by: HURRY UP… AND WAIT.

In every show I’ve cast, regardless of my best efforts, the shooting schedule for the people auditioning or the contestants always seems to follow this hurry up and wait pattern. When we need you, we need you RIGHT NOW! But then there can be hours where you’re twiddling your thumbs wondering what the heck we’re doing and what’s taking so long. This can be incredibly frustrating.

Here’s an example: for the last reality show I cast – which was a celebrity dating show – the daters had to be ready at 8AM. Sometimes the celeb didn’t arrive until noon, and often the actual filming didn’t begin until 2PM. This, naturally, didn’t really sit well with the cast members. By the time filming started, they were tired, grumpy and annoyed. And I’d be annoyed, too. This can pose challenges to filming, since it can take a bit before people pep back up once we’re ready to roll.

But that’s just the way it goes when it comes to production and casting…

Read more »

khloe-kardashian-and-mario-lopez-hosting-x-factor-what-viewers-are-saying

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT – I was interviewed by CELEBUZZ the other day to shed some insight on the new X-FACTOR HOSTS. See what I had to say and more… right now!
FOX’s long search for new The X Factor co-hosts, featured drama that played out in public for months, could have been its own reality talent competition show. And now that it’s over, what can we expect from newly-crowned winners Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez?

Well, no one doubts that actor/entertainment newscaster/beauty pageant emcee Lopez has the polish and experience to do the job. As for E! celebreality star Kardashian, let’s just say she’s got her work cut out for her.

That’s the verdict of at least one reality TV insider. “Mario Lopez will make a great host. He’s a seasoned and polished pro and just a really likeable guy,” veteran primetime reality casting director and author of Me on TVSarah Monsontold Celebuzz.

“As for Khloe, is it a publicity stunt? Maybe,” she said of Kardashian’s hiring. “Khloe is super famous, and people will want to watch her to see how she does,  good or bad.”

What advice did Monson have for the new co-hosts?

Despite Kardashian’s ease in front of a TV camera, she’ll still have some new job skills to learn. On Keeping Up With the Kardashians and its spinoffs, Monson said, “She isn’t asked to read anything off a prompter, memorize lines, or be anything but herself or do anything she doesn’t feel comfortable doing – like making small talk with Mario to fill time.”

Not that emceeing a live show will be a breeze for either host. “Sure, they’ll have people feeding them lines and have monitors with zippy dialogue,” Monson said. “But if something goes wrong, it’s just the two of them up there that have to keep the flow of the show moving.

Already, less than a day after X Factor impresario Simon Cowell confirmed Lopez and Kardashian’s hiring, the inevitable rumors of an ego feud between his two new employees have begun to spread. But Monson said she thinks the pair will work well together.“Dynamic duos are always fun to watch,” she said. “They add more personality to the overall content of the show; they can play off one another,  good-cop/bad-cop style, and offer different levels of support to the singers and chime in with their own opinions. One guy just can’t do all that.”

Of course, last year’s inaugural season of X Factor was supposed to have a male-female co-host pair, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones. But then, Cheryl Cole left the judging panel, Scherzinger took her place, and Jones hosted the show solo. After the season ended, in a casting overhaul, Cowell announced that Jones and judges Scherzinger and Paula Abdul were out.

Before the recent round of Season 2 auditions began, Cowell brought in Britney Spears and Demi Lovato (at no small expense) to be the new judges, but while he promised to have new co-hosts by mid-August, it took until this week to winnow the field and strike deals with Kardashian and Lopez. They’ll make their debut when Season 2′s live shows begin in November.

It’s still not clear how the show will handle so many familiar, assertive stars, or whether there’s actually room in the spotlight for all of them every week. Which brought to Monson’s mind a cautionary tale from Cowell’s previous show, American Idol.“Remember American Idol Season 1? They had two hosts. One was Ryan Seacrest and the other was Brian Dunkleman,” Monson said. The now all-but-forgotten Dunkleman was gone by Season 2, but a decade later, Seacrest’s ongoing Idol gig remains the cornerstone of his multimedia career.

“Advice to Khloe and Mario: You do not want to be the next Brian Dunkleman!”

 

My friend wanted to go on a weight loss reality TV show. She didn’t want to get famous, write a book, or snag a spin off: she wanted to lose weight. So instead of applying for the mother of all chub chiseling shows, the behemoth CBS show The Biggest Loser, she found a new, smaller Discovery Channel show that was casting, which at the time wasn’t as flashy and popular.

You may think that’s  a bad thing. Newp! In fact, it’s a great thing. Why? It was EASIER TO GET ON. How?? Because it received FAR fewer applications… and thus my pal’s chances were greatly increased. [Full disclosure: I did help out with her application and her submission video, too.] And guess what! She was cast on the show – and ended up losing 80 pounds!

My point is this: if you’re not as picky about which reality show you want to go on, you might be better off having your pick of the litter from shows which aren’t the most popular of their kind.

Read more »

Unlike an FAQ, an SAQ is a question you SHOULD be asking, but might not know to ask. So, instead of asking What Reality TV Shows Are Casting?, you SHOULD be asking: What Reality TV Show Is Right For Me?

This will either inspire you or make you mad.

Pauly D – the gel gobbling guido of Jersey Shore – is making SERIOUS money as a DJ these days.

Forbes Magazine just released the list of the World’s Highest-Paid DJs, and DJ Pauly D is on the list… to the tune of $11 Million Dollars.

“…In the number seven spot is none other than “Jersey Shore” star Pauly D, who makes a fist-pumping (or some might actually say depressing) $11 million a year for his DJing appearances. That sort of money can buy a lot of hair gel and tanning-booth visits.

According to Yahoo!: Pauly D, as he is known in the club circuit, has made some real in-roads in the EDM world, signing a three-album deal with 50 Cent’s G-Unit record label; launching his own line of headphones; opening for Britney Spears on her North American Femme Fatale tour; serving as an exclusive resident DJ at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas; and starring in a spin-off MTV reality series, “The Pauly D Project,” about his burgeoning DJ career.

Lemme ask you this: Do you think there is ANY WAY IN HELL Pauly D would have risen to this kind of stardom if not for his stint on Jersey Shore?

Um…. NO.

So, are you ready to get cast on a reality show yet?

There are SO many ways to get cast on Reality TV these days. You can go to an Open Call near your home, apply via Online Submission, get recruited right off the street, or submit to a notice you run across on the web. All of these take a little legwork and – in the case of creating an audition video -  a lot of time.

So today I want to help you streamline your Reality TV audition process and share with you a few really great websites that offer up a ton of Reality TV casting notices in one place, for free, everyday.

Who loves you? (That’s right: ME. :))

1. StarNow.com

Based out of New Zealand, StarNow is a top website for actors, musicians, models and reality TV hopefuls. It’s a great source to get info on Auditions and Casting Notices – and to put a profile up for Casting Directors to find you for projects. They are HUGE in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and are getting really big here in the US. They vet all of their notices to make sure they are legit and you can sign up for FREE right here. (They also have paid subscriptions starting at like $5 bucks a month that give you a ton of bells and whistles). These guys are going to be HUGE in the US very soon, so it definitely behooves you get signed up with them sooner rather than later.

2. RealityWanted.com

These guys have been around for quite a while, offering up daily casting notices and a community to connect to other hopefuls to further increase the likelihood that you’ll get cast on a show. They have a voting system where other members can vote up their favorite people to get more exposure on the site. They also have interviews and videos featuring ex-Reality TV stars and industry folks offering up advice. The site is a little busy looking at times, but it has a ton of good info. Sign up for a free membership HERE, and you can also get a paid membership, too, at varying levels and prices.

3. InfoList.com

This site is pretty quirky. It’s started out pretty small and is now getting bigger and bigger. The bulk of what it offers are notices for Industry Gigs, Music Gigs and Casting Gigs. They also are a good place to see what Events are happening around LA – and they usually offer a discount on entrance. It’s free to sign up HERE, and you’ll get daily emails with all the happenings. This site has the fewest Reality TV casting calls of the three I’ve mentioned, but it still has really great ones to choose from and offers a lot of info.

There are a TON more I could list, but these are the three I am most excited about these days – for both looking for talent for shows I’m casting and for the way they are helping people with their reality TV dreams.

Go forth and make magic happen!

If you’ve been reading my blog you should now have a pretty good idea on HOW TO GET ON REALITY TV, but here’s a question you might want to ponder for a moment before you take the Reality TV plunge:

WHY DO YOU WANT TO GO ON REALITY TV?

Is if for the money? The fame? Love? A new kitchen? People have their reasons. And so do I. Watch this video to find out WHY I WENT ON WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE… the answer might surprise you.

And yes, I did win some money.

Whether you are dying to get on Big Brother Canada (which a lot of my loyal visitors are!), want to be the next JWoww on your own version of Jersey Shore, have a talent like singing and realize that alone isn’t enough to get you cast on American Idol/X Factor/The Voice, or have no idea what show you want to be on and could use a book that tells you exactly where to start your search, I’d really love it if you checked out my new book Me On TV: The First Ever Kick-Ass Guide To Get You On Any Reality Show.

CLICK HERE for a free LOOK INSIDE courtesy of Amazon and kick the tires a bit before you decide. I’m really proud of it and know you’ll not only gain insight into this wacky world, but the confidence to thrive in it!

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