‘Real World’ heads to Tampa in search of new strangers



For 29 seasons, MTV’s “The Real World” has been known for its charismatic and sometimes controversial cast mates. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on
April 5, casting directors will be at the Hooters in Channelside in search of seven new people to become the newest stars during Season 30.

Martin Booker, a senior casting director, said that there is a common misconception that they are looking for someone crazy or wild.

“Overall, I look for people who are interesting and dynamic and are able to express that,” he said. “I look for the people who are good at expressing if they are interesting, or doing or going through something interesting.”

Anyone 21 or older by June 2014 and appears to be between the ages of 20 and 24 should bring a photo ID and come out early, Booker said, as he expects between 300 and 400 people to show up to the meet and greet.

“The later someone comes out, the longer they will have to wait,” Booker said.

For those who can’t make it to the open call, applications are still being accepted via email. Visit www.bunim-murray.com/rwcasting for complete details on how you can apply.

The Oracle spoke with current cast mate, Jamie Larson, to discuss her casting experience and the big changes that have happened during Season 29.

Oracle (O): “The Real World” casting crew is coming to Tampa. Can you tell me about your casting experience?

Larson : I actually didn’t do a casting call like some of my cast mates did. I did an online application on MTV.com. The cast mates that did do it went to the casting calls and did all of the trials to beat out everyone else until they got down to a small group of people. Once figured out who they wanted, they sent them straight out to California.

O: Can you tell me about your experience with applying online?

L: I applied online and it was a pretty long application — it took me about two hours to fill out. Then once MTV decided that they liked me, I made an at home video, basically telling them about my life and what I do. After I sent all of that in, they flew me out to California to do my interview. Shortly after that, they came to Houston to film my at home interview, and that is when they told me I made it on the show.

O: What do you think of the new format with the producers and cameramen being shown?

L: Honestly, I love the production being shown. It gives the fans an inside look at what we do and what it is really like with them living with us. I heard some fans are not too happy with it, but what can you do? I thought it was really exciting, but some fans prefer the traditional “Real World.”

O: What do you think of the other new element — the
dramatic twist of bringing in ex-lovers mid-season?

L: A lot of people weren’t too excited about the twist. We weren’t really too happy at the beginning either. Once we saw it all unfold, I think everyone came around and was pretty satisfied.

O: It seemed like the cast was already really involved with their exes from the very beginning, did you guys know the exes were going to play a role this season?

L: Yes. When we were going through our casting stuff, they also interviewed all of our exes. Some were interviewed through Skype, and some were even flown out to California to be interviewed as well.

I don’t think that anyone else but me caught on, because my ex told me that they were making him sign all of this stuff and that they wanted him on the show. I thought he was just being cocky, but he was actually telling me the truth.

Everyone had great relationships with their exes, so it seemed to work out. I felt really lucky being the only one without my ex there. But at the same time, it sucks building a new relationship with a complete stranger, and then his first love moves in. It was kind of concerning.

O: Did you give up anything in your life to make time for the show?

L: Honestly, not really. I am a bartender in Houston and have really lenient bosses who are very awesome, supportive and excited for me going. I did not have to put anything on hold. I know other people did, but I was very fortunate.

It is a great experience and it is awesome to have it under your belt. But if someone were on the path to success, I wouldn’t mess that up or sign up for this. If someone is about to graduate or doing really awesome in school, I don’t think this would be the best decision. But if someone can take a semester off, like a freshman, sophomore or junior, they should definitely go for it. I think it would be worth it.