Unfit for "The Real World"
t started as a joke. A friend told
me this spring that MTV's "Real
World" was accepting casting
applications on its website for the
show's 22nd season, so we both sent
in our name, age and a picture and
promptly forgot about it.
But then, a few weeks ago, an
e-mail appeared in my Gmail with
"RW Casting" in the subject line.
The Real World crew was coming to
Scorekeepers on Saturday, Sept. 20
and that I was-invited to come to the
casting call, with a guest, as a "VIP
Well, what the hell? I thought. I
might as well go all the way on this
When I told a few of my friends
I was going to try out, their reac-
tions were mostly the same - disbe-
lief, then laughter. "You should just
tell them that you love to have sex
and throw up on television," they
advised. I chose the friend I had
originally applied with as my guest.
He wanted to go to the casting call
and act like a stereotypical "bro" -
popped collar, raspy voice and an air
of arrogance. We went into it with
low expectations. And we quickly
found out it really was that bad.
It was when we were approach-
ing Skeeps that our decision to try
out looked less like a snarky inside
joke and more like a bad idea. Girls
in low-cut tops and skimpy dresses
were leaning against the front of
the building, filling out applica-
tions. A teenager in a white, collared
shirt and spiky, gelled blonde hair
strolled past us on the way into the
bar - his fake diamond studs were
so big that his earlobes sagged from
The first part of the application
asked if we had ever acted profes-
sionally and where we attended
school. The second half was a list of
short-answer questions like, "What
do you want to be when you grow
up, and will you use the Real World
to pursue those interests?" and
"What is your most embarrassing
moment?" We had to describe how
well we get along with our parents,
what we look for in a "mate" and
how our friends would describe us.
Master of Engineering in Manuf
Creating Global Professionals
;uy filling out his applica- support. We watched football until
t to us had used up all the a casting assistant came up and
the front of the paper and directed seven of us to a long table
rishly writing on the back. in the back of the bar.
over at my friend's appli- The "tryout" was simply a
or "best attribute," he had 20-minute group chat with one
"ghetto booty"; for "worst of the casting directors, a twenty-
something woman in jeans and
T-shirt. She asked us to go around
the table and introduce ourselves.
hen I stopped Besides the guy in the diamond
studs, our group included a husky
)eing polite guy who proudly proclaimed dur-
ing that he was "Kwame's cousin"
oanda 19-year-old girl whose mother
sat at atable behind us for the entire
iourning my interview.
"Where's a good place to start?"
g n a o the casting director asked us after
"Sex," replied Kwame's cousin.
"Well, why don't we start with
," it only said "my tail." oral sex?" the director responded,
we finished registering, we not missing a beat.
about 30 minutes for our Having been acquainted for only
group to be called. Nobody minutes, our seven-person group
e alone - alot of people had shared our attitudes on oral: "Yes
three friends who weren't or no, should oral sex be consid-
ut but were just there for ered sex?" The conversation then
evolved into a comparison of the
merits of dating versus sleeping
around. Most of the group agreed
a ctu i n git was easier for young people to
actUring justhook up, no strings attached.
Then the casting director want-
ed to know what we thought about
politics. It was painfully clear that
kets require a new the people around that table knew
repare students with more about past seasons of the
ence they need to Real World than they knew about
field of global current events.
One girl said she was voting
for John McCain - because of his
in Manufacturing is experience in Vietnam, he would
gra m with an know best how to manage the Iraq
d curriculum war. Another girl, who said she
cience. A group was pro-life but anti-war, said she
tudents real-world had to "do her research" because
she wasn't sure where McCain and
Barack Obama stood on issues.
ties for global study DiamondStudswastheonlyone
with strong political views. The
teen explained at length how the
xess, United States has had the oppor-
cturing, tunity tocapture Osamabin Laden
nology E-mail submissions to TheS
several times but has let him go free.
He was stealing the show and loving
it, and the rest of the table looked
on silently. Eventually, the casting
director interrupted and posed a
question that everyone at that table
could answer - if you could hook up
with one celebrity, who would it be?
Britney Spears. Sid Crosby. Rosa-
rio Dawson. And a porn star for
Kwame's cousin.That got every-
one interested in the conversation
Finally, mercifully, time was up.
As a closing remark, we had say one
word that best described ourselves.
My friend and I had been mak-
ing side comments the whole time,
prompting dirty looks from the
casting director. I decided on aword
that would ensure I wouldn't be get-
ting a callback: "Smartass."
Diamond Studs looked at me.
"That's two words, not one," he said
"It can be both," I said, rolling my
eyes and leaving the table.
I was almost out of earshot when
I heard him sayto the casting direc-
tor, "If I have to use one word, it
would be 'awesome.' But if I can use
two words like that girl did, they
would be 'super awesome."'
Right before I left, I bumped into
a friend who was working the door.
He rolled his eye's when he found
out we had just left the casting call.
"I have so much less respectfor you
right now," he said.
I said it had been worth it - at
least we got a few good stories out
"You definitely should have seen
this one guy at our table," I told him.
"What an idiot."
The casting director, talking
on her cell phone near us, took her
phone away from her ear to respond
to my comment.
"Excuse me," she said indignant-
ly. "I thought he was nie."
And that was our cue to leave.
-Courtney Ratkowiak is a senior
sports editor for The Michigan Daily
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, 5% 10'% 15% 20% 25'
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