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MTV's 'The Real World' Coming to Town to Find Next Cast

by on April 11, 2012 9:25 AM

MTV’s “The Real World” casting call:

When: April 18, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Where: Levels Nightclub — 420 E. College Ave.

Penn State students and young State College residents will have their chance to stop being polite and start being real.

MTV’s “The Real World” will hold a casting call next week in downtown State College for the reality TV show’s 28th season. No filming location has been finalized.

Applicants are asked to bring a recent picture of themselves and a photo ID. You must be 21 years or older by March 1, 2013 and appear to be between the ages of 20 and 24.

“The Real World” has been around since 1992 and is one of the pioneers of reality TV. The premise is based around seven young adults from different cultural and societal backgrounds living together in one house for several months as cameras record almost every move (though aired footage is limited to a dozen or so hours).

John Devenanzio, also known as “Johnny Bananas” (Key West season), and Bronne Bruzgo (Cancun) are two recent selections from Penn State. So, as long as the odds seem to be to get picked, there is a track record.

The obvious question, of course: How do you get on the show?

“The smart aleck answer is we don’t know until we find it,” said Damon Furberg, a supervising casting director for the show. “When you have a show that’s been around, you have to go into these casting calls with an open mind. You can’t go into it with a preset agenda.”

Furberg, who started working on the show around Season 12 (Las Vegas), encouraged applicants to drop the showmanship and forget trying to sell themselves.

That doesn’t work.

Neither does trying to emulate past characters.

“I always wanna make sure people are aware we’re not trying to find the same types of people over and over again,” Furberg said. “People shouldn’t be intimidated because they watch the show and say, ‘Oh, I’m not like that guy.’ ”

Next week’s casting call is only the first step in the audition process. If the show likes what it sees at Levels, you’ll get a call back for an hour-long on-camera interview. After more cuts, a small group flies to Los Angeles for a final interview. In the end, 30,000 applicants get trimmed to seven, Furberg said, adding the best way to catch his eye is by showing up to the casting call (submitting audition tapes is no longer a popular application strategy).

But after more than 500 episodes and almost 200 cast members:

a) What type of person hasn’t been on the show?

b) Has the show run its course?

“It’s a little different every time. And yeah, it’s always the same,” Furberg said. "The basic premise never changes. Where the difference and the variation comes is from the different people we bring together.

“The success of the show has something to do with people’s familiarity with it. You have an entire generation having grown up without knowing a world without knowing “The Real World.”

Added Furberg: “It gets tougher every season. In all honesty, that has a lot more to do with how society changed in that time. You have a generation of kids on the one hand, they’re used to living their life in public on Facebook and Twitter and announcing everything they do, and at the same time they’re self conscious about the way they express that because every status update you put out there, you’re creating an image of yourself.

“The hard part is finding people who aren’t self conscious and act the same whether there’s cameras around or not.”

Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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