How to be the Next Reality Star

This weekend, I attended the Reality Rocks expo devoted to everything about reality TV. Basically, if you have ever wondered what ever happened to [insert has been reality star name here]? They are probably at this expo signing autographs, performing or participating in panels. I found it a bit depressing, especially for the personalities without anyone waiting in line to see them. To put it bluntly, this is where reality show stars go to die.

For reality show junkies though, the two day show allows for fans to see their favorite former reality personas up-close and even audition for different series like Wipeout, Real World and Minute to Win It (like the folks below).
One of the workshops that I attended, “Identifying the Talent for a Hit Show Celebrity and Non-Celebrity Talent,” provided tips for producers and reality star wannabes. Below are some gems if you’re looking to cast or be casted in the next reality show

  • Jeff Apploff, executive producer & creator of Million Dollar Money Drop and Don’t Forget the Lyrics says that for game shows they are looking for people with good energy. He also says that, “You want the person at home to say ‘I would hang out with that person for an hour’ because they are likable.” Besides positive energy and a good personality, the back story is also important. The contestant needs a good story because you want to root for someone he says. Stuff like having only $100 left in the bank or having survived a fatal crash, etc. VH1’s Leah Horwitz’ brings up the Omarosa effect though. She says that although a good personality is important, they are also looking for big loud characters to stir the pot too.

  • Executive producer Rob Lobl agrees that someone who is “unfiltered” is key too and not guarded. Someone who doesn’t get silent when they are angry, but someone who will amp it up and be dramatic times 10, he says.

  • Lobl says that if it’s a competition show, they look for someone who is manageable and knows what producers are looking for. In some ways, he says that like an actor, they are looking for someone who they can direct. He also discussed that it’s important for someone who can “turn it on” when meeting with the executives and are able to “pop” when in the room with them.

  • Horwitz warns that a common mistake people make when submitting videos for their consideration is that people focus and say that they want to be on TV, but do not show a passion for the show that they are trying out for or the stars on it.

  • Laurie D. Muslow the talent casting producer of The Surreal Life and Celebrity Fit Club mentioned that in the celebrity world it’s important to get the right mix of people together and celebs that are willing to show a side of themselves that they don’t normally show.
Good luck!

Oh, and here I am with my favorite American Idol contestant ever, LaKisha Jones who I got to see perform during the expo as well as last year’s Tim Urban jam on his guitar.
For more on Reality Rocks, check out my Surviving American Idol article and video over at

1 comment

  1. audrey@thewoodmontgroup.comApril 18, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    oMG, how funny. you and i were just talking about Lakisha! that's wierd.