network, freelance casting directors talk about impact of reality TV on their jobs.

network, freelance casting directors talk about impact of reality TV on their jobs.
Reality TV’s increasing ubiquity affects many people in Hollywood, including those people who normally cast actors in fictional roles. Now, they’re sometimes asked to find real people for reality TV shows. One casting director, Liz Ortiz-Mackes, who won’t name the reality TV shows she’s cast, says, “In a perfect world, casting for reality TV and casting for everything else would represent two separate activities, but today the line has become blurred.” Backstage reports that “her discomfort has several sources, including the percentage (admittedly small) of showbiz hopefuls who view an appearance on reality TV as a potential career steppingstone.” A freelance casting director who has found people for Queer Eye, Nadette Stasa says reality TV has changed how she works. “We cast a wide net. Casting is often the result of word of mouth and our ability to network.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.