Tampa Real World auditions resemble a drunken dance party

“It’s getting harder and harder to find people who are unspoiled, so to speak, people who don’t have an agenda. … It’s a turn off when people come in and say, ‘I’m gonna be a big star.’ We’re really not looking for people who want to be actors or models.” That’s what Damon Furberg, The Real World‘s supervising casting producer, told the Tribune-Review in advance of today’s auditions in Pittsburgh.

For the sake of many of those who auditioned for The Real World in Tampa this past weekend, hopefully he’s looking for 18- to 24-year-olds who are drunk out of their minds in the middle of the morning. (Ironically, just last month Defamer noticed that Bunim-Murray said they “NEVER do casting at nighttime club parties.”)

Two people who attended the Tampa audition (as friends of people auditioning, not auditioners themselves) independently informed me that the club where the auditions were held was essentially hosting a drunken, whorish dance party early Saturday morning. They were at Empire, which CityGuide calls “one of the hottest nightclubs in town.” The club was playing host to the casting call while operating a cash bar. Those dancing and drinking were waiting for their appearance with a group of other people in front of a casting producer, which apparently lasted fewer than 10 minutes. And guess which type of person–the severely intoxicated or the sober and boring–got the most attention?

One of those two sources, Beth, who also happens to be my sibling, tells the whole story so that others can learn what works and what does not. An excerpt:

The disco lights were flashing, smoke pouring out of a pipe above the doorway, and kids were grinding away on the dance floor to the pounding music, holding drinks up and away from gyrating hips. Two staffers sat at a table directly in front of the door, handing out pens and extra applications and explaining that everyone would be called by the numbers scribbled in the corners of each paper.

[...] The club also has four little platforms for exhibitionists to dance on, each accessible by a short staircase. On the one nearest us, a girl who at first glance looked like a sixth grader was dancing like a frantic stripper. Seriously, it was like she couldn’t control her hips…she would stop to drink every once in a while and then just sort of start thrusting maniacally again for the next twenty minutes as though it was beyond her control. Worse, she was wearing a little flippy American-Eagle-circa-1996 denim skirt, and EVERYTHING was visible. Not pretty.

My friend’s group was finally called (and, unfortunately, included the by-now smashed Muffy). I was prepared to wait a while, and was surprised when they all came back down again 9 minutes after ascending the stairs to the presumably non-smoke-and-alcohol-tainted portion of the club. My friend reported that the Bunim/Murray staffer asked a few inane questions (“How do you feel about cheating?”) and then sent them all on their way without collecting the pictures everyone had been instructed to bring. Muffy had, predictably, drunkenly dominated the group.

Get real, Pittsburgh [Tribune-Review]
What happens when people stop getting polite? [snowluxe]

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.