Big Brother Open Casting Call, an experience

As of about 10:30 am on Sunday, September 30, 2012 I managed to cross off another item from my evolving bucket list. Number 109 is now in the books as I completed my chance to audition for a reality TV show. This time around it was Big Brother Canada. I chose to go to their open casting call in Calgary, currently where I call home. I didn’t really know what to expect, but came in relatively prepared from the different resources I discovered.

The first resource was from a Big Brother winner, Dan Gheesling and his site on how to get on reality TV. I scoured the information on his site and listened to his four podcasts — the first of which is on open casting calls and the possible experience. The other resource was from a hopeful house guest from Vancouver and her experience.

I unfortunately didn’t get the call back for round two. That means I can give you as much details as possible to help you out and some of the things I learned.

For me it started the night before. I knew that when I’m tired and highly caffeinated, I have a lot of different energy than normal. So, I stayed up a little later and only got about 5-hours of sleep. Then it was an early alarm of 5:00 a.m. and a Red Bull. I made it down to the line around 6:00 when it was officially supposed to open, however ended up being the 171 person standing in line. People 20 in front showed up about 30-minutes before me, so most of the crowd paid attention to the 6:00 a.m. posted start — of course, there were reports some were there since 10:00 p.m. the night before.

Standing in line I managed to get to know the people around me as I figured it may come in to play in the audition. I was also very cautious to not really provide a lot of my own personal information. It was largely kept vague. I also filled out the back side of my number with the basic personal information, however the one that took some thought was “why would you be a good contestant.” Thanks to Dan’s information, I already had a few good ideas to write.

As we moved through the line I consumed a second Red Bull to really jack myself up — it was a little too soon as the doors hadn’t opened yet.

Once we moved through the line and in to the holding area it was more waiting. At least inside it was significantly warmer than out side. They had water and a coat rack for people waiting. Had I known that in advance, I likely wouldn’t be fighting this cold right now.

There was a lot of time to think and observe what else was going on.

They were splitting the hopefuls up in to groups of five in four groups. If you knew someone before the day of the audition in your group, they split you up, otherwise they were sequential. I was number 167 and my group consisted of 164-168 — all the people that were standing around me.

While I was sitting waiting for our group to get called I thought of reasons to evict each person, as well as to keep each person. I think this made a lot of sense to have an answer prepared prior to going in front of a casting agent.

Then it was my turn to go in. We walked in as a group and stood on a line taped on the floor. I was thankfully, in the middle — exactly where I’d like to be in an alliance in the house. I paid particular attention to names and the other responses, something you’d have to do in the game as well.

When it came to me I lucked out on the question — who would you evict and why? I gave answers for the two guys that talked before me on both reasons to evict and to keep; I think that was my downfall. Next time, make a solid decision and stick to it.

A number of the questions that were asked included

  1. Who would you evict and why
  2. Is a showmance a good idea and why
  3. Who in the group would you most likely align with…and why
  4. Are you a fan of the show

My best advice would be to be prepared with stories, reasons and observations. Be yourself. Do something to differentiate yourself from the others and be confident in your decisions and stick to them. If there’s a next time for Big Brother, I’ll have a few different things I’d do, but those are for me to know — it is a game after all.

Thanks to friends and family for their support as well as all those that came out of the woodwork on Facebook. I agree with them, I would’ve been a riot to watch!

Next up, I heard that Amazing Race might be accepting Canadian participants. Time to investigate that as it’s my only other reality TV show I’d like to be on.

And if you happen to be attending an open casting call, good luck, and let me know in the comments how you did.

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About the Author

Marshall Stevenson is a Director at SPRY. He’s been designing websites since 1995 with a focus on usability. Since 1999 he’s focused heavily on ensuring sites are designed for people and are SEO friendly. Lately he's been spending time on one of the best Winnipeg Jets blogs as an editor and co-founder while also co-hosting the Drunk Hockey Show – a show where friends & guests sit around, drink beer and talk hockey.

Find him being social at Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+

6 Responses to “Big Brother Open Casting Call, an experience”

  1. Dave says:

    Hi Marshall!

    I have a question for you! At the audition was the only thing the casting directors got from you was your answers to one question? Did you get to give a blurb about why you think you should be on Big Brother?

    I think it would be sad to wait so long in line and then get up infrotn of the casting directors to only answer to “Are you a fan of the show?” and then leave…is there more to it? :) Thanks!

    • Marshall Stevenson says:

      There were a couple of more questions to it, but definitely no chance to truly “pitch” myself in a direct way. I included that stuff in longer answers, interrupted a couple of others — well, added on to their answers — and tried to talk when I could. I’m not sure if that worked for, or against me, but either way I didn’t get a call back so am happy to share more on my experience here.

      • Vicky says:

        I went to an open casting call recently and wasnt given 30sec and was with a group called up. I dont think it was fair nor was I given the advantage to really speak. I wasnt to happy a so called christian girl who bragged about a miscarriage had more speaking time with anyone. Everybody has a calling but I am sorry Jesus doesnt watch big brother. Degrading….

  2. jah says:

    Thanks for sharing. I too agree dan the man is a good source for suggestions on how to get cast. I’ve not yet experienced the group ‘audition ‘ ; always seems to be the talk to the camera type that come around here. My biggest advice for any hopeful is simple. Always assume there’s someone that is someone around. You never know who’s watching and all that jazz :)

  3. Brittney says:

    Hey just wondering how long you waited in line until you were actually interviwed

    • Marshall Stevenson says:

      All told I think I waited for about 4-5 hours, but I also got there quite early (or at least I thought it was early). Are you, or did you audition for the second season?

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