Getting Cast on Reality TV - Why? - Part 1: Money

As common as Reality TV is these days, causing the onset of not one, but two Reality TV Awards shows in existence, it’s almost a right of passage in this generation to get your face on the small screen. 


The question is no longer “should I do it?”, the question is “how do I get my chance?”

We’re here to talk about all things Reality Television: the who, what, where, when and why of the industry in hopes to give anyone the opportunity to get your 5 mins (or more) of glory.


Let’s discuss one of the many reasons for wanting to be on a show in the first place. Money is a good, no, a great reason! There’s a LOT of money to be made by entering into a long and seemingly terrifying contract at the end of the casting process (which, by the way, does not even guarantee that you will appear on the final cut of the show - but that’s another topic altogether). 


Jeopardy, not the easiest show to get on, but certainly a cash cow if you have the endless trivia knowledge required, awarded one single contestant over $4 million. There are million dollar prizes for shows like Survivor and Amazing Race, which require way less time spent studying but definitely a little more physically excruciating. 


There are hundreds of game shows and competition series that can have you filing in a much higher tax bracket.


The idea of taking a few days off from work to have your makeup done, styled by wardrobe, have an audio person hear every word you say under your breath, and access to endless snacks and food should be enough to make you want to participate on a show (Not to mention the viewing party with friends and family months later for a priceless profile pic off the television). There is actual money that you could win and receive in most cases up to 180 days after the air date of your episode! Talk about a cherry on top!


Let’s make one thing clear while we’re on the money topic; when entering into the audition process for a show, money can be earned or won IF you make it to the show and the show airs. You should never have to pay anyone to audition for a Reality Show. There will never be a reason to pay a dime to anyone who is casting a legitimate television project. You may choose to pay a third party to get some footage of you, do your makeup for your audition, fly you around the world to gather some cool photos of your incredible life... but those ancillary expenses are not required. It is also a surefire sign that you are being swindled.


As far as looking for a reason to take a stab at a reality show, money is a great one. As a Casting Director, it’s perfectly acceptable to compete on a show with the soul intent of winning that money, so be prepared with your reasoning. Why do you NEED this money and how motivated are you to compete for it? We want players, we want competitors and we want the audience to root for our cast. Hopefully one day, that could be you!


Pro-Tip: When coming up with your answer on what you would do with the money...be creative! We want to understand just how much you are willing to push for the win and what winning would mean to you and your family.

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