Seeking Summit’s fascinating and fearless
BRECKENRIDGE – Aspen may have the -Games and Crested Butte the U.S. Extreme, but Breckenridge has enticed “Fear Factor’s” casting crew to drive 1,000 miles from Los Angeles to look for the most fascinating and fearless adrenaline junkies for the NBC show.
The only question is, how far would you go for a chance to show your bravado to the world and win $50,000? Do you have the guts to bob for coagulated blood balls in a bowl of nightcrawlers or slurp down cow brains? How about letting huge, hairy tarantulas crawl down your face or holding still while rats – that haven’t been toilet trained – crawl across your flesh? What about free falling from a 12-story building?
A special mobile casting studio bus departs Los Angeles today, and after a brief stop at Brighton Ski Area in Utah (after all, what could Utahns have over us?), the bus stops in Breckenridge. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, the crew will search for the most energetic and outgoing candidates in the parking lot off of Park Avenue, behind the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.
“We’re looking for enthusiastic, outgoing personalities – people that the audience will respond to – not so much who aren’t afraid of anything – people that are going to have fun with these opportunities because we create things that have never been seen and give people the opportunity to do them,” said Mikey Glazer, producer of the “Identity”/”Fear Factor” casting tour. “The whole purpose of the “Identity’/”Fear Factor’ tour is to get to places we would not (cast people from). Clearly, people who are into the mountain lifestyle and outdoor activities would be good candidates for “Fear Factor.'”
Since “Fear Factor” began four seasons ago, the crew has held open casting calls, which usually attract 200 to 2,000 people each time, Glazer said. This is the first time the show has gone on the road, in a four-week, 22-city tour. Glazer expects a total turnout in “the mid-six figures.” Destinations include Boulder, New York City, Los Angeles, Little Rock, Ark., Austin, Texas, and Minneapolis.
“It’s so not a contest,” Glazer said. “We’re looking as hard to get people on the show as they are trying to get on the show, and we’re hoping to make a match. Bring your A game. We’re looking for fun people.”
Still, people have a better chance of getting into Harvard than getting onto “Fear Factor.” Generally, one out of every 100 people get call-backs to fill out a 20-page application, and 1 percent of those make the final cut, Glazer said.
On the other hand, the crew doesn’t have a quota for each city. If six people (or even more) impress them from Breckenridge, they’ll have a special Breckenridge episode, Glazer said. They’re looking for couples, brothers, sisters and twins to compete on special episodes also.
“This isn’t a sport,” he said. “It’s a game. There’s a mental side to it beyond the physical, and we’re looking for people who can play the game.”
The screening process begins with a short application and interview. The casting crew will try to see everyone who fills out the paperwork and may quiz candidates about their work, milestones, athleticism, living situation and other interests, he said.
“We try to put a face to the name, and the next day, we ask ourselves who stands out,” he said.
Kyle Martin, a bus driver for Breckenridge Ski Resort, hopes to be one of those faces. He just graduated college with a business degree and plans to return to graduate school soon. Before he knew “Fear Factor” was coming to him, he downloaded an application and talked to his boss about doing doughnuts in the parking lot with the Breck bus as part of his video application. (His boss didn’t approve it.) Now, he’s planning to wow the casting crew with words.
“I’m just going to tell them that in high school I was a Texas cowboy guy. In college, I was this big frat guy. I went to Europe this summer and decided to be the ski bum guy for a while. I just like doing different stuff,” Martin said.
He doesn’t plan to bowl them over with his bravado.
“There’s some stuff (on the show) that’s a little sketchy,” he said. “I’m not going to lie. But a lot of the stuff is just fun, crazy stuff you (could) get paid to do. It just sounds like fun. They break out the James Bond moves and pay (the winner) to try it. I’d give it a shot, even the food stuff. It might come up, but it’s going down first.”
Alma resident Dusty Miller is a 37-year-old contractor, husband and father who can’t think of a stunt that would scare him.
“I really have no regard for my personal safety, (but) these days I’m a father of two, so I just check myself,” Miller said. “I’ve watched the show several times, and I haven’t seen anything that would tweak me. I can’t imagine what they could tweak me with because they set up safety measures. I’m actually a fairly normal human being, but I’m definitely weird. I like to do extreme things.”
Miller said he eats all kinds of food and even ate a spider that was crawling up his arm because “it was bugging” him.
“Fear Factor” features six contestants who face their primal fears in front of an average of 15 million viewers at 8 p.m. Monday nights on NBC. All potential contestants should be at least 21 years old, bring a pen, recent photo and identification to the casting call. The tour also will promote the upcoming Columbia Pictures thriller “Identity,” opening April 25.
Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Open Casting Call for “Fear Factor’
– When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
– Where: Parking lot off of Park Avenue, behind the Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge
– What to bring: A pen, recent photo, outgoing personality and valid identification proving you’re at least 21
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