"The Real World’ casts its line in Breckenridge
BRECKENRIDGE -It’s the experience they crave.Wanna-be-reality-television stars, ages 18-24, flocked to the Salt Creek Restaurant & Saloon Wednesday to impress casting directors and land a spot on MTV’s new season of “The Real World.” The reality show portrays the emotion and explosive escapades of seven strangers who live and work together for five months.Which real world do you want?Given the chance, some, like 24-year-old Christina Swasey from Denver, would pass up the real world of medical school for MTV’s version.Or at least put it off.Alison Hanson, a 22-year-old resident of Boston, flew into Denver on a 6 a.m. standby flight to make the casting call. After answering casting directors’ questions such as “Describe your most embarrassing moment,” “What’s the biggest secret you keep from your parents?” and “What’s your definition of cheating?” she drove down to the University of Colorado for a medical school interview the next day.”I need a year off before medical school to go nuts, and if it’s on camera, so be it,” Hanson said. “I majored in molecular biology at Colgate University, so I didn’t have time to go crazy. (Being on “The Real World’) is my life calling. It might not be the smartest move I ever make -lots of drunken fiascos, random hook-ups-but I would try to limit that as much as possible.”Westminster resident Jessica Woods thought “The Real World” would be a safer alternative to spending a few weeks volunteering in South Korea for Buddha’s 2,500th birthday festival.Summit’s real worldA small but strong Summit County contingent wanted to show the world what Summit’s all about.””The Real World’ has college kids whose biggest issue is “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life,’ when really, no one knows what they’re doing with their life,” said 22-year-old Breckenridge resident Scott Kees. “People in Summit County have a different mind-set they can bring. We’re only here for a short time. You can’t let every little thing control your life. Go to work, pay rent, have fun.”Kees would be happy to play the snowboarder stereotype.”(The directors) would see if they can get as many “dudes,’ “bros’ and “bras’ out of us,” he said.He added if he were on the show, the first person to pass out would be duct-taped: “Summit County style, dude. We’ve all had it done to us.”Most Summit County residents stood out among their heavily made-up, curled- and kemp-haired city counterparts. Dressed mostly in baggy jeans, T-shirts and black sweatshirts, they came as they were.Jason Sacre, a 24-year-old Breckenridge resident kept his hat and goggles on for the interview.”I want to separate myself from these schmucks from Denver,” Sacre said. “I have that non-frat-boy attitude.”When asked to describe himself at the casting interview, Breckenridge resident Billy Rae said, “I’m 23, I’m from Flint, Mich., I’m blind out of one eye, not that smart, play video games and snowboard when I’m not hurt.”He submitted a naked photo – with a large fig leaf -with his application. Then he showed the casting director a photo of his bare ass because it has a huge scar on the left cheek from slipping off a rail.Who are you?”We’re looking for people who can’t help but be themselves,” casting director Alissa Haight said. “People who are charismatic, have a big personality. People who have that special thing that makes you want to look deeper into them.”The group interview, held at round tables upstairs with about eight candidates, played out like a 12-step meeting. One casting director pulled aside a 20-year-old and asked if she’d be able to talk about her abusive marriage, restraining order and divorce on national television. Others talked about meeting birth mothers for the first time, growing up in alcoholic or abusive families and dealing with friends’ deaths.”I couldn’t even compete with the people from my table,” 20-year-old Paul Lopez said as he walked away from the interview. “I’ve never been anywhere, never done anything.”When the casting director asked him, “What’s something you want to talk about?” he said, “I deliver pizzas.”As candidates waited, they considered how they’d be stereotyped.Breckenridge resident Katy Warren pegged herself as the drama queen.”I cry at everything,” Warren said, laughing. “I’m just overly emotional and sensitive. I’ll probably cry after this.”Her friends, Alexis Pratt and Evalena Lowe, saw themselves as the klutz and the tomboy, respectively.Then, there were the “jerks.””People (on the show) play it safe,” Colorado Springs resident Mike Ometer said. “I think they’re pretty fake. I’m not worried if I’m typecast as an a****** as long as I speak my mind. I am sort of an a******.””I don’t deal with everyone’s crap,” said 23-year-old Chris Wilcox of Breckenridge. “If you break down, it shows you’re a weak person and you don’t know how to deal with people. I’m impatient, I don’t like indecisiveness, and I don’t screw around. If they make me look like a jerk, my friends know me, and if people want to judge me like that, I don’t care.””You need someone on the show who’s like “Why don’t you shut … up,'” 19-year-old Breckenridge resident Doug Johnson said about dealing with drama.Final callsBy 2:30 p.m., about 400 people had filled out applications, which one casting director said was a smaller turnout than other cities, but Haight thought was standard.Thursday, casting directors spent an hour with at least 16 people who stood out.The directors travel to one more city, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., before the long process of narrowing the cast down to seven, leaving thousands of young people to deal with, well, the real world.
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