Chance to be on MTV's 'The Real World' draws hundreds to Scorekeepers
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
The path to celebrity may have started on the Maynard Street sidewalk today for one of hundreds of people who attended a casting call for the 26th season of “The Real World,” the MTV program that is generally considered the first reality television show.
Would-be stars lined up at the door of Scorekeepers Sports Grill & Pub well before the 10 a.m. start of the session, which is scheduled to last till 5 p.m. today. Once inside, they met in groups of 10 with the show’s casting director, Shannon McCarty, for a preliminary interview.
A select few will receive calls for one-on-one meetings.
“It’s not a bar,” McCarty said of tomorrow’s secret location. “This is where you meet the masses.”
Noting that Ann Arbor is one of 30 cities in the current casting tour, McCarty, in her seventh year with the show, said the producers are searching for “driven, charismatic people of different backgrounds.” Additional rounds of interviews will follow before the cast of seven or eight is determined.
A candidate is better served by honesty than by an odd characteristic or pursuit, she said: “My advice to them is to not listen to their friends” who recommend idiosyncratic behavior.
Furthermore, she said it never works for a candidate to guarantee he or she will boost ratings.
That would have to be bad news for Vinny Yatoma of West Bloomfield and Joe Samona of Novi. The two friends were featuring their Chaldean heritage as the primary factor of interest.
“I’ll bring our people out,” said Yatoma, who works with his father in a Highland Park party store.
Samona, a Wayne State University student, explained there are 250,000 Chaldeans in southeastern Michigan, and said all would likely watch the show in the event that he or Yatoma makes the lineup.
Besides demographic advantages, Samona said he simply has “always had a thing for being on camera or in front of people.”
Like many other candidates, he said he had seen notice of the tryout on MTV’s website. Others mentioned Facebook to the production assistant who registered each hopeful.
McCarty said candidates had driven from around Michigan and Ohio, and only about 15 percent were University of Michigan students.
Pioneer High School graduate Angie Chronis was home on her spring break from Lake Forest College and decided to come to the tryout with her friend Tori Carito.
Describing herself as “entertaining, animated and someone who takes a dare,” Chronis said the fact that she plays ice hockey would distinguish her.
For today’s costume choice, she let the title of “The Real World” guide her. “I didn’t want to wear something that I wouldn’t wear on a daily basis,” she said. “I didn’t think it was appropriate to dress in a skanky outfit in the middle of the day, like I’m going out to a club.”
Hopefuls can also apply via the casting company's website.