Anyone that knows me on a personal level knows that I am an absolute entertainment junkie! I live, breathe, eat, and sleep anything to do with celebrities. In another life I am pretty sure I would come back as a reality star living in California. This infatuation with reality television and celebrities led me to constantly apply for casting opportunities. During high school and early college, I would consistently peruse the internet for shows currently casting for new members. As soon as I saw a show that I liked I would immediately fill out the application and wait patiently for my big break. Sometimes the applications were fairly short and other times they were long and grueling. For example, I remember filling out a ridiculously long application once for an MTV show casting for a group of fun, fierce girls that lived in NY. Obviously, I thought that my high school friends and I were the perfect fit. I ended up submitting a 10 page long application describing each of my friends in great detail. Unfortunately, it was all in vain because we didn’t make it past the first casting round but it’s still a good memory to look back on.
When I sit down and really think about it I’ve probably applied for over 100 reality shows since high school (including every season of The Real World since I turned 18) and only ONCE did I ever receive a call back prior to casting for Girl Get Your Mind Right. I applied for the MTV show “My Super Sweet 16” when I was a sophomore in high school and I ended up making it through the first two rounds. I remember being so excited to audition because it was my all-time favorite show and the thought of having an over-the-top party sounded like the most amazing opportunity in the world. Unfortunately, the producers did not share my excitement and I ended up being let go after the second round. However, my sweet sixteen was still amazing with or without cameras present.
My infatuation with superstardom definitely waned down throughout the years. Being a pre-med student forced me to focus on my academic life and put the “Kardashian-style” dreams on hold. However, in December 2012 I decided to take a break from studying for finals and look at the MTV casting website to see if there was anything that caught my eye. I saw an ad looking for people “who had fallen in love with someone they met online” later to become the show Catfish. I saw another ad casting for pregnant teens who were interested in appearing on the newest season of 16 and Pregnant. Fortunately, I did not fit the description for any of these. As I moved further down the page I came across a casting call looking for girls that needed “help with their love life and a makeover from the inside out“. I quietly giggled to myself at the absurdity of the casting call and continued to the scroll down the page never to think about it again.
About two days later as I was leaving cheerleading practice I received a message from a former college colleague who now worked for MTV. She told me that she was currently casting for a reality show and thought that I would be a perfect fit! She continued to tell me that the show would be hosted by a relationship expert / life coach who would be giving the girls relationship and life advice. In addition, each girl would also receive a free makeover. I was immediately intrigued and quickly asked her for more information. She proceeded to send me the link to the application on the MTV website and it was at this point I began to realize that this show was the EXACT same show I had scoffed at two days prior.
Now, I am a big believer in fate and in the fact that coincidences are not simply “coincidences”. Instead, I believe that they are part of a predestined plan laid out by God. At this point my mind was absolutely reeling! I mean what are the odds that I would receive a personal message about a show just days after reading about the show on the MTV site. Even though the casting call did not immediately catch my eye (and I definitely did not feel as though I was even a fit) I just believed that this was a sign that I should take a chance and fill out this application.
When MTV Calls You Answer
About two weeks after submitting the application I received a call from a producer that changed my life in so many ways! I HAD MADE IT THROUGH THE FIRST ROUND OF CASTING!!!! Now, the hard part began. I was able to capture the attention of the producers through my application. However, I now needed to prove that I was just as fun and enamoring in person. At this point, my best friend and I were required to attend an in-person interview with various casting associates and producers at the MTV studios in NYC. The process was grueling and they asked us a slew of questions that helped them get a true sense of who we were. We left the interview feeling excited, overwhelmed, and bewildered. WE JUST INTERVIEWED AT MTV STUDIOS WITH ACTUAL PRODUCERS. Honestly, that experience alone would have been enough to quench my reality star thirst.
However, about a week after the interview I received a call from a producer letting me know that I successfully made it through the second round! What. Is. Life. I could not contain my excitement! The following weeks were filled with having lots of phone interviews with various casting directors and producers. Then, during the first week of February I received a call letting me know that I MADE IT ONTO THE SHOW! I beat out over 2,000 other girls and I was one of twenty young women chosen to appear on the first season of “Girl Get Your Mind Right“. Hearing that I was actually going to have my own episode on an actual series was incredible and indescribable. The casting associate let me know that all communication from here on out would be with my very own producers (cue happy dance) and that…… shooting would begin in a week. ONE WEEK! At this point my excitement quickly changed to slight panic and I started to think about all of the things I would need to do to prepare.
Stay tuned for Part 2 detailing the actual filming (imagine having to get your entire house “camera-ready” in THREE days and having to shut down your street for a camera crew) and Part 3 detailing the success and backlash I received as a result of my participation on the show (reading tweets where people make fun of your looks and debate whether or not you are suffering from a disease is not fun).