Any Yalie’s residential college entryway may foster romantic tensions, roommate conflicts and drama only possible when strangers move in together. This Saturday MTV hopes to solicit students’ experiences in the collegiate “Real World” for the small screens of America.
The pop-culture television station will hold auditions for its reality shows “Real World” and “Road Rules” at New Haven’s Image Nightclub from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jason Horowitz, a casting director for the “Real World,” said MTV will fill 13 total spots for both casts after visiting 16 locations nationwide. MTV representatives said they have made special efforts to recruit minority students from campuses across the country, including Yale.
The most recent “Real World” Ivy League student was Princetonian Kyle Brandt, featured on “Real World Chicago.”
“No place is guaranteed for [a Yale student]; it’s not a shoo-in, but we’d be happy to get one,” Horowitz said.
MTV enlisted support from Yale cultural and extracurricular groups in order to publicize auditions. Helen Moawad, an MTV casting coordinator, said the casting team does not want to select cast members similar to those they have had in the past.
“[In general] we usually contact the interfraternity council to contact the African-American population and MEChA,” Moawad said.
In an e-mail to all Afro-American Cultural Center members, Moawad offered “instructional flyers and VIP passes that will allow only members of the Afro-American Cultural Center to go to the front of the line.”
Moawad also offered these passes to other cultural groups, she said.
Jacqueline Shaprow ’06 said she feels personally motivated to recruit minority students. She said she facebooked minority students and encouraged them to audition.
“Many [minorities] were hesitant — because they didn’t want to be boxed in by the show and made to seem like they embody the stereotypical norm,” Shaprow said.
Chris Phipps ’06 said he intends to audition Saturday. Phipps received a VIP pass from Shaprow, who distributed tickets for MEChA.
“I feel like it’s something I shouldn’t pass up,” Phipps said.
Horowitz said “Real World 15” will begin filming in January 2004. Selected students must take a semester off from school because filming occurs over the course of five months. “Road Rules” films for three months.
On Saturday applicants will complete one-page applications before an interview with three casting directors. Because large crowds sometimes accompany auditions, group discussions including 12 auditionees allow casting directors to judge applicants’ personalities as they talk about current events and issues, Horowitz said.
Phipps said he feels that if he is selected, he will be a good example of a typical Yale student.
“I’m not too crazy and not too much of a prude,” Phipps said.
Michelle Shaprow ’04, a MEChA representative, said she has interest in television work. Shaprow said she believes it is important for students to try out to represent Yale.
“There are so many interesting, multifaceted and multidimensional people at Yale,” she said. “There are so many stereotypes about what a Yale student should be, and since most Yalies are so much more than the typical Ivy League stereotype, anyone they choose would inevitably bring a new dimension to the way the public views Yale students.”
Casting Coordinator Danielle Giuffre said prospective cast members must be 18 to 24 years old, and they need to bring both a form of identification and a recent photograph of themselves to the casting call.
— Contributing Reporter Jeff Muskus contributed to this report.