Saturday, May 18, 2013 | 8:19 p.m.
This is the true story of multiple strangers, auditioning to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite -- and start getting cast on "The Real World."
Before viewers ever meet the latest housemates of MTV's long-running "The Real World," the show has to get cast. A group of eight strangers were brought together at a series of tables in the back of Tommy Rocker’s Mojave Beach Bar and Grill, 4275 Dean Martin Drive, for a chance at fame Saturday afternoon.
Girls and guys, partiers and drifting 20-somethings, casino workers and a professional poker player. Some traveled a long way to be at these tables, for this moment, to answer a simple query:
“Tell me about yourself and what makes you unique.”
There is no right or wrong answer, only intriguing or boring, fake or real. Each person has two minutes to stand out among their group of eight and a crowd of thousands across the country.
This is "The Real World" -- Las Vegas auditions.
“Las Vegas is a total crapshoot,” casting director Damon Furberg said. “It’s one of these cities you can really get some amazing people, and sometimes it ends up being strange and you don’t come away with anything.”
Casting directors LaGrande Powe and Jenn Dowding started the conversation with the question; off the prospective houseguests went, slinging jokes and telling stories to showcase their charisma.
One girl said she drove 10-hours from Idaho Falls, Idaho, for the audition and that her Mormon family thinks she needs rehab. She wants to go on the show and get out of her hometown. Another girl spoke about being adopted at birth and her reunion with her birth mom and half-brother. She’s trying to find out who she is.
Las Vegas resident Channel Wells, 21, listened nervously, wondering how she could stick out. She loves the unpredictability that "The Real World" brings out in people. She wants to know how she’ll react, and also, to share her outsized, honest personality with the world.
Wells hopes her blunt personality will make her the perfect fit on a show that thrives off group drama, though she doesn’t plan to be the one that stirs trouble – only the one who calls people out.
“I’m a ball of energy, and I don’t try to hide who I am. I’m not a closed book,” Wells said. “People need to see my personality. They’ll love it.”
Producers haven't settled on which city will host this show, but multiple auditions are held across the country. The goal is to find people who are charismatic, good storytellers, and who don’t shy from conflict. Producers say they can tell when a person is being fake or trying too hard to stand out.
About 40 people tried out Saturday in Las Vegas. Stephen Green flew in from Winston, N.C. He described himself as the guy who knows where every party is in North Carolina. He hopes to use the show to springboard his nonprofit idea to feed hungry children in Winston.
Molly Watson, 22, drove from Los Angeles. She auditioned when she was 18, hoping to sneak on with a fake ID. She decided to try out again after she had a dream about it. She wants to be on the show because she’s tired of her job and is looking for adventure.
“I just wouldn’t want to be the ‘Snooki’ and be looked at as an idiot,” Watson said, referencing the controversial "Jersey Shore" reality star. “I hope I’m looked up to, not frowned upon.”
By the end of the day only a few will receive a call back interviews, of those few, maybe one or none at all will be selected as one of the people on the show. Only the most interesting will have a shot at reality fame.