The Time I Made My Friend Apply To The Real World (And She Got A Callback)

The Real World Casting Facebook Page
The Real World Casting Facebook Page

Like any good student, I spend a huge amount of time 1) browsing the internet and 2) imagining the paradise that is life without class, homework, and tuition. All of this professional time-wasting finally came to good use on March 14, 2016, when I came across an article for open call MTV Real World 32 auditions in San Francisco, just a 30 minute BART ride away from my postage-stamp-sized university-provided studio apartment.

Was it possible that all my dreams were about to come true? Could I really dodge this whole degree-seeking farce in which I’d entrapped myself by coercing some MTV casting agents into letting me sign away my life rights and live in a TV-camera-riddled paradise?

No. It was not possible. As I envisioned myself in a neon hot tub sipping endless margaritas and establishing myself as the house sweetheart, I saw that the open call date was March 25 – when I would be on spring break all the way in Virginia. Not to be deterred, I quickly looked up the Washington, DC casting date. Shockingly, the producers over at MTV haven’t set up a casting call in our Nation’s capital – don’t they want to recruit Senate interns and policy analysts?

MTV condescendingly told me I could still apply online, if I couldn’t make it to an open call. It then demanded three pictures of me and a brief bio. As I was uploading a photograph of me trying to kiss a goat and looking for a photo of me having fun but not too much fun, I realized that, actually, my best friend Jillian was the ideal candidate for The Real World. I quickly flipped to her Facebook profile and immediately found three perfect pictures. For the “Face” picture I picked a selfie she had taken while crowd-surfing at Tomorrowland. For the two additional pictures, I used one of her crossing a marathon finish line and one of her looking fun and flirty in a group of her girlfriends. I circled her crop-top-clothed self in red.

Only a few hours passed before Jillian got an email that she had made it to the next round, which consisted of providing two additional photographs, height and weight, numerous personal references including family members, and answering 65 questions. Obviously I told Jillian it would ruin my life if she didn’t fill out the application. Since Jillian is employed and whatnot she informed me she would not be spending the time to fill out the application, but if I wanted to do so on her behalf, I could. Since I am not employed and had a major paper due the next day that I was looking for any excuse to procrastinate, I immediately agreed.

The questions were super intrusive and I honestly had no hope of knowing the complete answers to them. “Describe how your parents handled arguments.” “How important to you is sex?” “Who is the most important person in your life right now?” Undeterred, I simply made up answers I thought Jillian might find funny. These completely fictional answers included things like:

Describe your most embarrassing moment:

My most embarrassing moment in life is when I went to Jumbo Slice after hitting up Shenanigans in Adams Morgan and I was so excited for pizza I started running towards the counter in my heels. I ate it, and took out a man holding a piece of pizza with me. I landed with my face square in his slice of cheese. Unfortunately my story does not end there. The pizza was fresh out of the oven, and the cheese literally burned my face. Someone called an ambulance and I ended up with second degree burns on my face and had to go to work the next day looking like a mummy.

What qualities do you look for in a mate?

Tall, foreign, ginger. Driven, funny, up for a good time. Not a sociopath. Willing to drink alcohol.

Give us the names of 3 people with whom you were at one time close with and no longer are. Please explain.

Cantara: After I graduated from college I adopted an adorable dog named Cantara. Sadly, soon after that event my roommate abandoned me for a “great career opportunity” in New York. I had to give Cantara back to the foster family she had been staying with because I couldn’t take care of her by myself. I haven’t heard from her since.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

  1. Get on The Real World.
  2. Be able to eat all the pizza in the world without getting fat.
  3. Have three more wishes.

What’s the most difficult challenge in your life right now?

Finishing this application.


By the time I finished the 65th question I was nonresponsive: “Who else should we get in touch with to learn more about you? N/A.” So when I hit submit, I was pretty sure nothing would come of it. But the very next day Jillian got an email that she had been invited to a casting call in New York City – one which was not posted on the open-call website. Better yet, she was allowed to bring TWO guests and I would be on the East Coast just in time to join her.

Then Jillian ruined my life by deciding to run a half marathon that day and blow off her shot at fame (infamy?) and immortality on MTV’s longest running reality show.

Basically, I learned that I probably have a lucrative career as a talent agent for aspiring reality TV stars – is that a thing? – and should probably stop paying tuition to get a degree in something completely unrelated to that. And that I need to find some friends who are actually up for doing the outrageous things that I ask of them. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog