The cult-like following shows like The Bachelor and The Amazing Race have garnered have transformed the ‘reality’ TV show format into something of a pop-culture phenomenon.
Whether you an experienced or Jane Rubin amateur actor, you may have decided you would like to audition for a certain reality TV show. Even if you have no acting experience and no interest in acting, you may be considering trying out for a reality show just for the thrill of it. There are many factors to consider when auditioning to be on reality TV. One very important factor to consider is the portfolio of pictures you will submit in the audition process.
If you are an actor with any level of experience, you may already have an existing portfolio of professional photos of yourself. Your portfolio may include head shots, body shots and lifestyle photos among others. Whether the photos of you that are in your portfolio were taken by an agency, a professional photographer or a friend, they are undoubtedly both professional and flattering. Unfortunately, producers of reality TV shows are not looking for professional actors or models (unless you are trying out for America’s Next Top Model, etc.)
If you want to audition for and get cast in a reality TV show, chances are, you will need to portray yourself as a real person – A.K.A. your real self. So if you have a professional portfolio, scrap it altogether and start from ground zero. Choose a simple photo album for your portfolio. Go through recent personal photographs that include you. Make sure the photos you choose to include portray you as you currently look. If you had long hair but recently cut it, make sure to only use photos where your hair is the same as its current style.
In addition to choosing pictures where you look like a regular (real) person and where you really look like yourself, look for different pictures that capture the range of emotion you are capable of. Reality TV producers look for participants that will create interesting circumstances due to their propensity for drama. In other words, do not choose only photos in which you are happy and shiningly smiling. Try to find some (or strategically take some) pictures where different emotions are captured on your face. This may sound gloomy, but if you have pictures where you look angry or sad, include them so that you come across as someone with some depth of emotion.
When putting together your photo album – A.K.A. portfolio, make sure to include several pictures that portray your personality and lifestyle. For example, if you are known as a world traveler, use pictures of yourself in Italy, or at that Buddhist temple you visited last summer. If you are an avid athlete, include photos of recent events you participated. Try to use pictures that show you actively participating in life – no matter how you do it.