For LINKS: read it here: http://hasbrouck.org/blog/archives/002171.htmlUpdate on how to apply for "The Amazing Race"
This column with links:http://hasbrouck.org/blog/archives/002171.html
Nagano (Japan) - Phuket (Thailand)
This season's broadcasts of "The Amazing Race", at least on the San
Francisco TV station I've been watching, have featured repeated
advertisements for auditions next month for contestants on future seasons
of the reality-TV travel show.
If you want to take your own trip around the world, you are better off
working to pay off your debts and pay for your own trip than investing
your time in a long-shot effort to get picked by the producers to be in
the cast of a TV show. As I said after the first episode of "The Amazing
Race" on 5 September 2001, "You don't have to be selected by network
television producers to be able to take a trip around the world."
It's easier than you think to do it on your own. There's detailed advice
about how to get the time and money for a trip around the world in my
book, "The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World". Airline
ticket prices are significantly higher than they were in 2001 when "The
Amazing Race" premiered, but that's only one more reason to take a
longer-duration trip and to combine trips to multiple destinations in a
multi-stop journey rather than taking multiple brief round-trip vacations.
But I realize that some people are travel exhibitionists, and want to show
off their travel skills and have their missteps and arguments with each
other exposed on TV and preserved for posterity. An article I wrote in
2004 in this blog about how to apply for "The Amazing Race" has remained
consistently among the most-visited pages on my Web site for more than a
So what's happening now with casting for future seasons of "The Amazing
You can be picked for the cast of "The Amazing Race" in any of three ways:
1. Film your own application video (or have a friend film it), and upload
it with an online application through the casting Web site at
TheAmazingRaceCasting.com. Don't try to get too fancy with your video
techniques. You are applying for a place in the cast, in front of the
cameras, not for a spot in the production team behind the cameras.
(Applications used to be accepted by mail, but the postal address has been
removed from the application Web site, so it's not clear if that is an
option any longer.)
2. Come to an open "casting call" for "The Amazing Race". These are held
at unpredictable times and places, and aren't advertised in any consistent
manner. Casting calls have been held at outdoor clothing and sporting
goods stores, shopping malls, movie theaters, and ski areas, among other
venues. A professional TV film crew -- typically provided by a local CBS
affiliate TV station -- is set up to film application videos. Presumably,
the TV producers realized early on that some people who looked good on
camera had no skill at video production. The advantage of applying at one
of these casting calls is that you don't have to film your own video. The
disadvantage is that you only get one chance in front of the camera to
film your application video in a single take. If you are thinking of
applying for the cast, and have a chance to go to one of these casting
calls, you should go and observe, even if you plan to film your own video.
It's a unique chance to meet your competitors and see how they present
themselves, to help you figure out how to make yourself stand out from
3. Be invited by one of the members of the TV production team. This
doesn't get talked about much publicly, but since the earliest seasons of
"The Amazing Race", many members of the cast have been invited to apply.
The casting staff for the TV production are constantly on the lookout for
people they think would attract viewers to the TV show. They approach
friends, acquaintances, and total strangers. People have been accosted on
the street, or in a bar, and asked, "Would you be interested in being on
The Amazing Race?" Some of these people had never heard of the TV show
before they were invited to apply. Some have been invited as individuals,
some as couples. "Is there someone you would like to go on the show with?
Can you find a partner for the show? Would you like us to find you a
partner?" Sometimes the TV producers already have one person in mind for
the cast, and are looking for a partner for them. Is this fair? No, but
that doesn't matter. This is a commercial, for-profit television
production. Casting decisions are made on the basis of which cast members,
in which partnerships, the producers believe will maximize viewership and
profits. Nothing else really matters.
Casting for the first few seasons of "The Amazing Race" was advertised one
season at a time, although in practice the producers would routinely hold
on to some applications that were interesting but passed over from one
season, and call applicants back for future seasons.
Now it's official that applications are being accepted year-round, on a
rolling basis, without regard to any particular deadlines for specific
seasons. Apply whenever you are ready, and the producers will call you
back whenever they have a season in which they think you might be a good
fit. That might be right away, or not for several years, or never.
Applications are also now officially being accepted from singles as well
as couples, so you can apply by yourself if you are open to having the TV
producers pick a race partner for you. Half of the teams this season were
matched up by the TV producers. That's actually happened before, and it
looks like it could happen again. You might be introduced to a potential
partner well in advance, or assisted by the producers in finding one
acceptable both to you and to the TV producers. Or -- as was done this
season -- you might be asked to agree to a "blind date" ("We've got a
perfect match for you...") for the month-long race around the world.
There aren't really any "rules" for casting. If the producers really want
you, you may have some room for negotiation about which season would be
most convenient for your schedule, or whether you want a partner picked in
advance or a "blind date" you meet at the starting line.
There's now a dedicated Web site for applications for the cast of "The
Amazing Race" at TheAmazingRaceCasting.com, which includes the online
applications for teams of two people (any relationship) and individuals
applying by themselves.
The casting Web site includes some, but not all, of the open casting
calls, and some of the information including casting call listings is out
Here in San Francisco, the next open casting call (not listed on the main
casting Web site, as of now) is on Saturday, 18 April 2015, from 9 a.m.-2
p.m. at the Marmot store at 165 Post St. (between Kearny and Grant; take
the Post St. exit from the Montgomery St. BART station) near Union Square.
I'll drop by for at least part of the day to check out the scene and
interview people waiting their turns in front of the camera, so please say
hello if you are there.
The casting call advertisement on the Web site of the local CBS affiliate
also includes a list of casting criteria and suggestions for applicants.
Nothing really surprising, but these aren't on the main casting Web site,
and I haven't seen them spelled out like this before:
Suggested Questions To Answer While Auditioning:
1. Why would you make a great team to win The Amazing Race?
2. What do you hope to improve or change in your current relationship?
3. What issues do you need to work on?
4. How much have you traveled together?
5. What team do you most relate to from the past season?
Contestants will be selected based upon having the following traits:
* Physically and mentally adept
* Adaptable to new environments
* Interesting lifestyles, backgrounds and personalities.
What if all this sounds too complicated, or too much of a long shot? It's
a lot easier to take your own trip around the world than to get on the
cast of "The Amazing Race". As Scoop Nisker always says on KFOG, "If you
don't like the news, go out and make some of your own."
Over to you, travellers.