A Reality TV Casting Director on What Makes a Good Contestant

“Don’t pretend to be anybody but yourself. Don’t put on a show. Don’t say things you think we want to hear.”


Episode Notes

On this week’s show, Working producer Cameron Drews talks to Erin Tomasello, casting director for the Netflix reality show The Circle. In the interview, Erin explains what it’s like to work on the casting team for shows like The Bachelor, Fear Factor, America’s Got Talent, and more. Then she discusses the casting process for The Circle and lays out what she and the casting producers are looking for in potential contestants. She also offers tips for anyone who’s thinking about applying to be on the show (which you can do at

After the interview, co-hosts June Thomas and Isaac Butler talk to Cameron about the rise of politeness and good sportsmanship on reality shows, and then Cameron asks June and Isaac for some creative advice.

In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Erin talks about how she got into reality show casting and what it’s like to work as a freelancer in the TV industry.

Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to or give us a call at (304) 933-9675.

Podcast production by Cameron Drews.


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