After 24 seasons of MTV’s The Real World, the truth about the true story of several strangers picked to live in a house is that these aren’t strangers at all. We’ve seen the same twentysomething types over and over through the years, which makes successfully auditioning to be a roommate for this granddaddy reality show simply a matter of noticing the patterns. In advance of the premiere of season 25, The Real World: Las Vegas on Wednesday 9, the drunken train wreck rolls into town as Bunim/Murray Productions hosts tryouts for a 26th season Saturday 5 at Mad River Bar and Grille (2909 N Sheffield Ave, 773-935-7500). If you’re at least 18 years old and appear 24 or younger, show up between 10am and 5pm with a photo ID and a recent shot of yourself—and keep the following tips in mind.
Night-vision cameras aren’t installed in Real World pads so the viewing public can watch you sleep! The producers need to know in advance they’ll be getting their money’s worth, and under no circumstances will you hesitate to shtup your roommate(s) in the hot tub.
Archetypes Trishelle, Steven and Brynn of The Real World: Las Vegas, who had a threesome 72 hours after moving into their Sin City suite.
Pimp your shit
Whether it’s raising awareness for a legit cause (HIV/AIDS) or trying to get exposure for a fledgling “career” (invariably, one of the roommates fronts a heinous band), shameless promotion is a storied tradition on The Real World. Time to get dead serious about that pipe dream you had in seventh grade.
Archetype Wanna-be neo-soul crooner David of the original New Orleans cast, who, conveniently, could always be found crafting his crapsterpiece “Come On Be My Baby Tonight.”
Be a virgin on the edge
Deceptively simple. It’s not enough that a Real World roommate has chosen not to have sex. He or she also must manage to give off the impression of moral weakness, a whiff that their vow of chastity could be corrupted with a few shots of Sour Apple Pucker.
Archetypes Julie, New York’s small-town virgin; Jon, Los Angeles’s cowboy virgin; Julie, kooky Mormon virgin, and Matt, spiky-haired Christian virgin, both from New Orleans; Chet, Brooklyn’s Mormon hipster virgin; Andrew, D.C.’s emo virgin.
Exude small-town pride
Real World producers love throwing naive, culturally and racially insensitive hicks into the urban jungle. So be sure to note if your unincorporated hometown has more cows than people or you think a dyke is a flood-prevention device.
Archetype On Back to New York, Ohio native Mike tells two of his African-American roommates, “black people don’t necessarily get as good an education,” then admits he didn’t know February was Black History Month.
Embody the roommate from hell
If you have a problem holding down roommates in the real world, you’re better suited for moving into The Real World. No one likes living with an instigator, a diva, an asshole—but it sure makes for compelling TV. Get ready for the house meeting where you’re asked to leave.
Archetypes San Francisco’s Puck, of course, who scooped peanut butter out of the communal jar with his fingers; Miami’s abrasive loudmouth, Flora; Seattle’s bitch-slapping Stephen; Chicago’s always-nude lez Aneesa.
Perfect the thousand-yard stare
One of the show’s pseudodramatic space-fillers is the meditation montage: An embattled roommate walks along a pier or a beach, gazing contemplatively at nothing in particular. If you can convincingly fixate on a body of water or a city skyline, you’re a shoo-in.
Archetypes Hawaii’s sickeningly sincere and topless poet laureate Kaia constantly looked into the ether for inspiration. Seattle’s David got his fair share of pensive horizon-line moments after hooking up with Kira, a casting director for Bunim/Murray Productions—a big no-no! Remember, Real World hopefuls: Sleep with your roommate, not your casting director.