PORTLAND – Do Mainers have what it takes to make it in “The Real World?”

We won’t find out until Saturday, when casting directors for MTV’s long-running reality show will be in Portland looking for new cast members.

Portland is one of 35 cities where people will audition this spring for the newest season of the reality show, which will air next winter, said Damon Furberg, the show’s supervising casting director. The location of the season’s shoot has not been determined.

Mainers pride themselves for being able to handle whatever the world throws at them, but is that enough to get on a reality show?

“We look for the person who, when they go to a party, everyone clusters around them,” said Furberg. “We look for people who are charismatic, magnetic.”

Despite all the fireworks and confrontations we’ve seen on the show over the years, Furberg said the casting directors don’t look for people who are most likely to start a fight with their housemates.

“We don’t need to look for conflict. When you put people with big personalities together, the drama comes on its own,” he said.

Furberg said the show is looking for eight people to live together for several months and be taped 24 hours a day. Applicants must be 18 to 24 years old.

“The Real World” has been following the same successful format since it premiered in 1992 as one of the first television reality shows. Its original introduction talked about trying to show what happens when people live together and then “stop being polite and start getting real.”

The casting call will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Binga’s Stadium Smokehouse & Sports Bar, 77 Free St. Each applicant is asked to bring a recent photo of himself or herself, which will not be returned, and a photo ID.

Applicants will enter Binga’s in groups of about 10, and will spend about 10 minutes with a casting director. The casting directors will see as many people as they can, but will stop at 5 p.m., Furberg said.

“When people get in, we’ll make sure everyone in the group gets a chance to talk,” he said.

So why did “The Real World” want to look for people in Portland? Furberg said the show’s producers think they have to work harder than ever to find good contestants, because “The Real World” certainly isn’t the only reality show anymore.

“It may sound nuts to go to 35 cities looking for eight people,” he said, “but we’re looking for eight very special people.”

 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: [email protected]