How to get cast on 'Survivor' - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

How to get cast on 'Survivor'

CLEVELAND, OH -- The elusive "it factor." It's something 'Survivor's' producers have been after ever since the show hit the air. Casting Director, Lynn Spillman recalls some of the most memorable auditions from people like Cirie Fields.

"I remember thinking she's a star, she's fantastic -- I want to hug her. I want to watch her. I want to be her. I just remember when that tape came in," Spillman.

So what makes a good contestant? These days, Spillman says it's someone who knows the game inside and out, a player who comes prepared with strategies ... ready to win.

"The game has evolved and it moves so quickly now, so if you have people that have seen one or two episodes it just moves too quickly and they get weeded out," she said.

Spillman says her team is looking for characters in everyone, but especially people who can be good narrators.

"Brad Culpepper and Troyzan, Aubrey. They're all great story tellers, whether they're using sarcasm or just smarts and analogies. They're great speakers and they're competitive and they know the game so well that they're really the go-to people for interviews," Spillman said.

They look for big personalities, antagonists, but not bullies, charming characters from all walks of life, and people many can relate to. How they find them has really evolved. Thanks to technology, the vetting has gotten easier.

"We have Facebook, Instagram, so when people apply now and they say 'I'm going to play like this or I'm this person, we can check it out before we even make the first phone call to do the first interview. Are they really what they say they are?"

Because of social media, they're doing less recruiting, only enlisting recruiters to fill a specific type cast role to round out the cast. It's the ones who audition in several different ways that often get noticed, Spillman said.

"Sometimes someone will go to a Vegas open call and someone on my team will say I've got this great person at the open call. Then the New York person will say 'That's the person I'm about to call, they are great, here's the tape they sent in.' When you have the double, you know you have somebody good," Spillman said.

She said people in successful audition tapes make sure they bring up things in their life that relate to how they'll play.

"They talk about the game. They talk about why they would be great. They talk about their lifestyle and what their life is like. You can picture them in the show," she said.

Click here to see more examples of successful audition videos that people have submitted to get tips on how to be cast yourself.

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