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How do producers cast reality shows when everyone wants to be the next Snooki?

January 25, 2011 | 12:02 pm

Kass Reality TV is populated by an ever-increasing number of fame-seekers and would-be actors,  forcing casting agents to work much harder to find "real" people.

"Everyone acts as if there's a camera watching," says Sally Ann Salsano of 495 Productions ("Jersey Shore").  "To find someone who is being truly genuine is like finding a needle in a haystack."

Finding the right cast for shows like "The Bachelor," "Survivor" and "America's Next Top Model" used to be a matter of getting word out and watching the audition tapes that arrived in response. But increasingly, networks are relying on reality recruiters to search untapped corners of the country (and the mall) in search of authentic folks.

"I always feel like Target is a gold mine," says "America's Next Top Model" casting director Michelle Mock-Falcon.

Read more in this feature about the art of reality TV casting.

-- Joy Press

Photo: Casting agent Robyn Kass. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times