Sarah Monson (pictured above) is the author of Me ON TV, a book with inside secrets on how to get you cast on any reality TV Show, No Matter Who You Are, Where You Live, Or What You Do For A Living! Below is an interview with her…
1. Why did you write Me on TV?
Over the years, when people find out that I’m a reality TV casting director, the questions just pour out. So many people have a secret dream to get themselves on TV and the process is very mysterious. After getting a bunch of friends on a bunch of shows, I wanted to find a way to help as many people as possible achieve this goal. From that vision, Me On TV was born.
I have the knowledge and skills from years of experience, which I can and have put to use to empower people and help them get to where they want to go. I’ve even gotten myself cast on a couple of reality shows!
Regardless of whatever negative things people have to say about reality TV, it is not their place to pass judgment. Every dream is valid and there are few better feelings in life than having your dream realized. In a weird way, it would be selfish of me not to help as many people as I can. That’s why I wrote the book.
2. What do you hope people will learn from the book?
I want to demystify the reality TV casting process. No matter what show you want to get on – whether it’s Survivor, American Idol, The Amazing Race, The Voice, or anything else – Me On TV can give you tools to help you make it happen. People may think just having a good voice or talent or being in great shape or attractive is enough to get you on a show, but there is so much more to it. And I wanted to teach people all about that.
In my book, I walk through the entire casting process from start to finish. At each step, I explain how things work, what you can do to put yourself in the best position to ace that step, and what’s going on behind the scenes to help people understand that there’s more going on than just what’s on the surface. When you finish the book, you’ll have your application and audition video ready to rock, whatever show you’re seeking to be on.
3. How did you get interested in Reality TV?
I started my casting career working with feature films. But there came a point where I was looking for a new challenge, and a position opened up to me casting a reality dating show called Blind Date.
The prospect of having to go out every single day and find an absurd number of people to audition each week was exciting and also a bit scary and intimidating. I had doubts I could do it week after week. But once I hit my stride, I found out I was really great at it.
Reality casting is like fitting pieces in a puzzle and since I love puzzles, it really helps me to look at it that way.
Plus, there is something fascinating about real people in real situations that I was intrigued by. I hoped the genre would only get more real and show the positive sides of life but it has gone the other way unfortunately – it seems to be more negative and more “staged” in some cases than true reality.
Still, my dream would be to cast a show that features and highlights inspiring people doing things to help others and make the world better in their own ways. Something like Breakthrough with Tony Robbins, which I hear they may be bringing back for new episodes! I hope there comes a time soon where many more of the people watching TV demand lots of this type of content from the networks.
4. What is the most inspiring story you have heard about a Reality TV star?
Reality TV can be a very personal thing. People go on shows for their own personal reasons – to lose weight, remodel their kitchen, fulfill a dream, etc. And while I’ve heard countless really inspiring stories from people seeking to get on TV, it disappoints me that I don’t often hear inspirational tales from the stars of these shows. Sadly, it seems far more often than not that those that do become super rich and famous from reality TV – like Snooki, for example – don’t really use their fame for the greater good, that I know of. But I could be, and hope I’m totally wrong. Maybe they have a charity or donate money or speak out against crimes against humanity. I definitely hope so.
5. What do you think people can learn from watching Reality TV?
I do think there are some great shows that offer valuable information, perspectives behind the scenes, and views of the world we might not otherwise see. Often, though, depending on which shows they’re watching, the truth is that I think the best thing people can learn is about how NOT to behave. I’m only sort of kidding. I definitely think it would be wrong to demonize reality tv as a genre since there are many shows, particularly the high profile talent shows and competition shows, that really inspire people to follow their dreams and explore the world. Those are incredibly valuable things to see and feel and I hope the networks find ways to make more of those types of shows. I love when a quality reality show can inspire or evoke some strong positive emotion.
And if you’re into shows like House Hunters International or The Amazing Race, you can travel the world from the comfort of your living room!
6. What advice would you have for people who want to be on Reality TV?
Never give up! Even though the “reality” of reality TV is questionable at times, we still 100% depend on real people to make these shows. Without you, we can’t do it!
People write me and tell me that they’ve been applying to shows for years, or never had the guts to apply due to self-doubt. I’m hoping my book will inspire them so they can and will get themselves on their favorite show. To me, that makes everything worthwhile.
Some folks already have read the book and moved forward in the casting process, getting onto the next round or the round after that on their favorite show. I know I’ll be seeing some of them on TV soon. I am so grateful and inspired by their stories and when they tell me that they feel I played a helpful role in pursuit of their dream, validates that I definitely did the right thing in writing this book.
7. What is your favorite Reality TV show and why?
Pretty much anything on HGTV, Travel Channel or Food Network! I love learning about new places to eat and visit!
8. If you could be on a Reality TV show, which one would you choose and why?
9. Where can people get a copy of your book?
Me On TV is available on Amazon through Kindle right now at www.MeOnTVBook.com/Amazon. And if you buy the book, as a way to say thanks, there is a website I’ve set up where I’ll also give you some cool additional free bonuses to download, which build upon material in the book and even cover things I haven’t included in this edition of the book yet.
10. Any last remarks?
One thing I want to mention – people have been asking me if I would be able to make time to work with them in more intimate settings to get more hands on to really help them with their casting process. So I am looking into the best ways to run mentoring programs and webinars to do just that.
While I have no doubt that reading Me On TV and following the steps outlined will greatly improve your chances, there’s still much more I can do if I’m looking at your specific application or video or getting to know more about you or answering your specific questions.
If you’d be interested in something like this, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line MENTOR ME and I’ll get in touch with you.
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me Matt. I really enjoyed it.