Lights, Camera, Action: How to Get Cast on a Food Reality TV Show
Culinary competitions on TV aren't just for experts. If you've always wanted to join a food reality show, here's your guide to the casting process.
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Have you ever watched contestants compete on a food reality television show and thought to yourself, “I could totally do that”? If so, put your money where your mouth is and apply to be on a show! Cooking TV shows of all types are always on the hunt for people to bring onto set and compete for the top prize (and legions of fans).
No matter your culinary skill level, read on to learn how you could become the next competitor on your favorite show.
Look online for casting calls
The internet is your number one resource when it comes to applying for reality cooking shows. It’s where producers share that they’re on the hunt for new talent and where you can submit applications. That being said, you have to be a bit savvy and know where to look for open calls on specific shows.
You can always keyword search a television show name and “casting” on Google to see what pops up. But various networks work with different casting companies that have unique processes for applicants. Here’s a rundown on where to find open calls for specific networks and reality shows in general.
Every foodie has a favorite cooking show. More likely than not, it probably airs on the Food Network. There are so many shows that put everyone from novice bakers to celebrity chefs to the test. If you fall somewhere on that spectrum, then there’s definitely a show you can audition for.
The best place to keep up with Food Network casting calls is with JS Casting. This company is responsible for the casting process with many shows. You can find out which ones are currently casting chefs, home cooks and foodies through the company website. You’ll also be able to submit general applications for previous shows that will put you in the running the next time producers are casting again.
Some noteworthy shows you can submit applications for include:
- Beat Bobby Flay
- Bakers vs Fakers
- Amateur Grilling Competition
- Holiday Wars
One major place to submit applications for reality TV shows is with Netflix. The hit baking show Nailed It! is always looking for new talent, so you can submit an application anytime. It couldn’t be easier to apply (and remember, this is a show you definitely don’t have to be a pro). After submitting some basic information and your social media links, you’ll share a one-minute video showing off your true self.
For Nailed It! specifically, all you have to do is explain why you’re a terrible baker. No culinary skills necessary! Netflix Reality is the website you’ll want to bookmark for whenever the streaming service comes out with more food-related shows and looking for new contestants.
Casting call websites
There are websites dedicated to open casting calls on shows of all types, such as Auditions Free. This is a great source that can help you filter through reality show auditions of all types, including food shows that exist beyond the Food Network. You can even sign up for email updates that will let you know when shows are seeking out new talent.
Follow casting agents on social media
Another way to catch casting calls as they happen is to follow behind-the-scenes people on social media. Oftentimes, casting agents and reality producers will announce the projects they’re working on right now via social media and share exactly where to apply online.
It’s easy to find casting professionals on Twitter. All you have to do is search “Casting Producer” and click the people tab. Casting producers often have their title in their biography along with the shows they work on. You can browse through all profiles and follow ones that work on shows you’re interested in applying for.
Get your application ready
All applications have different requirements depending on the specific network and show. While Nailed It! is looking for people who lack skills in the baking department, a show like Hell’s Kitchen is looking for accomplished chefs and line cooks who have what it takes to work in high-end restaurants. Understand what your abilities are and focus on applying to shows that you stand a chance at being cast on.
Some applications will ask for specific details about your life. If you’re a home chef with a regular day job, they’ll want to know what your aspirations are in the food industry. Competitive shows looking for highly skilled chefs will be interested in your culinary experience and work history. Ultimately, what’s needed from casting producers will vary on the show you’re applying to.
Some information you might be expected to share during the application process includes:
- Your signature dishes
- Your culinary resume
- Why you want to be on the show
- Fun facts about you
- Images of you
- Images of dishes or baked goods you’ve prepared
- Whether or not you’ve been on television before
Let your best self shine through
Casting agents are looking for unique individuals who can be themselves. Simply put, if you’re not the villain type, then don’t pretend to be! Producers want to see you for you, not a fictional persona you create for the sake of standing out. The best way for you to show off that personality is by submitting a video audition.
You can talk candidly about your background and why you’re perfect for the show. Most shows don’t need you to submit a fancy video with high quality lighting, audio or video. A simple video taken on your iPhone with your authentic self at the forefront is all that matters. The best thing you can do is show off your personality and not be afraid to have fun with it!
As competitive as it is to be selected for a reality show, it’s absolutely worth a shot. There’s nothing to lose! Go into the application process and be unapologetically yourself. Who knows? You could end up being offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to be on your favorite television show.