This Saturday, Oxygen's long-running reality show Bad Girls Club is casting its 15th season in Portland at Grand Central Bowling on SE Morrison.
If you haven't heard of the Bad Girls Club, here's the general concept: put a group of "bad girls" into a mansion together, add booze, and stand back.
Way back. Here's a gif to get you up to speed.
According to Themi Chahales, one of the show's casting directors, Portland is almost always on the list of their visited cities. At least two past cast members (contestants? brawlers?) have come from Portland: Season 2's Neveen Ismail, aka "The Model" and Season 10's Shannon Sarich, aka "The Buff Barbie." (Sarich's profile reads: "A true mastermind and manipulator, she demands to be taken care of with the finer things in life and has been showered with diamonds, extravagant vehicles and plastic surgery.")
“We do tend to find great characters in Portland who make it all the way through the casting process,” says Chahales, who has also helped cast seasons of The Real World, Wife Swap, and Love Games.
We chatted with Chahales about what she's looking for, why you shouldn't bring a vibrator to the audition, and some advice for Portland hopefuls.
Where else are you casting?
Oh, a bunch of places. Me personally, last week I was in Miami, Florida. In about two weeks I’m going to Philadelphia. And we have teams in New York, Chicago, Scottsdale, AZ. We’re really trying to hit all over the nation to get a variety of people.
How long from beginning to end does casting a show like this take?
For the first stage, we go on these casting calls and we meet as many people as possible and interview them. We also do Skype interviews for anyone who’s not in a city we’re travelling to. That’s the first two months. In mid-August we’ll fly the finalists to LA for a final interview in our studio here. Then, decisions are made by the executives at that point. The final cast will move into [the mansion] mid-September.
How many people do you see at one of these open calls?
It varies. We’ve had upwards of 500 people [show up]. This season, we’re casting sisters only. So the whole cast will be made up of sisters. That kind of limits us. There are tons of fans who will always come out, but not everyone has a sister. But we’ve had a really big turnout so far. In Miami, I saw over 150 people.
How do you get to know people?
Typically these interviews, if they do make it to the full length interviews, those are over an hour long. Sometimes we’ll talk to their family members, friends. We do background checks as we call them, or reference calls, where we contact their family members, friends, boyfriends, and get all the stories about them that maybe they haven’t told us themselves. And so we get to know these guys inside and out. It’s sort of unbelievable that after awhile we’re almost able to predict the kind of person they’re going to be on the show.
What qualities are you looking for in the cast members?
We’re looking for sisters, that’s the main thing. We’re open to all kinds of sisters: it can be full sisters, half-sisters, step-sisters, adopted sisters. The other thing is really great, big, charismatic personalities, good story tellers, people with interesting pasts. Funny always goes over really well. Not shy in front of the camera. We’re never really looking for any particlar qualities per se.
Do you ask people to do anything in the audition?
It’s mainly a conversation about their lives, but we’ll ask them to bring a show and tell item with them, typically. An item that represents who they are as a bad girl. That’s a fun thing we do. If you have any special talents, singers, or dancers, we’ll often ask them to show us. But really, like I said, the interviews are typically a conversation, trying to know every aspect of their lives, from relationships to partying to families.
What do people bring as show and tells?
We get a lot of vibrators. So I’m looking for something a little more unique this time around. The one thing people will bring is something really sentimental to them. But what goes over really well is something fun and lighthearted. If you start off the interview with a photo of your deceased grandmother, that’s kind of a downer. Sometimes people’s show and tell will be their dance moves. I love a great talent. I’ve seen some excellent twerking.
Any last advice to hopeful sisters in Portland?
I would say come through with lots of energy. Now is not the time to be shy or reserved about your life.
For more information about the casting call, visit bmpcasting.com/casting/bgc/