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MTV's Real World Will Come to Boston

By Carina Fung
STAFF REPORTER

The Real World, a real-life drama show on MTV, will soon come to Boston, and area college students are among those invited to apply to be in the show.

"We would love to have an MIT student" be a part of the show, said Andrew Hoegl, casting director for the series.

The filming of the sixth season will begin January 1997 and will proceed over the course of 22 weeks, Hoegl said. The season will be aired starting in June next year.

The show groups together seven young people who live together and have their lives videotaped and later aired on MTV. In previous seasons, the shows have mostly centered on the personal interactions between cast members. The show this past season in Miami chronicled cast members' attempts at starting a new business.

This time, cast members will take on much more responsibility than just being on television, Hoegl said. Specifically, participant in the show will have to help run a center for youths. "Members of the cast sincerely need to have an interest in working with kids," Hoegl said.

The move to Boston was made partly to target the "large population of college-aged viewers."

The casting staff for program is targeting students at competitive schools, Hoegl said. "It's not specifically MITwe've reached out to, but a number of Ivy League schools."

"We aren't necessarily looking for a stereotypical Ivy League person. When selecting people, we look for something good in the video tapes," said Hoegl, who repeatedly stated that MITis a member of the Ivy League, although it is not.

"We have absolutely no preconceived idea of who will star on the show," he said. In the past, the seven-person cast has been split into three females and four males, or vice-versa, he said.

Applicants need to be real'

Those interested in the show are required to send a 10-minute videotape of themselves explaining why they would be good candidates for the show, Hoegl said.

Hoegl said that he is not looking for "crazy or wacky acts" on the video tapes.

"Sometimes we get tapes with people goofing around in the shower or tub," he said. "We are not looking to be purely entertained by the tapes. Just tell us who you are."

People who has acting experience are actually at a disadvantage for landing a spot on the show, Hoegl said.

"We want real people. We do not want to be used as a vehicle in launching careers," he said.

"Putting together the cast is like putting together a puzzle, figuring out who has a certain presence' and then figuring out how all the members can be interrelated," he said.

Previous seasons of The Real World were filmed in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Miami.

Hoegl said that directors are still looking around the Boston area for living quarters for the future cast. The show is filmed in this selected living area, and often a control room is built onto the house or apartment, he said.

The residence where the show is filmed varies from season to season. For example, the "seven strangers" - as the show refers to the cast members - who participated in the fourth season of the show in London lived together in a flat; in San Francisco, the actors lived in a Victorian house; and in Miami, they lived in a beach house.

The procedure for becoming a part of the show is lengthy, since there are several levels of decision-making, Hoegl said.

First, a videotape is prepared by the candidate, and selected candidates are then sent a 15-page application. The application allows the candidate to further explain his interests, Hoegl said.

After this stage, selected candidates are put through a series of interviews.

"If it's like any of the previous seasons, the viewing public's reaction [to the move to Boston] should be very positive. The show continues to evolve," Hoegl said.

Anyone who is single and between the ages of 18 and 25 is eligible to be on the show. The deadline has been extended from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15, which is next Tuesday.

Tapes can be sent to The Real World Casting Dept., 6007 Sepulveda Blvd., Van Nuys, CA, 91411. The Real World also has a World Wide Web site at http://www.mtv.com.