662 young people vying for 13 slots on MTV shows? Get real! Gen-X'ers audition for 'Real World,' 'Road Rules' series

September 20, 1998|By Tamara Ikenberg | Tamara Ikenberg,SUN STAFF

Wearing a suit, a tie and shiny loafers and clutching a briefcase, Kristofer Mickens is hardly what audiences have come to expect from an MTV "Real World" housemate.

Still, the 23-year-old actor -- one of 662 "Real World" wannabes at the Inner Harbor Planet Hollywood yesterday auditioning to become a cast member for the eighth season of the Gen-X documentary -- was pretty sure he would make it.

"I'm not worried about that at all," he said, standing confidently upright at the front of the line. "God is on my side."

If chosen, Mickens would be thrown into a posh house in Oahu with six other 18- to 24-year-olds and have his life taped seven full days a week for 5 1/2 months. The experience will be condensed into approximately 20 half-hour episodes on MTV.

The audition was also for slots on "Road Rules," a "Real World" spinoff in which six people travel together.

MTV is holding 15 auditions across the nation. Baltimore's was No. 7. The Tallahassee, Fla., audition, with 1,000 applicants, attracted the most people, according to MTV casting consultant Michelle Millard.

Five of the applicants were chosen after yesterday's auditions to go on to the next round of the casting process.

MTV did not disclose their names.

Applicants yesterday provided photographs of themselves and participated in a six-minute, eight-person, moderated interview. They also filled out an application that asked questions from "What intimidates you most about people?" to "What is your most embarrassing moment?"

Among the Baltimore applicants, Mickens wasn't the only one who defied the stereotypical cool and slightly off-balance profile of former "Real World" cast members.

Almost every local hopeful was a generically dressed Joe or Jane Average.

"They're a little less cosmopolitan, but that's interesting to us," 00 Millard said. "There aren't many poseurs in the crowd. We don't want seven hipsters."

That's not to say there weren't a few token alternateens.

Corinne Meier, cigarette in one hand, application in the other, had a horseshoe piercing in her nose and barbell piercings through both ears.

With a plastic camouflage watch, a slicked-down short 'do and mussed clothes that she confessed to wearing two days in a row, the Washington resident showed as much assurance as Mickens, her aesthetic opposite.

"I think I'm a shoo-in," she said. "I'm kooky and a little weird, but I'm all about selling out for TV."

Pub Date: 9/20/98

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