St. Pete alum from CBS' Big Brother gives advice for auditions in Tampa April 3
He may have been the third person kicked off CBS' cabin-fever-inducing reality show Big Brother last year, but St. Petersburg elementary school teacher Casey Turner still gets lots of fans asking him how to audition for the show. And his advice is simple:
"Everybody says it, just be yourself -- with energy," he said, slipping easily into the hipster swagger of his alter ego as a part-time disc jockey, DJ Mingle Mixx. "It's you on several Red Bulls. (But) don't go into it thinking you're going to play a role. There's enough steps in the process, if you're being someone you're not, they will find out."
Turner's advice may come in handy for Tampa Bay area fans on April 3, when casting producers for the show come to Tampa. The auditions last just three hours -- noon to 3 p.m. -- at Dubliner's Irish Pub, 2307 W. Azeele St., Tampa.
Producers ask aspiring fans to fill out the show's application, found here (www.cbs.com/bigbrother). Only those age 21 and over can apply; there's a laundry list of other eligibility requirements, including being a U.S. citizen, not being a candidate for public office and being starved enough for attention that you'd consider living for 100 days in a house with no privacy with about a dozen strangers on national television.
Auditions can draw up to 500 people and the show expects to visit at least 14 other cities, so competition will be steep. But they've already extended the original casting deadline from March 19 to April 23, so they must still need lots of fresh faces.
Forty finalists get flown to Los Angeles for a week of auditions, challenged to remain awake and alert in the presence of the show's animatronic host, Early Show newsactress Julie Chen.
The winner gets $500,000, but they also have to admit they sat in a house on national TV for three months, so maybe it's a wash. (Two runners-up also get cash, too, and everybody else gets a stipend that Entertainment Weekly once pegged at $750 a week.)
Turner, who auditioned for the show last year at a Beef O'Brady's restaurant in Tampa, knows he got pegged as the "old, cool guy" last season (his enemies on the show had harsher words, slagging his constant patter and affection to hip hop slang as the product of a 41-year-old's midlife crisis).
His other advice: keep your status as a finalist secret if you make it and start lining up alliances the moment you hit the big Brother house.
"You got start kissing butts from day one," he said. "I tried to lay low at first, but that didn't work too well."