VIDEO: MTV fullfills students’ dreams, holds casting at WU

Jordan Loomis / Washburn Review / Video By: Bradley Hernandez, Washburn Review

Thursday, April 26, welcomed an opportunity to the students of Washburn University. They had the chance to be cast on MTV’s reality series, MADE, for it’s 12th season.

Nathan Johnson, casting producer of MTV’s Made, described the series as a reality show that helps students who have a certain goal they’ve been struggling to accomplish and do so with the aid of a coach that is excellent in their desired field.

“Whether it be a W.W.E. [World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.] star, an actor or a coach to help the student lose weight, we will provide a coach to help them meet their desired goals,” said Johnson.

Johnson has been traveling continuously since early January.

“I can’t estimate how many universities that I’ve been to,” said Johnson. “By now, I’ve probably seen a different school a day, except for Saturdays and Sundays that is.”

Washburn University and the University of Kansas are Johnson’s last two stops before he can go home.

“I’m from New York City,” said Johnson. “I’ve been going home on the weekends sometimes, but it’s very rare because in MTV, we like to do this while you, the students, are in school because we don’t cast in the summer.”

After meeting with the 15 students  from Washburn University, Johnson describes his screening as one he’s confident in.

“I’ve been doing casting calls for six years now,” said Johnson, who, in his career, says that it’s never the same. 

“I may hear similar goals, but I never see the same person,” said Johnson. “They have different stories, different personalities and bring different  personalities to the table that I learn from them telling me in our casting sessions-It’s truly a magnificent job.”

Wahkunah Blevins, senior mass media major at Washburn, is one of 15 students who auditioned, described the experience as a wonderful opportunity.

“I personally thought having MADE on campus was a great chance for students to step out of their shells and get closer to their dreams,” said Blevins.

Blevins has two dreams that she hopes MTV will give her a chance to complete.

“The first being that I want to go  [to] Second City,” said Blevins. “It’s an improv school. The second was that I wanted to start a rock band. Been wanting to for a few years, but nobody is ever interested in joining.

Blevins, along with the other students auditioning, said  the wait outside of the casting room was extremely tremulous.

“You have no idea how nervous I was,” said Blevins. “I felt like I rambled too much afterwards.” 

While MTV doesn’t do callbacks, especially for MADE, they do move quickly in casting.

“We decide while I’m sitting here during a casting session who goes forward, then we talk about it in casting meeting, and the people higher up decide who we will green light,” said Johnson.

Green lighting, according to Johnson, is another deciding factor on screen.

“We will shoot two green light episodes and then pitch it to the network to see if it would make a good ‘MADE kit,'” said Johnson.

The 15 students Johnson sat down with will be pitched to the producers this upcoming Thursday, or so Johnson believes during the next casting meeting.

“Our students have to be interesting,” said Johnson. “When we know we move very quickly. We know right away.”

Blevins, as one of the 15 being chosen from, wishes everyone good luck.