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Surviving a Reality Casting Call

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For some, they'll do anything to get on a hit TV show, like Ray Sanders, the Somerville High band instructor who has made turkey baster-playing his claim to fame (Sanders made it all the way to CBS's Late Show with David Letterman).

And if they get on a hit show like Survivor, they'll do anything to stay on.

"Well, I probably wouldn't play the turkey baster because I wouldn't want to get kicked off the first day," Sanders said.

But others like rancher Mark Wacasey are hoping they can lasso their way onto the small screen.

"Well, I didn't make it last year, so I figured I'd try something different," he said after his casting call taping, which featured his plea and his rope. "I thought maybe, being a ranch manager, I'd go ahead and really bring out the cowboy thing."

Accentuating the positives. It's what the dozens who packed Post Oak Mall Saturday did to try to make it to Survivor 12.

"I think I would be able to have really good alliances with a lot of people, so I think that would help," said hopeful Lindsay Leach.

"I've always been an adventurous sort of person," said Marti Ludetke. "I love challenges, and I've looked forward to doing something like this all my life."

Some people had their speeches memorized. Others walked through the taping room's doors cold turkey. But no matter what, they knew that two minutes could put them on national television and change their lives forever.

"I love the beach," said Sanders. "I love the water. I love the camping. I love all that getting out and finding wood. I like cooking. I like those games and swimming. I just like doing all that stuff."

And the casting call brought the rabid fans, and the not-so-rabid.

"I came last year, too, and didn't make it," said Leach, who says, at the most, she's missed five episodes in the series's 10-season history. "And I figured if they wanted to do it again and do it in Aggieland, maybe they're looking for an Aggie."

"Actually, I don't watch it very often," said Wacasey. "I'm not sure why. Why it's appealing for me to get on it is the five minutes of fame that would be really fun."

Five minutes of fame...and fortune. When asked what she'd do with the money, Ludetke said, "I'd buy a few lead ropes, patch a few fences, and probably give a lot of it away."

It may be a dream, but who knows? The dream could become reality...TV...for someone.