Bakers, dreamers, wishful thinkers….this post is for you. Chances are that if baking/cooking is your passion, you’ve dreamt of competing in a televised food competition. We’re sharing everything we know about baking show casting.
While there is no secret formula to landing a coveted spot as a cast member on a food competition show, there are some simple things you can do to increase your odds.
The tips below are based on insight from a compulsive (and unsuccessful) baking show applicant, casting producers and cast members from reality tv shows.
Seek out baking show casting calls and apply!
This tip may seem obvious, but many talented bakers may never follow through because they doubt their skills. Believe it or not, not all food-related tv shows choose their cast simply based on skill level. Many other factors are taken into account, which you will read more about below.
Study the application well before filling it out.
Most casting applications are very similar, regardless of what show you’re applying for. Many will ask for the following information:
- Why are you applying.
- Why are you a good fit for the show.
- Your signature dishes.
- Your culinary experience.
- Fun facts about yourself and/or secret talents outside of the kitchen.
- Recent phots of you.
- Photos demonstrating your best baking/cooking skills.
- Dates of any previous television appearances.
Gather all of the above information before filling out your application. It’s helpful to save all of the info so you can use it again if you apply to another show.
Determine what makes you unique.
In order to catch the eye of a casting agent, you need to stand out. For some people uniqueness is obvious. It could be crazy hair, impressive tattoos, a thick accent, 15 kids, or maybe you can play a fiddle while hanging upside down in a tree. For others, it can be tough to figure out what sets you apart.
A casting agent’s job is to identify potential cast members based on unique qualities and demographics. But, you can make their job easier by taking the guess work out of it for them.
Make a video.
Most applications will ask you to submit a brief 1-2 minute video to introduce yourself. This is possibly the most important part of the application process. This will be the casting team’s first impression of you and where you need to shine!
Adam Klein, winner of Survivor: Millenials vs. Generation X, shared some tips about how to make your audition video the best it can be. Survivor is obviously a very different type of show from what you’ll find on the Food Network, but these tips still apply.
- Be clear and concise. Don’t ramble and use complete sentences.
- Be passionate and speak with conviction.
- Put your personality on display. Don’t be generic.
- Insert your perspective and opinion.
- Explain why it matters for you to be on the show. Share your story and be relatable!
Understand the casting process.
The casting team that you speak with doesn’t have the final say in who gets chosen to compete. The job of a casting agent is to seek out talent and vet them to see if they’re a good fit. If you’re deemed worthy, an interview (or two) often takes place so they can get to know you better and hone in on your skills, talent, and personality.
With many cooking and baking competition shows, potential cast members are asked to do a cooking demo via Zoom or Skype. Other shows may ask you to travel to cook for the casting team in person. This gives production a chance to see you in action and determine how you will translate on camera.
After the casting process is complete, the casting team compiles reels of the contestants to pitch to the show’s producers. Those reels will include footage from Zoom interviews, photos that you’ve submitted, and any other relevant information that casting thinks will help you land a spot on a show.
Production will then narrow the field down until they have the desired number of cast members. Demographics plays a huge role in this process. Reality competition shows are all about diversity and try to make sure every race, gender, etc. is represented.
Skills and knowledge are important, but not the only factor when it comes to baking show casting.
In 2016, more than 70% of those who applied for The Great American Baking Show were 30-something housewives. This statistic means that it is incredibly difficult for someone in that demographic to earn a spot to compete. The competition is fierce for 30-something housewives when it’s likely that only one or two from that pool will make the cut, depending on the size of the cast. This is further proof that it’s crucial for you to be your best and most unique self during the casting process. Make your demographics pool as small as possible to increase your chances.
Where do you find casting calls for your favorite baking show?
To apply for The Great American Baking Show, click HERE.
To apply for MasterChef, click HERE.
To apply for Top Chef, click HERE.
To apply for Guy’s Grocery Games, click HERE.
To apply for other Food Network shows, click HERE.
To apply for Silos Baking Competitions, click HERE.