Arisa Cox Shares Her Casting Tips for ‘Big Brother Canada 12′
By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
Big Brother Canada is ramping up for another spectacular season. We have the house. We have the cameras and microphones. We definitely have the host. The new season needs just one thing: new houseguests! Host and Executive Producer Arisa Cox revealed what makes for a successful casting submission.
John Powell: Congratulations on the new season of Big Brother! You must be very excited! I know things are in the planning stages but is there anything you can share with us?
Arisa Cox: I mean, we go way back but if I told you anything I would have to kill you and that would just destroy me. (laughs)
That’s all under wraps for now but yes, you’re absolutely right! I am so thrilled! We get another another chance to blow Canadians away with some of the coolest, most interesting people and some of the most inventive gameplay that you’ve ever seen! I think there’s something for literally everybody who will or anybody who watches it.
This is like Christmas time for me! When we’re out there looking at who wants to play? Who thinks they have what it takes? Who are these fearless people that want to live with no regrets? I cannot wait to see them to meet them! I don’t want anything to stop anybody from thinking that they should apply.
John Powell: You are casting for the new season. You’re searching for the new houseguests. What are you looking for? Who would be your ideal applicant?
Arisa Cox: That’s easy. That’s somebody who pops-up on the screen. One who commands my attention but somebody that I feel like I haven’t seen or heard before. That’s a very open-ended description I gave because I love being surprised.
I think the biggest thing that we look for is how real can you be when it cameras on you. I think a lot of people watch a lot of YouTube, they watch a lot of TikTok and think: I kind of know what I should sound like or look like this and therefore I should sound like THIS. It never works that way.
I think those people feel very stale when they’re not being their true selves. We want people who will be able to open up. It’s not an easy thing. It’s a really difficult thing to ask people to really sort of drop the artifice and be who they are. Be funny sometimes and sad sometimes and emotional at other times and really strong at times. The ones that people feel they can connect to are those who don’t have to put up a front.
I want to watch the people who can really do that. Who can take us to that place of who they really are and feel like they’re not trying to be a pale version of someone else. I think is a big thing.
Of course, we’re always looking for diversity and diversity of all kinds of races and ethnicities and religions and regions. There’s so many places we want to have new people from whether they feel like they’re representing them or they’re just representing themselves! We’re really, really interested in seeing some new faces but if you’ve applied before come back! I think it was season five or six where most of the iconic players had all auditioned before and not made previous seasons. Just because you applied eight years ago does not mean you shouldn’t apply! Now, you might be older but you also might be wiser and know yourself more and have seen more game and are a better strategist. All those things can be true.
We want originals! We want fearless people! We want people who can tell a story and people who can be themselves!
John Powell: What are the do’s and maybe most importantly the don’ts of applying?
Arisa Cox: Well, our amazing casting director Robyn (Kass) has given me lots of pointers over the years so I feel like I got this. (laughs)
She always says we don’t want to see how great of an editor you are. We don’t need this like epic cinematic video. It could literally be you talking into a phone saying what you like about the show, why you would be great on the show and what you have to bring to the table.
If they can, the person should tell us their story. I’m interested in it. Maybe there’s an interesting look or the way they turn a phrase is interesting? Maybe their job is interesting or maybe where they’re from? Maybe they’re from a town with four hundred people? Maybe they’re from a place with 2 million and they’ve been watching this show for years and suddenly they realize it’s time? We just want to see different kinds of people be able to pop onto that screen and tell some stories.
Here’s a don’t. Don’t be like: ‘I’ve never heard of the show before. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know how to play.’ We do want people with some working knowledge. I mean, granted you and I know we’ve seen people who learned the game on the fly. Anthony Douglas comes to mind as someone who by the end of their season was one of the most effective mastermind type of manipulators we’ve ever seen. You by all means do not need to be a superfan but you do need to have like some small working knowledge of how the show works. That is very helpful.
I think saying you’re just like someone or I will play just like Kevin Martin or Kevin Jacobs or Ty McDonald or Renee Mior doesn’t work. We want to know what makes you special and different as opposed to what makes you just like somebody else.
John Powell: Once somebody’s involved in the process what should they expect?
Arisa Cox: Once you apply and your video is in, you will hear from us if we want to hear more. It doesn’t mean if you haven’t heard from us that we’re not interested in you forever. Sometimes people hear back much later than they think and they’ve already written their application off.
I’m the host of the show and after my first audition I was like: I don’t know, I guess I won’t hear back and then I was contacted.
Once we’ve decided that we want hear more then there’s going to be a bit more back and forth and all of those instructions will become clearer.
Do not take it personally if it’s not your year. Keep trying because I’ve been blown away by how well people have done after auditioning three or four times! Karen Singbeil auditioned every year and then she made it on the fifth season. This happens all the time!