MTV’s “Made” cameras roll through Carlsbad


Natasha Menard

Sophomore JJ Almeraz meets with MTV scouts to discuss his dream of being a professional photographer when they came to campus for a “Made” casting call.

Scott Snow, staff writer

After almost two decades since its premiere, the MTV reality series, “Made,” has spanned hundreds of people and accomplishments. Now the show has come to Carlsbad, hosting auditions for its 2014 season on Friday, Feb. 1.

The television show follows a relatively simple plot throughout each episode. A student with aspirations greater than his means applies for the show. If selected, “Made” rewards the dreamer with his very own ‘Made coach’–an expert dedicated to transform the youngster into whatever title he chooses. Most pursuits do not stray far from things such as Homecoming Queen, rapper, basketball player, pageant girl, ladies man, etc. All the while  film crews avidly document the journey, capturing the highs and lows, if not taking the artistic liberty to portray the story most profitably.

Regardless of its interpreted authenticity, “Made” continues to populate television screens everywhere. The show has spread to France, Germany, Turkey and Canada and the flow of the show seldom remains constant. Though not everyone has stayed up to date with the shows progress.

“When I heard about the auditions, I was so surprised and happy the show was back” sophomore Jonah Ibrahim said. “I went right to [duet partner] Sierra and we decided to audition.”

It’s understandable Ibrahim thought the show had taken a break but MTV has made a substantial effort to keep it current.

Season eight began including episodes with multiple characters trying to achieve a team goal, while Season 13 “Dream Bigger” follows “Made” hopefuls past high school into the real world, as they overcome moving across the country, breaking into professions and the intensified grind that comes from university life.

The interview process went as one might expect.

“There were about 50-60 people there; everyone trying out for things from dirt bikers to models, singers to skaters” Ibrahim said.

After waiting for up to three hours in line, the students walked in to the classroom to be interviewed by a nameless MTV employee. From the get go, he made it clear they were looking for three things: energy, personality, genuineness. Questions varied from interests to family life, and an assortment of others in attempts to detect the potential for great television.

“I thought the guy was really cool. It felt just like talking to a friend” said sophomore JJ Almeraz, an aspiring photographer who’s friends encouraged to audition.

Junior Deja Sanders initially intended to audition as a contortionist, but her mother thought actress to be a safer route.

“It’s weird to imagine my entire life exposed. People might find out I’m actually crazy,” Sanders said. “All they really want is drama.”

If a Carlsbad student does end up receiving the nod, he/she will operate in a whole new model. Rather than an episode dedicated entirely to him/herself, next season’s audience will witness the growth of the participants over the course of the entire season -showing excerpts from the variety of the stories each episode.

Releasing the story lines over the course of a season the program will harbor greater dedication from its viewers, requiring one to watch from week to week in order to find out whether cute little Cindy does indeed learn to dress better.

Though subject to occasional criticism, Made does present opportunities almost inaccessible to the average sojourner.

“In the end of the day, it was a good experience,” Sanders said. “You walk away having auditioned for a television show. I mean what did you do today?”

Walking past the line of eager students outside room 4005, one thing became clear. Each one had a dream. No, this alone does not make them unique–but each one had strode a step further. They had a dream and the tenacity to act upon it. Whether Made changes the life of a Carlsbad student, whether a student from Carlsbad is selected at all, the show still exposes one thing. People are still dreaming, working, wishing and hungry enough even to submit themselves to the judgment of a nationwide audience–if only to have the chance to have it Made.