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Wednesday, Oct. 4: I arrive at the Republic Gardens nightclub at 9:15 a.m. I meant to arrive earlier, but spent way too much time debating what to wear. I have come to audition for MTV’s The Real World, and I want to look hip. Auditions will begin at 10 a.m., and already about 75 people are standing in line, including some who spent the night.

“Are they finally picking D.C. as a city?” my roommate asked me the night before. She couldn’t imagine why else I would go to the open casting call for the fascinatingly bothersome show. Alas, no. The producers are not choosing D.C. as a site for next season. However, Washington hopefuls have had their turn as cast members for two seasons of The Real World’s sister show, Road Rules, and the producers have come to pluck from our tree again.

For those of you who missed it—or spent the last decade under a rock—The Real World is a show that takes seven young strangers, places them in an ubercool home, and gives them some insipid task to accomplish as a unit within six months. Meanwhile, viewers get to drool over their groovy digs and soap-opera-worthy feuds.

One would think Real World would have made the trip to Washington by now. I can just picture a show with Capitol Hill and National Institutes of Health aspirants mixed in with a Howard fine arts student and a Trinity freshman who plays the religious innocent. I think D.C. would be the best place to have RW11! I plan to say this to the producers in my audition.

Hopefuls on this oddly warm October day fill out applications outside the club, amidst the stench of piss and the din of urban radio, the latter courtesy of WKYS’s remote van. Questions include requests to describe “the most embarrassing moment” in our lives. The line starts moving at exactly 10 a.m. By 10:55 a.m., I finally get to the door, where my ID is checked to make sure I’m of legal age. I’m assigned a number—79—which is written on my hand.

The producers take groups of 10 people at a time for interviews. A functionary calls my number at around 11:45 a.m. There are three tables set up for each group. We have the misfortune of getting an appropriately cute interviewer who asks us only two questions: “Tell me something about yourself” and “What are you going to be for Halloween?” She tires of us after 20 minutes and suggests that we send in videotapes. Grudgingly, we are led out past the other two tables, which are full of folks laughing and having full-length interviews.

Will I get called back? I doubt it—the interviewer didn’t seem interested in anyone in my group. I guess that’s what happens “#when you’re in the real world.#” —Maori Karmael Holmes