February 12th, 2008
Neal Konstantini is the Casting Producer for Deal or No Deal. He's the guy you want to impress with your application and video tape if you want to be a contestant on the show! I was able to catch Neal in between tapings of the game to ask him a few questions about the casting process, and to find out what they're looking for in a contestant.
If you've ever wanted to play Deal or No Deal, here's the scoop!
Question: Hi Neal! I know my readers are wondering what criteria you're looking for when you're scouting for Deal or No Deal contestants.
Neal Konstantini: The number one thing we're looking for is someone viewers can root for. We want you to watch the show at home and hope that these people win. It's human nature to not want others to win, because you want to the be one winning yourself. But with this show, you do. You do want that person to win a lot of money.
That type of person, that's difficult to find. But we've had tremendous success so far and found lots of dynamic, fun, charismatic contestants. They're dynamic, all-American, interesting people.
Q: So when a potential contestant sends in an application, what grabs you?
Neal: Well, certain people just sit there and get in front of the camera and just speak. Because you have to send in a videotape with your application. We need to see your personality, we need to see an evolution as a personality comes out. Open up and be yourself.
We're looking for the person who doesn't care if they look silly, and puts everything on the line. We want to know your story, we want to know who you are. The people who get on the show are wide open. There's no mystery, they are who they are and they're able to share that.
Q: What's the worst thing a person can do in their application video?
Neal: Don't just sit on the couch, stare at the camera, and deadpan, "Hi. I'm Bill. I want to be on Deal or No Deal." You're showing us who you're going to be on TV. Don't tell us that you'll be much more lively when you get on the show - we want to see that on the tape.
We just shot an episode yesterday, and the young lady who was playing, her application tape was one of the best videos I've ever seen. And she didn't do anything outrageous, she just talked and smiled, and was so genuine. She was very happy and very excited about the opportunity.
I know you're a fan. I know there are 26 models on the show with cases, and I know there's a bald guy named Howie on the show. Take advantage of those few minutes on tape and talk about yourself. Don't waste that time telling me about the show or how much you love the game. We know that already, otherwise you wouldn't be applying.
Q: Last year you did that big contestant search, Deal on Wheels. Is there something similar coming up this year?
Neal: I don't want to give too much away, but yes, in April. We'll be doing a country-wide casting call.
Q: How many applications do you receive in an average month?
Neal: We get between seven and eight thousand applications every month.
Q: Wow! And how many people are working in the casting department to sort through all of those?
Neal: We have a team of ten people who go to all of the calls, and watch all of the tapes. We're the only show that guarantees that, if you show up for a casting call, you'll be seen. And if you send in a tape, someone will watch it and mark it and sort it. We had a casting call once where 12,000 people showed up. We were there from 7am until after midnight, but each and every one of those people had a chance to meet with us. The producer of Deal or No Deal (Scott St. John) believes it's important that we take the time to consider everyone who wants a shot.
Q: If someone has applied to be on the show, can they apply again?
Neal: We ask that you wait until a year after you've applied to send in another tape. It doesn't always work that way though. We've got a lady who, and this is only since we've been keeping track, has sent in 78 applications and tapes so far. We've got a ticker going in the office.
Q: Oh, you have to have her on the show!
Neal: Well you know, she's getting better. Maybe in the future.
Q: Okay, just for fun, if you could be on any game show yourself, which one would it be, and why?
Neal: That's a good question! I'd have to say 1 vs. 100. I love trivia, and I love the idea of beating 100 people to win a million dollars. I'm a little competitive that way.
Neal, thank you so much for answering these questions today. I appreciate your time!
Neal: Thanks Carrie, my pleasure.