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Diversions ARTS

If Southern-influenced singer/songwriters are your thing, then tonight’s co-headlining bill of Will Hoge and Jason Isbell at the 9:30 Club is just for you. Isbell, a former member of Drive-By-Truckers, brings his solo band, The 400 Unit, for what’s sure to be a down-home good time. Doors open at 8 p.m.; tickets cost $15.






Keeping it Real A casting director and former cast member give inside tips on how to make the best of tomorrow’s Real World casting call BY COURTNEY POMEROY Staff writer

Cat fights? Pregnancy scares? Random hook-ups? Racism galore? Apparently, that’s what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. And for some lucky university student, the chance to get real may be easier to get than ever. The grandfather of all reality shows, The Real World, is holding an open casting call for its 21st season at Santa Fe Café tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to see if this school has the next Trischelle, Puck or Dunbar. The Real World Supervising Casting Director Damon Furberg, who has been with the show since season 12 (Las Vegas), is an old pro at hand selecting exactly which potential cast members will be loved, hated or remembered forever (As a The Gauntlet All-Star, of course). Casting calls are held in group form,

with about 10 potential cast members at a table, Furberg said. But each casting director has his or her own style of questioning, whether it be party games or an open debate. “In a general sense, outgoing personalities do well on the show,” he said. “We look for things that make people unique.” Say, for example, occasional hallucinations as a result of past drug abuse (Isaac, from The Real World: Sydney) or a tendency to get into physical altercations with roommates (Trisha, from The Real World: Sydney)? “I think the No. 1 thing overall is charisma,” he said. Because girl fights are just oozing with charisma — or maybe that kind of thing is a result of necessity No. 2. “Certainly you’re looking for people who are gonna have something to argue about; I don’t think that’s any big secret,” Furberg said. “But … if all that you’re doing is casting seven really combative people who are gonna have conflicts with each other all the time, then all you get really is a bunch of shouting. And that’s not an interesting season. You need to see somebody learning their lesson, you need to see the apology and you need to see people forging friendships and falling in love.” But aren’t we forgetting the sa-

cred words of the show’s intro? Aren’t cast members supposed to stop being polite? Parisa Montazaran, a cast member from The Real World: Sydney, said she knows from experience that casting directors want to see some good old-fashioned roomie hate. “Completely, absolutely and totally yes,” she said when asked if she thought certain roommates were placed in the house just so they would fight. “[During casting] they asked my best friend what kind of personalities I wouldn’t get along with, and he told them, ‘Parisa is the anti-Barbie,’” Montazaran said. “And they put me in the house with vapid, shallow guys like Isaac.” But the question still stands. Is The Real World even remotely realistic? “It’s realistic in the sense that when you go to college, you have no idea what you’re gonna be set up with, you know?” Montazaran said. “I think because of the circumstances with The Real World, you’re kind of allowed more time to reflect by yourself, because you’re not distracted by school and you don’t have the option of escape, whether it’s television or going home to your family — which is the situation a lot of col-

lege kids have to go through. “I think that’s why they pick our age group,” said Montazaran, who took extra credits at New York University in order to graduate early, right before the show began filming. Initially she wanted to pursue a singing career, but before that took off, she got a call back from MTV. The decision wasn’t an entirely misguided step in her mission, however. In addition to her one-off performance singing with a Sydney bar band during a night out on the show, she is now touring and working on an album, she said. At least she is not helping to fuel another round of post-Real World reality shows. As far as advice goes for potential future cast mates, Montazaran and Furberg both suggest just being yourself. “Don’t try to, like, be a certain role, because they see right through that,” Montazaran said. “And make sure you are really, really OK with the idea of being yourself on national television.” And always remember one thing: “It could be a lot worse; you could be living in a third-world country,” she said. Perhaps, but some people might be willing to test that theory after a few months of living with Trisha.


An instrumental performance The University Symphony Orchestra offers its first show of 2008 on Saturday BY THOMAS FLOYD Staff writer

When the university Symphony Orchestra takes the stage Saturday for its first performance of 2008, the audience will not be treated only to some of the university’s top student talent — several highly regarded guests will also be on hand to showcase their musical prowess. Music director James Ross, joined by guests José-Luis Novo and Kenneth Slowik, will conduct the Symphony Orchestra as it presents a program that includes the works of George Frideric Handel, Johannes Brahms, Leonard Bernstein and Leos Janácek. “People should expect a wide

range of pieces in both style and time,” Orchestra Manager Mark Wakefield said. “It will be a good representation of the wide variety that the school of music — particularly the orchestra — has to offer.” Novo and Slowik will be featured as guest conductors because Ross is on sabbatical this semester and, therefore, is planning to conduct only a small portion of the show. Novo, a native of Spain who first met Ross in Europe, currently serves as the music director and conductor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Binghamton Philharmonic. He will conduct the second half of the program, which features Bernstein’s “On the Town: Three Dance Episodes” and Janácek’s “Taras Bulba.”

“It’s always great to have a conductor from the professional level and from this area work with students because it shows them what professional exposure is like,” Wakefield said. “[Novo] has worked with a wide range of ages and brings a wealth of experience at all levels, and that is something that can be very important when working with a student orchestra that includes different levels of experience.” Slowik, besides being a faculty member for the music school, is also the artistic director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society. Slowik’s contribution will be unique because he will both conduct Handel’s “Concerto Grosso in G Major” and play the harpsichord during the concert.

Because of their crowded schedules, both Slowik and Novo were unable to make several of the orchestra’s eight three-hour rehearsals. In their stead, graduate students conducted. “Not always having their conductors there requires a different type of focus for students, which is good preparation for what they would face in professional careers,” Wakefield said. The guest appearances, however, will not be limited to conductors — two accomplished soloists from the music school’s faculty will perform alongside the students. Violinist David Salness and cellist Evelyn Elsing will each play Brahms’ “Concerto for Violin and Cello in A Minor.” Though Ross will direct

OPENINGS FOR EDITORS OF STUDENT PUBLICATIONS Maryland Media, Inc., the independent publishing board for student publications on campus, is accepting applications for editorships for the 2008-2009 school year. The following positions are open: 1. Eclipse editor-in-chief (salary $2,000) 2. Diamondback editor-in-chief (salary $17,000) 3. Mitzpeh editor-in-chief (salary $2,000)

Application forms may be picked up in the Diamondback business office, room 3136 South Campus Dining Hall. Applicants will be notified of an interview time and date. The deadline for applications is noon on Friday, February 29, 2008.


Symphony Music Director James Ross and guests José-Luis Novo and Kenneth Slowik conduct the USMO tomorrow night. part of the segment, no conductor will be used during the solos from Salness and Elsing, as their performances will be solely depended on to lead the ensemble. For participating students, such as freshman music major Sarah Hamann, this concert has been a special experience because of the chance it gave them to work closely with their teachers. “It’s a nice change of pace and a great opportunity to see some world-class musicians right on campus,” Hamann said. “The program is really varied, so it will cater to a lot of different musical

tastes. While every concert we give is important in its own sense because it’s a culmination of a lot of hard work, this concert is going to be a special one because we’ve had the chance to work with our professors in a professional setting.” The Symphony Orchestra concert is Saturday at 8 p.m. in Dekelboum Concert Hall at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Admission is $7 for students and $25 for the general public.

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Keeping it 'Real'  

When an MTV "Real World" casting call was held in College Park in Feb. 2008, I was ready to find out what it would take for a University of...

Keeping it 'Real'  

When an MTV "Real World" casting call was held in College Park in Feb. 2008, I was ready to find out what it would take for a University of...