Pretend to Be Young & Obsessed, Get on TV

I could have sworn I’d already seen this make the rounds, but now I can’t find reference to it.

If you’re a loyal fan of anime, manga, or comics and “appear to be between the ages of 16 and 28″, you could be on MTV. Here’s part of the press release:

Obsessed with comic books, anime, fantasy, or manga? Obsessed with cosplaying and attending anime conventions? Do your friends consider you a fanboy/fangirl? Have you ever missed work, school, or other important events to engage in role-playing or cosplay? Are you misunderstood by your family or significant other because of your loyal fandom? Anime Expo® 2009 and MTV Network’s “True Life” series wants to hear your story and is looking to cast three (3) individuals for an upcoming show.

Individuals must appear to be between the ages of 16 and 28 and must identify as a fanboy/fangirl. Interested applicants can click on the “True Life” link on the Anime Expo website to be part of this ground breaking documentary series.

True Life is a documentary series that’s been on MTV for more than 10 years. It chronicles the stories of young people in all kinds of situations, from global and political issues like war and natural disaster to issues of personal struggle like mental illness and family matters.

True Life is not a reality show. Our producers follow strict ethical guidelines and carefully avoid influencing our subjects’ stories. It is also not a news show — there is no host, reporter, or narrator. We allow our subjects to tell their own stories in their own voices.

Yet it’s ok if you lie about your age. And if it’s so much a documentary, why do they refer to it as “casting”? Eh, I’m just weirded out because it’s been running for a decade and I’ve never heard of it.


  1. I don’t think they’re asking you to lie about your age. They just want people that their audience will identify with, thus the appearance of being in their age range. If you’re 18 and you look like your 63, need not apply. I’m not saying this is a deeply meaningful documentary, mind you…

    At 24 Hour Comics Day this year at the Comics Bug in Manhattan Beach, CA (where I was drawing), casters/recruiters for Beauty And The Geek dropped by and spent a fair while talking to the store employees and others, looking for participants. As you can guess, they weren’t looking for Beauty.

  2. Oh, I hadn’t even thought of it the other way around when it came to ages. And thanks, that Geek call may have been what I was thinking of.

  3. I don’t see how it can be unbiased when they they specifically state that they’re only looking for the obsessed to represent a larger majority.

  4. You probably have seen this one before. They were sending out a press release back in August to various bloggers. I’m not sure how many took them up on it. I got a copy forwarded from the person who runs Comic Blog Elite.

    I’m surprised they’re sending out a new casting notice. I guess not enough people took them up on it.

  5. Rivkah Says: “I don’t see how it can be unbiased when they they specifically state that they’re only looking for the obsessed to represent a larger majority.”

    I thought they were only looking for the obsessed to represent the obsessed.

  6. I think Nat’s right. If you look like you’re the right age, why would they bother having you lie about it? Just don’t mention it. Much simpler.

    I also don’t think it’s fair to assume that they’re necessarily looking for a freak who they can hold out as a typical comics fan. A fly-on-the-wall documentary about a regular fan would be mind-numbingly tedious. And besides, it’s hardly in MTV’s interest to tell us that their documentary is about somebody LESS unusual than it actually is.

  7. I sure hope anyone being “cast” understands they will look how MTV wants them to look, and not hold their breath for a sympathetic or positive portrayal.

  8. P.S.: Johanna, did you know that “Manga Fox” (the ad appears on the right of my current screen) is a scanlation site? They’re not limiting themselves to titles unreleased in English, either. They have Naruto, for example.

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