Inside USD

Students Answer Open Call to be ‘Made’ on MTV

Monday, February 6, 2012

University of San Diego students were interviewed and shared a personal dream or self-improvement goal during an open casting call with Jay Lyons, casting producer for MTV’s “Made” television show, Friday afternoon in the Degheri Alumni Center.

Students who applied for this audition wanted to be “made” into a rapper, DJ, entertainment host, mixed martial arts fighter, comedians, surfer, stunt car driver, a San Diego Charger Girl Cheerleader and a Sea World dolphin trainer. One student said he wanted to learn dance moves like the late entertainer, Michael Jackson.

The three-time Emmy Award-winning show has 200 episodes to its credit and is geared to high school-aged teens. The casting call at USD, however, demonstrates that the show is interested in expanding its reach to young college students.

“I’ve watched the show a lot,” said Kara Stromsted, a sophomore history major and minor in German. Despite her fondness for “MADE”, she still contemplated whether she wanted to do the casting call. She filled out the application a few times, but didn’t submit one — until Friday afternoon. She brought a friend along, USD classmate Kaila Harris, who also participated.

Stromsted chose a self-improvement goal that enables her to do something beyond her reach, something that challenges her. “I’m awkward,” she said — “but in a loveable way,” Harris chimed in. Stromstead added, “I’ve been told it’s endearing, but I feel it holds me back.”

Perhaps going through the casting call means Stromsted is on the road to fulfilling her dream even if she doesn’t ultimately get on the show. “I’m glad that I did do it,” she said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Lyons said he was happy with the USD students he interviewed and indicated there was some potential. Friday’s casting call, though, is the first of many steps, he said, for those who make the final cut.

Jacqueline Cortes, a freshman from Brea, Calif., interviewed and her ambition and her priorities were noteworthy.

“Mine was to do something that ‘made’ a difference for others,” she said. “I was really involved at my high school. Now that I’m in San Diego, I want to reach out to high school students here. I know how kids are in high school, how they feel and how they struggle. I want to help them and make them feel stronger any way that I can.”

Cortes, who is contemplating potential major areas of study at USD, had a clear purpose for attending the casting call.

“I think if I can get (the show) into it my idea, I feel it’s a good way for this to reach a bigger audience and go well beyond just my circle of friends,” Cortes said.

— Ryan T. Blystone

MTV Made image courtesy of

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