It's past 8 p.m. at Newby's on Sunday night, and it looks like no one will show up at the casting call for Party Down South, a new Jersey Shore-style reality show for the redneck set. That is, until multiple-personality county mayoral candidate Leo Awgowhat walks in sporting a shaggy ZZ Top beard and a T-shirt bearing a Rebel flag and pot leaves.
A few minutes later, Nashville country singer Morgan Mills walks in the door looking suspiciously like a taller version of Jersey Shore's Snooki. Mills even has the signature Snooki eyeliner and Bumpit hair.
Awgowhat and Mills fill out applications and do on-camera interviews with casting directors from Doron Ofir Casting, the same company responsible for casting MTV's Jersey Shore. A team of casting directors is traveling across the South over the next few weeks, seeking out folks who love muddin', frog giggin', keg parties, barbecue, and all things Southern.
Rain Halcumb of Doron Ofir Casting says they're not tied down to the Southern stereotype, however.
"When you go anywhere, there will be stereotypes," Halcumb says. "But not everybody who tries out is stereotypically Southern, and they still have great things to say that makes for great television."
Halcumb isn't allowed to divulge too many details about the show, but she says it will be a documentary-style show similar to Jersey Shore. She said her casting company isn't privy to details about when and where the show will be filmed. Casting director Josh Allouche said the show would likely be a four-week commitment for those cast.
If cast, Mills said she'd probably be the show's "fun, pretty good-girl."
"I'm crazy and wild, but I don't get wasted. And I don't sleep around, but I have just as much fun," Mills says.
When asked what he would bring to the show, Awgowhat says he'd bring along his imaginary friends Timmy and Bob. The eccentric candidate carried a small plastic rooster and a set of brass balls into his interview because "if you're going to run for county mayor, you need a pair of brass balls and a tiny little cock."
Doron Ofir Casting will choose their favorites from each audition, but 495 Productions will make the final cut. The casting company also accepts mailed audition tapes from those unable to attend a live casting call.
"We've gotten some great tapes so far. I wish I was living in the South and goin' muddin'," Halcumb says. "It's a different lifestyle, and that's why the production company wants to do this show. They want to show a little slice of Americana to those people living on the East and West coasts that don't get to see it."