A self-confessed ‘old hag’ when it comes to The Block, Lucky Price has been working as a casting director on the hit reality show since 2010. That’s a whopping 11 seasons for those playing at home! In that time he’s seen thousands upon thousands of audition tapes. And it just so happens that casting for the next Block opened yesterday! So how can you stand out? Turns out the answer is simple… just be yourself.
“It’s all about trying to find people who can be their true self in front of the camera,” explains Lucky. “Some people spend lots of money making really fancy video submissions and don’t get me wrong they look fantastic and break up my day. But in the end my job is to see through all those bells and whistles and get down to the core of who these people are.”
One audition that is particularly memorable is that of Polly and Waz, way back in 2011. And while it wasn’t showy or overly-produced, it did see the future contestants think outside the box. “Their video was them in their car, driving around and interviewing each other,” says Lucky. “But every so often they would stop and collect hard rubbish from the side of the road. At the end of the video they got all the stuff out of their station wagon and put together a lounge room in a park! It was inventive and so lovely.”
Importantly, Lucky (who also cast The Block judge Darren Palmer for homeMADE way back in 2009) says not to be disheartened if you don’t get on the show from your first attempt. In fact Ben and Andy from last year’s season began applying in their late teens, but just needed – as Lucky affectionately says – “a little longer in the oven” before they were Block ready. “I met them four times before we cast them on the show. When I first met them they were so young and it just wasn’t feasible to give them the reins on a multi-million dollar property. However, what we found over time was they were tenacious, they kept applying for the show and they had absolute focus. They’re the kind of qualities we look for.”
While it may be hard to believe, Lucky doesn’t go into the casting process with a fixed brief in mind. “I’m not looking through the video submissions trying to find the bitch, the bimbo, the jock and the dweeb and then pit them all against each other. Some shows definitely do that but that wouldn’t work on The Block. This isn’t an elimination show, we’re hanging out with these people for three months, they can’t be cardboard cutouts.”
Think you’ve got what it takes? Apply for season 14 of The Block.