News & Politics

Local Casting Call for HGTV’s “All-American Handyman”

Attention, all handymen and women: HGTV wants you to be Washington’s next reality TV star.

Photograph by Flickr user tiffa130.

The HGTV reality show All-American Handyman, going into its third season, will for the first time hold an open casting call, and Washington is one of six cities where casting agents plan to do auditions. Women should not be put off by the title—female contestants are wanted, too. Imagine Project Runway for the Home Depot crowd: Cast members compete with one another and face elimination; the goal is to be the last handyman standing, hammer in hand.

Jennifer Sullivan, the program’s casting director, who also casts for the Food Network, says she loves to come to DC to cast shows. “It’s a great, great market. Huge city, huge population . . . a lot of people who are interested in design and food.”

Producers and casting agents will hold the casting call on Saturday, January 28, from 10 AM to noon at the Westin City Center at 14th and M streets, Northwest. Sullivan says each would-be reality star will get two to three minutes to chat with the casting agents. Those who make the cut will be called back the next day for more-intense judging, including actually having to do something handy. Sullivan expects anywhere from 50 to 150 people to show up.

The Washington candidates who make it through that round will then go to New York for the final casting call, where they will be judged against semifinalists from LA, Atlanta, Denver, New York, and New Orleans. The final 10 to 15 contestants will begin filming the show in April, a three- to four-week shoot in an as-yet-undetermined location. (Room and board are covered.) The ultimate winner will walk away with a $20,000 prize package that includes a development deal with HGTV.

In previous years, the casting was done by video. This will be the first time the show uses an open call. The casting website has more details.

What kinds of skills are they seeking? “All types,” says Sullivan. “People with a lot of skills when it comes to handyman jobs, from carpentry and woodworking to plumbing and electrical. The guy who just knows everything in the house, women who work in the industry or who happen to be the one in the marriage who is handy.”

We’re guessing star quality helps, too.