GW students vie for spots on political reality show

Media Credit: Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Photographer

Senior Lana Robins placed in the top 10 in a national community service competition. GW came in first among all athletic departments across participating NCAA divisions.

Updated: April 12, 2016 at 12:04 p.m.

You’re probably used to turning on reality TV and seeing the faces of the Kardashians, but soon enough you may see the face of the kid who sat behind you in a political science lecture last semester.

That’s right – a new reality show is casting five to six D.C. college students or recent college graduates who will be mentored by a government lobbyist. Casting began for the show two weeks ago and will be finalized by the end of the month.

Zig Gauthier, the show’s producer, said the show focuses on young people having a career on Capitol Hill. He said he has been looking to hire students in the D.C. area – tapping into fraternities, sororities and political student organizations at D.C. colleges.

“Everyone has an opinion about the candidate, everyone has an opinion about the debates, and it’s just great to see that there are so many people out there in this young generation that are politically engaged and want to participate in a project like this in which they can continue being politically engaged,” said Gauthier, who is also a producer on Dancing with the Stars.

Gauthier said the show will resemble a “documentary about young political activists that want to make a difference.” He declined to name the network on which the show will air.

To apply for the show, candidates must have “outgoing, dynamic” personalities and a “passion for politics,” Gauthier said. They also must submit links to their social media accounts and a short summary of why they would be a good fit. He said he will interview top candidates before flying to D.C. this month to meet them.

The L.A.-based production company INvelop Entertainment has been working on the show since January. Gauthier said the time it would take for the show to air could be “as little as three to six months and as long as two to three years.”

Freshman Swetha Kareti, an international affairs and political science major, said she found out about the show from an email on the College Democrats.

She said if she were to be cast on the show, she’d want to bring attention to issues she cares about like criminal justice reform, women’s access to healthcare and climate change.

Kareti, who wants to go into advocacy when she graduates, made it to the Skype interview casting round and, despite giving what she deemed “not TV-appropriate answers,” was invited to do another round of interviews.

“There was a question they asked me, ‘What do you think of lobbyists?’ and I responded and said I think they’re very crazy – I don’t know why you’d ever want to become one,” Kareti said. “Then I pull the most GW thing and was like, ‘Oh, upon further reflection I realize I could actually learn a lot from the individuals.”

Freshman Brooke Johnson, who is in the military reserves and found out about the show through a military group on campus, said she applied to be on it because of her passion for politics and interest in solving income inequality.

“Personally, I do want to be in politics one day,” Johnson said. “I feel like because I am biracial, I can relate to multiple groups of people, and I think by having someone like me on the show, it would allow me to reach out to more people.”

She added that she would be interested in seeing the work lobbyists do.

“It would just be interesting to see what they fight for and value, so I feel like it would be an experience on all aspects,” Johnson said.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly spelled Swetha Kareti’s name. The photo caption is updated with the correct spelling. We regret this error.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.