Click here to bypass page layout and jump directly to story.=

UC Berkeley

University of California

Campus News







  Press Releases

  Image Downloads



Spring Break auditioners
John Bensley, standing, and Scott Macek, second from left, were part of a group of friends and strangers trying out for the leading roles of "Spring Break: The Movie." BAP photo
Filmmakers come to campus looking for a few good — but not too good — men

28 January 2003

By Bonnie Azab Powell, Public Affairs

BERKELEY - "Dude, we need a jock!" said one UC Berkeley student to another as they left a small conference room at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union. "Where can we find a jock?"

They weren't just looking for some muscle. On Tuesday (Jan. 28), the conference room was the site of auditions for "Spring Break: The Movie," the latest brainchild of reality-television mogul Mike Fleiss, and the students knew that only a diverse cast of characters would have a real shot at stardom. Fleiss, a UC Berkeley alum and creator of "The Bachelor," has sent his casting crew in search of the perfect group of seven to ten friends (mostly male, although a few female friends are permitted) to film going wild on a spring break trip to Mexico. Auditions are being held at UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Washington and other West Coast universities.

Frazier Bain and Kami Herrington
Casting producers Kami Herrington and Frazier Bain were hunting for the perfect diverse cast.

"We want a group first and then individual characters," explained casting producer Frazier Bain, who was holding court in the student union conference room. "We'd like it to be a mixed group of friends who have known each other a while, who are going to have a good time and have great camaraderie on the trip. And we'd like to have a few of the people you expect to have on a reality-TV show."

Like the Back-Stabber or the Babe? "Wouldn't hurt," he winked.

There was no shortage of athletic types. Upstairs in a holding area, seven male UC Berkeley students and a young woman they had just met awaited their chance to demonstrate their entertainment value.

Bernice Espinoza, a fourth-year polysci and mass communications major, was camped outside the audition room with her friends in protest of out-of-control student partying in Mexico. "It really offends me that people think they can abuse the laws of a country and get away with it because Mexico needs the revenue," said the Mexican-American.  

"I've been training for spring break all month!" boasted John Bensley, a third-year student who was auditioning with buddies from track, hockey, and football. Asked what exactly that training entailed, he admitted he was kidding.

Bensley's friend Scott Macek, also a third-year student, has never watched "The Bachelor." "I don't watch TV, period," he says. So does he just want to be a movie star? "No, I just thought it would be fun to go on a free trip with my friends."

Michelle Castell, a UC Berkeley senior who'd struck up a conversation with Bensley and Macek in the lobby and invited herself along as part of their audition group, was optimistic about their chances. "I just met them, but we're going to be friends. I make friends quickly," she smiled. "And I've had fun vacations every year — Paris, Turkey, Hawaii — so Mexico would be really cool."

Small problem: It's not a free trip. "We want them to have the same vacation they would have had if the camera crew didn't exist," said Bain. Apparently the production company will pay for some undisclosed costs, but the cast's sole remuneration will be watching their exploits on screen.

Callbacks for potential UC Berkeley contenders will be held Wednesday and Thursday, presided over personally by Fleiss, and the winning group of friends will be chosen in the next three weeks, as "spring break is closing in on us," Bain said.