PDA

View Full Version : Be a Nerd Girl


DonRotolo
06-22-2010, 11:44 AM
I just got this from an IEEE newsletter:

Casting Call: Nerd Girls
MPH Entertainment, producers of the Emmy nominated, hit TV show "Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan," is now casting its new reality pilot, "Nerd Girls." Developed by IEEE Fellow Dr. Karen Panetta, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tufts University, the "Nerd Girls" brand concept builds on Panetta's initiative to encourage women to change their world through science, technology, engineering and math, all while embracing their feminine power. MPH, along with "Nerd Girls" partners Paola di Florio, Karen Johnson, Stephanie Davis and Dr. Panetta are beginning a nationwide search for talented female engineering and science students who defy stereotypes and have a multi-faceted life beyond the books. Women ages 18-23 who are interested in becoming a Nerd Girl are encouraged to visit www.nerdgirls.com for application and submission information. The "Nerd Girls" brand has received funding and support from the IEEE foundation.


Um, if you happen to be female and you are reading this, you're most likely qualified.

KelliV
06-22-2010, 12:04 PM
I've been working with casting agents and producers for reality TV shows for the last two years at school, if you are interested in applying to this show and would like me to look over your submission prior to sending it in please PM me, I would be more than happy to help you out.

-Kelli

wendymom
06-22-2010, 03:43 PM
Why is the low age 18 instead of say....15?

DonRotolo
06-22-2010, 05:57 PM
My speculation is that 18-year-olds can enter into contracts themselves. 15-year-olds need a parent or guardian, and are subject to different laws.

But I repeat that it is speculation.

BrendanB
06-22-2010, 06:06 PM
My speculation is that 18-year-olds can enter into contracts themselves. 15-year-olds need a parent or guardian, and are subject to different laws.

But I repeat that it is speculation.

And all of those different laws create problems for producers and such that it is easier to hire 18+ since it isn't that hard to pass off older teens as younger kids in high school.

JaneYoung
06-22-2010, 06:15 PM
This looks like it is targeted towards college age women to me. That's very cool. Although, I think it should say Nerd Women - not girls. It's hard to say this age group is a group of girls.

Jane

Madison
06-22-2010, 08:11 PM
Fill out an application and submit a photo?

Yuck.

Mikell Taylor
06-22-2010, 08:22 PM
I work with Karen Panetta (she runs the IEEE Women in Engineering magazine) and have met some of the original Nerd Girls. Assuming this new reality show follows the same formula as the original program at Tufts, the show casts college-aged female engineers, but the audience is middle or high school students. The types of projects the Nerd Girls work on require at least some basic college-level engineering education, so I'm guessing that's the motivation for the age range.

I definitely encourage anyone who's interested to apply! I think this would be a blast!

Chris is me
06-22-2010, 10:55 PM
Fill out an application and submit a photo?

Yuck.

To be fair, any performance gig on any level in the entertainment industry requires a photo. I don't exactly get the feeling that they're doing it for formalities' sake, though.

RyanCahoon
06-23-2010, 01:54 AM
Fill out an application and submit a photo?

Yuck.

To be fair, any performance gig on any level in the entertainment industry requires a photo. I don't exactly get the feeling that they're doing it for formalities' sake, though.

I totally agree, but to be fair as well, we're part of a program that creates a sports(something we're trying to de-emphasize, according to Dean Kamen)-like environment in order to promote science and engineering. How much different is it to create a Hollywood(also on Kamen's list of overhyped parts of our culture)-like environment to promote science and engineering? To a certain degree, if you want to convince people to change, you have to connect with something that is significant to them as they are now. Unfortunately.

--Ryan

Chris is me
06-23-2010, 02:04 AM
I totally agree, but to be fair as well, we're part of a program that creates a sports(something we're trying to de-emphasize, according to Dean Kamen)-like environment in order to promote science and engineering. How much different is it to create a Hollywood(also on Kamen's list of overhyped parts of our culture)-like environment to promote science and engineering? To a certain degree, if you want to convince people to change, you have to connect with something that is significant to them as they are now. Unfortunately.

When we adopted the sports model, we've used Gracious Professionalism to try and leave the worst of the model behind. I don't think we need to wholly accept the looks are everything, thin is the only way in in order to get a Hollywood presence, if that was what we were after. At least, I'd hope not.

ajd
06-23-2010, 02:38 AM
When we adopted the sports model, we've used Gracious Professionalism to try and leave the worst of the model behind. I don't think we need to wholly accept the looks are everything, thin is the only way in in order to get a Hollywood presence, if that was what we were after. At least, I'd hope not.

As television is a visual medium, looks - of the characters, of the scenery, of the action - are part of the effect of the production. I'd imagine that many producers feel that the effect of an actor's looks and how well that effect fits the actor's role is an important part their casting decision.

yodameister
06-23-2010, 05:23 AM
The photo will also help the producers put a name and face together in addition for them to create a look that they are looking for for the show.

JaneYoung
06-23-2010, 07:22 AM
Assuming this new reality show follows the same formula as the original program at Tufts, the show casts college-aged female engineers, but the audience is middle or high school students.

The intended audience may be middle or high school students but who is to say who the actual audience will be? Some of us recently voted in a competition for Barbie's next career. Look at the website (http://www.barbie.com/vote/). See any similarities? There is a lot of potential with a concept like Nerd Girls. At this point, it is showing some of the sameness that we, the viewing public, are used to. Barbies. Hopefully, the show will be innovative in helping girls and women break out of the Barbie mold that is shaped for them and about them.

Jane

KelliV
06-23-2010, 08:45 AM
My speculation is that 18-year-olds can enter into contracts themselves.

You got it, it also eliminates the need for a stage teacher, release forms, limited hours on set, and the chance the parent will pull the child from the show.

Fill out an application and submit a photo?

Photos help ensure diversity, although your photo is not as important as your video entry. It is more to match the application with the video. It is also usually used should there be an online voting section to see which girl gets cast. Basic head shots are usually acceptable, I wouldn't put to much clutter in any type of photo.


Generally when casting for a non-talent-based reality show (something other than American Idol or X-factor) there is a type of person that they are looking for that is used in the pitch.

Madison
06-23-2010, 10:32 AM
The intended audience may be middle or high school students but who is to say who the actual audience will be? Some of us recently voted in a competition for Barbie's next career. Look at the website (http://www.barbie.com/vote/). See any similarities? There is a lot of potential with a concept like Nerd Girls. At this point, it is showing some of the sameness that we, the viewing public, are used to. Barbies. Hopefully, the show will be innovative in helping girls and women break out of the Barbie mold that is shaped for them and about them.

Jane

Jane's touched upon the part that most disappoints me about this program.

Instead of demonstrating to young women that there are alternative avenues of success that do NOT rely on unrealistic expectations of beauty, body type or an ability to own designer clothes, these folks are piling those expectations in front of the important stuff -- changing the world -- and sending a confusing message.

What does this concept demonstrate, exactly? Is it that engineers can be normal people, too? Is it that it's possible for women to be intelligent and remain desirable?

Maybe I just don't get it.

JaneYoung
06-23-2010, 11:36 AM
When MythBusters came out, it was clear from the start that the show was going to be fun, interesting, and nerdy at its best. Dirty Jobs is a show that you know is going to be dirty and nerdy and eww. There's a trust there built in from me - a woman who doesn't trust what tv is capable of doing with manipulating stereotypes in exaggerated and ridiculous ways. On MythBusters, I typically learn something and I have a respect for the hosts. They present themselves as charming and intelligent nerds, making science, technology and how things work = cool.

It would be incredible to have a trust like that in a show that features women who are nerds. It would be incredible to have a trust like that in a show that features women who are nerds and are role models because of their interest in science, technology, and math for young children watching the program at home. I know a few women/role models like this and the important thing is - so do the students on our team, other students, and the folks that have the opportunity to meet these women.

Jane

Andrew Schreiber
06-23-2010, 12:29 PM
What does this concept demonstrate, exactly? Is it that engineers can be normal people, too? Is it that it's possible for women to be intelligent and remain desirable?

Maybe I just don't get it.

Wouldn't both goals be desirable? I know that I am constantly fighting the stereotype that you have to be "smart" to be interested in engineering. Showing that engineers are just every day people would be extremely beneficial. As for the second possible goal, have you seen Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs? If you haven't I suggest you do. Either way, in it the lead female character, a weather girl, is actually quite intelligent but acts dumb because that is the only role that is expected of her. I have heard some stories from a friend of mine that during high school another student asked her why she was in a physics class by saying, "Why are you here, girls can't do physics?" I am proud to say that he was smacked, multiple times (and she hits really hard) for his ignorant statement. And for the record, this young lady is currently studying to be an Electrical Engineer at KU, many of you have probably met her if you come by KU's booth in Atlanta.


As for having to submit pictures, I'm sorry, it is the same as submitting a resume to a job. For television work your looks are an asset you posses.

DonRotolo
06-23-2010, 08:19 PM
Hopefully, the show will be innovative in helping girls and women break out of the Barbie mold that is shaped for them and about them.
Is it that engineers can be normal people, too? Is it that it's possible for women to be intelligent and remain desirable?
Yes, and yes.

A concept like "Nerd Boys" probably wouldn't fly well (although Mythbusters isn't far from that) simply because of the stereotype that boys can be nerds. Or, said another way, the average Joe thinks of males when associating the term "Nerd". (There are plenty of similar examples)

So, having something against the stereotype automatically generates interest. After all, the idea is to get enough viewers, which causes advertisers to want to advertise, which pays the bills. Interest = viewers.

Now, the directors and writers can spin this several ways - pretty blondes can have fun "making science", or "These females are easily as competent and valuable as any male doing the same things". I'd think something more towards the latter, or risk the rightful wrath of viewers.

So the end result is Engineers get more respect for their profession, Women get more respect for their abilities, and Women Engineers/Scientists get more respect and the opportunity to inspire kids who might never have considered STEM as a career.

As for looks: It's TV. Of course one needs to look reasonably attractive. But I agree with KelliV, the producers are looking for diversity, which increases appeal (and viewers and advertising and...)




(That's why I started this thread. I think engineers are cool. Regardless of gender)

gren737
06-24-2010, 07:52 PM
What if you can pass for an 18-23 year old?? :p
we won't discuss the fact that my birthday is in less than two weeks and will make me officially old.


I mean the judges still stop me in the pits to ask me about the robot....

Akash Rastogi
06-24-2010, 08:57 PM
Why couldn't they just call it "Intelligent Girls?"

I don't get it.

Also, call me whatever you want, but I am of the opinion that there's a difference between someone who is "intelligent" and someone who is "nerdy." I'd rather just watch a group of intelligent people doing something interesting on TV, instead of somebody branded as a "nerd."

+.02

RyanCahoon
06-25-2010, 12:12 AM
Why couldn't they just call it "Intelligent Girls?"


Just saw this on LadyAda... [Smart Girls at the Party] (http://www.smartgirlsattheparty.com/video/video/show?id=5802461%3AVideo%3A213). Starring Amy Poehler, so it's a little overplayed at times, but still gets the point across.

--Ryan

Akash Rastogi
06-25-2010, 01:49 AM
Since I wouldn't have been able to write something this eloquently, I found what I wanted to say by someone on Baker's wall. I'll leave it anon.

"This whole website just feels incongruous to me. The words are great... smart is sexy, and brains are beautiful. I'm all in favor of women feeling empowered to change the world. The problem for me is that the pictures don't match the message; there's a lot of sexy on that page, and it is wholly unrelated to smarts. Taking a bunch of women who are doing great work with science and engineering, and dolling them up to appeal to male fantasy, seems so regressive."

.

Nica F.
06-25-2010, 01:55 AM
I do understand where everyone on this thread is coming from, but its television and whether or not they're casting based on how smart/talented/good looking you are it seems that their purpose of sending in the video/picture combo is to see how it is "to be you" and how you are balanced into both nerdy and girly at the same time [(which is what is portrayed in their little promo video on their website). In addition to all the things that Kelli has presented in detail that makes complete sense]. Which to me is great because I feel like in a video I would be able to really portray my personality in opposed to an essay explaining why I fit their criteria.

As for all the comments about the name of the show and gender stereotypes and such, I don't know why we're nitpicking because you guys, its a reality television show, they know what they're putting across. Whether you like it or not, its what they feel the target audience is gonna wanna watch (why is it that way, I don't have the answer so DON'T attack me on saying that). Maybe you're not in that audience.

With all that said, I'm going for it for funsies. Don't have anything to lose. I like what they're trying to put across because to me, they're saying pretty girls can be smart too and smart girls can also be attractive (in personality, appearance, or both). *shrug

Alex.Norton
06-25-2010, 02:59 PM
Why couldn't they just call it "Intelligent Girls?"

I don't get it.

Also, call me whatever you want, but I am of the opinion that there's a difference between someone who is "intelligent" and someone who is "nerdy." I'd rather just watch a group of intelligent people doing something interesting on TV, instead of somebody branded as a "nerd."

+.02

I always hate it when people choose to use the term "nerd" as a negative. I will say that I'm more that just an intelligent person, and the best way to sum up those aspects of me is as a nerd. I love to read sifi, a significant portion of my free time is spent coding, I regularly engage in table top role playing, I find this hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrfpnbGXL70 ... this list goes on. And yes, I'm proud of how nerdy I am because this is what sets me apart from people who are merely smart.

The problem that I have with this show it that it looks like another show that is trying to be cool and edgy, a format that has been combined with nerdy building shows too much recently. I think what made MythBusters (what seems to be the standard for shows of this type) such a success is that it has never tried to be classically cool. Yes, they have the slightly more than occasional (alright very frequent) gratuitous explosion, but from what I see they never tried to appeal to the masses.

Nerd girls looks like its going to try and appeal to the crowd that hears robot competition and immediately asks the closest nerd to build him a battle bot. Regardless of how smart the girls on the show are, the content will be too watered down by the time I get to see it to be of any interest. While it could get some kids interested in a technical field, it feels like a greasy used car salesman selling a product that is oversimplified and looks much flashier that it actually is.