Many people ask me about how to land their own ghost hunting TV show. The reality is: it’s not impossible, but be sure you really want to invest your time, energy, and enthusiasm in it.
Ratings for many ghost hunting shows have declined over the past decade. As of late 2016, even “Ghost Hunters” has ended its long tenure on SyFy.
So, I can’t pretend that ghost hunting TV shows are great opportunities, even when they’re offered.
Today, few networks or production companies will sign anyone new to star in a ghost hunting TV show. (You may have better luck if your ghost hunting videos have been successful on YouTube.)
First, decide why you want to have your own ghost hunting TV series.
If you think stars of ghost-related TV shows are well paid, think again.
Many of them probably earned less per hour than they would working at a fast food restaurant.
Most of my friends who star on paranormal TV shows… they never quit their day jobs.
When they’re not filming, they work at normal jobs, just to pay the bills.
A one-hour TV show can involve up to two travel days, then jet lag when you reach the site, followed by two or three days of filming.
After that, you’ll analyze the evidence, and film the reveal. That will require additional days. With all of that completed, add another day or two to return home.
In other words, while it might sound great to be paid $500 for a one-hour TV episode, you might need a week or 10 days to complete just one episode.
You’ll often film shows back-to-back. No days off.
- Expect to work seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. That may include Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc.
- You won’t get time off for your mom’s birthday or your child’s school graduation.
- Even if you’re miserable with a stomach bug, you’re still expected to show up on the set and act as if everything’s fine. As they say, “the show must go on!”
Is fame that important to you? If so, here are my suggestions:
Look for casting calls for existing ghost hunting TV series. (HARO can help.) See if you can get on just one show, even for 5 minutes.
Use that 5 minutes to your advantage. Treat it like an audition. You should seem so interesting, producers will want to include you in future shows.
When your particular episode is about to air, make sure people know that you are on it. (Check your contract to be sure you can talk about the show.)
Also, you should have your own website, and it should look terrific.
Have you been on two or three ghost hunting shows? If they haven’t called you back, get additional exposure on non-paranormal TV shows. Look online for casting calls. Anything on camera is good. Get work as an extra if you must.
Plan your networking carefully. Earn the respect and interest of both the cast and the production company. However, the cast rarely have much input into the show. Impress the filming crew and any producers on the set. They might be involved in scouting and hiring.
After you’ve been on three to five TV shows, start looking for a theatrical agent. You’ll have enough experience for an agent to promote you as a future star.
This can take months or longer. Attend ghost-related conferences with presentations by casting agents and producers. You’ll learn more about breaking into TV. You may also make a connection that leads to work.
Never forget that this field is full of overeager ghost enthusiasts who’d do almost anything to be on TV. Many of them are pushy and obnoxious. Most seem almost oblivious to the realities of working on TV… until they’re actually on a TV show, that is.
Then, they can’t voice their disillusionment because they signed a non-disclosure agreement.
Distance yourself from starry-eyed and self-aggrandizing aspiring stars.
Stand out as a confident professional. That’s the best way to hear from more producers than you’d ever want to talk to. Really.