Casting call: You, and the person you most want to punch in the face

Kyle Hopkins

Most reality shows come to Alaska looking for people working scary jobs, or getting arrested by troopers, or being a Palin. This one just wants to see you fight your dad.

A casting company for a major cable network will be in Anchorage next week, recruiting would-be boxers for a new show based on the city’s “Thursday Night at the Fights.” The hook: They want to film people settling personal grudges with a KO.

“It’s like 'People’s Court' in the ring,” said Scott Goldstein of Iconic Casting.

Maybe a former friend owes you money. Your husband's ex is driving you crazy or you want to fight your father, brother or boss. Goldstein said it’s all fair game as long as both people want to punch through their grievances on a nationally televised boxing show.

Participants will each receive two days of training before entering the ring for fights filmed July 23 to July 28.

Goldstein wouldn’t name the production company filming the show or the cable network it will appear on. “It’s a network that embraces this type of programming,” he said.

That doesn't exactly narrow it down.

Iconic, the Los Angeles-based casting company, is a regular reality show recruiter, farming contestants for series such as “Bridalplasty” on E! and “For the Love of Ray J" and "Flavor of Love" on VH1, according to the company website.

Unlike many reality series drawn to Alaska to showcase natural beauty and/or bearded weirdos, the show is filming in Anchorage because Alaska is one of the only states that would allow this kind of thing to happen.

There’s no boxing commission here, meaning no mandatory medical exams, no lengthy training requirements and no licensing of referees. As of 2011, Wyoming was the only other state without a regulatory body for boxing, according to The Associated Press.

Asked if that means contestants on the grudge-match TV show could seriously hurt themselves – two days doesn’t seem like a lot of time to learn how to take a punch – Goldstein said each fight will be well supervised under standard amateur boxing rules.

“If there’s any problems, of any kind whatsoever that any of our staff sees, the fight will be called," he said.

For now the show is simply called “Thursday Night Fights," but that title is subject to change, Goldstein said. The producers are looking to cast enough people for seven fights, which should generate enough footage for one or two half-hour episodes, he said.

“The show has already been pitched and picked up,” he said. It may eventually extend into a series.

Wanna-be fighters can visit the casting company website for more information, or attend a casting call 9 p.m. to midnight Friday, July 6, at Chilkoot Charlie’s.

Participants must be 18 years old or older. Men and women are welcome, with the winner of each match earning $400, said Goldstein, the casting producer.

“We’re meeting with anybody and everybody who has a grudge,” he said.

By Kyle Hopkins
Anchorage Daily News
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