If you've ever wondered how you get yourself cast on a reality show, in my case, they just showed up at my door. I was not an actor, and in fact I'd never been interested in child acting at all. I was a member of a music camp in Seattle, and I played in a group with some local musicians. I don't even know how CBS heard of this camp. A producer apparently wanted one of the kids in their reality show to be "Kid With Long Hair Who Talks Like a Hippie and Plays Guitar," so they contacted this camp and asked if anyone met the criteria, like they were calling around to pet stores looking for a certain kind of hamster.
"We dig the bandanna, but can you sign a waiver so we can get him a Phish tat?"
They were pointed in my direction, and after contacting my parents, they sent me a huge packet with a couple hundred pages of questions and waivers. The thrust of the questions was mainly whether I'd be OK with being recorded around the clock (we were kids; it's not like they could force us to stay on the show at gunpoint if we decided we wanted to bail out). But they asked political questions, too, presumably getting a sense of what each contestant would want a utopian society to look like, to get a good mix of (conflicting) personalities. And, just to make sure they would wind up with a group that would in no way live in harmony with each other, they advanced us to another round of testing.