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JD Roth Interview (pg. 2)

JD Roth both hosts and produces the hit Discovery Kids show, Endurance.
Courtesy of Discovery KIds

Sindy: Do you have any tips for kids wanting to apply for the show? What makes a good contestant?
JD Roth: Well, they should definitely send tapes in cuz we are always compiling for the next season. I think the type of kid to be on Endurance is someone who's not afraid to, on their tape, share their life - someone who can show us their personality, someone who has something of value to offer. Who you are, what your interests are, what your passions are. To me, passionate people are really what make the world a better place. So if you're going to do a tape and you're going to audition, be passionate, make the best tape you can possibly make. Don't just set up a camera and say, 'I really wanna be on your show cuz I think it's neat.'

Sindy: If you were to have an All-Stars Endurance, who would you ask to come back for sure?
JD Roth: Sabrina for sure. Monroe. Wow. I'd have to sit down and look at some pictures. I would love to do an All-Star Endurance. The problem is, the kids grow up. I mean, the kids from the first year, a couple of them are in college now. That's the only difficulty with doing something like that because it would be great to do.

Sindy: How did you get involved with the game show industry?
JD Roth: The way I got in was when I was 19 years old, I auditioned for a show called Fun House which was a kids' game show and it was supposed to be 22 episodes. I was in college at USC and it ended up being 170 episodes in the first year. And by the end of the first week, it was the number one kids' show in America.

Sindy: Did you ever think you would pursue acting?
JD Roth: Well I started out as a child actor. What I found growing up and once I got Fun House, was that I could just be myself as a host, and I was like, 'I'm good at being me.' I realized that in this town, the talent pool is so deep that unless you are willing to give your life over to being an actor, it's very difficult to succeed. And even when you give your life over, you could very easily wake up at 40 and have no career at all and no source of making an income. And I really didn't want to be apart of that. So I tried to make my own future. And the acting thing, it's a lot harder to make your own destiny.

Sindy: You had the opportunity to work with Ashton Kutcher on Beauty and the Geek, what's he like?
JD Roth: Oh, great guy. He's smart and he's funny and he really understands that it's not just show, it's show business. People forget that side of it, everyone thinks it's just show. And he, like myself, understands the business side of it. Everybody wants a future and Ashton is very aware of [kwlink]extending his brand[/kwlink]. He's a smart businessman. He's been a fun guy to work with, we really get along - we talk on the phone, we email - it's a very rewarding relationship.

Sindy: What do you think are the pros and cons of reality television?
JD Roth: The cons are that I feel there are people out there who aren't interested in keeping the integrity of doing something that's real. Another con is that the image of reality television is that we're sort of bottom-feeders of the television business and that scripted is where the real integrity is. And I don't agree with that. I think in the future, scripted departments are going to turn to guys like me who can tell a story in a unique way, for a new kind of storytelling technique.

The pros of reality TV is you can create an idea, and very quickly you can see it come to life. You can cast the show and you can really make something that's special, like a Biggest Loser, which is such a special show. Everyone has this concept in America that you can make a good person on a reality show look bad and you can make a bad person look good - that's impossible. You can only make a bad person look worse and a good person look better. And anyone who thinks that it's different, doesn't know how to make a reality show.

Sindy: Alright, so do you ever see yourself working on a sitcom or movie?
JD Roth: Definitely. I think that's the natural progression of what we are doing. But I am so enjoying what I am doing now. It's not as if I stay up at night going, 'I wish I could do...' It's not like that at all. Everyday I can't wait to get to the office and I love the shows that we do.

Sindy: What other shows are you currently working on?
JD Roth: We're doing Beauty and the Geek 2 right now. We're in the middle of delivering episodes of Breaking Bonaduce, which is on VH1. We're in the middle of editing Endurance 4. And we're in the middle of editing Biggest Loser 2. Beauty and the Geek 2 will be on the air in January. The contestants are great - we start shooting on the 10th of October. It's a really great cast and we have some interesting twists and turns that'll make it different to watch.

Sindy: What reality show would you go on if you had the opportunity?
JD Roth: That's a good question. I would probably go on The Apprentice. Not because I want to work for Donald Trump, cuz I don't. But, I feel that the business side of it is interesting to me and I think that would be a fun show to be on. But ultimately, as silly as this sounds, I would probably choose Endurance. I think it's so great to have that time and space to think about your life and where you're at. And then compete and try to find the endurance to survive. I love when you can push yourself mentally and physically.

Sindy: Have you ever been mistaken for Seth Green?
JD Roth: All the time. Except here's the difference - Seth Green is about 5'2" and like 100 lbs soaking wet. And I'm 5'8" and like 150 lbs. We actually grew up together in the same area and he and I used to ride the bus together into New York for auditions. I just saw him recently and we always laugh about it cuz he's like, 'If one more person tells me I look like you...' and 'I'm like, If one more person tells me I look like you...' So we've joked about that for years.

Sindy: Do you have any celebrity crushes?
JD Roth: I would say that my real crush is on my wife, but obviously I'm not dead, so there is something about that girl from Lost. I think she is probably the best looking girl on television. I don't even know her name. The one with freckles, there's just something about that girl that definitely does it.

Sindy: Well, JD, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today.
JD Roth: Of course. It was great talking to you!

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