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‘Doomsday Preppers’ casting director aims to be prepared, too
Monday, 28 May 2012 19:22

By JOHN NORTH

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BLACK MOUNTAIN — Brooklyn Bagwell was among those operating a booth at the Sensible Mountain Preparedness Seminar on May 4-5 at Ridgecrest Conference Center here.

She also is a Marion native who recently graduated from East Carolina University and joined the National Geographic Channel’s “Doomsday Preppers” television show as a production assisant.

Months later, she is the casting director. While in Black Mountain, she chatted with the preppers passing by — and passed out applications for those who might want to be cast on a future show. Her mother, Tabitha Bagwell of Marion, stood proudly near her.

“No, I’m not a prepper, but I’m going to start” to become one, the casting director told the Daily Planet during a May 5 interview. “It’s hard living in New York (City), but me and my friends” deal with it as best they can.

As for the “Doomsday Preppers, Bagwell said with obvious pride, “It’s the highest-rated show” in the history of the National Geographic Channel.

She noted that, while the show appears on the National Geographic Channel, she is employed by Sharp Entertainment, which actually produces “Doomsday Producers.”

Bagwell said she always had wanted to “do TV,” so she did an internship. After college, she took the job as production assistant.” She stressed that the show already was in its formative stages when she joined. “They’d already done the pilot, when they brought me in.”

In casting for the show, Bagwell said she does most of the work by interviewing people over the telephone.

Brooklyn-DSC 0491

Brooklyn Bagwell, casting director for "Doomsday Preppers,"

is from nearby Marion. 

For the first season, which has been completed, 12 episodes were filmed. For the next season’s production, which is about to begin, there will be 15 episodes filmed, she said. The second season will start sometime in September.

As for the criticism by some viewers that those who are cast on the show are setting themselves up for danger from those watching and learning of their plans and fortifications, Bagwell said, “We definitely respect the rules of operational secuirty.” Besides, she said, “It’s all voluntary.”

She added, “People think we’re making them look extreme and paranoid. We’re not ... I don’t think anything I’ve seen is too crazy.”

When pressed further, Bagwell said that having “underground bunkers” might be a bit over the top. Then again, she later noted that one of her top desires with the show is to “go on a shoot at an underground bunker,” just to satisfy her curiosity of what it would be like.

As for strange experiences in her career, she said she was with a prepper who chopped off a chicken’s head and a pig’s head — and she joined him in eating the pig’s tongue and the chicken’s brain.

Also, during the first season, she joined a prepper in eating bugs for sustenance.

One of the things she has learned — and followed — from working with preppers is to “always carry a bug-out bag with you,” she said with a smile.

Bagwell emphasized that she believes most preppers are highly intelligent and among the most aware of what is happening around them.

“A lot of preppers are engineers,” she noted. “Preppers are preparing” for emergencies, which Bagwell said is smart. 

“They don’t take anything for granted, while most others (in America) just live day-by-day,” oblivious to everything outside their immediate orbit, which she considers risky behavior.

 



 


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