CABS ARE HERE. Image: Getty

“This’ll be fun, we can talk a lot of smack,” SallyAnn Salsano, self-identified Guidette said at the start of our rollicking conversation about her reality show empire that includes Jersey Shore and the forthcoming and insanely entertaining (sorry!) Winter Break: Hunter Mountain. I am happy to report that she was correct.

Salsano’s work is legend amongst connoisseurs of the genre. Jersey Shore and its various spinoffs are some of the best examples of the reality docuseries, in part because of the casting. Real people who are willing to be their real and true selves on camera, Salsano said, are the key to success. The secret? Trusting the people you’ve cast to just be themselves, and making sure they trust you.

“In general with reality TV, it’s someone who’s honest about who they are,” she said. “We all have good days, we all have bad days, we’ve all gone to the bar..and been like, ‘Ugh, that wasn’t the best night of my life,’ and you know, this morning, waking up and having a BLT and regrets for breakfast. You just kind of need to roll with it.” The ability to do this with as much grace as the situation affords, without trying to be someone else, is what she looks for—and it’s what makes her shows the best in the business.

DirtCast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, NPR One and iHeart Media.

Thanks to SallyAnn Salsano, Hazel Cills and Julianne Escobedo Shepherd. Our show is produced by Levi Sharpe. Mandana Mofidi is our Executive Director of Audio. Our theme music is by Stuart Wood. This episode was mixed by Jamie Collazzo.