Everyone has a story. To fully appreciate some, you must dig deep, while others can be understood and immediately loved on its very base layer. Some stories are sad, some are uplifting and some just make you shake your head in disbelief. Not everybody’s story is worth repeating, but for some…their story just needs to be told. This is how I feel about this season’s cast of Big Break.
Coming off the production of my last Big Break (Big Break Sandals Resorts) I felt that from top to bottom, the cast was one of my favorites. I mean, how can you not love a cast that features Sara Brown, Carling Coffing, Lili Alvarez and Seema Sadekar (just to name a few). However, for as much as I enjoyed working with them and putting together a TV series based on their experiences during the course of the competition, I still felt like something was missing. What was that missing ingredient? Story.
That being said, the Sandals cast was not completely devoid of intriguing storylines (Ryann and Maiya’s “rivalry/renewed friendship” from their UCLA days, Lili playing to represent Mexico in Lorena Ochoa’s LPGA tournament, Sara nearly quitting golf before being chosen to compete in the series…. The only thing was, all members of the cast were basically the same age and were competing on one of the major women’s mini tours (with the exception of Chris Brady, but she had just recently retired from the “mini tour life”). Sure, they had their individual stories, but they were all basically wrapped up with identical wrapping paper. Always trying to continually improve the series, this got me thinking about how we should go about casting the next series, Big Break Indian Wells.
Upon completion of Big Break Sandals Resorts post production, the Big Break Dominican Republic team was just returning from the shooting of their series, with the casting focus for that season being abundantly clear. Cram every outrageous personality/fan favorite from past seasons into two houses and watch the crate of dynamite explode. Now, being an “outsider” of sorts during that production (I was not involved in that season), I was immensely entertained at the “guilty pleasure” aspect of that cast. I liken it to being hungry and reaching for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. They are delicious, enjoyable, and satisfy an immediate craving, but when it comes down to it, they’re really just empty calories with no nutritional value…but damn are they good! If Sandals was a collection of good storylines presented in similar packaging, Dominican Republic was a compilation of crazily entertaining soundbites that may have lacked a bit of nutrition. So, when faced with the all important task of who the next Big Break cast would be comprised of, we took stock of our “nutritional content” over the last few years. There was one ingredient that we had been neglecting for some time: Story.
Our main goal for the casting of Big Break Indian Wells was to put together a collection of guys with 11 different stories to tell, all completely packaged in their own personal wrapping paper. We still did our open casting calls at the men’s mini tours, but we put a much higher concentration on the online applications this time around in order to find those especially unique stories. This season’s cast reflects this approach. Sure, there are still a few out of the 11 that have significant mini tour experience, but for the first time in a number of seasons, the majority of the competitors are just regular guys with a great golf game who just need a break.
Everyone has a story. Eleven are about to be told.
Don’t miss your chance to meet the players and see what is in store for this season of Big Break by watching the preview show of Big Break Indian Wells Sunday, May 8 9PM ET only on Golf Channel.