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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 7:46am

Searching For Swamp People

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 10:22am

Open casting call held for popular History Channel reality show.

The History Channel is looking for their next big swamp star, and they may have found that person in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Casting directors held auditions for the third season of "Swamp People" at Prejean’s in Lafayette all day Tuesday.

Dozens of people were at the auditions, including folks like Jude Miquet.

His favorite hunting grounds are right in his backyard.

“There’s nobody as swampy as me. I live there. I live on a house boat,” he says.

The swamp savvy Louisianan makes his living killing gators, and he’s caught a few big ones worth boasting about.

“I called this one Godzilla,” he says, pointing to a photo of an almost 13 foot alligator. “It was 12’11’’. It was on the verge of 13 foot, but I’m not going to say it’s a 13 footer until I kill a 13 footer.”

Now, he’s got his eyes on an even bigger prize, an opportunity to “choot ‘em” on TV.

“I just want to show people what I do,” Miquet says.

He’s been hunting alligators for six years, and he’s caught more than 450.

He says most of the time he does it all by himself.

He joined lots of other men and women, all vying for a chance to share their stories on the show that has captivated the nation.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience to show different people how they live and how all of us live in south Louisiana,” says "Swamp People" star, Elizabeth Cavalier Choate.

Some of the folks trying out for the show, like Douglas McNabb, hoped to show something different on "Swamp People."

“We’d like to see more than gators caught,” he says. “Snakes, snapping turtles, any fish. We even went frogging two nights ago.”

Others, like Lester Jarreau, say they’d prefer to stick to the traditional catch.

“Alligators have been a symbol of Louisiana for hundreds of years,” he points out.

And what is the casting director looking for? Jason Skwares says he’ll know it when he sees it.

“We just want all the interesting characters, interesting stories, and folks are making a living off the swamp in some way. Come out and meet us and you might just be right for the show,” Skwares says.

Show veterans remember when they were recruited for "Swamp People."

“I was very nervous,” says Choate. “My knees were knocking, but actually the casting crew were very down to earth.”

“Just be yourself. Be yourself. That’s what they want,” adds gator man Bruce Mitchell.

It’s advice folks like Miquet plan to follow, hoping to make it big in the bayou.

“You cannot tell me that I’m not living the Louisiana lifestyle. This is me. This is what you have,” he says.
 

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