Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Casting Call For Off The Grid Women

I was approached by a firm who is casting for a new documentary TV show about women and their families that are living or making the transition to an off the grid life.  I thought it was interesting and so here it is.  They can’t share all the details, but if selected there is compensation involved, so maybe that could be seed money for your own tiny house!

It reminds me of a great TV show called Frontier House by PBS where 3 families live on the frontier as if they were living in the 1800’s going westward.  While its not on TV, you can find on YouTube if you search for it.






  1. Well, I can’t think of anything I’m overly committed to right now, anyway. 😉 I went ahead and submitted an email to casting, what the heck? Wish me luck. ANd if anyone else here steps up for it – and makes the call – I’ll be rooting for them as a fellow Tiny House Blog -er! 😉


    • Good look JIPSI! I submitted one too! Fingers crossed. This sounds so exciting. I have been obsessed with all the mountain men shows it will be neat to see a womans prospective. =)

  2. I understand why you shared this and I appreciate it. So my remark is not aimed at you, rather this perpetuation of gender stereotypes in the media. They’re seeking “strong” women? Because those are the exception? I get so tired of this. References to strong female leads or characters reinforce the “weaker sex” myth.

    • Good point! And why is the producer only looking for females???

    • Well said!

    • Aww come on now, do we really have to be so PC that nothing can get said without the PC police making some comment? Lets get real, there are strong women, men, kids, people of color, animals….. I think you need to look at this for what it is and not read anything into it as that only perpetuates what you are complaining about!

      • Unfortunately a very typical male response, Roger. No, it’s a matter of having to name it before you can change it. If we don’t, nothing changes.

        • Dear Denise,

          I am as far from the typical male as could get. While I am very successful, it is largely due to the fact that I have several very strong women who help me run my business. My wife is both our CEO and LLC owner. I hold the patents. our web and business developer is a straight up gift from GOD ( also a woman) and most of our dealers are strong women. Although the final decisions end up on my plate ( God I hate that), I often go against my instincts and let the gals sway my end decision. Most often with much better results with their input. I have 3 stunning and very strong daughters and a grand daughter. I am blessed with 2 mothers (1 adopted and 1 bio) and numerous “moms” in my community. Most of my “sphere of influence” and much of my human contact in general is that of the female half, personally many men make me ill. My point to you was that by constantly picking on everything everyone says (which our society seems to have gotten in a bad habit of) simply prolongs the process of getting past these issues. The ladies here read our comments and really agree, they are proud of being “strong willed” woman. I simply could not operate this business without their strength. I applaud strong people who in turn become a beacon for others to be strong through example. Look up Dani Johnson (female). This is one of the best examples of someone who was “weak” at one time, but became strong through achievement. We are all capable of being leaders through our strengths……I believe that is what the “auditioning” was really all about.

          • You have a great group of women around you and are lucky indeed, Roger! Thank you for sharing your experience.

            We will just have to agree to disagree on calling out the gender bias, though. I strongly believe not to do so is to deny the truth…to sweep it aside and think it will go away on its own. We have seen that it does not go away. It gets worse. Women in the US, around the world, are under attack and are not seen or treated as fully human, much less equals, by many.

          • I am sorry I may have given even a hint that gender bias does not exist nor that it is getting worse. I am shocked at how many women voted for candidates who are clearly hurting women’s rights. I am shocked when I hear about books like shades of gray (which I have not read) and how some women really loved it, it makes me wonder. As a person who appears white but is half Cherokee I know about bias, we all get it. there are even times I wish my skin were darker, Many things said against white males are very hurtful, and really do not apply to me, however it still happens. I call it the finger point, by fingering you I get you to make noise which some how makes me feel better sort of thing. I believe that if we would just work together and celebrate our differences and strength we could all be less sensitized by what could be taken as incendiary, and could also be taken in a complimentary manner. I’ll analogize by a group of retired guys I know. they are so busy micromanaging “projects” that they never get past the “professional meeting havers” stage……nothing ever gets done. As a society we have become so preoccupied with being PC that nothing gets done. I believe this is by design of those who would profit from “conquer through division” tactics at controlling society. We need to rise above this by not giving up the power and energy to battle it head on, but by going around it and getting to what really can be done.

          • Well, as you point out yourself, you get to speak from a place of white (appearing) male privilege.

            It’s not a matter of being “too PC” or divisive, which is a lame excuse that’s always trotted out by those who aren’t the object of the bias and who are uncomfortable facing discourse and discord about it.

            Your remark about celebrating our differences even restates the bias here. Men are assumed to be strong, but strong women are the exception?

            Finally, simply try the reversibility test in this case. Would they have called for “strong” MEN and their families? No.

          • Honestly I am beginning to wonder if you are understanding me. By all means I do constantly look for the strongest in both sexes. When I sense someone may be hung on on issues just like this I tend to shy away from them because I fear they handle their whole lives this way. Looking through a microscope when a telescope would do a better job is one of humanities worst problems in my mind. When considering new dealers or team members I openly advertise asking for strong personalities and skill sets, what could be wrong with only surrounding myself with the best? Sometimes this means taking on someone who has never sold anything and helping them learn as they have other strengths I seek. Just my observation here, but I think you like to argue. God Bless and take care!

          • Another common tactic: trying to minimize and blame the victims of discrimination for being so “hung up” on it.

            Bet you don’t specify a gender when advertising/seeking “strong” candidates, do you? No, you leave gender out of it. You remain neutral.

            Which is my quite valid and basic point. Do not ask for strong women if you would not ask for strong men. Sexism and equality do not mix.

            This often takes extra work and attention — as it’s so incredibly culturally ingrained — but the media especially should be sensitive to it. AND called on it when they employ it however unintentionally.

            So if I’m arguing, what are you doing? Just discussing? Is that one of our “differences” we should celebrate?

            Oh, and please keep your blessing from that mythical being. I don’t need it. (Yet another common dismissive tactic: God bless.) Ticking all the boxes…

          • I would like this to come to a friendly end now.

            Good bye!

          • Yes! I sent this to my son ans his wife and to my daighter, both of whom are interested in it. I even sent in an email myself.

          • If I were you, Roger, I would just lay this one to rest and go on…

  3. I noticed the “strong female”, too, but I think I understand why they included that phrase. Most females you and I know are dependent in some way on someone else. It is true. Just look up the statistics. To find a female willing to pick up roots and move to nowhere and start over without the help of friends and family is rare. I have only met one or two really independent women in my lifetime, and they were held back by social tradition. This show is giving a woman with real guts a chance to start over from scratch, but I know from experience that it takes a lot of guts and stamina and shear will power to do this, and then most people frown on it. So emphasizing “strong woman” lets us know that they don’t want a quitter, a codependent, a timid, or unorganized woman for this project because it is going to be really tough going.

    • Marcia, I understand where you’re coming from, but please do not speak for me with “you and I know”. Frankly that is not my experience. Every woman I know is strong and the qualifier is insulting. We’re all strong in different ways, so perhaps they could have put this another way.

      • Sorry, but in my line of work, I deal every day with lots of weak females; many addicted to drugs, codependent on mates (especially abusive ones), reclusive, unwilling to work, etc. At 60 years old, and after having lived in several states and worked in several areas of public work, and with all races, I can tell you that there are indeed a lot of weak women out there (and weak men), and that “strong” does need to be a qualifier.

        • Now, can we get on with another line of thought?

        • But not an UNEQUAL qualifier. Again, do not ask for strong women if you would not ask for strong men. Sexism and equality do not mix.

          • It is their show. They can ask for what ever type person they want. This is not about equality, political correctness, etc. And by the way, again speaking from experience, people are not made by other people. People choose the situation in which they want to remain. They are npt “made”by other people.

        • And those “weak”, addicted, codependent, reclusive, stay-with-their-abusers women? Surely you’ve thought deeply about how our sexist, misogynist culture produces them. Good grief.

  4. For Pete’s Sake, this was a news story about an audition casting call for a new reality tv show in the works, it should NEVER have been interpreted as anything biased or oppressive or even sexist! I read every post here thinking to find AT LEAST ONE that got back ON TOPIC about the audition and casting prospects/procedures, and found… ZERO.
    Denise, I appreciate your trying to push the feminist movement ahead, single-handedly, but just as you remarked to another reader, who was only TRYING to be nice and peace-keeping, please don;t ‘speak for’ me or other women!
    Many of us are career-minded yet family-centered women, and even though my disability put me at a disadvantage these days, I consider myself a ‘strong’ woman. I have friends who would NEVER be considered ‘strong’ because they are, as another reader surmised, CHOOSE to be very ‘ladylike’ and would never in a million years desire to go camping over a dress-up dinner to show off their fresh manicure. This does not mean they are ‘bad’ or even co-dependant, it just means they are women who live a GENTLE LIFE!
    I believe, with all my being, that whoever used the wording ‘looking for strong women’ in the casting call for this never intended to start some firestorm of debate on the semantics!
    The show’s producers simply want to tell a story from a woman’s perspective this time, as there are plenty of shows already on tv that follow the ‘day in the life of’ men in various positions, be it running a pawn shop, selling guns, being an Alaskan State Trooper, etc.
    Wanting to select from and follow WOMEN, in the journey from ‘wishing’ to go the off-the-grid route, can be a choice, on their part, without it having to be some insiduous insult to women (or men!). Because women, FOR THE MOST PART, are not as ‘hardy’ or enthusiastic about hunting, for instance, and all of the camping on the rough details that a large number of women would be put off by, like having no indoor bathroom, no sink or mirror for washing/applying makeup, having to carry heavy loads of firewood, gutting/scaling/skinning a fish/rabbit for the evening meal, etc.

    SO the word they chose to use was ‘strong woman’ to encompass the above, for instance.
    Absolutely nothing prejudiced or sexist about that. It merely addresses what is ‘mostly common’.
    I’m a woman, and I LOVE my ‘creature comforts’, but, unlike a LARGE PERCENTAGE of women, I am entirely comfortable wearing NO MAKEUP, and very little to do with my hair, and I used to break and train horses, so am no stranger to getting sore and dirty.
    If I were NOT such a ‘strong woman’, I would not have sent my email to them.

    As for the men out there, disappointed that this was one of those (rare) situations they are to be left out of BECAUSE OF GENDER, they shouldn’t be. There have already been reality shows centering around men, and predominantly ‘men’s work/lifestyles’, that producers are scrambling to come up with something ‘different’.

    I think it’s high time a show could come along for WOMEN that was NOT one of those ‘typical’ women’s reality shows (as mother of a pageant contestant, a habitual clutterer/collector, fashion model wanna-be, etc.) but a premise that centers around the (physically, emotionally and psychologically) STRONGER version among women…

    And I cant, for the life of me, figure out what it was about Roger’s comments that got so many feathers ruffled in the first place. It needs to end. And I don’t need to be told to ‘step away’… please. 😉

    Now. Has ANYONE ELSE here submitted an email to these folk? Heard back? I sent my email out last week and have heard nothing yet, but I have MS (still more mobile and active than not, but boy does it affect my typing (fat fingers) and talking (tend to slur and stutter) and the fact I admitted that, in wanting to keep things honest and to assure them it was a challenge I meet and overcome DAILY so this kind of thing would be right up my alley – well… that MIGHT be reason enough for them to not even interview me.
    But as I said, if someone from here or another blog or two I subscribe to were to get on, I would be rooting for them all the way! 😉

    • My original comment express an opinion, in a very respectful way, mind you, that the advertisement uses the “strong” qualifier in a sexist way (however unintentionally) because it would not have been applied to men. IN MY OPINION. Which I am allowed to have and to express.

      Speaking of bias, there’s a lot of inherent bias here among those that have jumped all over me for making an observation and expressing an opinion, that shows just how culturally ingrained sexism is. It’s common, it’s accepted, so why make stink? Just go along to get along.

      On the other hand, maybe the extremely defensive reactions here belie the argument that I’m making too big a deal.

      If it’s not such a big deal, please consider the apparent need to jump all over me for expressing an opinion and defending it.

      • Just maybe both female and male com-mentors are hoping that you will join us in getting past this by seeing that your view is seen as sexist and some of your responses are quite offensive. In effect you are doing exactly what you are complaining about. You have been pretty aggressive and even insulting, this breeds a negative response, one where people turn away from what may well be a great message which deserves attention. Think for a moment about all the responses you got from both genders, might you have phrased yourself differently so as to illicit a more engaged response, one of a co operative nature. I can see that this is very important to you, and we all agree that you have a valid point. You however seem to be blind to the idea that every walk of life, both genders, gay people, white, black ,yellow, red…….we all get it, the world is not just picking on you. The whole thing needs remedy and that is the point. In a nutshell we as humans ALL treat each other like crap. Again I blame a system controlled by a few who benefit and profit from these deep divisions in society. By constantly calling attention we give that system the power of distracting us from growth while we lose more ground to this group as they gain control. It is playing right into their game. As far as your response to my saying GOD bless….you really went off the deep end of both insulting and down right mean ass rude. This is not the sort of personality most folks consider attractive and they shy away from.
        I sincerely hope you begin to see that there is a group of very spiritual people inviting you to look beyond yourself and find the magic of working together regardless of the differences in DNA,gender, color, background, financial status…..what ever. You have strengths I do not have and vice versa. By highlighting our strengths in a group we have much power. it can be used constructively or destructively. How do you wish to contribute to the world, and what feedback do you expect? Maybe look at your presentation……this is something I have had to do before people would hear my message as I used to really piss off most folks even though they agreed with many of my points

        • Reverse discrimination he cries! Projection tactic: check.

          And the God Bless thing? You might not like to admit it, but it’s dismissive (I want the last word, so you go away now) and patronizing. It got a deserving response.

          Also patronizing — and not a little bit creepy — is the assertion that their are a bunch of spiritual people here trying to help me “get past” MY issues and see it their way. (Shudder.)

          I stand by my original comment, made to the staff of this blog, who can ignore it, agree, disagree, tell me to get lost (which I’m about to momentarily), or even delete it. Thus far what they have not done is tell me that I do not have a right to that opinion or to defend myself.

          The rest of you who just couldn’t abide that? Well, you know where you can insert it.

          It’s been real as they say.

          • My most sincere apologies for your level of accepting others. You obviously know more that anyone else and again replied in hatred. I am glad this conversation is over, I simply can not stand your caustic manner.

    • Yes! I did! And I gave this info to my son and his wife and my daughter.

  5. Roger, You have been kind, patient, and more accepting than most. I wish Denise could see that, but she is on a far more serious subject. We can respect that. She argues the need for acceptance and tolerance, respect and everything else, but doesn’t realize she does not need to ARGUE these things here, or even to the staff (who, she rather oddly pointed out, have ALLOWED her to keep this train completely steered OFF TOPIC from the get-go). But her ‘opinion’ should have stayed a COMMENT, an opinion as such; your response to her comment was as vital an opinion of yours, as hers was to her. But she chose to go on the angry defensive, and therein lies the problem with open discussion boards: some people just don’t know when to quit.
    In my earlier post, I was all for everyone, much as a few others here have already tried to do, in short, ‘hug’ Denise and say ‘we’re fine, we’re all okay’, which she took offense to – MAJOR OFFENSE – and that’s where I felt this was not a gentle ‘comment’ she had made, but a crusade she is plugging all of her effort into, probably in many other blogs on the www, not just this one.
    It simply is not the time or place, here, for everyone to either jump on the bandwagon WITH her (which she took offense to) or ask her to ride it out (which she took offense to), so obviously it has to end somewhere, with hers being the last word.
    Apologies to Denise if this (and your prior post) took the ‘last word’ off the table. I feel I am entirely in my my rights to try to understand ‘all that’, while also trying to see discussion moved back to a subject that would encourage others to post, as well, say, on the article and its premise, itself? It would really be a shame if this whole ‘off the grid’ story got lost forever in the heat of a tangent debate. I, too, would like to see THAT all go away, and surely know I speak for others…?
    Finally, Roger, obviously I agree with you. I also agree with Denise. But I am so tired of the whole politicizing of every little detail, every little comment, or even the smallest actions, that I, as a modern woman, want to throw up my hands and say, STOP!
    Instead of endlessly talking about the best way (my way, your way ad nauseum) to get along, let’s just change the subject and GET ALONG ALREADY. 😉
    God Bless you, Denise. And I mean that GENUINELY, as this world needs its tireless Joan of Arc’s and Mother Theresa’s, because not all of us are that strong. I don’t even want to wonder anymore why that (as Roger’s) comment would make you so angry, unless you run into hostility and sarcasm too often. To that, please reread Roger’s beautiful response to your ‘last word’, above. He is obviously frustrated, and genuinely taking time to understand where you’re coming from, what it is you want from other readers here, and that is the mark of a gentleman, not ‘the enemy’.

    So… is anyone here even interested in the whole Off-the-Grid reality show this article was about?
    I’d like to think there is STILL room for THAT conversation/discussion here…. 😉

    • I am highly excited that one of our team members has made contact with the folks running this. She has a dream of living in her own tiny home and we fully back her desire to try this out. She is our web developer and has had to “pick up start over” on more than one occasion. She has been studying this subject in depth for several years and has helped bring our Kimberly Stove to success. I fully believe she is a good candidate for this.
      I wuld love to hear more stories and follow this to the end to see who (or how many) women are chosen to have this opportunity!

  6. That’s WONDERFUL news! So she submitted her email/interest (via contact info in the above article) and they responded?
    WHat’s next? Will they interview her further?
    Sounds like this will be right up her alley! I, for one, would rather see people who ALREADY have been planning/researching living off the grid be a part of this, than just a person who wants to be on a reality show (those who simply claim they’ll ‘do anything’), you know?

    • Thanks Jipsi

      Vanessa did hear back and whether or not she is selected they want her to do a feature on our companies off grid equipment and experience. Our products can cook, bake, heat, produce hot water and electricity all from a small amount of firewood. Mixing this with Vanessa’s numerous years of study and planning I think she has a good chance at doing this. Of course I am sure there will be numerous women who will be considered and I am excited to see how this unfolds…..of course I would vote for Vanessa but I have a biased opinion, LOL!

  7. I have no problem with the call for strong women. I’ve known lots of strong women and strong men and lots of weak ones and all stops in between. If you’re putting a series together you want to be sure the people stick with it to the end. And they aren’t just asking for women, they’re asking for “women and their families” so there could be men, women, children, annoying relatives, whatever. They seem to want to tell the story from the point of view of the women, so what? Neither good nor bad, just the chosen perspective. Too bad most of the strong women I know are too decrepit or too busy with other doings to qualify. Or still kids with the potential to be strong.

  8. Hello all!

    This is Ryan Mitchell, the owner of the website, I just noticed this conversation and wanted to thank you all for the conversation you have had. While I didn’t make the graphics or messaging, I just passed it along, I didn’t realize it would have be a source of such conversations.

    I will say two things on the matter.

    1. Please be courteous and kind to each other, even if you disagree
    2. Please note that I will enforce our comment policy as stated here: http://www.thetinylife.com/about-us/comment-policy/


  9. Ryan,

    I believe most of your visitors here embrace #1 wholeheartedly.
    As for #2, thank you, that’s good to know, so we can share it with others, as needed (or in the case of ‘new’ visitors/posters?), in the future!
    I think the ‘discussion’ just started off on the wrong foot.
    The opinion that initiated some …er… well… responses… seemed more like an attempt to START a debate on an issue that, although an important one, really wasn’t on its best ‘platform’ here. Comments *should* have been more involved in addressing the actual subject of the article, not the wording.
    But with every following comment and exchange thereafter, it became apparent one participant was simply on a wholly different ‘issue’ than others, and I think that may have been what made her feel ‘attacked’, or that her opinion was being disrespected? I’m just guessing.

    But I learned one thing from participating in and following the discussion here, and that was that there are some pretty great people inhouse who are not afraid to intervene when they see a ‘situation’, but are also respectful, kind, even PLEASANT, about ‘agreeing to disagree’.
    And for THAT, I am glad you chose to leave all comments intact (as opposed to doing an all-out scuttle), because Denise’s comment WAS (IS) important. As was everything that followed, as many of us here would like to think it ‘resolved’itself at least somewhat peaceably, with most here maintaining respect, civility and extreme understanding throughout.
    And THAT’S the mark of a GREAT discussion community. 😉

  10. Men are on average taller, weigh more, and have more testosterone than women. This makes them stronger. Deal with it Denise. Watch the olympics. You are in gender denial sexism. Cut it out. My husband is stronger than I am physically. BTW, are you a real person or a troll?

  11. Just to keep this thread alive and ON TOPIC, I also applied and received a call back. Once the screener spoke to me, we scheduled a second Skype interview that included my boyfriend. He and I have found land and are in the process of selling our house to move off the grid. The scoop from the screener was that this show is in an early, early development phase and they don’t know what direction they’ll go with it. Right now they just want to see who applies. We did our Skype interview last week and were told it could be a couple of weeks before we hear anything.

    • Angie, keep me updated with your progress!

    • Congratulations Angie and Vanessa! I, too, received a call from an intern who asked me several questions and seemed very interested. I haven’t been asked to Skype yet by the producers, I think because I told them I would most likely be on my own. Not so interesting to watch! Anyways, they did ask if I would be willing to be part of a group. I am almost 55 now and have wanted to make this move for the longest time. I hope I haven’t been crossed off the list yet. Roger, I am interested in your company and wanted to ask for a website to view, but after the sour direction the blog took….maybe now isn’t the right time. You are a gentleman and obviously proud of those around you and their accomplishments.

      • Hello Lynne and thank you very much for your compliment. I see no reason why I can not answer your question directly. You can google Kimberly stoves or go to www.unforgettablefirellc.com I am glad that it shows that it is my team and our mission that makes this product great, and yes I am very proud of all of out team members. It would be great to see Vanessa have a shot at this, but I am interested to see how this plays out no matter who is chosen…….it is just plain cool!

        Good luck to all who “try out” for this! We totally support things like this because the end goal highlights what we all need to think about, treating our mother earth far better than we have been, and empowering people to have control over their own lives, something not commonly talked about these days, I am glad to see this!

        • Thank you Roger! I definitely will view the website. I have always wanted to be part of something that contributes to the way we walk daily upon this earth. I wish I could find a job that would support me and contribute. Maybe, connections I might possibly make here will help with that. I would love to be a part of this, but wish the best to all chosen…may it make a difference in this world…someway…somehow…no matter how small it may seem, it will be one step in the right direction!

  12. Hi, just wondering if this cast call is still going? I emailed too, as I’m planning to build a solar cabin coming Spring on an little acreage in Saskatchewan Canada. (not even sure if it is also for Canadians)I’m a woman, 54 years old, widow. I hope to live self sustained on my acreage, by myself and my 18 year old son.
    I just noticed that all the comments are from last summer though. Not sure if people can still respond on the call.

Leave a Reply