Today I’m beginning to publicly express my interest and obsession with being cast on SURVIVOR. Ever since the very first episode appeared in 2000, I was hooked. At the time, my first child was 1 year old and I was the new owner of a small family business. Needless to say the timing was not great. I had to settle for obsessing over every contestant, every challenge, every episode and every season. Finally, ten years later, and one kid later, after years of strategizing and fantasizing, I would have the opportunity to audition. In October 2010, I flew all the way from New Hampshire to Texas for my first open casting call. The experience was memorable and really made me think about how to approach future opportunities. Since that first time, I have attended 5 additional open casting calls from Miami, to Pennsylvania, to Massachusetts. I have submitted 4 audition videos, going back to the Sears Fan Favorite contest. The most recent being a video submitted to be considered for Blood vs. Water. My personal goal for 2015 is definitely to get the attention of Lynne Spillman (the casting director for the greatest show ever) and/or Jeff Probst (the best TV show host ever of course.) and to get on and win SURVIVOR! I won’t be able to live with myself if I am not at least somewhat memorable though, maybe on last name status with Jeff, because as every true fan knows, if he really likes you he calls you by your last name. This blog is intended as a way to channel my efforts, showcase my obsession, and share my passion with other super fans of the greatest show ever, all in the hopes that one day, I will have the opportunity to show the world my game on Survivor.
Open Casting Call -I Made it on Live TV!
So, I made it home to New Hampshire after a long day at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Over 700 people came out to audition for Survivor! This is the largest turnout I have seen in years and the local CBS folks did a great job. They kept plugging away and vowed to film as many auditions as possible. I was fortunate to be #266. I arrived a bit after 9AM and filmed around 2PM. It was a 5 hour wait for 60 seconds to plead my case to the casting folks that hold my dreams in their hands.
During the wait I tried to soak in the experience. I got to know a senior in college studying Marketing, a retired NYC cop that does not like to fly, crazy dog lady (that wasn’t so crazy) and a hair model that yells “POW!” when he removes his shirt for a photo shoot.
While waiting, I was selected (I jumped at the chance) to be part of the live TV coverage on WBRE.
(link to the TV segment below)
I don’t know if the casting folks look to see the news coverage, but my thought is you always have to be ready for that moment. It is one thing to prepare for your 60 second interview, it is another to be confident enough to hop on camera and give your pitch on live TV. So there you go, those are my thoughts. To any casting people who might have stumbled across this blog, put me on the show!! I’ll look damn sexy on that island.
Open casting call Mohegan Sun PA
Over 500 people and counting! Drove down from NH with my survivor casting call friend Lauren Matuszczak. There is a great Survivor energy in the room. Sitting for hours in line next to a crazy dog lady and a young boy that is a hair model… If I can find ways to relate to these guys in line I can do it on the island. I didn’t convince anyone to leave this casting call, but that’s a story for another time. I was on live TV earlier and I’m ready to go in and shove my story in the casting people’s faces. I can feel it. 7th times the one.
Survivor Super Fan Shout Out – dōmo arigatō misutā rosu – Dalton Ross
A Super Fan has to appreciate THE Super Fan – Dalton Ross. After 30+ seasons, he brings back Survivor Talk! I absolutely loved this! It is a chance to hear questions asked that we all wanted answered as we watched the season unfold. The guest hosts were great and the humor was right up my alley. Hosting both Stephen Fishbach and Ciera Easton together was a stroke of genius. I also love that he embraced Francesca Hogi, as Survivor is about all (or most) contestants. Getting to learn that Andrew Savage admits they should have split the vote, but out of exhaustion simply did not… it shows how brutal the game is both physically and mentally, yet pushing through exhaustion is often the difference in determining a winner.
I will speak to you directly Dalton. From Survivor Super Fan Rob, you get a pat on the back and an Attaboy! dōmo arigatō misutā rosu!
Survivor Super Fan Shout Out – Terry Deitz
A new feature on the blog is the Survivor Shout Out. This is intended to sing the praise of a contestant (or host). It may be for something epic (like dramatic double idol playing by Parviti Shallow in Heroes vs. Villans). It may be quote that perfectly summed up a situation (Jeff Probst “We brought back a quitter, and got a quitter again” speaking of Colton Cumbie in Blood vs Water).
Today’s post is a Survivor Super Fan Shout Out to Terry Deitz, The Challenge Stallion. I am currently re-watching Survivor Panama – Exile Island. I am amazed at his ability to beat the young studs at all the challenges. It is not only his considerable athletic ability, but his compete level. I think often, the male eye candy look physical, but a true athlete has the desire to win that will make the difference most every time.
Also not to be discounted is his appearance in Survivor Second Chance. Deitz was in a great position in the game but still put his family first and rushed to his sons side when he was needed .
I will speak to you directly Terry. From Survivor Super Fan Rob, you get a pat on the back and an Attaboy!
Who is Rob Folz??? Equal parts, Penner, Tyson and Laura M.
So winner Survivor takes more than physical ability…more than scheming and mental toughness…more than social skills…Winning Survivor also requires a certain amount of luck. I think being cast on Survivor takes a bit of luck as well (tho I believe you need to put yourself in position to get lucky – you can’t just wait for luck). They could love an applicant, but not have the needed spot for a given season. Maybe they have too many people from California (almost a given in my opinion), too many bimbos/mimbos (less now than they used too), too many people with life experience (old people – tho age is trending higher in recent years).
One thing I enjoy (and I believe Jeff enjoys) is quick witted folks. Not only are they quick to speak and usually with humor, but they tend to speak before thinking. Think Tyson getting up to hug Katie in Blood vs. Water and instead telling her where her seat on the jury awaits. Jonathan Penner was very quick to verbalize in an intelligent way how he viewed a situation. I feel i share this “gift” or better to call it a trait, as it can be quick to bite you in the ass. I am not on the level of Mr. John Cochran, but I tip my cap to him as maybe the best orator to date.
Where does Laura M fit in? After rewatching Blood vs. Water, she was a challenge beast! While winning most competitions, she wasn’t afraid to make impulsive decisions to help determine the 2nd place winner in the duals. I see myself doing exactly that. It angered Vitas to no end, but I personally would have butted heads with Vitas from day one and would have worked to get his ass out too.
So I can cover the New England requirement (while at my true core I am always a New Yorker). Successful, father, mature in age (less so in behavior), SuperFan, athletic and competitive, sarcastic, but above all else, I play to win. As some necker race car driver once said, 2nd place is just the first loser.
Casting Direction – Brains, Brawn, Beauty – Can I suggest a forth tribe???
So, as we prepare to watch the coming Brains, Brawn, Beauty season of Survivor, I thought it appropriate to provide the casting department with a little help. It must be difficult to sift through the masses of Survivor wannabes and sort them into categories. Past blog posts have helped paint a picture of me (See who the hell is Rob Folz). But if you are already planning a BBB 3 season, where do I fit in. Well, let’s start with Brawn…nope. It’s been over 20 years since the word brawn would be said around me if ever at all. Beauty??? Well, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder….or there is someone for everyone…I am not ass ugly. I am reasonably attractive for a middle aged man….so maybe put me on the “reasonably attractive for his age” tribe. That leaves us with Brains. This is the closest fit, yet I do not even have a college degree. I am smarter than a lot of people. With that said, I find most people are fairly stupid. Can I suggest a “smart enough” tribe? Maybe it is best to wait for White Collar, Blue Collar, No Collar (I am all sorts of White Collar). Blood v. Water? I have multiple intriguing partners ready to play with me. Most appropriate would be a Fans v Favorites. I am definitely a SuperFan and would love to play against the Favorites. If you need me to be Brawn, I will need a good 6 months notice. I think I would tone up well. I think I have a great body….it is simply covered with 30 pounds of fat.
What do Mike Tyson and Cambodia have in common???
I know this is a post title that may leave the younger generation scratching their head a bit, but the key I believe to being successful in the ever changing game of survivor…adaptability. I have spent many years dreaming, scheming and preparing for my chance to play the greatest game ever. I do believe my time obsessing will benefit me, but it will not allow me to enter the game with a plan that I anticipate working. At best, if lucky (luck is another key to winning), my plan will get me off on the right foot. Whether day one is a tremendous success or I am quickly on the outside of the numbers, every moment I spend fulfilling my dream will require adaptability. Today’s well laid plan needs to be evaluated, tweaked, and abandoned as the other contestants move, adjust and realign. I think this is something I bring to the Island. I believe all the preparation and study of the game will help me identify paths, pitfalls & opportunities. Sometimes being old enough to recall a famous quote from an athlete years ago can be just the advantage one needs. Everyone starts day one of Survivor with a plan…just as every fighter has a plan when they step into the ring.
Mike Tyson – “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Less is more….A small lesson from this seasons winner
This season, this outstanding season brought us returning players. Not only had they played once before, but many have waiting years for another chance. That is a lot of time to study the game, think and rethink decisions, and prepare for their 2nd chance. There is so much to take away from the season and we may find the game has had yet another evolution. One of the biggest messages to me is “less is more” and by this I mean less talking. By withholding the pending birth of his son, Jeremy was able to drop the news at the final tribal council cementing his victory. By not revealing two idols to others he was able to keep the target off his back and play them at times of his choosing. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to be trapped with the same people with so many hours to fill in the day and not divulge the new baby announcement. I believe if he did leak it, it would have reminded players to not let the “good guy” get to the end. This would go doubly for a season when the Jury is made up primarily of his peers and not Spencer’s peers. Sorry Tasha, but I don’t think you had a chance. Personally, I feel if you have to get “saved” while in the water, you are ineligible to win the title of Survivor failing the “Outlast” portion in a big way. I am happy for Jeremy and his family (which is why you don’t let him get that far in the game). It is too easy to give money to someone that likable. I wonder if this will be a reminder not to bring the family guy to the end…Rob & Amber put targets on all future couples…has Jeremy done the same for the good family man? What I do know if to hold the title of Sole Survivor, you MUST be able to hold your tongue! I welcome your comments fellow Survivor geeks. Opine below!
Cambodian Tummy Aches – parasites, pathogens & disease vectors!
This post is from what we have seen, what you can learn from Ponderosa & Survivor Talk (shout out to Dalton Ross and his umbrella!) and my experience as a Science Photographer. We have seen the nasty bites, the nasty Hobbit feet (Stephen Fishbach), and #gastrointestinaldistress. We witnessed a tremendous effort by Joe Anglim at the immunity challenge only to see his body fail him at the end as his legs gave way and he crashed to the ground. What we learned on Survivor Talk was that Joe was sick the whole day and night before. A “bug” was known to be going through camp and contestants were avoiding drinking from the same containers. While Cambodia’s beaches look stunning and pristine, it is the things you cant’s see that could ruin your game and your health.
For the past 15 years, I have taken thousands of scientific photographs with many of them being photos through the microscope. These photos have appeared in science textbooks, medical advertisements and medical journals. So how does this help me? Why should anybody care? Well, it makes me keenly aware of the risks in far flung corners of the world. It means I have a pretty good understanding of the medical risks faced when roughing it. I tend to lean a bit towards being a Germaphobe, so I would be anal about boiling the water and keeping a clean camp and eating environment. It shows I have a tremendous attention to the tiniest of details as well as the ability to recognize and opportunity (taking & selling science photographs) and the drive (15 years of technical & often tedious photography!)
The bites all over Stephen’s feet appear to be from the Sandfly (Phlebotomus papatasi).
It is said they are nearly transparent (when not viewed at magnification as seen in the photograph taken by the CDC) and smaller than a mosquito. It is said their bite is slight and often you don’t even know you are getting eaten alive until 12-24 hours later when your feet erupt in sores. Not only do the Sandflies bite, they are a disease vector transmitting Leishmania parasites. Contaminated drinking water could have Giardia lamblia, a parasitic Protozoan causing nausea, fatigue and the shits.
Roundworms, Flukes and parasitic Protists oh my… Hookworms, Flukes and parasitic Protists oh my…(assuming you got the Wizard of Oz cadence… Strongyloides, Schistosoma and Trypanosoma oh my…
What about some good old fashioned malaria transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito or Yellow Fever from the Aedes argypti mosquito or African Sleeping Sickness from the Tsetse Fly.
All of this adds up to a lot of obstacles on your way to one million dollars! Maybe it means wearing your socks throughout the day and running around like a black-footed ferret (sorry, I have no ferret photos) even if it looks a little silly. It certainly means not drinking water that has not been boiled which brings us back to my ability to make fire from bamboo (see earlier post).
Survivor Auction – Sometimes less is more
Here is a plea from me to Probst. Let’s see a throwback auction in an upcoming season. No advantages, no love letters, nothing but food. While re-watching Season 2 Australia with my daughters this week (I re-watch all the Seasons to share with my youngest who is now addicted, but also to study the game) I enjoyed the simple food auction. All the players were able to pool their money allowing alliances to be revealed, new connections to be made, and something as simple as peanut butter and chocolate that brought Elizabeth Hasselbeck to tears. Producers would have to make it clear prior to the start that it is food and only food. The simple joy of watching Erik Reichenbach pay $40 to lick Cirie Field’s fingers….Priceless!