A blog to document my passion and ongoing efforts to be cast on Survivor

Leave a comment

Open note to Lynne Spillman

So it is 9:15PM Wednesday, November 4, 2015 and I am tired…  I am sleepy and have been all day. Why might you ask?  Because I woke up at 4am today.  Why did I wake up at 4am? Well Lynne, because I had jelly legs!  I had made it past the merge, onto individual immunity and I was racing on the beach. It was near the end of the challenge, my legs went to jelly and I lost my lead before waking with a startle.  Yes Lynne, I am a (somewhat) grown professional man, and I had a “bad Survivor dream”!  I did the only thing I could under such circumstances – I have no one to comfort me and hold me, and tell me it was just a bad dream.  I have never been a “self soother”.  Nope, I got my ass out of bed and hit the stair master!  The only way to avoid my weak leg concerns is to be as prepared for that chance as possible.

Now, I have had many Survivor dreams before.  First day on the island dreams (good dream!), walking into a challenge to find out it I have to cling onto a totem pole (BAD DREAM!), tribal council dreams and snakes and rats (Worst!).

Anyway, I just thought I would share.  If you enjoy casting the Super Fan (Shirin, Penner, Eric), look no further.  If you enjoy casting the person that will fight for every second that they are on the island, and give the game 110% even on the 5th day of rain in a row, just call me up.  Who the Hell is Rob Folz?  I am the guy that woke up at 4:15 because of Survivor!

Leave a comment

If I had to earn a living with my hands…I would starve!

I can’t claim the title of this post as a quote of mine.  This one is from my father a highly successful business executive, and later in life, a business owner.  I do feel like I know where to point to when I note my own lack of “blue collar” genes.  As an IT sales person and a 15 year small business owner (as a science photo agent), I cannot point to my resume and find any shades of blue.  The fact that I can point to a resume definitely rules me out as a “no collar”!

I have long made my living with my mouth and my brain.  I have spent the better part of 23 years running a business, or selling in an office environment.  Until as recently as 2 years ago, I had never built something(successfully), grown something, moved things, or embraced the manual labor world.  No issue with it, it just wasn’t my thing as many of my friends could tell you. If I look back at Season 30: World’s Apart, where contestants were divided into 3 tribes based on their work background or lack thereof…  tt is hard to say that I related to any of the white collar folks.  I feel like they lacked the personable sales executive (this is what I believe I am).   A real people person.  Closest to this I would say was Carolyn.  She had some personality and had a successful game.  In a hyper environment where cast members are identified by collar type, I think it intensifies the stereotypes.  Blue people become the loudest form of themselves, and I imagine I would play right into the conflict that creates.  No collar people become…well…they are what they are.  Don’t understand them so I will not try to sum them up here.  I respect blue collar workers…don’t want to switch colors, but I can respect people that work that hard each and everyday.

At the end of the day, I know who I am.  I own it and I rather like it (whether other people like it or not is another story).  Blue collar folks work hard.  It is the working hard AND working smart that I think defines the white collar.  I would say that as a white collar I think outside the box, and a blue collar tends to try simply to move the box.  Applying this to the game of Survivor, I believe I approach a challenge by observing and listening to the instructions. However I tend to think of other ways to complete the needed tasks or to be successful.  Most people tend to follow the “rules” where I look at the needed outcome and try to think of creative and more efficient ways to achieve these goals.   Don’t get me wrong, I think I am plenty tough(again, I THINK).  I am not afraid to mix it up with anyone, but I will find an advantage…I always do.  I hope this doesn’t offend anyone as I truly appreciate all you bring to the world….and I may need your vote!

Leave a comment

Mirror, mirror on the wall…who’s your favorite Rob of all???

You can do a lot of research to prepare for Survivor, but many have said, ”you are who you are”. They even say you are an intensified version of yourself.  So going in, an advantage is to have some skills, some traits that are already you. You should go in recognizing skills that you already have, and attempt to bring them into your game play.  As a sales person, something that has always come naturally to me is: “Mirror & Match”. This is when you behave in a manner that helps listeners feel comfortable, and focus on the subject matter of the message without any distraction.  Think of it more like attempting to speak somebody’s native language, or observing local customs when visiting a foreign country.  Mirror and matching is extending a courtesy, by acting in a way that the listener wants you to act.

Five examples are listed below:

1: Physiology – Match their posture and physical mannerisms

2: Speech Rate – Speak at a similar speed and tempo

3: Volume – Speak as loudly, or as softly as them

4: Tonality & Pitch – Make your voice sound like their voice

5: Phrase backtracking – Restate their favorite words back to them

Now the above can be done by studying this concept before you hit the island, but it could come off as fake, or robotic.  But as a natural skill that I possess, I don’t think about it…it just happens.  The fun part is to imagine how I would do this with a slow talking Southerner, or someone from NYC.  I would not try to pull off all 5 with say… Fabio the surfer dude (winner of Survivor Nicaragua), but bits and pieces could go a long way.

It is a way to develop relationships by allowing the other person to have some source of comfort with you. On an island without your typical sources of comfort, people will take whatever little bit they can get. So employing this technique makes yourself someone that is easy to talk to, and most importantly… relatable.



Leave a comment

How I can sell my way to the million dollars; winning traits of a salesman

Why do I think I can win the game of Survivor???  This is the first question casting may ask.  A question friends and family frequently ask.  Most that know me, feel I would be entertaining on the show, but can I win?  Let’s look at the attributes of a good salesman.  The following list contains descriptions of an outstanding salesperson (like myself):


Self-Aware (there’s that word again)


Problem Solver


Highly Motivated



Confident (with a touch of arrogance)


I see a tremendous overlap between a successful salesperson with these traits, and someone that could have sustained success on Survivor.  With that said, some of these could also be my downfall.  One that is highly motivated, often struggles relating to those that are lazy.  Assertive people have a tendency of getting a bit bossy and voted out early.  When is a mature gentleman empathetic with females? And when is he creepy? (Vytas!)  As Christy would say…”he’s creepy…creepy”


With that said, there is only one Vytas (I hope). So, how does a salesperson play the game?  The same way they do their job.  We relish and embrace contact, and communication (get to know everyone on the island whether they are in your immediate alliance or not).  We keep our mouths shut and our ears open (listening skills lead to opportunities and information).  We know that hurdles are meant to be overcome. To quote Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get hit.” Much of my game plan will develop when the game starts and not before.  We sell by asking questions, not dictating answers (Questions uncover details you did not know).  It is much better for solutions to be their idea, and not try to dictate what they do.  When needed, maybe an elevator pitch.  5 or 6 questions, each intended to solicit a “yes”.  Start simple….and try for 6 successive “yes” answers as you build to the goal.  We set and hit our short term (day one and pre-merge)  and long term (post-merge and end game) goals.   If I can control my paranoia, and recognize who is a bit sensitive (so as to not let my sarcastic humor bite me in the ass), I am the winner.  End of story.  To quote Jonathan Penner, “This is Survivor.  Somebody is gonna win a million dollars and they are gonna have to cut the throat of the guy next to them at some point”








Leave a comment

Self-awareness Survey Results Part 1

Below you will find the results of a self awareness survey I sent to family & friends, along with my own answers. The goal here is to test my self awareness – how do I think I am perceived, compared to how others actually perceive me- glad I have a fairly thick skin! Overall, I believe the survey results are consistent with my feelings, showing that I am fairly self-aware.

Leave a comment

Self-awareness Survey Results Part 2

Word Cloud

The survey I sent to friends and family, included a section for the respondents to list five words that they would use to describe me. The top words are as follows:

Funny – 8 people
Loud – 6 people
Loyal – 5 people
Sarcastic – 5 people
Confident – 4 people
Outgoing – 4 people

The five words I listed for myself:

Below is the complete list of submitted words:
Survey Results jpg

Leave a comment

Self Awareness – Who is Rob?

Self Awareness. This is the one thing every great player has, according to Jeff Probst. Self awareness is huge in this game. The game is quite simply, one large social experiment, you don’t have a chance to strategize, if you ostracize yourself from your tribe within minutes of hitting the beach. Take Francesca for example, only person in the history of Survivor to be voted out first, twice! If she had even an ounce of self awareness she would have known the second time around to just keep her mouth shut for the first three days. She was perceived as an aggressive threat in this game because of how strong she came on. Below is my little self awareness experiment to see if I am self aware or I lack those skills like Francesca did. I will start with a list of words that I feel accurately describe myself. The list is a combined effort between me and my daughter. We will then email a survey to friends and family asking for 5 words that THEY feel describe me. Self awareness is a vital key to Survivor success.

Self Awareness

My List:
Eye roller
Facially expressive
Flexible loyalties…
Great at puzzles
Horrible memory
Line crosser
Sarcastic, sarcastic, sarcastic
White collar
Young at heart

Daughter’s List:

Click here to see survey results!


Leave a comment

Blueprint for the blog

I have sooooo many ideas on what I would like to include in this blog. They range from thoughts on strategy, and my tireless research on the past seasons of Survivor. To preparing physically to survive my time on the island, then to things like practicing challenges, that I am able to recreate at home. I will also share parts of my personal story and my previous attempts to be cast on the show. My partner on this journey is my 15 year old daughter who I have raised to be as obsessed as me. We push each other to think quicker, train harder and to learn to control the sarcasm that so naturally flows between us ( and could possibly end up offending people who aren’t as humorous as us). Together we hope to succeed in the goal of being cast, learn new blogging skills, improve my physical readiness to participate, and enjoy the time spent working together to create this blog.

1 Comment

Hello fellow Survivor fans! A new blog to detail my efforts and passion to appear on CBS Survivor.

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.