SURVIVOR Super Fan

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


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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.

penner, apostol, morett

 

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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.

 

Survivor Superfan Rob 1

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…

 

Survivor Superfan Rob 2

 

 

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.

Survivor Superfan Rob 3

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).


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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.

 

 


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The Title of Sole Survivor!!! or 1 Million Dollars!!! What are my reasons for playing???

This a valid question.  Over the years, my answer has varied.  Going all the way back to my first attempt to be cast on The show, I was in it for the title of Sole Survivor.  I was very well off financially and did not need the money.  I boasted about how all I was interested in was the title of Sole Survivor.  My most recent audition video was last year, and I said I’m playing for the challenge, I’m playing for the adventure, and I’m playing for the money…  A lot has changed in the last five years, and after a divorce and bout with Lyme Disease, money is a bit scarce. With that said, I feel like as a true Survivor Superfan, I am driven by a love for the game.  I want the experience, and I will also play to win.  The money would be a nice addition, but I am also in a place in my life where it is not my driving force.  I simply want to play the game, enjoy every second of it, and play the game with everything I have.