I thought I would post a video from my recent open casting call. 60 seconds is what is allowed so there is no time to waste in making your pitch! I would love feedback from my fellow Survivor fanatics- positive & negative. I think I was able to share who I am and what I bring to the game that will allow me to compete.
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Who the hell am I??? – Casting call day at the Big E!
What a great day! I attended my 7th open casting call in my quest to get on Survivor. Over the past five years, the lines are a little shorter (I was #96), but the idea is the same. Hopeful people of all ages, shape and sizes trying to catch the attention of the good casting folks (shameless suck up acknowledged). A few are veterans who have done this before. Many are open casting call virgins, trying for the first time to get on the show. Most make mistakes in their approach and do not have a good prepared approach. Many botch their prepared statements. A few put forth a good effort. I had a blast meeting the CBS people running the event and many of the folk in line. It is a shame if you attend a casting call and do not take the time to embrace the other Survivor geeks who are there. Treat it as you would when you hit the beach the first day. Approach people, early and often. Don’t look for someone cute in line and fixate. Mix it up and say hello to the kids, the old people, the guys, the girls, the quiet and the loud (i fall into three of those categories!).
My girlfriend joined me and got to not only see the experience for the first time, but she took a shot at it as well! Funny story – She doesn’t care for Survivor (that part is not funny), but loves Amazing Race. She had intended to do her 1 minute speech about her life experiences and what she brings to the game, and at the end say something like “so put me on Amazing Race and I will do great!”. Unfortunately, she forgot that last portion…so guess she will only be considered for Survivor!
For my part, I hit things as well as I had hoped. I delivered a well prepared speech. I did not fumble any words or forget to include any details. I felt comfortable as my speech pretty much writes itself. It is very true to who I am. Title of the speech was “Who the hell is Rob Folz???” I detailed clearly how I am a successful salesman, a former family business owner, and a student of the game. I explained how my life experience is applicable to the game of Survivor and how I think that would make me successful on the island. Thanks to my patient & supportive girlfriend. Also to my partner in this quest, my oldest daughter who lives and breathes this game as I do.
I caught up with my casting call friend Lauren that I have seen at 4 of my 7 casting call attempts.
I met every single person in line, even if only briefly. I met some good young guys that show that the next generation is now applying for this show as I think my kid will in a couple more years when old enough. So now I wait for that magic call. I am prepared as I believe the phone call is the 2nd stage of the process. I will take the call and be prepared with my excitement and enthusiasm which is easy for me when talking Survivor. I will continue the blogging efforts as I prepare for My Time.
I will end with a few shoutouts – In addition to my girlfriend, daughter and casting friend, to the people I met in line…@pickmeforsurvivor, @dylanaustinturner, @atmosephere, @pennilaneclifton, the good people I met at WGGB.
Open Casting Calls
One way of being cast for Survivor is to attend one, (or many in my case) open casting calls. These events are typically run by local CBS affiliates, and in the early years they would draw many thousands of hopefuls. Camping overnight to be at the front of the line was commonplace. Nowadays the crowds are smaller, and there are around 250-500 folks, many of them being serial applicants like recent Survivor Dan Foley, who applied over 100 times! Here is a photo of him a few spots in front of me at a 2013 casting call in Massachusetts.
My first casting call was in October of 2010. As an anniversary gift, I received a ticket to fly from New Hampshire, to Dallas Texas, for an open casting call at a car dealership. I prepared, read all I could find online, and had a 2 minute speech rehearsed. After waiting six hours for my turn, my group was told that we would have thirty seconds to give our pitch to the cameras! After listening to the people in line around me talking for six hours all about their extensive outdoor survival skills, I simply decided to take the opposite approach. The camera started and I rattled off all of the things I couldn’t do at the time… I don’t camp, I can’t make a fire, I’ve never built a shelter, I can’t fish, I’ve never been away from my kids, I’m a germaphobe, etc. Six months later I got a call. Shocked, unprepared, and sick at the time with Lyme Disease, I blew the call (it’s really a 2nd audition). Less than 2 minutes later, it was over. It took me quite a while to get healthy and redouble my attempts and efforts to get cast (that would be a story for another post).
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 Sear’s Fan Favorite contest. The most recent being a video submitted to be considered for Blood vs. Water. Below is a link to the casting page listing upcoming casting calls:
I have met some great people at the casting events, I would say that the best way to describe it, is that it’s like Day 1 on the island. You meet people from all walks of life, age groups, demographics…and you get to practice reading people, as well as other social aspects of the game.
I will continue to hit casting calls within driving distance, and attend others as the location and time allows. My hope would be that this blog catches the attention of Lynne Spillman and the casting folks…Call me! I am prepared this time!