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"Survivor Application"

Somehow I got it in my mind that I wanted to go through the process of applying to get on Survivor. I missed the second season auditions even though I gave a cursory glance over the application. But this time, I figured, what the hell, it would be fun.

Apparently this location is in a secret location, but I'm thinking South America or Africa. The only problem might be that it would most likely be very rainy in those locations. Either that or highly dangerous. Who knows? I don't see how they can hold it in a cold location, or a populated one. So how many places can there be?

I started getting into doing this a few weeks before the deadline (April 13 I think). I called up my friend Slavek and asked him if he could hunt down a video cam for us to use. He got his boss's, which is this real swank one with the flippable viewscreen and all that. We had to produce a 3 minute video (and no longer than that) so we didn't really have all the time in the world with which to work with.

So I began the arduous task of asking friends for ideas on what I could do for the tape. Hehe, now I imagine all these other applicants across the country putting their friends on the spot, and all the friends coming up with the same ideas...ideas like "South Bronx Survivor", "Backyard Survivor", "Streaking Naked Through Downtown Survivor". Uhhh, no, but thanks, guys... :P Although I guess it's hard to come up with an idea when you put someone on the spot. And "Backyard Survivor" would kind of be funny. Spend a month in the backyard. Film it all. See how long it takes before you give up and say "this is so fucking retarded, why are we doing this?"

So I worked up a plan, which was so completely different from what I originally set out to do. And with my trusty director/producer/film crew Slavek, we set off with really no clue what the fuck to do to Sonny Bryan's, because nothing inspires creativity more than a beef brisket sandwich with slaw and taters.


Okay, so that did little for our creative juices but damn it was delicious.

We went back to Slavek's to concoct a plan, and I suggested we go to the mall and ask people questions. Well, it ended up just being me asking "do I have any chance of making it on Survivor?" and everyone would say no. Originally we were going to ask really crazy and obscene questions to people and just film the responses, which would obviously bear no correlation to the very simple question above. But it turned into this.

Slavek didn't want to go to the mall and film people, because he said he'd be embarrassed. But I'm at a point in my life where I'm just like "I don't give a fuck" and I'll do just about anything. Okay, except streaking. Well, we went up to Valley View Mall late in the afternoon and all the sudden Slavek got really into the whole process from then on and he was the one coming up with all the extra footage and ideas. See? You just get someone going and... We filmed the introductory sequence outside where I set up the following footage, and unfortunately during the taping, security drove up and told us we had to get off the property and couldn't film. We asked him if he'd say "no" for us, and he said no. And being wiseasses, we responded, "yes, just like that!"

He was not so amused, until it was clear we weren't going to be a problem for him.

So then we went to Albertson's because they don't care about that kind of shit, and we got some people on tape. It's funny because people act entirely differently on camera, like with much more enthusiasm and perkiness. Someone needs to figure out how to put the experience in a spray bottle. :P

We were going to get footage of this one guy but apparently he had a case pending and was like "uhh, I should probably stay far away from cameras right now". Amusingly enough, our last shot was of the cop outside, who (I was surprised) was rather willing to help us out. I think he was bored.

We also filmed the rest of the video, which consisted of me walking through part of my house essssplaineen myself to the Survivor people. I figure anyone can go do something crazy, just to get attention, but perhaps if I tried to razzledazzle them with a speech about my life, maybe they'd get more of the info they were seeking. I don't know. I don't have the utmost confidence about getting selected for further interviews, but hey, I wanted to try and I did.

So at this point we realized that the tape was going to shape up to be ultra cheese, so we decided to throw in even more to the point where it was obvious. Choice lines: "you're gonna trip over the futon, dude" and "'I'm part Chinese and part English' 'hey Ben, does that make you Chinglish?'" Ohh yeah, there's no way they can reject me now.

They are seeking contestants who represent a broad segment of American society. So if I assume that I am part slope and live in Texas, with a degree in Latin, and daytrade for a living, and look all gangly, that I represent NO segment of American society. :P

What I need is something with some cachet. I need to be a gay guy with a child. Or a homophobic ex Navy SEAL. Or a monopedal celloist with a penchant for track and field.

But all I am is me. That's all I got. Will it be enough? Somehow, I doubt it, but we'll see. I know if I went on the show, I'd outlast everyone else and destroy them mercilessly, just because I'd commit fully to it. It'd be a blast to do it.

I filled out the questionnaire that they make you do. Some Q's & A's:

Describe your perfect day:

Trading a stock down after news of profit warning while nursing a plate of canteloupe and prosciutto at an outdoor cafée in a small piazza in the Aventine in Rome, then driving up to Perugia in the late afternoon for the summer jazz festival.

What magazines do you read?

Red Herring, Mixer, Urb, Spin, The Face, Old Man Murray

Who is your hero and why?

Julius Caesar because through his celeritas and ability to juggle the fickle public and merciless politicians, reformed and expanded the Roman empire and severely hurt the Gauls (perpetual problem in Europe), and of course being assassinated because of the fears of the cowardly and dishonest.

List three (3) items you would take with you to the remote location, if allowed and why?

pen and waterproof notebook of paper (I am a writer by nature), a deck of waterproof cards (cards, so many variations, so much to do to cure the main problem of being on Survivor, boredom), and a black afro wig (Afro style, baby!)

If you were stranded, who would you most want to be stranded with?

I'd imagine Gwyneth ("my Gwyneth") Paltrow would get useless after a while, so probably my brother, who's ingenious and said he would have stayed on the island if he were in "Castaway". And I believe him, too.

Okay okay, I know it reads lame. That's my problem. I write all this shit thinking it sounds really cool and deep and whatnot, but then I read it later and then it just comes out all terrible. That is, I'm not really a writer because I'm any good at it, I'm a writer because I have no shame. :P

So we edited the video using the video camera and a VCR, which is always a bitch because there's a delay between the two, so we had to use the primitive technique of TRIAL AND ERROR. So sad. If we could pipe it into the computer and edit it that way, it would have been sooo much easier.

What we learned from the whole ordeal is that it's a ton of fun taping shit. We should borrow the camera every weekend and do a different project, all involving us going out on the town and surprising people. Jackass and Tom Green must have a ton of fun. If we could build our own library of inanity, we could put that shit online and turn it into a goof site. If.

The whole Survivor thing came to its conclusion when I mailed all the shit out FedEx overnight for a whopping $30, to make sure it would arrive on time. Damn thing cost me enough.

Like I said, I doubt I'll get called for this thing, but we had a blast preparing the application, and I guess that was part of the goal of the whole endeavor anyway. I can at least say I tried.

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