I love Survivor. I’ve wanted to get on the show since I saw the first season, and I have been applying for about a decade. Earlier this year, I told Matt that this year would probably be the last time I apply. The process (which consists of about a 15-page application and a three minute video) actually takes some time. And since I’ve previously gotten hundreds of people to mail postcards about me, and I’ve sent the producer a telegram, I’ve spent a small amount of money on the process. No big deal, but it hasn’t just been my time. Telegrams, it turns out, are about $50 a pop.

I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore (a feeling I leave the right to change at any point). So when one of my pilates students told me about the auditions at Foxwoods, Matt convinced me I should go. I was torn because the auditions were in the middle of the day on a Wednesday, and Wednesdays are my busiest days.


But Matt is one of my greatest guides. When I said I was thinking of not going, he reminded me that I said I wasn’t going to apply ever again and this would be a great way to end it. Plus, he reminded me, I’d challenged myself to get in the best shape of my life and Survivor would be a good way to do that. He was completely right. I’m so glad I went. Not one of my clients seemed upset that I had to reschedule. Sometimes not acting like a responsible grown-up is a good thing. And it helps when the people around you are in complete support of your silliness or strange passion. It sure was last Wednesday because I had a great time. I’m so glad I went.

I got to the casino around 11:30pm on Tuesday night and slept on the floor. I actually slept quite well for about four hours. (I credit my over-stuffed, down jacket that I bought this year.) My brother in law, who prefers to be referred to as my brother-in-love, has teased me about that jacket since I got it. He calls it my sleeping bag. But that is exactly what made that jacket so perfect for sleeping in a casino. It served as blanket, soft padding, and face cover to block out the constant light, noise, and some of the smoke. My twelve-plus hours in line went by quickly.

Around noon I was brought into the room where the cameras were set up. Filming something in front of a camera can be awkward, but I’ve made pilates videos and don’t think of myself as camera shy. I did theater in high school and college and never really experienced stage freight. So I was a little surprised when my turn came. The camera man told me that he would cue me to say my name and where I was from. Then he’d cue me to start, and I’d have 60 seconds to talk. “Okay,” I said, which is usually the word we use to let someone know that we have heard and understood their request. Instead, when he cued me, I asked, “What am I supposed to say again?” We started again.

On take two, I remembered my name and town. Then when I went to start talking about myself it was as if I was completely lost in my own mind. Really. It was like my eyes could see inside my head and I was looking around for the controls but was completely lost. It was sort of like being in a dream that you can’t quite remember when you wake up. I’m still not quite sure what I said. I’m pretty confident that I stared at the camera for a brief second like a deer in headlights. Then I’m quite certain that I announced, “Oh, God, I have to pee so bad.” And I wish that if I was going to make a fool of myself I would at least use slightly better grammar. But it is this comment that caused me to really began searching for the controls. The statement was true; my bladder was ready to explode, but I’m not sure it helped make the case that I could be the next best Survivor contestant. I can’t be certain of everything I said or how it came out, because instead of actually listening to myself or thinking about what I was saying, I was trapped inside head and it seemed rather smoky inside (perhaps from the night in the casino). I kept repeating to myself, “Brain, help my mouth; make the words make sense.” For all I know I was making perfect sense. I might have been a Survivor audition master. They could be watching my stellar video right now spellbound.

And they truly might be since I’m pretty sure I told them that I discovered the third largest waterfall in the world in 2006. I meant to tell them that I went to Peru to see the third largest waterfall in the world that was discovered in 2006—not by me. There was later mention of a ladybug and pilates.

I did not pee my pants, which I think is a major plus, although, the producers may not see the greatness of this feat.

When my time was up my brain seemed to start functioning normally immediately. I was high as a kite. My heart was racing; I had butterflies in my stomach (the good kind). I was so happy I’d done it. I didn’t care if I made a fool out of myself. I was disappointed that on my one real chance, I’d blown it, but in the back of my smoky mind I felt great because I was partly confident that they were absolutely going to pick me—as if somehow they’d see through my nerves to know just how much I want to the title of Sole Survivor.

Based on what I’m pretty sure happened in my video, I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up. But I can’t help it. My hopes are up. It was so much fun. I’m so glad I went. And I’m happy to sit around blissfully ignorant of the thousands of applications the producers receive each year, and the fact that I may have come off as less than confident and, in fact, incompetent in front of a camera, and instead believe that they might just call me any day now.