Survival of the wittiest
April E. Clark
I must be out of my mind.
That’s what I kept telling myself last night as I applied to be considered for a new cable series about people from all walks of life learning to live in the woods. For three weeks, a bunch of strangers are going to be filmed roughing it as an acclaimed outdoorsmen teaches survival skills.
I doubt this is anything like Girl Scout camp.
This is also not the uber-popular show “Survivor.” The catch about this show is that it’s not a competition. I have that going for me. The idea is that this is not as much reality TV as it is a real-life journey offering a wilderness experience that could change a person’s life.
Where do I sign up?
That question was my first thought when I saw the casting call online under the “TV/film/video” category of a popular classified advertisement website. Being that some casting calls on this national web service can be adult in nature, I was skeptical. There’s no recession for lingerie models 18 and older, that’s for sure.
Cheating spouse decoys are apparently in high demand as well.
Even though the cheating spouse decoy does pay up to $300 a day, I didn’t consider that a very honest career direction. So I opted to click on the casting link for the life-changing documentary. I’m usually game for about anything. And I couldn’t help but say yes to the initial questions asked, including, “Does your life look great from the outside, but leave you searching for more?”
They have no idea.
“Do you have a cool job, glamorous lifestyle or full social calendar, yet still feel like something is missing?”
I wouldn’t exactly go as far as calling my social calendar full. But I do like to think I bring some glamor to life.
With or without make-up.
I have the feeling there won’t be any time for primping if I make it on this show. Actually, I know there won’t. The idea is I would learn how to survive — and that doesn’t mean going out of the house without make-up. I think they mean full-on survival, like learning how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, eating food found only in the wild, and staying warm at night without a Snuggie.
Did I mention I wouldn’t be allowed to wear make-up?
The casting call said learning these survival techniques would be challenging both physically and mentally. “It will not be easy and everyone may not finish, but for those who do, they will find themselves forever changed,” it said. If I made it as far as getting on the show, I would have to finish. There would be no turning back. I would expect to shed some tears, though.
For me, there is crying in survival.
One of the screening questions was what my level of survival skill is. If making it through a day without checking my Facebook page counts, then I’m probably a novice. If surviving six days rafting and camping on the San Juan and Colorado rivers, or hiking up Sunlight and skiing down by moonlight, then I’m advanced.
Hey that’s at least something.
Luckily, non-super-athlete types are welcome. I just have to be able to push myself mentally and physically. I would say the last year and a half has tested my emotional and mental strength more than any other time in my life. So I’m up for the challenge of three weeks surviving in the woods.
I at least know how to survive change.
Physically, I might not have the best chances at succeeding. I can be a little weak, especially when I have to lift heavy stuff. But I can hike around the woods with no problem, can run from things when I’m scared, and I can climb a tree if needed.
Not sure if that will come in handy.
In my application, I stressed that I use humor as a coping method. I also made some references to being a burlesque tap dancer and a stand-up comic, hoping maybe they take how comfortable I am in front of an audience into consideration. This is going to be on TV, in front of millions, after all.
Have I mentioned that no make-up thing?
According to the casting call, the show is really looking for “people who authentically want a deeper connection with nature and to see the world in a different light.” Living in Colorado for the last 10 years has given me a respect of nature, and life, that I think is an important skill in surviving. Whether it has been by rafting through Class IV rapids on the river or making it through a brutal stand-up set where I bombed jokes at a small bar, I know I can survive no matter what life throws at me.
Make-up or no make-up.
— April E. Clark might be on a flat screen near you. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The gray wolf once roamed freely throughout more than two-thirds of the United States. However, they were extirpated (locally extinct) from most areas of the U.S. when settlers from Europe came to the new world.