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The Next Great Adventure

After spending 37 seasons as a super fan, I’ve finally decided to take a chance and audition for “Survivor.” (Photo courtesy of CBS)

It’s 11 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and I’m supposed to be sitting in Carroll Hall. Instead, I’m 30,000 feet in the air on a plane heading to Denver.

A quick stop in Denver, then it’s off to Dallas to try and fulfill one of my lifelong dreams.

When I sat down on January 1 and made my New Year’s resolutions, the last one I added read, “Apply for ‘Survivor’ – Stop waiting!” So, here I am, headed to a CBS open casting call.

With graduation right around the corner and no idea what’s coming next in my life, I figured now would be the perfect time to get stranded on a deserted island for seven weeks. Makes sense, right?

I’ve been watching “Survivor” since its very first season, and I’ve always talked about applying, but I’ve never actually done anything about it. I’ve always found some kind of excuse, whether it was classes, football practice, workouts, whatever.

For the first time in my life, I’ve actually got the chance to go all in. No more excuses to hold me back. So, when I saw the listing for auditions in Dallas, I found the cheapest flight I could and immediately booked it.

First came the excitement, but then came the nerves.

Everyone has things they’ve dreamed about accomplishing, but it’s scary actually trying to achieve them. No one ever talks about that part. I’ve wanted to do this for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always, naively, thought that if I applied I’d surely be selected. But now that I’m face to face with one of my greatest dreams, it’s honestly terrifying. The possibility of achieving it is more present than ever, but that means the possibility of failure is right there with it.

What if I get down there and they turn me down? I mean, there’s a super high chance of that happening. A lifelong dream over.

But as a great philosopher once said, “‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,’ – Wayne Gretzky” – Michael Scott.

Truer words have never been spoken, twice. (Photo courtesy of NBC)

Sure, if I never applied and put myself out there I could feel comfortable telling myself I would have made it, as I watch the show from the couch every Wednesday night. But why not try? If I never applied, they couldn’t tell me no, but they also couldn’t tell me yes. The excitement of possibly starting my next great adventure far outweighs any fears I may have in the face of failure.

Whether I end up making it on the show or not, I know I won’t regret my choice to take a chance and pursue a dream.




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Zach Goins View All

Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for

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