Art teacher applies to be cast on Survivor

Ceramics instructor Fred Rodriguez hopes to land a role the popular TV show


Fred Rodriguez

Pictured: Art teacher Fred Rodriguez poses for a picture with his son at October’s Trunk or Treat event, where he dressed up as a contestant on the popular television show Survivor. Rodriguez now plans to make this dream a reality as he awaits the answer to his Survivor contestant application, which was sent in this spring.

Applying to Survivor has been ceramic teacher Fred Rodriguez’s dream for years. He recently took the first step to achieve that goal by applying to the show. 

When I was first introduced to the show, I loved the social aspect of the game most,” Rodriguez said. “I loved the idea of having to gain the trust of complete strangers but also needing to vote them out along the way. It’s an extreme balance between trust and deception. Over the years I have also appreciated the physical/competition portion of the game as well.”

There are many reasons to play the game, but for Rodriguez, the challenge is the most appealing.

“I think I can win, but really I just want to play the game,” Rodriguez said. “Would it be amazing to win 1 million dollars…of course but I think the experience itself is the prize. I like the idea of challenging myself in ways that I never have before.”

I think I can win, but really I just want to play the game,”

— Ceramics teacher Fred Rodriguez

To apply you have to fill out an application, make a video, and submit a picture.

Along with my video, I’ve tried reaching out on social media to get the attention of some casting directors,” Rodriguez said.

His family is fully supportive and are excited for him.

“I’m excited. It’s been his dream for a long time. I really hope he gets chosen,” Rodriguez’s wife Nancy said. ”I think he would be amazing and have a really great social game.”

The family support makes him feel better about applying, but Rodriguez knows it would be hard to be away from his family for weeks.  

“This would be the biggest challenge, I love my family and would miss my wife and three boys so much,” Rodriguez said. “If I make it far enough into the game they do have family visits sometimes and it would be incredible to have my wife visit the island. I did ask my boys if they were ok for me to go on Survivor, my wife and boys both gave me the ‘OK.”’

Although being away from the family might be the biggest challenge in Rodriguez’s eyes, his wife says differently.

“I know he doesn’t like bugs. I think he would have a hard time camping out on the beach,” Nancy said. “He also doesn’t like fish so I think he would need to adjust and learn to eat foods he doesn’t like.”

I think he would have a hard time camping out on the beach,”

— Wife Nancy Rodriguez

For Rodriguez’s students, seeing him on Survivor would be a cool experience. 

“We rarely see teachers out of the classroom,” senior Annika Roberts said. “Seeing Mr. Rodriguez try to do challenges that are nothing like the ones he helps us with in art would definitely be entertaining.”