‘Survivor’ No Collar Vince – “There’s a Fine Line Between Counselor and Manipulator”


'Survivor: Worlds Apart' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your “Survivor: Worlds Apart” scoop! I delved deep into the Nicaraguan wilderness on a mission to bring you all kinds of stuff including behind-the-scenes tidbits, pre-game interviews with the cast, insights from “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, a look at the first Tribal Council, and much more. I’ll be cranking out this goodness daily in the weeks leading up to the premiere, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates on all of this season’s “Survivor” fun.

Name: Vince Sly
Age: 32
Current Residence: Santa Monica, California
Occupation: Coconut Vendor
Gordon Holmes: So, you’re in the coconut business.
Vince Sly: That’s right. I have a project called Coconut Caravan which is a circus-influenced, but gypsy-themed vending cart. It goes to the beach in Santa Monica and also to a variety of music venues. We do what’s called the Festival Circuit. Do you know what the Festival Circuit is?
Holmes: I assume it’s…
Sly: It’s a community of people who gather together with intention. It’s not just a bunch of people getting together and taking a bunch of crazy drugs and calling it an experience. It’s intention driven. Like Beloved is about the expansion of your heart chakra. They have yoga in the morning, seminars in the afternoon, and then it’s party time at night. So, we vend to these people. It’s hot, we offer them what I call a P.S.O., a Portable Spherical Oasis…also known as a coconut.

EDIT: In the original transcription, I thought Vince had called it a “Portable Spiritual Oasis.”

Holmes: What does it mean to be a holistic counselor?
Sly: I angle my life toward helping others find their path of joy, brilliance, and well-being.
Holmes: That seems to run counter to what you’re going to be doing over the next 39 days. “Survivor” is very deceitful.
Sly: Yes. But, I liken it to this; football players have to tackle people in the field. They love playing that game. And sure, a lot of them are rough, a lot of the things I do are rough. If your everyday lifestyle has led you to being twenty pounds overweight and addicted to some drugs, whether they’re pharmaceutical or otherwise, to leaving your friends or a community that was the only thing you ever knew because they were unhealthy to you? That’s a huge transition. Somebody who is dynamic, who is willing to challenge, not necessarily to manipulate. There’s a fine line between counselor and manipulator. Someone who is willing to help that person find their motivation? That fits right into “Survivor.” Sometimes it’s my motivation. What do I want to see in the world? More people who are healthy and happy. Maybe it’s ego driven. I want to be surrounded by people I appreciate who are sober and happy. In “Survivor,” just like the football analogy…I don’t go around lying to people in my everyday life. I feel like the honor and integrity I have in my everyday life is apparent. In the game I get to challenge myself in a completely different way. It’s the other side of the spectrum. The actor can come out, the spy, every part of myself that is underexpressed or unexpressed because I’m constantly focused on the truth. Like the football player, you don’t see him running through the grocery store and tackling people because they want a peach.
Holmes: A million bucks is quite a peach.
Sly: (Laughs) Exactly. I’m not going to start walking through the grocery store and spitting out lies just because I do it on “Survivor.” “Survivor” is a game where deceit and lying and using your wit is a part of the game. I think it’s awesome.

Holmes: What is “rock running”?
Sly: Rock running is a sport that is gaining popularity. It’s a mix between parkour and extreme outdoor.
Holmes: So, parkour in nature.
Sly: Exactly.  I’ll go to a trail that’s twelve miles of rigorous hiking. And I’ll try to do it in the most creative way possible. Like, today I’m not going to touch the ground. I have to go tree limb to tree limb and see how far I can go. If I can go a mile, great. Boulders, valleys, beaches…
Holmes: It’s like the best game of “Hot Lava” ever.
Sly: Yeah, I don’t necessarily pretend like there’s a lava flow, but I’ve done this; there are a few rivers during springtime in the northern California area that just rage. Big, beautiful, soft boulders that I can just do barefoot. So, I can run, jump, sometimes 10, 12 feet and you can’t fall, because if you do fall…that’s your last fall. There are raging waters, jagged rocks, sticks that have fallen…if you get caught, you’re going to be impaled and severely hurt.  The adrenaline you have is going to fit right into the challenges. There is no failure.
Holmes: So, with that kind of motivation, you’re not going to be concerned with 30 cameras and Jeff Probst yelling at you.
Sly: It’s a developing sport, so sometimes there are spectators on the sidelines. There can be upwards of 300 people on each side of the river. You get to interplay, you get the gasps. You can do what looks like you’re going to fall, but you catch yourself and everyone is, “AHHHHH!”
Holmes: So, there’s some showmanship to it.
Sly: Yeah.

Holmes: You don’t like people who are lazy or entitled. What if they drop you in a tribe full of those folks?
Sly: My greatest challenge out here, even though I’m a holistic counselor, I spend two or three hours with a person and then they get to go home. I get to go somewhere else. I’m 32 years old, I’ve been through 37 countries, some of them I have negative interest in going back to. If I didn’t like it, I left. If I don’t like a relationship, I leave. If I don’t like a city, I move. If I don’t like a job, I don’t work there anymore. You get the idea?
Holmes: I certainly do. You don’t have that luxury here.
Sly: I do not have that luxury here. That’s going to be my greatest challenge. It’s not going to be the hunger. I can find things to eat, I can eat termites. It’s not…even though I love sex, the lack of it. It’s not going to be anything to do with those typical physiological problems that people can’t get over. You see it every season. It’s going to be the fact that this arrogant, undeserving, seemingly worthless teammate, and in his everyday life, I’m sure he’s a wonderful human being. But, this piece of (expletive deleted) out here is snoring next to me after eating three times as much rice? All the termite soup I made? That’s going to be hard as hell. What am I going to do? Enter meditative states. Call in Coach. Do whatever I possibly can.

Holmes: Any issues using your rugged good looks to get ahead?
Sly: No. I’m a highly flirtatious person. Fortunately for me, there are no Parvatis. There are no women that turn my body into a marionette doll. Here, this cast doesn’t seem to do that. And who knows, everything changes day two, day five, day twenty. People you thought you’d like, you don’t anymore. I can’t say if my flirtation will be safe. But, I probably will use it in the first stage of the game.
Holmes: The first stage?
Sly: You’ve gotta be light, you’ve gotta be liked, you’ve got to be good to the tribe. If I flirt the right amount that I don’t upset the guys or make the older ladies jealous…well…I’ll flirt with them too. It’ll be flirtation that is not sexual. I get enough sex. It’s going to be flirtation for comradery.
Holmes: She’s not in the game as far as I know, but there literally is a Parvati here.
Sly: (Laughs) I just met her. She’s a beautiful woman.
Holmes: She’s the real deal, man. She’s a sweetheart. She talked me into doing yoga this morning.
Sly: There are so few people…anyone who has anything to do with production, Hollywood, that bring an element of yoga in their true form. You get girls who are like, “Aha…I do yoga…aha…” But, she does.
Holmes: We’re way off track.
Sly: And her body is body karate.
Holmes: Way off track.

Holmes: Speaking of that Parvati, if you could align with a former player, who would it be?
Sly: That’s tough. I would not align with Tony. He was too good at lying and being (expletive deleted) up. Someone like Ozzy. Somebody who’s lovable, likable…if I was a bro with Ozzy, he and I would create some greatness together. He’s not so smart, I can pick up those IQ points. I can’t catch a fish? He’s out there doing it. Who better to have, but a likable, sweet-faced dude who’s not very bright to take you to the end.

Holmes: If there is a twist, what do you think it is?
Sly: I’m trying so hard not to make judgments about…oh, see those crabs over there? Those are the good ones…
Holmes: I was here for “Survivor: Nicaragua” four years ago and those were everywhere.
Sly: Those are the ones I’m going to put in the pot. You know how you get them out of the holes? Sorry, I’m getting excited. I want to play this (expletive deleted) game.
Holmes: You’re getting there.
Sly: Twists…I’m trying hard not to think of twists. I don’t want to set myself up for something that doesn’t happen. I want to be as malleable as possible. My best is in improv. My best is where everyone is freaking out and I get to hand them any card I choose. If there is a twist like boys vs. girls or old vs. young, I can always turn it to my advantage. We’ve got a nine-person tribe.  If it’s five guys and four girls, “Guys, we’ve got to make a men’s circle. We need to stick together the way no other ‘Survivor’ season has ever seen it.”  I love twists. How about that? When they happen I get excited. (Expletive deleted) yeah! They’re shaking things up! The person on the top is now on the bottom.
Holmes: You say that now, but what if you’re on top?
Sly: Maybe I’m on top and I’m getting lazy. New twist puts your head back into the game.

Holmes: What’re your first impressions of this cast?
Sly: I did this before, you know?
Holmes: How so?
Sly: I did finals casting before. I called the last season “The Bold and Beautiful.” And that was the Brains, Beauty, and Brawn. I had direct interaction with a lot of those people. They were lively, they showed their character. Some of it was a little Jerry Springer-esque. These people are either really hardcore players, which is going to make for an exciting season. Or, they’re dull and boring. I would like it to be a hardcore season. I want to be a part of season 30, the most intense season that ever aired. Just like “Survivor” season number one again. Holy (expletive deleted), we have all these all-new players who aren’t playing like everyone else. I don’t want people who are saying, “I want to play like Parvati,” like so many girls do. I’m really hoping that these people are not the dolts that get steamrolled. Cause that’s happened before and it’s boring.
Holmes: Seconded.
Sly: Right? I’m going to be the guy that gets voted out and says, “Are you (expletive deleted) kidding? Have fun you, idiots.”

Don’t miss the 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

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