Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
RS: My name is Russell Sage and I am a Survival Instructor. I was on Discovery Channel’s hit survival show Naked and Afraid Season 1, Episode 8 and 9 (Double Jeopardy)
MW: How did you get cast to be on Naked & Afraid?
RS: I was in a survival forum one day and someone posted that Metal Flowers Media was looking for extreme survivalist for a new tv show. So I looked them up and submitted an application. The rest is history.
MW: How was it when you first got naked on the show?
RS: I’m very comfortable in my own skin, so it wasn’t bad at all. After 30 minutes, you forget you’re even naked.
MW: What made you want to do Naked & Afraid?
RS: Every survivalist wants to test their skills, but no one really gets to apply their skills in a “real world” survival situation. To me, this was a excellent way to see if I could really survive with nothing, a test for a true survivalist.
MW: What did you think of your partners?
RS: I like Manu from the second I met her. We had a moment when we met and in that instant, I knew we would make it the full 21 days. On around day 10, Manu and I met Forrest and Cassie. Forrest and I were like old friends within an hour, we have similar attitudes and sense of humor. As for Cassie, something didn’t sit well with me when she told me that she was a “fire bug” and had busted over 100 hand drill fires. I looked at her palms and knew she was not being totally truthful. (Hand drill causes you to get calluses)
MW: How did Manu catch Dengue Flu?
RS: Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes and let me tell you, there were plenty of those little suckers in the mangrove swamp we were in. It damn near broke my heart to hear that she contracted it.
MW: How was it being on the Panamanian Coast?
RS: Before the show, I had never left the US, so being in a whole new country was awesome! I saw hump back whales, flying fish, and howler monkeys, it was truly amazing.
MW: What was your favorite thing to eat?
RS: I would have to say it was the fresh from the ocean oysters. They were HUGE! In one day I must have eaten over 100. It was oyster genocide.
MW: How did you feel when you made it through to complete the challenge?
RS: I felt a sense of achievement. I didn’t let my family, students, or myself down. I was glad it was over and at the same time I was upset that it was over, bitter sweet.
MW: Would you ever do it again?
RS: In a heartbeat! Now knowing what to expect, it would be even easier. Plus I would get a chance to visit another country.
MW: If you did it again who would you want as a partner? And why?
RS: That’s an easy one. I would pick my beautiful girlfriend Alana Barfield. She also was on Naked and Afraid (Paradise Lost). She was the first survivalist to make it on her own. We are the first couple of Naked and Afraid. Shame they haven’t asked us to do a show together.
MW: How can fans reach out to you?
RS: On Facebook: Fans of Russell Sage / Naked and Afraid. Twitter handle is RussellSage1. Youtube: sagesurvival (all one word).
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
RS: Thanks for the interview. This was a real treat. Now for my shameless plugging of myself, I still teach survival and if anyone is interested, don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again brother.