Ryan Thomason

The Colony Interviews: Michel and Sian

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That’s right folks, Michel Slover and Sian Proctor from The Colony were gracious enough to respond to our interview! The two favorites on the show shared what they thought about their experience and we loved hearing what they had to say. Don’t forget to watch the new episode tonight ‘The Virus‘ on Discovery Channel at 8pm! I want to thank Michel and Sian for taking the time out of their schedules to respond! I know that after reading these interviews and watching the show you can get a little more of the feeling that they had there. Enjoy the interview.

WPR) How would you describe your experience being on The Colony?

Michel: I would describe my experience as intense. From the very beginning it was apparent that everyday life was going to be dramatically different then what I was accustomed to. It was physically demanding, emotionally draining and yet very liberating.

Sian: Being on The Colony was difficult from day-to-day because we were constantly trying to survive. But collectively, those day-to-day experiences were tremendously rewarding. I learned a lot about myself, communication styles, and working in a group.

WPR) What was your favorite build?

Michel: I enjoyed building the still and distilling alcohol the most. There was a magical quality to working alone in the middle of the night. Looking up the pipe you could see the mist rising off the rags soaked in water as the alcohol cooled and condensed. It was like meditating in front of the fire, pouring all you energy into a product you hoped would develop.

Sian: My favorite build was the propeller for the air boat. I love aviation and anything related to it. I would have never, ever thought that I would build a propeller, but I did!

WPR) Do you keep in touch with any of your other Colonists

Michel: I email, facebook and call the colonists all the time. They are like family to me. I miss them all very much.

Sian: We all keep in touch with each other. Facebook is a great way for us to communicate and hear about each others lives. It’s been fun learning about who everyone is in the real world.

WPR) It looked like leadership and security was an issue for a long time, why did it take so long (30 something days) to finally get addressed?

Michel: It took a while to develop a leader because every one of us had both the potential to lead and a hesitance to follow. Security was being developed constantly along the way. It took us awhile to sort out the most effective means by which to secure ourselves. In a way both went hand in hand. It is hard to implement a great security plan when everyone moves in their own direction. It was easy to come up with plans, but they were difficult to enforce. Look at the consensus right before the alligator, and how quickly that fell apart…

Sian: I don’t think you can link our security issues with a lack of leadership. As a group, we decided to take on individual responsibilities that we felt fit our skill set. The only problem was none of us knew how to effectively address the security issues we were being faced with. Even though we elected Sally as a leader, security didn’t get fixed until Tick came along and that’s because he knew enough about security to be able to address the situations we were dealing with accurately.

WPR) How hard was it to keep a mindset that this wasn’t totally real?

Michel: At first I think I was shocked by a dramatically different setting then I was used to. The first camera I saw it was hard not to look directly at it. However as hunger, fatigue, and lots of work took hold it was very easy to believe in the existence around you.

Sian: When you are faced with no food and an angry mob is attacking you, going home in a month doesn’t matter. You have to deal with the moment. Reality is what’s happening at that particular moment and how you react to it. If you don’t take it serious you can actually get hurt.

WPR) What was the first thing you ate after the show was done?

Michel: The first thing I ate was oysters at the Desire oyster bar in New Orleans, followed by lots of chocolate…

Sian: I love pizza and that’s all i wanted to eat. A nice big, thin crust, pepperoni pizza dripping with grease!

WPR) Did you have any kind of culture shock after going back to the real world?

Michel: It took me quite some time to acclimate back into my daily life. To some degree the way that I see things is forever changed. We are such a wasteful society, and we take a tremendous amount for granted. To some degree we have begun to feel entitled to many things that are only tentatively hanging in existence.

Sian: Being able to take a shower whenever I wanted to was the best part about reentering the real world. The only big shock was to learn about the oil leak in the gulf.

WPR) has anything about you changed that you owe to your time on The Colony?

Michel: I appreciate everyday with my wonderful wife and children. I sometimes feel resentful about having to be a desk most of a sunny day as opposed to being with them. Ironically, I felt more alive on the Colony then I have in quite sometime. The fruits of my labors were very real everyday while I was there. I also have gained a modicum of inner peace. Most of my life I have felt some hole in my being that I have tried to fill in many ways, now a good chunk of it seems closed.

Sian: Being on The Colony has made me realize that I don’t ever want to be in an apocalyptic catastrophe. I pray to God nothing ever happens in my lifetime because the affects on humanity would be devastating.

WPR) What was the hardest thing you had to do/went through while on The Colony?

Michel: The hardest part of my experience on The Colony was being away from my family for so long. It was the longest I have ever been away from either my wife, or my boys…

Sian: The hardest thing for me was figuring out where I fit into The Colony. I am not a carpenter, mechanic, welder, or electrician. What I was actually good at was purifying water and cooking. Preparing meals for a large group is challenging but also boring. Cooking was something I already knew how to do and I wanted to expand my knowledge. I wanted to gain new skills and I struggled with how to do that.

WPR) Which Colonist surprised you the most with their change/turnaround during the experiment?

Michel: I was impressed with Sally’s evolution. She was a rational clear thinking woman at the beginning, but really began to blossom after being elected leader. She did an excellent job of putting her own self aside for the good of the group…

Sian: George surprised me the most because I hated him the first week we were in The Colony but absolutely loved him by the end. George has an amazing amount of talent and he is very patient. Whenever I struggled with trying to build something he would guide me, teach me how to do it. He never made me feel dumb or incapable.

WPR) Would you do it all again?

Michel: I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Sian: Yes, I would do it again. I’d probably do it better because I learned so much the first time!

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