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L-128 member serves as “Survivor Nicaragua” crew member

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“Survivor” TV host Jeff Probst (l.) lets L-128 apprentice Lucas Faganely hold his Emmy award.

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This grill is just one of the items welded and fabricated by L-128 apprentice Lucas Faganely while he served as a crew member for the TV show, “Survivor Nicaragua.”

Four-month job makes lasting impression on 2nd-year apprentice Lucas Faganely

LUCAS FAGANELY, a second-year apprentice out of Local 128 (Toronto, Ontario), spent this past summer as a member of what he calls, “the craziest television adventure crew in the world.”

Faganely was selected to be a member of the “DreamTeam” for the hit TV show, “Survivor Nicaragua.”

“If anyone really knows me, they know that I am certainly not afraid to hide my love for the television series, ‘Survivor.’ Since the beginning, I have been attracted to the crazy people, extreme locations, and magnificently-built challenges,” Faganely reported.

His adventure started nearly two years ago when he saw a video on YouTube explaining what the DreamTeam does as part of the TV show’s crew.

“I was instantly drawn,” Faganely said. “The video explained that this group of about 20 members helps to build and test challenges before the contestants have to do them — they are basically entry-level production assistants. As an athlete, I really couldn’t think of a better job!”

Faganely submitted a letter to the show’s main office in Los Angeles, explaining why he wanted to be a crew member. He outlined that as a Boilermaker apprentice, he was used to working long, hard days in conditions that even a “Survivor” contestant would think was uncomfortable. He also explained how he would be an asset because of his trade and welding skills.

About 12 months later, he got a call telling him to be on a plane May 24th for Central America, where he was to live, play, and work for the next four months.

“It’s hard to really put into words just how great of a job this was,” Faganely explained. “We basically played massively-designed and constructed games all day so that the bosses and cameramen could get an idea of what the contestants would do.”

As a member of the DreamTeam, Faganely also lent a hand to the art department by sanding, painting, smoothing, or doing whatever they needed.

“Fortunately for me — and on the first day — I discovered the welding shop,” Faganely continued. “There are massive quantities [of stuff] on the show that are welded or fabricated from steel. I was instantly put to use.”

Later, Faganely would find out that this was the first time in the show’s 10-year history, that a DreamTeam member had the trade and welding skills that he brought.

“I have to say, it is extremely exciting to see your own props and designs on national TV,” Faganely said. “My ‘Survivor’ experience was something that I will never forget for the rest of my life. I learned a lot of things about TV, construction, and even myself. I made friends that I will have for the rest of my life and definitely had the time of my life. I have to thank a lot of people for letting me go off on this crazy adventure, and people who got me prepared — like my apprentice instructors and foremen who whipped me into shape.”

Locals  L-128
Published on the Web: November 26, 2010

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