We have recently had the opportunity to sit down with former Bachelorette contestant and former SD moderator Anthony Battle to talk about his experiences both on reality T.V. and in dialogue. Anthony is particularly known for how he addressed of race during the recent “Men Tell All” episode. You can find that clip here to see dialogue skills in action. Here was our conversation.
Q: What similarities are there between SD and the Bachelorette?
A: I think there are similarities, particularly this season. Yesterday, with the “Men Tell All” episode the 18 guys were talking about what happened this season. With all the issues and the drama that happened, guys talk about all the tension and blow off steam. It’s like the Bachelorette Sustained Dialogue version. During the competition, there is a lot of down time. There are a lot of guys inside the house and because of the context of the competition we are talking about romance and love. We are talking about things on a deeper level than in regular conversation. You know, exposing ourselves on a deeper level similar to during Sustained Dialogue.
Q: What stands out to you as memorable or important from your time in SD?
A: Years ago from my first time as a moderator, I noticed a participant willingness to engage in topics. I also noticed the need to have those conversations. Those conversations are not happening if they are not moderated and structured. I realized how important having those students have those conversations was.
Q: What was your favorite part of being on the Bachelorette and what was your least favorite?
A: My favorite part was probably bonding with the guys in the house and creating lasting friendships that I still have to this day. My least favorite part was probably the amount of time spent in house. Sometimes I would get a little restless because other guys were out doing activities. Sometimes I got F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) when other guys were out on a date and I wasn’t.
Q: What would a movie of your life be called and who would play you?
A: The movie would be called “The Heart of Understanding”. I would be played by Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.
Q: Of course we have all seen the “Men Tell All” clip, can you talk a little bit about what was going through your head while you said that? How did your experience with SD inform your speech?
A: That was the only thing I said during the whole episode. I didn’t want to speak about menial drama. When the race conversation came up, I thought it was important. I waited for it to heat up. I felt compelled to just jump in on how I thought Lee was addressing race. I thought the deeper race dynamics were not being addressed. Sustained Dialogue made me feel very comfortable addressing the topic. It gave me the vocabulary to address it in a way that involved not attacking Lee and bended towards learning and understanding for everyone.