On February 25th my roommate and I headed to 4 Points for a workshop with Tazito Garcia, called Action for Film and TV. While we waited for everyone to show up, he told us that this industry (acting, stunts, entertainment) is heavily based on relationships, so we should all introduce ourselves to the people beside us. Knowing this to be entirely true, I figured we were off to a good start.
We got a handout and went through some ground rules and learnt the difference between Hong Kong and Hollywood style fighting, which was really interesting. His goal is to eventually have us all doing Hong Kong style, so we don’t need editing or camera angles or cheating to look awesome.
It wasn’t long before we were all up on our feet, learning the footwork, which kind of felt a lot like a dance. We learnt a few different attacks, (jab, cross, hook, upper cut, hammer, back hand) as well as the reactions (it was fun for people to try and figure out which way their head should go based on where the punch was coming from). When we moved on to doing the punches with a partner, I was paired with someone I am pretty sure was there to help out the teacher, not to take the class, but he had told me, “A little” when I asked if he had done any of this stuff before, which is exactly what I would have answered. But so not the truth for him.
My favorite part of the workshop was the flips. We started by falling back onto the mat, then throwing ourselves backwards onto it, then we did front rolls and flips (one with no hands guided by Taz). It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could do them, because I have been doing front and back rolls in jiu-jitsu, but flips had always seemed like a bigger deal, and something scary. I’m not implying that we really did actual flips, at all, but what we did, I wasn’t afraid of, and flips seem like something I could work up to in the near future.
We learnt a sequence of punches and reactions, that ended right before a flip, but we never got to that part, because we were already way over our time. We ended with a Q & A, but there weren’t a lot of questions, so it was mostly Taz telling us about the industry and how stunts work. It was about 30 minutes after the time we were supposed to end at, but he invited us to stay after and ask more questions or practice.
My roommate and I decided to stay, and got some help with rolls and flips, before Taz showed us the end of the sequence we had been working on earlier. We tried the flip a few times on the mat, and then we did it without the mat. It may have knocked the wind out of me a bit the first time, but I think I did it more than 20 times before we left the gym, 2 hours after the workshop was supposed to have ended.
This whole stunt thing of mine may seem like a crazy pipe dream to a lot of people, especially the ones who know me, because I definitely don’t come off as athletic or physical or someone who would do stunts. It may also seem like it is coming out of left field, but I have been working towards this for years, I just didn’t believe I could do it. I self-talked myself out of it. I needed to find the confidence to actually seriously give it a real effort. Thanks to that and some amazing people who have been giving me advice and training me and supporting me, I am actually believing that I can be a badass. I am trying things that terrified me and realizing that they aren’t really so scary. I am discovering that a lot of things seemed impossible because I wasn’t putting in the effort or I decided that I couldn’t before I even tried. Turns out that if you try, and work at something, you have a way better chance at making it than if you just say you want to.
This isn’t me looking back on my journey once I have succeeded, this is me at the very beginning of what will be a very long and hard journey, saying BRING IT ON 🙂
“I can’t do _____ YET.”
-Tazito’s mindset advice. It’s not that I can’t do a backflip. It’s that I can’t do it YET.