Hi It's been a very long while since I have had time for extra work, but couldn't pass up this special assignment last summer. My agent Sherri at BCast Agency emailed me that a park scene for Warehouse 13 would need some Tai Chi players! Just up my alley! And last minute could I get others to come too?
Since this was a rush, I had problems getting my students or colleagues to come for a whole day at the Boyd conservation park.
I got another email asking if I knew if an acquaintance (who was also on the BCast roster) was able to do the Tai Chi and agreed to have a phone conversation with her.. turns out it was Ewa an old friend of the family and although she had little tai chi training she was a quick study. It was also a nice chance for us to reconnect.
I arrived very early (7 am) at the conservation area, the road was blocked by a truck that was very heavy with equipment and the rickety bridge which was damaged from the latest deluge didn't look very safe.
Several crew and extras helped the truck driver navigate the holey bridge while the rest of us held our breath. Successful in crossing we now drove over to find the dirt road was like an obstacle course with giant holes everywhere.My little Fiat 500 did just fine.
Finally arriving at the holding, which was a giant tent, I signed in and people started to trickle in.
It was really cold inside the tent, but the sun was hot and strong outside, so after checking my wardrobe and glad I had a warm jacket, I went outside with the other Tai Chi people to warm up.
On the way out the wardrobe mistress had to tape over the N's on my Nikes, even the tiny ones on the sole..with black duct tape, no logos are allowed at all.
Our group of about 8 met and we decided to do some Qigong, and see what everyone knew.. There was another lady who knew the Shibashi Tai Chi Qigong , so we did that for a while. Then we thought we would do it in unison for some of the time, and individually practice for the remainder while shooting. We weren't given any direction about that, so we just did what we thought would happen with a group at a park.This took up most of the morning while we waited for our scene to be shot. Finally around 10 they marched us out to this lovely meadow to film the scene.
What we didn't realize was that the scene was about a pause in time.. or some such thing. So the director called "action" and the park came alive, with picnic people, kite flyers, lovers, bbqers, volleyball players, parents with kids in strollers, lovers on blankets and Tai Chi players. Then when he called "Stop" we all had to fall on the ground and remain motionless while one of the lead actors played out the scene.
Now fall is a relative term. We were informed that only the stunt players had to really hit the dirt, we could just lay down and stay still. Thank goodness, because I wasn't up to a prat fall.
Then the director and camera people reviewed the footage and complained to one woman in red that she was moving during the 'frozen' part of the scene. We had to reshoot.
This went on for an hour. up down up down, it was hot and the grass was warm and steamy and it felt very lush laying on it in the sun, very pleasant. and no bugs! It wasn't difficult to stay still, but it was tricky to stay awake!
We took a break for subs ( this was provided for the crew and union extras first, but since we were specialists we were allowed to join them). The buffet was nice and though I was not eating bread or pasta, I found enough to satisfy.
In all a really fun day and met some nice Tai Chi players from around Toronto. The episode should air in the next few weeks, let's see if we got on camera!!