Journal #8  Stunt Audition at Avalon
    "You're working on Dark Knight, right?"  asked the guard at Avalon Studios.

     "We find that out today," I replied as he let me into the building.

     I made my way up to the production offices and the secretary offered me a seat while she went to locate the stunt coordinator, Sam Williams.  Dave smiled and waved to me through his office window as he paced with his phone.

     A tall, handsome, Maori man stepped around the corner.

     "Lichen?"  he asked offering me his hand.

     "Yes, Hello," I said standing and returning his firm handshake.

     "Nice to meet you, I'm Sam.  Let's find a place to talk," he said gesturing down the hall with my CV and photos.

     We found an empty meeting room and Sam spread his papers out on the table.  He was very down to earth and informal as he told me a little of his stunt history.  He had been Kevin Sorbo's stunt double on
Hercules and also worked extensively on Xena.

     A black belt in Kyokushinkai Karate, Sam developed a fighting style that's very snakelike and fluid.  He explained that he would be testing my Aikido rolls and also my ability to mimic his fighting style.

     In one of the studios Sam set up a variety of tumbling mats.  He took only a couple of minutes to decide that he was happy with my form and imitation of his movements.

     "What move would you use if I punched here?"  Sam asked as his right fist moved in slow motion towards my left ribs.

     He was watching me intently.  My response was important and I had no idea what he was looking for.  Damn!  I decided to keep it simple and follow my instincts.  In one turn I stepped out of his way and moved in next to his extended arm so that I could use the force of his own punch to help him fall down.  I was rewarded with a big grin as he told me that I had given him exactly what he was looking for, someone who knew how to step out of the way.

     My finger tips brushed the floor as I sent myself into a forward roll that ended with me standing on my feet ready to tumble again or fight.

     "Your rolls are very good.  That will work if there is nothing in your way, but what if there is a person or a table?"  Sam crouched down and gestured for me to go over him.

     I hesitated.  I had never gone over anything before, let alone a person I could injure if I didn't do it right.  My body didn't want to move.  My common sense and instincts were rallying together screaming, "Don't throw yourself over that man, you'll both get hurt!"  I shifted my weight, trying to convince my feet to move forward.  Sam was waiting...