The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, I mean aside from the whole WORKING ON A JACKIE CHAN movie THING! I spent most of the time talking to Diana but I also struck up several conversations with Exy, Paul, and even Dorothy. I found out that Dorothy had a husband in Hong Kong.
“So you must not get to see him very much then?”
“I see him when Dai Gow not shooting movie or traveling.” Dorothy responded in her broken English.
‘Dai Gow’ was Cantonese for ‘Big Brother’. Up to this point I still had no idea how I should address THE Jackie Chan. The Irish crew of course just called him ‘Jackie’ but was that what I should call him by? Noo…that would be too informal, not to mention disrespectful. Once or twice I called him ‘Sifu’ which was Chinese for ‘teacher’ but also a title one says to someone he respects. It felt weird to call him Mr. Chan so I didn’t. I listened to what everyone else called him and all of them including Brad and Paul called him ‘Dai Gow’. I thought that was really cool. Big Brother. It was like we were one big family and all us ‘kids’ looked up to Jackie for guidance. So I made a decision, ‘Da Guh’ (Da Guh is the Mandarin pronunciation of “Dai Gow”) would be what I would call Jackie from now on! Did that mean that I was, dare I say it, his ‘little brother’?? The thought of that made me smile from ear to ear.
Getting back to Dorothy I asked, “Don’t you miss him?”
“Yes, but what can I do? I go where Dai Gow go. Very busy.” Once again it struck me how much this lifestyle must put a strain on a person’s family and loved ones. It’s definitely not for everyone. I began to wonder how my relationships with my friends, family, and potential girlfriend/wife would be affected if I were away for months at a time.
The final scene ended and I ran over and got Claire’s pad’s from her. “Thanks Alex,” she said cheerfully.
“Y-Your welcome,” I said bashfully.
We hopped into the transport van which took us back to base camp. I carefully put the stunt bag back into Da Guh’s trailer where he was changing and Dorothy was on the phone.
“Good night,” I said shyly to both of them.
Dorothy gave me a quick wave but Da Guh said, “Good night,” I still wasn’t used to talking to Da Guh directly and when he did speak to me it was almost like the voice of God. He made everything, no matter how insignificant or trivial seem important. Every word resonated throughout my being and I was just a nervous ball of excitement. I gave him a small bow and closed the door behind me. I found the others loading into the transport van that was taking us back to our apartment. The ride back was pretty quiet. After a twelve hour day not too many people had much energy for anything else. I was still filled with energy! I mean being around such greatness everyday was like being plugged into a power station 24/7! I sat quietly and watched the sights of Dublin as we entered the city. Exy and Paul dozed off. Brad just sat up front quietly – I never knew what was going through that stern, isolated mind of his. Diana was awake but barely. I could tell that she was tired because she didn’t talk as much as she normally did.
When we got home Brad just went straight to his room and closed the door. Little did I know that this was going to be the routine for the next month. I kind of expected something…different. When Willie first asked me that day in the restaurant whether I wanted to go and train with Jackie on an island (which later I realized was Ireland), I had this image of an elite group of stuntmen in training practicing martial arts, acrobatics, and weapons just like in the movies! Even after I found out I would be working on a movie and not literally ‘training’ I still thought that I’d have a mentor or someone to guide me through this whole process and teach me everything I didn’t know. Back in Jackie’s room when he introduced me as a “junior” to Brad I thought that Brad was going to be the mentor that would mold me into a great stuntman. But Brad didn’t seem interested in talking to me let alone training me. I guess I was on me own…