Monday, April 30, 2012

Use the Force, eh?

A few weeks ago, I wrote this piece about our Maritime Master of the Force.  Shortly after it went up, I received this comment on the blog:
Wow....
Where to start. First of all, thank you...I think.
I mean, that you took the time to post about me, Jedi Master Brad Doucette, is absolutely an honour, my amazingly gorgeous wife Maria will find this hilarious, and believe me, she is hot. We had already been married for a couple years before my "hobby" really surfaced and turned into a full-time (ok, part-time) job. Let's just say I never embraced the geek in me until after I secured the girl, lol.
But now, I do what I love, I have alot of fun, I get to spend all my time with my two amazing boys...AND I GET PAID TO PLAY WITH LIGHTSABERS DUDE. COME ON...who wouldn't want this job?
Well, what do you say to that...other than "we need to talk".

A short email conversation later, and I have an interview with the only Jedi Master who might say "Use the Force, eh?"  Mr. Doucette, or Brad as I like to think of him, is not your typical Star Wars Nerd.  No, while some aficionados of the Lucas-verse are content to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in storm trooper or Darth Vader costumes, Brad's doing something that not many would: bringing light saber battles to life.
In public.  For reals.
To answer the obvious question: yes, he is married.  But I'll get back to that.

Though he claims that he doesn't have a favourite, if pressed his choice was not what I thought it would be: Return of the Jedi.  Why that one, when almost all hardcore fans choose Empire Strikes Back?
I have a certain emotional attachment to it as it is the first movie I can ever remember watching and it reminds me of my favorite uncle.
That's fair.  When I think about it, RotJ was the first Star Wars movie that I saw in the theatre too.  I can't remember why my parents agreed to take us to see it, but I remember we were in Saint John.  The only reason I know we weren't home when we saw it was because we stayed at a hotel after - one of perhaps three times in my life I can remember my father agreeing to pay for a hotel instead of staying with friends - and I remember waking up in the middle of the night absolutely dead certain that Jabba the Hutt was waiting for me to try to go to the bathroom so he could eat me.  It turned out to be curtains (which as absolutely nothing to do with why we have blinds in our bedroom...but why risk Jabba?).

Which character does he feel closest too?  Obi-Wan, of course.
I feel I relate most to Obi-Wan in many aspects like I have been thrust into this position but will ultimately succeed, I instruct others in the ways of the Force, Im not the best Jedi, but I am among the greats(lol), and I have a good heart....and this is all good and everything...but I secretly want to be Darth Maul, mwa ha ha...ahem, sorry.
Clearly, he has a sense of humour.

For those of you that aren't aware, Star Wars isn't just about the movies.  It's not even about the toys (though it's a LOT about the toys).  There are books, comics, cartoons, a television show that's been in the works for quite a while, video games... You won't catch him favouring one over the other:
As for the different media, I enjoy it all!!! The entire Star Wars story and everything about it. I dont limit myself to say I enjoy one triology above the other because I enjoy them all as part of an even bigger story from the Rakatan Empire, hundreds of thousands of years BBY(umm...google it), to the birth of the Sith civilization and the formation of the Republic,  leading to the beginning of the Jedi, their evolution and the evolution of the Lightsaber. All the way to Lukes ancestor Cade Skywalker. Ill read or watch anything.
It was at this point in our exchange that I started feeling like a kid that has bragged once too often about knowing Batman personally and gets called out on it.  Rakatan Empire?  BBY?  For the record, I did google it.  That's when I discovered the Wookieepedia, which houses pretty much everything you'd ever want to know about Star Wars.  How big is it?  It has 92,488 pages.  As a point of comparison, I have 164 posts (including this one).  That means that I am almost 2% of the way to being as big as Star Wars, which is saying something considering my budget.

It also turns out that the day camp is not his first venture into bringing Star Wars to life.  Brad's primary passion is for East Coast Sabers, a group he started that has been growing in popularity since he started it last year.
I started East Coast Sabers in January 2011 and its been a slow start. It was a weekly class to come and swing your saber, a few kids, some adults, $5each...covered the cost of the gym. Bounced around trying to find a cheap location to hold this class, all while advertising any way I could and also while trying to come up with an actual class outline. With the help of Kijiji and Facebook things started to take off...oh ya, the camp....skip ahead a year, 12 brthday parties, a Fredkid Fair, school activity periods, a class of 20 kids and adults, I get a bunch of parents asking if we offer a summer camp?....*BING*....and ECS: Jedi Training Camp was born.

And in case you thought that they might be using, I don't know, plastic swords from the dollar store, nope.  No, they don't have lasers.  But they do use carbon fibre blades.  When was the last time you used a light saber with a carbon fibre blade.  I thought so.


As I said earlier, Brad is married to a woman who is in his words "amazingly gorgeous".  Not only does his wife accept his geeky self, she fully supports it.  Really!  She does the blog for his club and she let him name their youngest son Lucas.  I did not inquire into gold bikinis (I know we're all thinking it, but there's only so far I'm willing to pry).

What is his secret for getting the girl and still being able to embrace his passion for Star Wars?  Did he wave his hand in front of her face and say "I am the nerd you are looking for"?  Did he show her his midichlroian count?  Did he say "I am happy to see you, but that's a light saber in my pocket"?  Take heed, young padawan, for if there is one thing that Jedi Master Brad can teach you it's this:
Let's just say I never embraced the geek in me until after I secured the girl
You can check out more of Brad's pictures and videos at eastcoastsabers.ca.

3 comments:

  1. www.eastcoastsabers.ca not .com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Step 1: Get interview.
      Step 2: Have several follow up emails to check facts and get further details.
      Step 3: Screw up literally the last thing in the post.

      Dang it.

      Delete
  2. Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance! I have a question about your blog. HeatherVonsj(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete