Blog Tour: I’m guest blogging at VauxHall Vixens about Kung Fu Heroines!
Giveaway: Chances to win Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenix, Stephanie Draven’s Poisoned Kisses, or a copy of The Taming of Mei Lin. Details at the Launch Celebration page. Drawing will be held 8pm CST on September 15.
I’m pleased to welcome Luci Romberg: gymnast, stuntwoman, martial artist, competitive free runner, and NINJA WARRIOR!
Jeannie: Where do I begin? I’m such a fan….Can you tell us a bit about the experience of getting selected for Ninja Warrior and what it was like to compete over in Japan? (And my husband and I wanted to know if you get to do practice runs on the course before the actual run.)
Luci: First of all, thank you for your kind words. As far as Ninja Warrior goes, my Tempest freerunning teammate, Paul Darnell, pretty much told me we were going to make a ninja warrior submission video. I didn’t even know what ninja warrior was but I was definitely down for whatever. So we made the video, submitted it and I was voted top 3 videos so I got to go to Japan. It was my first time to Japan and it was an incredible experience. The people are amazing, there is so much to see and the course was so much fun. Unfortunately, none of the competitors are allowed on the course for practice. If we could practice just once it would be a lot easier. I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to go not just once, but twice!!
Jeannie: Freerunning is one of the most exciting new sports I’ve seen. How long have you been doing it and is there any way to start if you’re not already a gymnast/super-athlete?
Luci: I have been freerunning for about two years. The great thing about freerunning is anyone can do it! All you need is a pair of shoes. People just need to get the courage, go outside, and start jumping around. Freerunning is about finding your own path and there are no rules. Although it is definitely not necessary, it makes it easier for individuals who have had gymnastics/martial arts experience as far as flips go. But honestly, anyone can do it.
Jeannie: You’re also a professional stuntwoman and gymnast. What’s the most memorable stunt you’ve been asked to do?
Luci: For me, the most memorable stunt I have done was for a Shiseido commercial. Another stuntwoman and I had to barrel roll underneath a jackknifed semi that was going 30mph. It was pretty gnarly!!
Jeannie: I have to ask this since I’m a petite gal too. Do you get any flack for your size in your profession? It seems like in such a physical job, you must meet some…excuse me for saying…some pretty big jock egos.
Luci: There are definitely some big egos in the industry I am in, but you have to look past that and focus on what your goals are and what you want to accomplish. You can’t let people like that bring you down. As far as my size goes, it is hard to get work because not a lot of actresses are my size and a lot of the non-descript stunts go to the guys. In order to overcome that I train hard, stay focused on my goals, and everything usually works out.
Jeannie: What are your tips for getting over those butterflies in your stomach when you’re competing or about to do a stunt?
Luci: Whenever I’m about to compete or perform I always get nervous. I did soccer and gymnastics all through college so I am used to pressure and dealing with it. I just try to relax and focus on the task at hand. I also find visualizing a great tool in maximizing my performance.
Jeannie: What drives you to be such an action gal? Are you an adrenaline junkie at heart?
Luci: I love movement! My mom and dad were both collegiate tennis players and really good athletes. Growing up I played every sport under the sun. My parents felt it was important for my brother, sister, and me to stay active so they required us to do at least two sports in high school. It made me the active, driven person I am today. I don’t consider myself an adrenaline junkie. Everything I do is well thought out and calculated. I don’t throw crazy moves that are out of my realm. I stay safe and let’s just say with freerunning and stunts they are calculated risks.
Jeannie: So….could a little gal actually take on a big strong guy like they show in the movies?
Luci: If she is well trained it is possible. She would need to know the right places to strike and then run like hell. If she tried to all out fight him it is very unlikely she would be able to take him on for long because he is so much bigger and stronger. Fights scenes in movies are like a dance. Every move is calculated.
Jeannie: What would you say is your favorite fight scene from any movie? How realistic is it?
Luci: I love any Jackie Chan fights. He is so creative, entertaining, and he uses his environment to the fullest. I also love Ong Bak and Tony Jaa. He is so athletic and, like Jackie Chan, he incorporates freerunning and his environment so well. Like I said before, movie fights are completely choreographed and each movement is rehearsed.
Jeannie: Who’s your favorite Warrior Woman?
Luci: If I had to choose, I would say Xena. She is tough, badass but still feminine and sexy.
Here’s Luci in action:
Luci Romberg Stuntwoman: