The link below is an article that features my story enjoy and share with others “Sheila’s Dream”
The link below is an article that features my story enjoy and share with others “Sheila’s Dream”
The documentary was aired in S. Korea the week of February 19, 2012 and people involved with making were pleased with out come. I received my copies the second week of March 2012. I was very excited to watch it. I was curious as to what made the final cut and what did not. There was a lot of filming done and in the end maybe a third of it made it into the documentary.
Upon watching the film there was a lot of dubbing done to the English interviews. I had though they would keep our parts English with Korean subtitles. Perhaps that would of been to much for the Korean viewers. Just as they had planned there were four themes that my personal life including family and friends, my professional life including my work at HAWC and my motivational speaking, Tae Kwon Do accomplishments, and my trip to South Korea which were put into five episodes. I now have my own theme music which is pretty cool! I was amused to see that they kept me being annoyed with them at dinner one night. I looked at the camera a told him I was tired, sore, hungry, and cranky and I would talk to him later. Then there was a conversation with nephew when we were trying to get him to tell his name to the camera and he says he was busy. Very cute I was happy to see that made the film that was so him and he was so cute. I was really please to see that Shriners Hospital for Children was captured in a really good light as they have always been an important part of my life. Watching myself in this film and others has really given me a new perspective on how I do things and why people are sometimes amazing by what I do.
I have been slowly sharing the film with friends and family. I have a friend making some copies for me so I can lend them out. He is also trying to take out the dubbing into Korean of the English interviews to allow my friends and family to be able to understand. Just the other night I had a movie with a bunch of and one of friends who speaks Korean came over to translate some of the Korean. This was a lot of I finally got to understand what was being said by people in the Korean episode after I spoke or demonstrated my Tae Kwon Do. It turns out people were inspired by me! As I get better with video editing I hope to put parts of it on my website or youtube.
Day two we returned to Kukkiwon and I had the pleasure to meet with the president. He gave me a Letter of Commendation. In recognition of my outstanding contribution to the development and dissemination of Taekwondo. We then visited the open area that the testing took place in the day before and did a bit of filming. I had to do a little self advocacy with the filming crew as they wanted me walk around and then stand still for about ten minutes. After talking with then they understood why that was not going to happen. We then left to go to a local Tae Kwon Do school and spent the rest of the day there.
I was barely in the door and I was asked to speak. I introduced myself and said hello and then took a minute to set down my jacket. Then I spoke a bit on my life and Tae Kwon Do. The school had a demonstration planed for me and so I was able to sit an watch them. They did forms, breaking, and sparring. Then I was asked to do some Tae Kwon Do and I did some kicking drills, breaking, nun-chucks and sparred with them. Later we some lunch ad talked . Some of the students tried to teach me some Korean and tried to teach them some English. There was some interviewing of the the Master, students and myself. There was also a reporter and camera from a local T.V. Station who wanted to capture the day with me. There was a second class that I joined and that class was for students with disabilities. I joined the class as they were doing a basic class form that I was able to learned quickly and it was lot of fun. After the class some of the parents arrived and I performed my nun chucks. The day was lot of fun by the end I was very tired, sore and hungry.
That evening we had plans to eat Korean Barbecue at a local restaurant. By the time we got there I was very hungry and cranky. The film crew was taking forever to get going and it was cold outside. I went into the restaurant trying to get them moving along but that did not work. Then needed the coming and going. I went back outside annoyed and then back in hoping to eat soon. Next thing I know the camera is in my face again asking me what I thought of the place. I said it was nice. I was then asked is that all you have to say. I responded I am sore, tired, cranky, and hungry I will talk to you more after I eat. I bet that will make the film. Dinner was quick to arrive and I was given kimchi (Korean cabbage) I quickly put it aside knowing that I did not like it as I had tried it the day before. It was quickly questioned why I was not eating it and I explained that I did not like and therefore was not eating it. They did not seem to like that but did not push anymore. Momo was able to meet us for dinner which was great! Then we finished up our dinner and went back to the hotel. All and all dinner was really nice.
On the third and finally day we started the day with a visit to the Tae Kwon Do Promotion Federation. This was the group that funded the first documentary that I was a part in. There was a short business meeting and during that I was asked to write a short message to the Korean people. I was then asked to be a speaker at this summers International Tae Kwon Do camp which I accepted. We then got to see a short video about the Tae Kwon Do Park that is being built. It was a great meeting they gifted me some really nice things.
That afternoon we did some sightseeing. We tried to go to the palace but found out it was closed on Tuesdays. However, we did get to look around the front part of grounds and take some pictures. Then we went to the highest point in Seoul and got to see the whole city it was beautiful. There I learned about the locks of love. People come to this place lock the locks to the fence and write messages to there love ones. I left a lock for my family. Later we went to the largest out door market in Seoul. I was looking forward to getting a necklace for myself. The market place was a lot of fun and bit cold. Later in the day I meet up with a reporter from a Tae Kwon Do newspaper and did a short interview.
Before dinner there was the last formal interview in my room. This was an opportunity for the film crew to ask or follow up on last minute things. At first it was a short laid back interview. Quickly it became formal. They wanted me to sit here instead of there. They wanted me to sit this way instead of that way. It was frustrating because they wanted to sit in a way that was not comfortable for my body. I went with it because I knew it was important. There was one thing that I was not going to deal with and that them physically moving me around without being asked. My chair was being moved and then my body without words well without English words. At last I said to the producer if you want me to move would please ask me in English and I would be happy to do that. He then talk me the camera guy does not speak English how can you ask that. I looked at the producer and said I know he does not speak English I am asking you to speak English not him. He went silent a few minutes later he he asked me to move to the right. I looked at him and said thank you that was all that I was looking for. We then finished up and went to dinner.
My last night we went to a nice restaurant. One of the interesting things I found to happen while eating in Korea was that you did not order individual dishes. It seemed that things came as an appetizer would here and then everyone ate from everything. We ordered pizza that was very different. No sauce and it was on a very different kind of dough, but it was good. Dinner was nice and there was no filming! After dinner I meet up with Momo for drinks and dessert. It was nice to meet up with as I spent a lot of time with him while he was filming me in the US. Momo walked me back to the hotel and wished me good flight home. I went up to the room to pack up. As I packed I was having a hard time fitting everything in the suitcase as I was gifted a number of things over the last three days.
The following morning we went to the airport. I was was flying home on my know because Andrew had business and was staying. The flight home was just as nice as it was going there as I was on the same two story plane. Our flight home was a bit shorter 12 hours instead of 15. Unfortunately, it felt way longer probably because I slept less then the flight over. Before I knew it we were landing at JFK airport and then it was a short flight home to Boston. I did have a few hours in JFK before boarding for Boston. Once through customs I texted home and got my messages from my family. My sister Lisa and I talked for awhile about my trip and all the things going on while I was gone. I had a great trip but it great to be home!
When I look back I’m glad that I did it. There are some things I wish went differently. I wish there was more interpreting there for me. It seemed that there was interpreting only when when I directly needed to be spoken to. I realize this was probably because I was being filmed but it was frustrating for me. I understood hello, thank you and Sheila that is very little. The worst part was hearing my name all the time and not understanding what was being said. I spent my childhood with people whispering things about me and even though this was not the same it brought back some of those memories. I was there three days and going crazy not understanding things I have a new respect for people coming to the US without the language or the culture. I wish I had had a friend with me. Andrew was there as an agent and made sure that things went smoothly but it would of been more fun to share this whole experience with a friend or family member.
The documentary will be out soon. I’ll keep you posted.
The US Filming finished mid-day on January 31, 2012 which meant I had two and a half days to make sure all my responsibilities at work were organized and to get myself packed before I left from S. Korea. At 5:30 on Thursday night I shut down my computer and looked to my friend Erin and said “I’m going to S.Korea tomorrow, Wow”. It just hit me mainly because I was so focused on making sure things were organized at work. I went home to finish packing and go to bed early. I had to be up at 3:00 am to catch my shuttle to the airport to make my 6 am flight to JFK, New York.
I have say 3:00 am is way to early to be awaking up at even when you are in bed by 9 pm. I got up and ready and by 3:45 my shuttle was at the front door. It was a quick ride into Logan airport since there were not that many people on the road. Once at the airport things went quickly, I checked in and waited for wheelchair assistances this was going to be a long day and so I was going to limit my walking. By 5:30 I boarded the plane and was sleep within seconds and next thing I knew we were landing at JFK. I meet up with Andrew after landing and we waiting a few hours for our connecting flight to South
I flew Korean Airs in the largest plane I had even seen it was two stories referred to as the airbus. We had coach tickets and they were nicer then I expected. I had an individual tv to watch what I liked when I liked. They also gave out little bags with slippers, toothpaste and a toothbrush. I have to say I have never been feed some much on a plane and the food was pretty good too. The flight was way to long 15 hours on a plane I read, watched movies, listened to music, slept a few different times, played video game and had time to spare. By the time we landed I was so done with the plane and happy to be on land. My legs were a bit sore and swollen despite my efforts to walk around on the plane and feet barely fit in my shoes. I was happy that I had a wheelchair reserved. As we existed the plane the reality that I had traveled half way around the world set in. There was little to no English written or heard around me we were brought to get our luggage and then to customs I was completely lost. We existed customs and were meet by the Korean filming crew. After 15 hours on a plane I was sore and a little disoriented and now I was on film again. They wanted my impressions on Korea I did not have much to say as I had only had seen the airport.
We had about a 45 minute ride to Hotel M where we were staying. Seoul is a pretty modern city lots of people, businesses, buildings, and traffic as with most cities no parking. The hotel I stayed at was very nice. You had a little walk in area where one would take off their shoes and put on the provided slippers. The floor was heated! Then you had your usually hotel amenities. Now the bathroom setup was a bit different. There were different slippers to change into when going in there. Took a little bit to figure out because everything was written in characters. The shower stall drain out on the floor instead of a self contained space. This I figured out after soaking two towels as I usually leave things on the floor. I later realized this is a typical setup it just goes to show you the small culture differences. I made it to 9 pm on my first night and feel fast asleep.
My first full day was scheduled tightly. First stop was Kukkiwon, the headquarters of Tae Kwon Do, I had been told they were having an event that day and I was invited. It was not until that morning did I realize that this event was the weekly testing that occurred for students in Seoul. Students did not get tested at the local but came here. The place was packed three was an easy three to five hundred people there. When we first arrived we meet with a number of the Masters and then I interacted with some of the students. Students lined the hallways practicing and the testing space was was huge. During the meeting I realized they wanted me to do forms out in the testing space the idea was a bit scary. I was fine with it but told them I need a little practice time before hand.
Before I knew it I was changing into my Do-Bulk (uniform) in order to perform my hyung (form). I had sometime to practice in the hallway which was great as I was nervous. As I was trying to practice the camera was staring back at me and I told him he needed to leave. I needed to get centered and having a camera in my face was not working for me. He understood and let me be asking if he could film practicing in a little bit and I agreed. I agreed but the practicing only lasted a few more minutes and I was called to the floor. Since I know little to no Korean and an interpreter was not brought to the floor there was a lot of gesturing to get me to the floor. Once there I waited my turn to be brought forward. There were many people there and three ring setup to accommodate all the testing so lots of activity. When I was brought forward things were brought to a stop. A man introduced me , at least I assume he did as it was all in Korean, then I heard charyot (attention), kyung-nae (bow), jhoon-bee (ready) and she-jae (start). Thank you Bruce McCorry’s Martial Arts for teaching me these important Korean words. It all went fast as forms do not take very long. I was presented with a new uniform and another blackbelt. When I was done I thanked the Masters. I then did some practicing in the hallway for camera. Then there was pictures with everyone. People were coming up to me left and right. It was a trip.
We then went for lunch on the ground and I had my first Korean meal. It was pretty good except for the spicy cabbage which I later learned is what everyone eats there. I also impressed everyone as I used my chopsticks with lunch. Thank you Mr. K’s, Asian African Class. Then we went to a museum upstairs from where we ate. It was really interesting as it held all things Olympic Tae Kwon Do. It also had pictures of a less modern Kukkiwon. Then we were off to our next scheduled event with the Scouts.
It was interesting to realize that there are boy scouts and girls scouts in Korea as I have always seen that as an American Association. That is probably more my assumptions then anything else as I do not know the history of the scouts and the world is a smaller place now. Why not have scouts all around the world. I was a part of the days event. It was great to speak to the scouts about my life regarding bullying and Tae Kwon Do.
It was a fun full day and I was fast asleep by 9 pm.
I was scheduled to meet at 11am so I went to the office early to start to get things in order and have the time to leave the office for a few hours without issues. I already knew that I needed to know to set good boundaries as the film crew was already asking to film before we had our schedule meeting. I told them no. I meet with my supervisor to be clear on what could be filmed during work hours. We also discussed what time off I might needed because I was still waiting on the decision to send me to S. Korea. I had everything as organized as possible and to the meeting I went. We meet at the martial arts school with Andrew and the producer Momo.
They explained to me that the overall purpose of the documentary was educate youth about bullying and offer them inspiration towards improving themselves. The documentary would have four themes: my personal life including family and friends, my professional life including my work at HAWC and my motivational speaking, Tae Kwon Do accomplishments, and my trip to South Korea. We then went over the schedule for the next week. I spoke to them about my commitments at work and what things could filmed there. We worked out a schedule that worked for Master McCorry’s Martial Arts school. Last we discussed how to include my family and friends.
The filming ended up going on a little longer then I first thought. I had been told seven to ten days however they were here for fourteen. I think the best way to explain the two weeks is to reflect back on each day as best as I can. January 18, 2012 the filming started with and afternoon meeting with other advocates. We were meeting to discuss changes that we were making to our manual for the HAWC’s required training. My friends were great at work being willing to be filmed. They had me wear a microphone and then began filming it was a bit weird because the camera was at a distance one minute and then almost in our face in the next. Then there was light that I was told was not bright but it was in my opinion. They left after this meeting and meet me at my house after work. At the house they filmed me coming into the house and then getting ready for Tae Kwon Do. They were interested in simple tasks like eating dinner and cleaning up. They then filmed Tae Kwon Do I warmed up the class and then we did kicking drills. As they started to film I started to see how this filming going to play out. They filmed me along with other students. Then they were interested in impromptu informal interviews. They filmed Master McCorry asking him random questions along with other students and myself. Once class ended we all went home and they planned to film me getting ready for work the following morning.
January 19, 2012 I woke up and got showered and dressed. Then I waited for them to arrive. I thought they would be there for 8am however they were late. They arrived about twenty past at first they wanted me change back into my pjs but I explained them I needed to be at work in a half hour so that was not possible this morning. We agreed that we could do that part Saturday morning. It took them a few minutes to setup the camera and then got some breakfast, washed so dishes, brushed my teeth and a few other morning activities. There were several times when I was asked to repeat an action so they could get a better shot. The setting up and repeating of things seemed less real life to me. I guess I had this assumption that they would just film the day to day as is but I was learning that was not the case. This was explained to be the difference between reality tv and a documentary which is what we were doing.
Momo then drove with me to work that day. This allowed him to film me driving. We got to the office and I introduced him to everyone. They he asked to go back outside and come back in because it was important to film transitions. Everyone was cool with this and so I came back into the office as if it was first thing in the morning. The filming then captured a meeting with a volunteer. Then they interviewed HAWC’s executive director Candace. She offered I thought to see if the District Attorney’s Office would be interested in being interviewed as they do much around bullying and teasing. That after I had a personal presentation at Salem Hospital where I was talking around my experiences growing up within the medical field. The hospital was kind enough to allow this to be filmed. They filmed most of the presentation and then left and said they meet up with me later that afternoon. They needed to get permission from the pizza place for tonight’s dinner with my parents. We went to dinner at my favorite pizza place Santarpio’s in Peabody. My parents and I beat them there so we needed to reenact our arrival for the camera. My parents laughed when I had told them this might happen because the coming and going was important to film. We sat down and had some casual conversation at first. Then there some informal interview questions to both of my parents. The filming stopped for a time to eat and times we repeated stories that Momo wanted capture as we talked through the evening. Over all it was a nice evening.
January 20, 2012 on Friday there was only a little amount of filming done. Momo installed a small camera at my desk to capture things that I did throughout the day. I was able to get a hold of my friend Misty and was able to confirm that we could come down to the Cape on Sunday before the game. Misty’s son has TAR Syndrome as well and we hoped to have this trip work out. Throughout the day I tried to reach the roller skating ring so we could go skating unfortunately I was having no luck so we decided to just go and hope for the best. Throughout the day Momo was filming the Northshore and the Boston area in order to capture the area I grew up in. That night I meet them at the roller ring with a few friends. Unfortunately, when we arrived we found out that we could not film because it was open skate an far to many kids arounds and we could get releases if the kids got filmed. Despite the no filming we decided to go skating anyways. This would be only the second time in 15 years that I skated I was here with friends why not. We stayed for about an hour and a half had dinner and fun.
January 21, 2012
They arrived a little early to filming my morning routine. They had me wake up which had me in giggles at first. Then I got some breakfast and got ready to go to Tae Kwon Do. After getting changed they wanted me to put on different cloths that I had on earlier when they had filmed the morning routine. I explained we will be late for Tae Kwon Do if you want to do that and I do not want to be late. As it was it had snowed the night before and I still needed to clear the car off and that was going to take sometime. We all agreed it was time to go. I went out side turned on the car and started to clear it. It only took a few minutes since there was not a lot of snow. As the cleared they filmed me and asked me a few questions. I bringing to get use to the random questions during activities. They then filmed me driving a bit in the snow and wanted to do more however again I expressed that we were going to be late for class especially since it snowed last night. I got into there car and we went to class. We arrived late has I feared but not to late. We did a variety of things in Tae Kwon Do that morning forms, kicking drills, and belt combinations. They also did some impromptu interviews with some of the other students.
After Tae Kwon Do we went back to my house. I had collected pictures, awards, medical papers, school records etc from my childhood and they were interested in get all of that material. Also my friend Danielle was coming over for lunch. Danielle and I have been friends since I was maybe ten and she had told me how our friendship had made a positive impact on her life. When she was fourteen she had cancer and us being friends helped that experience. Danielle and I had a great lunch and I made her food which might of been the first time ever. She was then interviewed and talked about our friendship when I heard her speak about me it brought tears to my eyes.
Later that evening I went to Drum and Dance with my mom. This is a spiritual space for me and many of my friends. I checked first to see if it was alright to have some filming done. It was decided it was fine conditions. Momo would not be able to use the light because it was to bright and it would only be allowed for about a half hour. We had a small group that night probably because of the snow. It was very enjoyable for me. Momo did not seem to getting the footage that he would of liked because the room was rather dark. Nothing could change that because this was community space was not all about me. I think of all the filming this was the place that I had most nervousness about because I did want disrupt others. There was opportunity for and interview but Momo left before the end and missed the chance.
January 22, 2012
We got up really early to get to the Cape by 9am to visit with Misty’s family. We had plans to join Michael at his Kung Fu class. I had been excited to learn that Michael was involved with martial arts and was loving it. Michael has TAR Syndrome as well I had meet the family through Shriners about five years ago and we became close friends. Michael’s leg problem were different then mine and so he is still learning to be able to walk. This weekend I was able to see him walk for the first time and this was very exciting. Michael Kung Fu class was a lot of fun I learned that I knew a lot more about Kung Fu then I realized. After the class ended Michael and I worked together to see how each of our styles could help the other. Then we went back to house to have lunch and hangout. Michael showed me how played video games using one hand and his chin. I realized that this worked out pretty well. Momo then interviewed Misty and Johnny about our friendship. He also interviewed Michael as well. Over all it was a great day. Shortly before the football game we drove home.