The Ocean Safari Dive Team glides through the Silfra tectonic fissure. Located between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates in Iceland’s Thingvallavatn National Park, this exotic dive site offers stunning geology and the clearest and most pristine water on the planet, with visibility limited only by the clarity of a divers mask.
It all started one day when I answered a casting call for female scuba divers that Ocean Safari had sent me. I wasn’t expecting to get any reply from the casting director because of my one past experience with acting auditions (I was nine years old when a director simply looked at me and said that my nose was, “Too flat for film”).
So, you could imagine just how excited my little nineteen year-old self got when the casting director replied, “The director and agency would both like to meet you at callbacks."
Callbacks took place at the pool of Malibu’s Pacific Palisades High School. As I entered the pool’s gates and saw the gorgeous, fit ladies that I would be auditioning with, I pretty much accepted a rejection. I reckoned there was no way this less endowed, little Asian girl could compete with the bombshells of Hollywood.
So once again, you could probably imagine just how loud I screamed when the casting director called me a few hours later saying, “You got the part.”
I later asked the director and agency members why they had chosen me, and their answer was simple, “Skill.” I was able to hold my breath and swim for fifty-two seconds at auditions, and paddleboard comfortably. I thought of Ocean Safari then, and all the training that Gabe, Luis, Stu, and the guys, Thomas & Andy, had drilled into me. And I also thought about Tyler at Cove Paddle Fitness, and how determined he was in making sure I had the right stroke technique.
I giggled to myself then because it took me nearly twenty years (of which seven were spent in the infamous “teen” years) to truly realize that: it’s not about what you look like, it’s about what you can do. Thank you, Sean Meehan, Jon Reil, and Andy Schneider for helping me see this.
Though these skills seem pretty simple, they were absolutely exhausting to do continuously for hours and hours, without breaks or food (I couldn’t eat, or else I’d vomit). In fact, at one point during filming, I was so pale-faced and exhausted that I simply could no longer care about how I looked in the commercial (which I now of course regret haha).
All in all, there is no way I could have completed the filming of this commercial without the training that Ocean Safari has given me, and the amazing crew who helped keep me and my spirit alive during filming. Even though you only get to see my beautiful self in this commercial (hehe), it is the product of the hard work of hundreds across our nation. Shout out to my main stuntmen James Mitchell-Clyde, Kris Jeffrey, Mike Brady, and Kevin Mills (who is also an OSDT diver by the way!), and the talented cinematographer Chris Lum. It was a pleasure to work with all of you at JAMRS, Mullen, Arts & Sciences, Outcast International, and our DoD. I would do it all again in a heartbeat, and better yet, I would happily do it all for free!
But above all, thank you Ocean Safari for the chance of a lifetime, and all the dives, pool sessions, training, and love that you’ve given our OSDT community and me. I love you all so very much, and will dive with you for the rest of my days!
Written by Brittany Rain Tran