If moving his local studio from Cedar Street to its new location in the old Smitty’s Furniture Building on Main Street and opening new studios in Guymon and Spearman were not keeping him busy enough, Master MarkAnthony Baca of American Karate Studios could soon be on a television or movie screen near you.
Baca has been spending some time in front of a television camera down in Austin for a martial arts based reality show, while now preparing for a role in an upcoming independent film scheduled to start shooting in July titled “The Cain Complex.”
Baca recently spent time in Austin, spending 12-18 hours a day as part of a cast of a martial arts reality show titled “The Next Dragon.”
The concept of “The Next Dragon” is to be an action/adventure reality show that challenges its contestants and educates them and the audience about what it takes to work in the stunt and martial arts industry. The contestants will compete against one another each week as they learn new skills and are pushed further and further out of their comfort zone. By the end of the competition, one competitor will emerge as “The Next Dragon,” with the hopes of potentially becoming an martial arts and entertainment star.
Baca said he considered the opportunity to be on the show lucky, saying, “One of the show’s producers, Janell Smith, is the sister of one of my best friends. We talked back and forth online some until she asked me for an interview, which kind of opened the door in being able to be a part of the show.”
With most of the other participants coming from bigger cities, Baca felt honored to have the opportunity, saying, “The other people involved came from places like Chicago, Florida and Austin, so having been able to represent West Texas and Eastern New Mexico in something like this is pretty special.”
Currently “The Next Dragon” is being shopped around to several networks with hopes of being picked up, Spike and VH1 being two of those networks.
Once the show is picked up by one of the networks, Baca said he would expect the cast to be expanded beyond the eight to 10 people that took part in the recent shooting and believes he could potentially spend several weeks working on the television show.
While he waits to hear word on “The Next Dragon,” Baca will spend two weeks in July down in Austin shooting his scenes for the independent film titled “The Cain Complex.”
In “The Cain Complex,” Baca will play a mummy, played in full costume, where the martial arts master is expected to have a couple of fight scenes in the film.
While there is no doubt he is enjoyed the opportunities opening up on film, Baca said he fully committed in teaching his students in his area studios.
Baca said, “I am fortunate to have several good people working for me that I can trust in being able to step in while I am working on these other projects. But this area is my home and I take a lot of pride in the work I have done with my studios and I plan to be around for a long time continuing to work with my students and see them grow as individuals and in martial arts.”