Tell about life before stunts!
My name is Kyro Wavebourne. I’m from Boston, MA, and I’m a SAG-AFTRA Stunt Performer. Growing up, I was afraid of just about everything. I cried any time my parents forced me on a carnival ride. You couldn’t pay me to try a cartwheel. Swimming in the deep end? Forget it.
There isn’t a defining moment that I can recall, but at some point, I was sick of being afraid. The cage of fear was suffocating, and I needed to breathe. Part of my life’s purpose is to open that cage a little wider and to live a little freer every day.
Having fear as a sign to step forward and not a step back is the reason why I went from a scared kid to playing Division I Football (many of my former teammates play in the NFL), to traveling solo around the world with just a backpack (6 continents, 42 different countries), and to performing stunts in the pursuit of the Hollywood dream.
What inspired you to become a stunt person?
I’m not a black belt martial artist. I’m not an ex-Olympic gymnast. I didn’t ride motocross when I was a kid. I never thought I was talented enough to be a stunt person, and I sometimes still don’t.
I remember being a PA on an independent film in North Carolina and watching Sam Hargrave and Thayr Harris do a gnarly car hit. I thought to myself, “I’m not talented enough to be able to do that,” but the heart wants what it wants. I never wanted to be a stuntman. I had to be one. It was in line with my life’s purpose.
What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a story behind it?
My greatest skill as a stunt performer is paying attention. Besides stunts, I’ve worked in nearly every department on set. Paying attention to safety, your stunt coordinator, and your director is a must, but I also pride myself in paying attention to the needs of the cast and crew.
My job is to make everyone else's job easier. Every minute that goes by on set costs production somewhere between $500-$1500. I never want to be the one waited on.
I’m going to destroy the ground but also save wardrobe’s pants if I can help it. If I have makeup on, I’m not going to touch it no matter how bad it itches. If I know SFX wants to be in a certain corner to smoke the set, I’m going to find a way to get to my spot without impeding him/her.
As a stunt performer, we often get to go home sooner than most of the cast and crew, but if I can cut down their time on set, they can perhaps go home sooner and return the next day ideally fresher. Fatigue, complacency, and lack of communication are what cause accidents not just to stunt performers but cast and crew as well.
What is the best part about being a stunt performer?
It’s the camaraderie of being with like-minded individuals creating something that wouldn’t exist quite the same way without everyone’s input.
What advice would you give other stunt people?
Control what you can control. Take extreme ownership of your life. Be humble, work hard, and if you’re a member of SAG-AFTRA, stop doing non-union work. Whatever you do, make sure you can do it to a mark over and over again.
Finally, if you’re a new or younger stunt performer, when the van picks you up, it’s common courtesy to sit from back to front.
Anything else you would like to tell the community about?
The stunt community constantly inspires me. I feel incredibly blessed to be part of this family, and I hope that we can all love each other and look out for each other as such.