Tell about yourself, Dan!
I grew up in a little town just outside of LA. Yup, one of the few born and raised Californians in the industry. I always had an interest in movement and being creative as a kid. When everyone would run to the soccer field, I would find a tree to climb or be on the jungle gym swinging and jumping off things.
My parents were always a little worried I would hurt myself doing this outside so they signed me up for gymnastics. I spent several years as a competitive gymnast all the way up until I graduated high school. However, by then I my interests had evolved into something more creative and so I stumbled upon the art parkour/Freerunning.
Not long after I was introduced to Team Tempest. This was single handedly the spark that launched my career as a professional free runner and stuntman.
What inspired you to become a stunt person?
I drew all my inspiration from action movies as a kid. I know that sounds cliche, but instead of dreaming of being a super hero or the good guy, I would pretend to be the bad guy.
Taking reactions in the living room, falling onto couch cushions and falling down the stairs. In other words, the guy getting his ass kicked was always my inspiration as a kid.
What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a story behind it?
Hmm, to be honest I’ve never really asked myself that. I would say air rams and wires are some of my strongest skills. I’ve also been told I “die beautifully” - and that’s probably one of my favorites compliments I’ve received. Thanks GW!
What is the best part about being a stunt performer?
Aside from crafty? Just kidding. My favorite part will always be that no two days will ever be the same. Every day is different, no two stunts will ever be the same and I’ve never had a sense of repetition.
Tell your all-time personal favorite stunt story
I don’t know if this counts as my favorite memory, but I can honestly say the hardest day of my career (and most rewarding) was on Transformers 5. We had three HUGE setups at three completely different locations all in the same day.
Each one harder than the next and I ended my day standing over a trash can on the streets of Detroit trying not to throw up. It was grueling but I pushed myself to a point I never had before and it was a day I will never, ever forget. Plus the adjustment was pretty damn good as well!
What advice would you give other stunt people?
Be open minded, go with the flow, and learn from your mistakes. And don’t annoy your boss...
Anything else you would like to tell the community about?
I recently pulled the trigger and got a place just outside Atlanta. So I am currently living in Georgia and when we can all get back to work, I’m looking forward to meeting everyone out here and making some new connections.
Stunt Players Directory: https://www.stuntplayers.com/player/dan-mast/
Dan Mast: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3923847/