Tell about yourself and stunts, Erik!
I've been in the business since 92, although I've been pursuing it most of my life. I've appeared in over 300 Movies, Tv shows, Music videos, commercials. Although I only ever wanted to be a stuntman, I had to become an actor to become one.
Mostly getting the bigger more physical roles of Dumb Jock, Bully, Bouncer, Athlete and being adamant about doing my own stunts. It took me a long time to finally prove myself as a reliable professional stuntman performer.
Last year alone I had 25 stunt acting co-stars. Had to audition for most of them. When I'm on set, I feel like everyone's dad because I want everyone to be safe and have fun. I love being on set and in this world. I could easily be doing anything else, but this is what truly makes me happy. This is what I truly love.
What inspired you to become a stunt person?
It was just watching old movies in the middle of the night, and wanting to pretend to be the hero, or the bad guy. I thought it was cool to do crazy things, and be tough about it.
As a kid I would pretend and do make belief. Only difference now is that I'm an adult that gets paid for it. But in my heart, I'm still that kid.
What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a story behind it?
My pain tolerance is ridiculous. So I've gotten a lot of jobs that no one else has wanted. When I was 8 years old, I was run over by a school bus. Shattered my pelvis, almost killed me.
I have had over 50 surgeries between the age of 8 to 15. Was not supposed to live. Was told I'd never walk again. Was told I'd never be normal again. I've been told most of my life about so many things, and being where I am today, having accomplished all that I have, I'm very proud of the person I've become after everything that has ever happened to me. The odds were beyond stacked against me of ever being here.
What is the best part about being a stunt performer?
There are so many wonderful things about being in the stunt community. The camaraderie. The friendships. The people you work with that have your back, and vice versa. I enjoy creating and coming up with safe cool ways of delivering the action.
Often times as a stunt performer, we get to show the director how the scene is going to come out, because sometimes no ones going to protect you better than yourself. What we do is amazing. What we do is what brings so much excitement and enjoyment to the screen. Simply what we do is really cool.
What advice would you give other stunt people?
Never let anyone diminish your light. Smile, be happy. Enjoy the struggle because it'll taste so much better when you finally get there. Help out others when you can. Be happy for others success. Never give up.
As long as you're still following your dreams, you will never have failed. Leave this world a little bit better than you found it. Forget the insults. Remember the compliments. And train. Never think to yourself you cant do something. Learn everything you can.
Anything else you would like to tell the community about?
Keep your heads and hearts high everyone. Times are tough right now, but every single one of you can get through any obstacle thrown down in front of ya. Just keep a positive mindset. Your minds are your most powerful weapon, and your bodies are just the greatest instruments you'll ever own.
If you get bored, and you haven't already, check out my documentary "3 Years In Pakistan: the Erik Aude' Story" It's free on Amazon Prime.
If you're reading this, whether you like me or not, I hope you are doing well and that life is amazing for you.
Stunt Players Directory: https://www.stuntplayers.com/player/erik-aude/
Stunts Unlimited: https://directory.stuntsunlimited.com/profile/erik-aude/