Kyle, tell about yourself and stunts!
I grew up in Lino Lakes, Minnesota (The Twin Cities) with 2 older brothers. Our house was on the land of our family business, which is a landscape supply store, and we had 12 acres of land at our disposal.
Having 2 older brothers basically made me the crash test dummy for anything and everything. Naturally, I did everything they did, and tried my best to be better. I ended up competing in just about every action sport you can think of: snowboarding, BMX, paintball, skateboarding, motocross, parkour, etc.
A little over 5 years ago, I learned about Ninja Warrior and began spending my time in a Ninja Warrior gym (and also ended up building a couple ninja gyms). Fast forward, I now live in LA doing stunts and travel the country competing in Ninja Warrior competitions.
I have competed on the TV shows AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, ULTIMATE BEAST MASTER and NINJA VS. NINJA. I have been a part of testing and creating challenges/obstacles for shows like ULTIMATE TAG, NINJA WARRIOR, BROKEN SKULL CHALLENGE, THE TITAN GAMES, and MILLION DOLLAR MILE.
What inspired you to become a stunt person?
Remember in elementary school when they would ask you what your dream job would be? Well, my answer was always and has always been being a Stuntman.
Honestly, I never really thought I would go and do it, but here I am! I think my inspiration to become a stunt performer comes from always being creative with movement and trying out new things.
It's an incredible feeling to be able to capture those movements on film and being a part of creating awesome cinema.
What is the best part about being a stunt performer?
The best part about being a stunt performer is having the ability to impact and create incredible movies, shows, videos, etc.; and of course being around all the other incredibly talented performers!
Tell your all-time personal favorite stunt story!
My favorite stunt story is from a commercial I worked on. I booked a gig where I had to flip off a teeterboard with a chair under me, stick the landing sitting in the chair and strike a pose.
In order to book the gig I knew I had to make myself standout somehow. I knew I had the ability to perform it, but had to prove it. I ended up finding a ledge about 8 feet off the ground, grabbed a plastic chair, and did a flip off the ledge with the chair under me. I sent in the footage and ended up booking the job.
We went to rehearsals and I had the chance to try out the stunt on the actual teeterboard. It took about a half hour to get down solid. I actually had no previous experience on a teeterboard, but knew I had the awareness and ability to do the stunt safely.
On the shoot day we did the stunt on top of a rooftop in downtown LA and the final product is awesome! I later found out I booked this job over a Cirque du Soleil acrobat who has countless hours on a teeterboard. This will always be one of my favorite jobs because of how unique this stunt was and the awesome location!
What advice would you give other stunt people?
My advice to others would be: always be positive, be happy, and have fun with what you're doing (at least you're not sitting in an office!).
I feel incredibly fortunate to do what I love on a daily basis. That being said, be professional: learn to listen, be respectful, and know when to keep your opinions to yourself!
Anything else you would like to tell the community about?
Let me know if anyone wants to get together and train! I love going out and doing parkour, fights, or anything else action-y!
Stunt Listing: www.stuntlisting.com/kylesoderman
Stunt Players Directory: https://www.stuntplayers.com/player/kyle-soderman/ iStunt: https://www.istunt.com/kyle-soderman-3684 IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9514011/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0