What inspired you to become a stunt person, RJ?
My inspiration for becoming a stunt-person stemmed from my childhood. I was born to a mother who encouraged my brothers and me to exercise, eat right, always be active, and to take your gifts to the limits.
I have acquired a great affinity for taking care of my body, and while growing up with my four brothers we all had the freedom to be as active and as creative as we wanted to be.
We would run, stretch, flip, rollerblade, jump rope, ice skate, ski, snowboard, skateboard, climb trees, play any sport, and research and engage in various martial arts.
I was inspired enough from my interest in Muay Thai to visit Thailand when I was younger and continue to visit as often as I can. As a result I can now proficiently speak, read, and write in Thai.
I had no idea at the time but growing up I had been preparing myself for this career my entire life. My brothers and I were lucky enough to have great athletic prowess and the freedom to perfect that gift.
What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a story behind it?
My greatest skill as a stunt performer is my stamina, resilience, and determination which I learned all from my mother.
My mother brought us up alone, with no money, and little help. However, despite her circumstances, she continued to love and care for us, never gave up, worked hard, encouraged us constantly, kept a positive attitude, and taught us invaluable life lessons.
What is the best part about being a stunt performer?
One of the best parts of being a stunt performer is the camaraderie in the stunt community and it has led to some of my closest and trusted friendships.
The ability to travel has also given me the opportunity to meet and draw inspiration from many other amazing people.
It is a physically and mentally stimulating career that challenges me to push my limits and remain diligent.
What advice would you give other stunt people?
My advice for other stunt-performers is to work hard, eat well, have a positive attitude, learn from everyone and anything you can, and never give up.
It is a very physically demanding career so being in top physical condition is of the utmost importance as well as having an understanding of safety (measures) and self preservation.