Stunt Performer Spotlight: Sam Looc
Tell about yourself and stunts, Sam!
My name is Sam Looc. My family immigrated to the United States when I was around two years old. I was the middle child of five kids. We were raised in Oakland, CA. I was always physical and enjoyed being physical when I was growing up.
I grew up watching old 80's action movies and martial arts movies with my dad and brothers. I loved martial arts as a kid. I wanted to learn, but my parents didn't have the financial means to send me to a martial art school. Plus, I wouldn't know where to go. I checked out many books martial arts books at the library and tried to train myself as a kid and some of my teenage years.
I was lucky to have met and trained with my first martial arts teacher at 15 years old in a city park. He was teaching a group of teenagers, and I went to ask if I can learn. He said to come back in a month with a split, and he will teach me. I went home and worked on my split every day. I came back in a month and showed him my split.
I later found out my martial arts teacher didn't expect me to come back when he told me to come back in a month with a split. He said it just to get rid of me. I later met my second martial arts teacher in a dojo in Chinatown. I went into a newly opened martial arts school and checked it out. The young instructor/owner greeted me, I had some questions, he showed me some new moves, and I was eager to learn.
I told him I want to learn but don't have the money to take classes. He told me he will try me out for four months. He will teach me martial arts in exchange that I help with cleaning the school, Teaching the lower-level classes, and I have to compete or fight to re-present his school. I agreed to do so. I went to my first full-contact tournament after four months of training with him to re-present his school.
I won my fights and kept teaching and training. During my training in martial arts, I was inspired by the stuntmen I watched on TV. I saw how cool and gnarly some of the stunts were. Watching Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan inspired me to make my own fight scenes with my martial art friends.
We would slow motion the stunts or stunt performers reactions and try to practice certain reactions in a gym on the weekends. I love the part of performing physically and able to be a part of creating actions.
What inspired you to become a stunt person?
I wanted to learn more about the film industry and be a part of it. I love creating actions and being able to be part of it.
What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, Is there a story behind it?
My greatest skills as a stunt performer I guess are my ability to learn and adapt to the situation fast, being aware of my environment and surroundings while making sure the stunts/actions are safe to perform not just for myself but for all individuals involved.
What is the best part about being a stunt performer?
The best part about being a stunt performer is being apart of such a unique community. The things we get to do and the people we get to meet.
What advice would you give other stunt people?
Be safe and know your own skill sets and limits. Do not take a job where you have no experience with, or the skill set to perform the actions safely. You are only as good as your last job.
Anything else you would like to tell the community about?
Stay safe, have fun, and help others when you can. We need to support each other in order for our community to grow positively.