Tell about life before stunts!
I was born in the late 70's. My mother married a marine so I became a "military brat." At a young age I inspired to be a pro athlete, model/actor, and a doctor. I went to George Washington University for two years and then was offered a scholarship to play basketball at University of Central Florida. Graduated with a B.S. in Molecular Microbiology. Went on to study and became an R.N. for 6 years in the emergency department. I saw some depressing things and needed a break so I went to wrangle for a friend and decided to take the leap of faith to Atlanta and pursue stunts full time.
What inspired you to become a stunt person?
My inspiration was to prove myself wrong. I am known as a horseback rider. I figured that I could really train all kinds of things and make myself just a great stunt performer. I became an equestrian my last couple years in college. At a dinner show in Kissimmee, Fl. I learned to ride, drive, jump on and off horses, liberty and to train at a decent level. My favorite act, I did not even realize was a stunt, we did a re-creation of the Ben-Hur chariot race where the chariot breaks.
What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a story behind it?
My greatest skill might just be my ability to listen more than I talk.
What is the best part about being a stunt performer?
The best part of being a stunt performer is the access to different people with different skill sets who are willing to share. The ability to push myself to do things I never have, or have done little, and get a chance to show and prove. Also, I am a forward thinker so I am getting to see how things work. Hopefully, to someday be able to progress further in the business.
Tell your all-time personal favorite stunt story!
My favorite personal stunt story... I was working on a show. Being the least experienced, it was a crazy scene. I was matched with a few extras to portray chaos. Of course, they can hit and what not. The other performer was instructed to throw a rope around my neck, I try to run away, and he yanks me to the ground. So I am far away from camera but I'm back there hitting the ground.
Now they turn the cameras now video village and the cameras are on my side. They say action. I do what I have been doing the other 10 times. The assistant coordinator, director, AD all yell cut and run over to me. I look up and they are all asking if I'm ok. I said, "yes." Coordinator comes and asks if I had been doing that the whole time. I said, "yes." He looked at me with a sneaky thumbs up and they all loved it. Then I thought to myself that I was hitting that ground all that time and no one even noticed - ha!
What advice would you give other stunt people?
Being as early in my career I don't know that I have much advice. One thing I would say is know your skills and don't lie. It ruins it for others trying to make a name.